Imports account for 2.5 lakh of the total 3 lakh wheelchairs sold in India annually. Now that’s going to change. Indian Institute of Technology Madras has developed India’s first indigenous motorized wheelchair vehicle that can be used not only on roads but even on uneven terrains.
Called ‘NeoBolt’, it has a maximum speed of 25 kmph and travels up to 25 km per charge. It empowers wheelchair users with a convenient, safe and low-cost mode of outdoor mobility when compared to cars, auto rickshaws or modified scooters. NeoBolt is powered by a Lithium-Ion Battery that will give 25 Kms for every charge. NeoBolt was developed by a team led by Prof. Sujatha Srinivasan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, and has been commercialized through a startup called ‘NeoMotion.’ The Startup has been co-founded by Prof. Sujatha Srinivasan and an IIT Madras Alumnus Mr. Swostik Sourav Dash, who is the CEO of NeoMotion.
Prof. Sujatha Srinivasan also led the team that developed India’s first indigenously-designed Standing Wheelchair called ‘Arise,’ which enables a wheelchair user to shift from sitting to standing position.
Throughout the development process, the IIT-M Researchers collaborated extensively with organizations and hospitals working among people with locomotor disability and built the products factoring in their experiences and making constant design adjustments.
Highlighting the vision behind developing these products, Prof. Sujatha Srinivasan, Faculty Head, TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2), IIT Madras, said, “Our centre’s vision is to transform the disability landscape in India by creating functional and affordable assistive devices. How often do you see a wheelchair user at a school, an office, a shop or a theatre? Wheelchair users are typically restricted to the four walls of their home, which affects their community participation and their ability to contribute to the economy.”
The start-up has also developed and commercially launched ‘NeoFly,’ a personalized wheelchair designed to enhance health and lifestyle. As much as 18 customizations ensure a perfect fit to the user’s requirements.
NeoFly Feature Highlights include:
– Puncture Resistant Tires, Indoor and Outdoor Options
– Ergonomic Pushrim
– Rigid Frame Design
– Adjustable Backrest Height & Angle
– Adjustable Footrest Height & Angle
– Five Size Options of Seat Width & Seat Depth
– Safety Anti-Tippers
NeoBolt Feature Highlights include:
– Quick and Easy Attachment Design (Patented)
– Safety Anti-Tippers (Patented)
– Li-Ion Battery, 25 km per charge, 4 hours recharge
– Digital Dashboard
– Headlight, Side Indicators, Horn, Mirror
– Reverse Function
– Telescopic Suspension
– Rugged Built Chassis
Demonstration video can be downloaded from the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CTSYJiUWyRP3U2AKm349q5PHQQnHJP2u/view?usp=sharing
(Video can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/iLdjafw3Ztg)