Gadgets

Self-Stabilizing Spoon Negates Hand Tremors

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A lot of us take for granted our ability to do the most mundane tasks without trouble. For example, it would be very hard to enjoy a meal if your hand shook terribly each time you tried to bring a spoon to your lips, but such is the reality for people suffering from essential tremors and Parkinson’s Disease.

While working for the Army Research Laboratories, developing technologies to stabilize weapons for soldiers in combat, Anupam Pathak realized that it’s better to offset tremors rather than suppress them. Once he quit his research, he founded Life Labs, and applied his knowledge to create a revolutionary self-stabilizing eating utensil called the Liftware Spoon.

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Last September Google purchased Lift Labs, creating other attachments to further improve the quality of life of those people suffering from tremors.

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Liftware has a stabilizing handle that contains sensors to detect hand motion. Its small onboard computer distinguishes an unwanted tremor from an intended hand movement. The computer then directs two motors in the handle to move the attached spoon, fork, or soup spoon in the opposite direction of the detected tremor.

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In a clinical test, the Liftware utensil had a 70% reduction in tremor in transferring and eating tasks. To put it another way, people using this spoon can spend less effort focusing on the mechanical operation of eating, and focus instead on enjoying their meal and their dining companions.

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Liftware automatically turns on, ready for use, when the utensil attachment is connected to the stabilizing handle, and temporarily goes to sleep when placed face down. On a single charge it can go for days, and when it eventually needs charging the stabilizing handle can be placed in the charging cradle of the kit.

Visionaries + Movers

Anupam Pathak (Inventor)

Photos via: Liftware

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