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Case Study 1: Personalized Mobility for the Wheelchair-Bound

Design and development of a mobility solution to mitigate the aspects of exclusion after realization. Mobility as a challenge for the wheelchair-bound and those who can not walk for some reason has been challenged further and a practical solution in the form of Saarthi 3 has been created for the same.


The physically handicapped communities in India have been suffering from a lot of atrocities in the context of mobility. They are often bound to wheelchairs or assistive devices which provides them with an extent of freedom but are often restricted to virtual yet physal boundaries.

Aspects of exclusion

The paraplegic dominantly experience spatial, social and sectoral exclusion. The various factors that lead the these forms of exclusion are highlighted here in the form of a table representing the '6 S of Exclusion'.

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Innovation incubation

Innovations in the grassroot communities are peculiar in nature as they mostly lie with people with a narrow horizon. There is a need for three different bodies to collaborate to bring out a sustainable business ecosystem for the innovation to suceed in the market. This marriage of innovation, enterprise, investment has to happen at an institution which in real meaning acts as an ‘Innovation Incubation Network’.

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Saarthi meets freedomwheels

Saarthi 1 has been an important project that has derived the development of the current work. It was at GIAN that Saarthi met with an enterprise Freedomwheels for automobile design and developed in close collaboration. Soon after the project started off we received a fund of INR 10,28,000 to develop and invest in the research and development of a prototype. A true example of innovation incubation 

Organisations involved

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Freedomwheels was established in 2013 by Mr. Jignesh Shah with an aim to provide low cost mobility solutions to people with motor disability like himself. He soon started selling electronic wheelchairs imported from China in the Indian market. He believes in direct intimate relations with his customers and has no dealership, agency or marketting firm associated in any way. The tagline of freedom wheels suggests ‘Mobility by Differently Abled for Differently Abled’ and believe in creating custom solutions to satisfy the needs of the wheelchair bound

A review statement: Previous innovations

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Functions of a vehicle

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Problem statement

How might we create a more accessible, economic and desirable mode of personal mobility for the differently abled to be able to drive on the Indian roads with pride.

Functional requirements

Speed Limit: 20-25 Km/h
Load Capacity: 150Kg
Dimension: 2X1 meter
Purpose: Self Mobility for wheelchair bound 
Distance of usage: Around 40-50 km
Features: Slope for access, weatherproofing
Feel: Weatherproof, Safety, Freedom
Sourcing Components: Imports from China and standard parts
Chassis: In-house fabrication
Ground clearence: 150 mm
Prototyping location: Nebula Towers, Ahmedabad


The moodboards shall act as a reference to go back to, derive the essence of the vehicle in terms of the form and usability. This is an essential step to draw a boundary and tie ideas together.

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Ideation sketches

Soft mockups

Quick frugal 3d mock-up made in order to understand the proportion and aesthetics of the final concepts.

3D modelling and rendering

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Use-case scenario


A full-scale prototype was fabricated at freedom wheels with the help of a few vendors. Further pictures of the final output can not be published and are not included in this portfolio. 

Future scope

This prototype was further taken for testing with extreme parameters. Design registration of the design shall be done on the name of Freedomwheels in the month of January after final pictures of the prototype are obtained. This project has to be filed for a subsidy to be able to sell to a larger audience at a lower cost.

More Projects

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