Image courtesy: Luis Garcia
Cute like a baby elephant, powered by an Android, and equipped with a robotic arm, HelloSpoon is the affordable alternative to assistive robots.
HelloSpoon, a simple and low-cost assistive robot designed to help people with upper limb disabilities, recently launched on Indiegogo to seek out $35,000 in funding. Developed by mechatronics engineer Luis Garcia, HelloSpoon is an affordable alternative to other expensive disability machines. See video below.
To keep cost low but functionality intact, Garcia has kept HelloSpoon simple. It uses Garcia's own software that can be run on a smartphone. Instead of a custom robot "brain" or microcontroller running the robot, HelloSpoon uses an Android device and a simple motor controller. The lack of facial recognition features and complex sensors also keeps the cost down. At the same time, this also appeals to those who don't want to burn a hole in their wallet when in need of an assistive robot.
So if there's no facial recognition, how does it work? The short answer is that this robot responds via voice and then the user has to do the rest. The smartphone provides the robot with the ability to sense sound and thus the robot reacts by either moving its arm or dancing. The robot feeds the user by listening for voice commands and then lifting food from the bowl up to the user's mouth. HelloSpoon's functionality, low-cost, and ease of use makes for a perfect assistive robot. If you'd like to support HelloSpoon, please visit their Indiegogo campaign.