The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) has devised an innovative wheelchair called 'NeoBolt' that can assist people with locomotor disabilities on roads as well as on uneven terrain.
The motorized wheelchair vehicle is fitted with a lithium-ion battery and can travel up to 25 km with a single charge at a minimum speed of 25 kmph. According to a statement by the institute, it helps the user riding the wheelchair with a convenient, safe, and low-cost mode of outdoor mobility as compared to other vehicles.
Professor Sujatha Srinivasan of the Department of Mechanical Engineering pioneered the IIT research team and launched the vehicle through the start-up 'NeoMotion', also founded by Srinivasan. IIT-M alumnus Swostik Sourav Dash, the co-founder of the start-up, is also the CEO of the company.
Srinivasan shared that the product was developed to 'transform the disability landscape in the country.' Affordability has been one of the prime aspects kept in mind while creating the product. The start-up has also developed and commercially launched 'NeoFly,' a personalized wheelchair designed to enhance health and lifestyle. The products are reportedly being used by at least 600 users across 28 states in the country.=
"Along with product warranty, we provide spare parts and after-sales service so that our users can use the products hassle-free. Our immediate focus is to ramp up production and make NeoFly and NeoBolt available to users across India. NeoFly personalized wheelchair is available at Rs. 39,900 and NeoBolt motorized add-on is available at Rs. 55,000. We offer convenient EMI options. Users can pre-book their orders with us for just Rs. 1,000 by registering on our website," Dash said, as per the statement.
Reiterating that out of the three lakh wheelchairs that are sold annually in the country, 95 percent of those are 'one-size-fits-all,' which restricts mobility, damages health, and lowers self-confidence. The team has been intending to address these issues and to come up with inclusive products.