Adaptive Spoon Helps Those With Parkinson’s

There are a lot of side effects of living with medical conditions, and not all of them are obvious. For Parkinson’s disease, one of the conditions is a constant hand tremor. This can obviously lead to frustration with anything that involves fine motor skills, but also includes eating, which can be even more troublesome than other day-to-day tasks. There are some products available that help with the tremors, but at such a high price [Rupin] decided to build a tremor-compensating utensil with off the shelf components instead.

The main source of inspiration for this project was the Liftware Steady, but at around $200 this can be out of reach for a lot of people. The core of this assistive spoon has a bill of material that most of us will have lying around already, in order to keep costs down. It’s built around an Arduino and an MPU6050 inertial measurement unit with two generic servo motors. It did take some 3D printing and a lot of math to get the utensil to behave properly, but the code is available on the project site for anyone who wants to take a look.

This project tackles a problem that we see all the time: a cost-effective, open-source solution to a medical issue where the only alternatives are much more expensive. Usually this comes up around prosthetics, but can also help out by making biological compounds like insulin directly for less than a medical company can provide it.

6 thoughts on “Adaptive Spoon Helps Those With Parkinson’s

  1. I saw the picture, read the HaD write-up, and thought the project creator is delusional presenting this as an alternative to the real product.

    But luckily I clicked through to the original article and read the perfectly reasonable project goal:
    “We were greatly inspired by Liftware Steady which is a product sold for this very purpose. The goal of our project was to be able to understand what are the system dynamics and leanings which can be accrued by building a similar project with off the shelf components.”
    The project creator doesn’t even mention the price of Liftware Steady.

    HaD, please stop making up stuff. It reflects badly on the creators behind the featured projects.

    1. Yeah, at the end of the video he starts to shake the spoon faster and loses quite a bit. Granted uncooked rice on a wooden spoon would be very difficult anyway.

      Hopefully, this build will inspire Rupin to take on a more realistic scenario for future iterations.

  2. Or, you could blend the meal and give them a thick straw! No batteries, no heavy crazy spoons, no software, no upgrades, no batteries to charge, nothing to break, portable, easy yo clean, easy to carry and easy to replace.

    I am totally against this pointless techalisation of our lives. If it’s your hobby, your passion sure but that is all

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