起来 by itself means “to rise” but it is found much more often as a directional complement.
Firstly, this direction can take the literal meaning “up.”
|Everybody stand up!|
It can also be used with 了 to show that something just started to happen.
|He started crying.|
|The dog started running.|
There’s one more very common usage that’s important to know. When added to a verb of sense (sight, smell, taste etc), this particle gives a sense of “seems like.”
It’s very often used with 看 to mean “looks like,” though other verbs work just as well.
|Her body seems to be healthy.|
|This soup smells delicious.|