My Spoon is a meal assistance robot invented by Takashi Fuzawa who has a C-4 spinal cord injury and wanted to decrease his reliance on a caregiver for meals. My Spoon is a finalist in Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) “Robot of the Year for 2006” contest.
My Spoon was developed to support those who require assistance to eat. It can be said that eating is the most basic element for social independence. By being able to eat on their own, these users regain confidence, hopefully to play a larger role in society. Also, by using My Spoon, instead of being cared for by their family, it becomes possible to join the family during meals and also for snacks and candy. I expect that there are many other ways that this robot can be used.
Who can use My Spoon?
My Spoon cannot be used if any of the following conditions are met:
Problems with chewing and/or swallowing.
Motor control problems such as moving their head towards the spoon, operating a joystick or pressing a button.
Problems maintaining upright posture (more than 60 degrees from horizontal) for an extended amount of time, even with the use of a belt or other mechanism to help maintain posture.
Problems seeing the My Spoon arm.
Problems understanding how to operate My Spoon.
Check out the My Spoon homepage and published research . . .
(hat tip: Ubergizmo)