Union minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan Dedicates a Low Cost Motorized Wheelchair to the Nation
The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated a low cost motorized wheelchair called Locomo-WC to the Indian persons with disabilities. Speaking on the occasion he said all such technical advancement should be made accessible the needy poor also. The Minister said that our Scientists have now developed capacity to be able to reach various advance technologies as required by the people.
The Wheel Chair was developed by the Ministry of Science & Technology under the Department of Biotechnology, (DBT)’s “Make-in-India initiative”.
Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr. VijayRaghavan, Dr. Rajesh Kapur, Advisor DBT and Padma Bhushan Major (Retd) HPS Ahluwalia, the Chairman of the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, (ISIC) New Delhi were present at the event.
The motorized wheelchair originally designed at the Human Engineering Research Lab, University of Pittsburg under the joint international collaborative program of DBT and USA government has been completely remodeled to suit Indian conditions. The Medical Director & Chief of Spine Service Dr. H S Chhabra and Mr. Nekram Upadhaya at ISIC had further worked on the Wheel Chair to remodel it to face the dual challenges of uneven terrain in rural India and prohibitive costs which limits the accessibility of the wheelchairs available in the market.
Estimated cost of LOCOMO would be around Rs 45,000 as compared to the imported motorized wheelchair which could cost Rs 1.5 lakhs. The cost again is expected to come down with mass production and tax exemptions.
The uniqueness of LOCOMO lies in its suspension system with linear links used to make all four wheels operate independently to make it suitable to handle uneven terrain also.
LOCOMO could withstand rugged conditions and at the same time is also comfortable easy to manipulate and is available at an affordable cost. It is also light weight, simple to handle, easy to fold and reassemble.
LOCOMO will also make people with disability as independent as possible, leading to improved quality of life, social relationships and physical health.
Unique features of LOCOMO include:
|1||Unique and innovative Suspension system for Indian environmental conditions|
|2||Joystick controlling system in 360 degree directions|
|3||Speed 8-10 km/hr|
|4||Battery backup up to 15-20 km in one charge|
|5||Takes about 3 hours to get it fully charged|
|6||Easy to fold and reassemble, light weight, comfortable|
|7||Passed ISO 7176 testing of wheelchair standards|
|8||Manufacturing cost less than Rs. 45000|
Source :Ministry of Science & Technology 28-January, 2016