Steadicam-like Liftware Spoon cancels out Parkinson's-caused tremors
By Ben Coxworth
September 4, 2013
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).
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.