Take control of mealtimes and provide independence
As technological advances continue, robotics has become a rapidly growing field and now serves various practical purposes, including offering support for those with disabilities. As a result, people are beginning to look to robots to provide key elements of care, including feeding. Eating is a fundamental part of everyday living and the Obi robotic eating system has been developed to allow the user to take control of their meal times and give independence.
Independence, dignity, freedom, wellbeing and improved quality of life
Manual eating systems have been available on the market for some time, however these can be time consuming to set up and are not designed to be portable, limiting their use. Obi overcomes this as it is a portable, robotic eating device with a rechargeable battery, designed to suit children and adults with muscular weakness, upper limb function loss, quadriplegia or extreme athetoid movements.
The stylish eating device is unique as it gives independence, dignity, freedom, wellbeing and improved quality of life to users anywhere. It can be used by anyone who has the cognitive ability to operate a simple machine, the physical ability to operate accessibility switches and the ability to take food from a spoon, chew and swallow without choking.
The desire for independence is crucial, if it is not something the user wants, the use of a robotic eating device will not be successful. Obi creates that ‘want’, allowing the individual to enjoy eating as a social activity rather than just a task which must be completed. It also enables the user to view themselves in terms of their abilities rather than their condition or disabilities.
The ease-of-use of technology is crucial to its success. It is the simplicity of Obi which is a key feature, no programming is required. Its operation is controlled by two buttons for the carer; one to turn on the device and one to teach the appropriate food delivery location for the user. Two accessibility switches enable the user to feed themselves; one to choose the food they wish to eat and another to deliver it to their mouth.
The choice of food and delivery pace is completely controlled by the user. Research has shown that the risk of food aspiration is reduced when self-feeding as individuals eat more slowly than when they are fed by another person.
Alleviates time pressures and stress for informal carers
Obi also offers benefits for the informal carer by alleviating time pressures and stress, allowing them to spend time with their family member, partner or child, rather than focussing on the physical task of feeding them. Its use can also reduce the cost of formal care packages; there is no need for constant supervision or adjustments by carers, the user can feed themselves whilst carers continue with other tasks.
Cyclone Mobility customer Bazza was involved in a car accident at the age of 19. As a tetraplegic, there was one thing that Bazza always wanted to do – feed himself. He trialled Obi and said – “It’s really good. Very, very impressive. This is the first time I’ve been able to feed myself in 21 years!”
Everyone deserves access to independent and fulfilling dining experiences. Obi’s assistive technology will improve the quality of life of the user and restore dignity and enjoyment to their meals.