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Schoolboy Invents Smart Spoon For Shaky Hands

When 17 year old Aarrav Anil saw his uncle Arjun, who has Parkinson’s disease, struggle to eat, he decided to see if he could find a solution.

Smart spoon cancels tremors from shaky hands
Credit: Aarrav Anil

So, the inventive schoolboy from southern India, set to work. Happily and fortuitously, he wasn't a novice at this sort of thing, having already represented India at numerous robotics competitions across the world. Not bad for a teenager! What emerged from his endeavours was a prototype of a smart spoon that is now undergoing trials at the RV College of Physiotherapy in Bengaluru.

It's a fairly simple solution. The sensors in the battery-operated spoon detect tremors on one side and activate movement on the other, effectively cancelling out shaking to keep the spoon stable and easy to put into the holder's mouth. The spoon can be detached and replaced with a fork.

It's not the first invention of this type, but Anil reckons that - when they get to the manufacturing stage - it will retail for about $80. That's less than half the price of other models on the market, bringing the product into the realms of affordability for many more people with trembling hands.

The trials at the college and the validation process are expected to be over by early next year, after which Anil hopes to manufacture it on a small scale, initially for hospitals.

When he isn’t studying for his exams, Anil spends most of his free time working on his plans. His ambition is that every family that has someone with Parkinson’s will have the smart spoon. He says his uncle Arjun’s words keep echoing in his mind: “Who would have thought such a small thing could mean the difference between dignity and indignity?”


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