Obi robot helps disabled diners eat

Robotics company Desin has introduced a device called Obi, and it's designed to help disabled individuals eat independently. Using a robotic armature with a spoon attached, a bowl with four sections, and some carefully designed buttons, the contraption serves as a diner's hands when his or her own may have failed them. Obi was created to help individuals with conditions like multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinsons, and other conditions.

Obi can't operate entirely without humans; a caregiver is needed to set it up initially, though that's obvious. The diner takes their seat wherever they'd like to eat, then the caregiver quickly teaches the robot the movement to make so that it positions the spoon near the diner's mouth. This is done manually with a simple movement of the armature as shown in the video below.

The spoon moves dynamically within the bowl; it is shown, for exact, scraping food from the side of the bowl. It can handle different textures of food, as well, like whole grapes or something easier to scoop like rice. Individuals who still have some motor abilities can use buttons or foot pedals to control the device, pillows with pressure sensors, or a mouth piece for controlling the robot using air movements.

The device itself is made from BPA plastics, among other things, with the plate and spoon being dishwasher and microwave-safe. The unit is powered using batteries, which last up to four hours before needing charged. The device is available now for $4,500 USD.

VIA: Gizmag