Logo of Disability News and Information Service (DNIS)


India's first indigenous automated wheelchair ready, courtesy army officers

DNIS News Network - Indian Army Majors have manufactured India’s first motorised or automated wheelchair that will cost a fraction of the imported variants currently available in the market and has features that are comparable to the best available.

Picture of India's first indigenously built motorised wheelchairFour officers from the army’s Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (E.M.E) achieved the feat as a part of their project work, which was adjudged the best in both the mechanical and electronics streams in the engineering course. The wheelchair is estimated to cost Rs 1.20 lakh. A similar gadget will otherwise cost about Rs 5 lakh, as there is no Indian company manufacturing automated wheelchairs.

The creators of the machine are Manish Gulia, Rahul Kumar Gupta, Harsh .V. Srivastava and Manoj. K. Jamwal, who have completed the 77th Degree Engineering Course at the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, Secunderabad.

The wheelchair has a four-wheel drive with a controller keyboard that enables forward and reverse motion, speed variation, effective steering by joystick. It even has a horn on board. The wheelchair has very effective brakes which enable it to halt midway on a steep slope and is sufficiently powered to continue from that position without slipping backwards.

The maximum speed of the wheelchair is 7 km per hour with four speed variations, while modifications, including folding tables, are being planned. Maintenance-free rechargeable batteries have been provided which, once fully charged, help run the chair for 10 km. It also has a seat belt to ensure the safety of the disabled person using it.

The faculty of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering is reported to be in touch with other Defence organisations for mass production of the automated wheelchair.