IIT Gandhinagar Students Develop 'Assistive Dining Device'

With 'FoodBuddy', a dining assistant, the user may give a voice command through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, or presses a button to start feeding.

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IIT Gandhinagar Students Develop 'Assistive Dining Device'

The device is lightweight, cheap and has unobtrusive design, says Chris Francis and Praveen Venkatesh.


New Delhi: 

Two Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar students developed a device that allows people without operable arms to feed themselves. With 'FoodBuddy', a dining assistant, the user may give a voice command through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, or presses a button to start feeding.

The device, according to Chris Francis and Praveen Venkatesh, the developers, is lightweight, portable, cheap and has unobtrusive design.

"A major difference between our product and existing solutions is its unobtrusive design-it looks like a bottle kept next to a plate. Thus it doesn't hinder conversation and socialization," says Chris Francis.

"The most distinctive feature of our device is that it uses a significantly lesser number of parts compared to the existing products and hence it is cost-effective. It will cost only 2000 to 3000 rupees if mass-produced," says Praveen Venkatesh.

How it works

The device lowers a spoon down to the plate, tilts it for easy scooping and rotates the plate so that the spoon scoops food. Then it lifts the spoon to meet the user's mouth, enabling her to eat independently. 

Feeding can be paused and resumed, and the plate can be rotated independently by the user, according to the developers. 

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