Obi feeding device image

A robotic dining device called Obi, from DESiN LLC, has won a gold award in the ‘Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Products’ category at the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) 2018.

Obi assists people who have difficulties feeding themselves independently due to a lack or loss of upper body function and can be used in home, hospital and rehabilitation environments.

The assistive device gives users more independence by allowing them to select what food they want without the assistance of somebody else, creating a more relaxed and social dining experience.

Separated into four compartments where different elements of a meal can be placed, a spoon then reaches down into the desired compartment and picks up the food which then automatically moves to the user’s mouth to allow them to eat.

Featuring a variety of patented technology, the device uses optimal food capture methodology for food repositioning and portion control, hand guided “teach mode” to select a food delivery location in seconds and minimum jerk motion to avoid spills.

The MDEA Awards gave Obi a gold award through its ability to change people’s lives and give them independence through applied manipulator technology at a scale, price, and level of usability that has never been seen before in assistive technology.

CEO and Co-founder Jon Dekar created Obi with the belief that everyone should have access to a fulfilling and inspiring life. He told the Dayton Business Journal: “Our goal is to maximize the awe factor through a device that is as simple to use as possible.

“We like to think of the ideal product as a magic wand; super powerful, magical and incredibly simple.”

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