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Making Meals Fun: HelloSpoon

Great ideas that can improve people’s lives don’t necessarily need to come from big research labs.  The HelloSpoon project is a great example of a project that can help improve people’s lives.

What is it?

It’s a robotic arm that can spoon feed the infirm, sick or elderly without needing help.  Rather than having to depend on another person, the individual in question can feed themselves using voice commands.  So why not have someone feed that person?  Well, like Mr. Amado Gonzalez in the video below, they may feel ashamed to ask someone to feed them.  The robot gives them back some degree of independence and with that, their dignity and pride.

Who is behind it?

The guy behind it is young man named Luis Garcia, who has been developing this arm since beginning 2013 in his bedroom in Mazatlan, Mexico.  The goal was to create an affordable robot inspired by a baby elephant intended to help children and elderly with upper limb difficulties and special needs to have a fun and happy mealtime.

Luis wants to start a crowd sourcing campaign to improve the model further and aims for a market price of around 500 US.  That may sound like a lot, but it’s only a fraction of the cost of the systems that are currently on the market (4000-5000 USD).

I think this has enormous potential and it’s really great to see that robotics can be applied so well to make people’s lives better.


The HelloSpoon project has a few resources online:

  • Tumblr page: [LINK]
  • YouTube channel: [LINK]
  • Main website: [LINK]
  • Follow Luis on Twitter: [LINK]
  • His Google+ Page: [LINK]

Go check them out.  The YT channel is really great, you can see the progress that was made in the last year.  The Tumblr page is a bit like a blog.  If you click here: [LINK], you can see an overview of the posts made so far.

About Xander

Xander Soldaat is a Software Engineer and former Infrastructure Architect. He loves building and programming robots. He recently had the opportunity to turn his robotics hobby into his profession and has started working for Robomatter, the makers of ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Words.