Arise: The Standing Wheelchair
The first product from R2D2 was launched on November 05, 2019! The Standing Wheelchair, Arise, was launched at IITM Research Park by the Hon'ble Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot. With support for commercialization from the Wellcome Trust (a UK foundation), the product was designed and developed at R2D2. It will be manufactured and marketed by Phoenix Medical Systems, a medical devices company founded and run by IITM alumnus Mr. Sashi Kumar.
For information on the prescription and ordering process, please visit
Background and History
A person with a lower limb disability may have to use a wheelchair for their entire life. In a conventional wheelchair, the user spends time in a seated position all the time. This constraint gives rise to many physical and mental health-related issues, such as a sore body, the building of pressure points leading to pressure sores, lowered blood circulation, and dependence on other people for basic needs. One solution to this problem is to provide mechanisms in the wheel-chair to assist the person to stand. The first prototype was developed by Harshal Chaudhari (DD, 2012).
First Prototype - Standing
Second Prototype - Sitting
Second Prototype - Standing
The second prototype was developed by students NT Saikiran, Sai Prakash Reddy and Parivarthan with support from Muthuvishvaswaran and Sandilya Bharathi. This prototype also includes a reclining mechanism which was removed in later versions to reduce complexity. Other students who have worked on this include Sushant Veer (B.Tech, 2013) and Sumit Pethwajadkar (DD, 2013). The third prototype, designed by Vivek Sarda, has been tested with several users with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) - their response has been very positive. The development was funded by the Socially Relevant Projects scheme of IIT Madras until Dec 2014. The design is now developing towards commercialization in partnership with Phoenix Medical Systems and the Rehabilitation and user community (CMC Vellore, APD, the Spinal Foundation, and others), with support provided by the Wellcome Trust under their Affordable Healthcare in India scheme. Vivek Sarda and Swostik Dash lead this project.