When you think of cane, the things that immediately come to your mind are furniture and walking sticks. But that’s not all. Bengaluru-based startups Rise Legs, a part of Rise Design Labs, has developed different types of prosthetic legs based on cane.
Founder Arun Cherian, who was working on developing wearable exoskeletal suits in the US, chanced upon cane as a potential material during a visit to India. He realised that if cane can be bent and used to make furniture, it should also be able to support the body, like our legs do. On talking to artisans who make cane furniture, he realised its potential and set out to start up Rise Design Labs.
The company’s product is priced similarly as the famous Jaipur foot, which is heavier and more inflexible, and it provides functionality close to that of expensive carbon fibre prostheses. Rise Legs has partnered with sports, dance and martial arts schools to help amputees lead active and fulfilling lives.
The startup sources most of its materials from forests in India, especially the North East. The team has conducted studies to figure out which varieties of cane can be used for prosthetics. In the process they have also designed a custom-fit wheelchair with a cane frame for sports use.
Rise Legs is setting up a team to represent India at the Cybathlon, an athletic event where individuals with physical disabilities can compete in six demanding disciplines using assistive technologies, to be held in Zurich in October 2016.
Here’s how the product works.
Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem.