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Steadicam-like Liftware Spoon cancels out Parkinson's-caused tremors

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September 4, 2013

The Liftware Spoon utilizes Lift Labs' Active Cancellation of Tremor technology

The Liftware Spoon utilizes Lift Labs' Active Cancellation of Tremor technology

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While most of us take the lifting of a spoon to our mouth for granted, it can be a major challenge for people with Parkinson's Disease or other neurodegenerative conditions. It was with those people in mind that the engineers at San Francisco’s Lift Labs created the tremor-canceling Liftware Spoon.

The device is sort of like an electric toothbrush, in that it’s composed of a handle containing the battery and electronics (the main Liftware device), and a removable attachment (the spoon).

The Liftware Spoon alongside a regular fork

Accelerometers in the handle detect the user’s small, involuntary arm movements. Motors instantly respond by moving the spoon attachment in the opposite direction, essentially canceling out the initial arm movement. The result, so we’re told, is the ability to guide the spoon relatively smoothly and spill-free into the mouth. More specifically, tests conducted at the University of Michigan indicated an average 75 percent reduction in spoon shakiness, when the device was in use and turned on.

The Liftware Spoon should be available later this month, at an estimated price of US$295. Potential buyers can make their interest known via the first link below. Lift Labs also plans to offer other attachments for the Liftware device.

Sources: Lift Labs via medGadget, International Essential Tremor Foundation

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
2 Comments

Same could have been done cheaper with gyroscopes - also it doesn't work on shakes more on turning which could make using the spoon completely useless. This is what happens when engineers over engineer a simple solution. Not to mention$295! That's poor design work.

Mark Penver
9th September, 2013 @ 04:09 am PDT

Mark, I'm so glad you've developed a superior and less expensive design! I am sure people will be happy to buy it, so by all means, please sell it.

Michael Grant
14th January, 2014 @ 08:16 am PST
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