Transportation for differently abled people in India is still a task. There are many places where such differently abled people cannot go without anyone else’s help. Travelling becomes a challenge as most of them would need help for other person. For those who are on wheelchairs, it becomes a bit more intimidating as they have to carry the wheelchair with them all the time. Many taxi drivers may not even allow the person to get into the cab with a wheelchair. To solve this problem, IIT Madras has created a wheelchair that can be converted into a bike that can be used on the road. This video shows how the whole set up works.
The video has been uploaded by FZ ROVER on their YouTube channel. in this video, the vlogger talks to Nishan who was using the wheelchair scooter set up for the last 9 months. Nishan, who is working as a field sales executive had met with an accident around 4 years ago and he had suffered spinal injury and multiple fractures to his leg. He is currently living in Trivandrum and is using the motorized wheel chair. Nishan mentions that the wheelchair scooter gives him more freedom and he can freely roam around like anyone else.
The motorized wheelchair has two parts. There is a wheelchair and the other part is the handle bar with accelerator, battery pack, motor and other features. When Nishan is at home, he simply uses the wheelchair like any other differently abled person but, things change when he has to go out. He can simply connect his wheelchair to the handle part and simply drive it around like a scooter or a trike. In order to attach the wheelchair to the motorised part, Nishan simply aligns the wheelchair in front of the other part. There are couple of clamps that fit perfectly to the wheelchair and lift the small wheels at the front of the wheelchair.
Once the wheelchair is on the clamp, there are set of additional locks to ensure that the wheelchair does not fall off or deatch while riding on the road. Once the wheelchair is converted into a scooter, he can unlock the brakes on the wheelchair and turn the key on. It uses a hub motor to move the scooter around. There is a detachable battery at the front that can be recharged. The handle has bar-end lights and ORVMs to keep a track of the traffic. There is a digital instrument cluster that will show the speed, trip meter and odometer. Nishan has done around 4,400 km on this scooter.
There are multiple riding modes which control the speed. The maximum speed of this scooter is 25 kmph and he does not need a driving license for this. Nishan can be heard saying that maximum distance he has covered on this scooter was 30 km and that too when he visited Ernakulam. He took the scooter with him in the train and after getting down at the station, he simply rode the scooter. The wheelchair is a custom made unit so that it fits the body of the user perfectly. The overall cost of this motorised wheelchair set up is Rs 1 lakh and it comes with one year warranty.