Published: 08th September 2021
Here's how the IIT Madras-incubated start-up, NeoMotion, is changing the disability landscape with its unique motors and machines
Currently, NeoFly, as well as NeoBolt, are used by more than 600 people across 28 states and the feedback received from them has been positive, as expected
Shailesh Kumar is a pan-India counsellor who became paralysed after suffering a spinal cord injury in 2011. Since the accident, Shailesh has been confined to a wheelchair. While he's used many wheelchairs in the past ten years, he has never experienced something like NeoFly — a wheelchair designed and built by NeoMotion, a start-up from TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2), incubated at IIT Madras. Did we mention that Shailesh is a marathoner? "Earlier, when I used to use other wheelchairs, it required a lot of time but after switching over to the NeoFly, my race time has reduced to dropped by 20 per cent!"
Like Shailesh Kumar, there are thousands of people across India who are now using the NeoFly for easy and quick movement. Professor Sujatha Srinivasan from IIT Madras, Co-founder of NeoMotion, explains how different their wheelchair is, "I have been working for R2D2 for a long time now and our centre aims to change the disability landscape in India for locomotor disabilities by creating functional and affordable assistant devices. Usually, wheelchair users are restricted within the four walls of their home and that, in turn, affects their participation with the community and social development. NeoMotion helps such people with their world-class wheelchair products. NeoFly is one of their first products that is built to provide comfort to the user, efficient propulsion, better manoeuvrability and superior ergonomics."
Abdul Muqeeth from Hyderabad on NeoBolt
Prof Sujatha says, "It is estimated that around three lakh wheelchairs are sold annually in India, of which 2.5 lakh are imported. Nearly 95 per cent of all wheelchairs sold in India are one-size-fits-all, which restricts mobility, damages health and lowers self-confidence. What makes NeoFly truly unique is the motor-powered attachment called NeoBolt that converts the wheelchair into a safe and road worthy vehicle that can navigate any terrain, rough roads and even climb steep gradients. One can use the NeoBolt to commute comfortably because it has suspension to absorb all the shocks."
Both NeoFly and NeoBolt come with some pretty cool and unique features. NeoFly has puncture-resistant tyres, ergonomic push rim, adjustable backrest height and angle, adjustable footrest, five size options of seat and safety anti-tippers. Similarly, NeoBolt's features include a lithium-ion battery, 25-kilometre coverage per charge after just four hours of charge, a digital dashboard, headlight, side indicators, horn, mirror, reverse function, telescopic suspension and a whole lot more.
Dr Rajalakshmi from Bengaluru on NeoFly
Currently, NeoFly, as well as NeoBolt, are used by more than 600 people across 28 states and the feedback received from them has been positive, as expected. Swastik Sourav Dash, one of the co-founders of NeoMotion, says, "The demo units are available in 15 dealer outlets and four rehabilitation centres in major cities across India. We also 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. While NeoFly is available at `39,900 and the NeoBolt motorised add-on is available at `55,000, the users can buy it through preferable EMI plans as well."