Using conventional spoons and forks can be pretty frustrating for people with poor hand control, such as post stroke patients and those living with cerebral palsy. Utensils designed to better match each person’s unique abilities and limitations have existed for a while, but they can still be difficult to use by many patients. Now a new utensil system is being introduced that uses sensors and computer controlled motors to help folks with arm and hand disabilities have a much easier time.
The Level from Liftware, a company based in Mountain View, California, automatically adjusts the business end of a spoon or fork so that it always remains level. This way even if a person has wild trajectories of motion, the device will compensate and help to make sure that what left the plate will reach the mouth.
We’ve written about the Steady, a smart spoon from Liftware for people with Parkinson’s and essential tremor, a few years ago. That product, though similar in nature, works quite differently and is designed to stabilize a shaking spoon rather than rotate and angle it.
The insides of the handle contain a batter, small computer, and sensors that constantly track the orientation of the device. Two motors between the handle and the utensil tip are controlled by the computer to orient the spoon or fork.
A single charge of the battery allows the device to work for up to an hour, which should be sufficient for about three meals. Once the device is ready, the diner simply starts using it without having to do any kind of calibration or personalization.
The starter kit will run you $195 and it includes one spoon tip. Another $35 will also get you a fork you can swap instead of the spoon.
Here’s a video presenting the Liftware Level:
Flashback: Smart Spoon, New Apps Help People with Parkinson’s, Essential Tremors…
Product page: Liftware Level…