MAR 11, 2019 08:28 PM PDT

Autonomous Feeding System

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

According to a census data in 2010, roughly a million adults in the US need someone to assist them in eating. However, such assistance can be awkward and an uncomfortable task. Now, researchers at the University of Washington are developing a robotic system that can make it easier for these individuals.

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a robotic system that can feed people who need someone to help them eat. Here, a volunteer demonstrates how the system works.

Credit: Eric Johnson/University of Washington

"Being dependent on a caregiver to feed every bite every day takes away a person's sense of independence," said corresponding author Siddhartha Srinivasa, the Boeing Endowed Professor in the UW's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. "Our goal with this project is to give people a bit more control over their lives."

The study was published in a series of paper in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and describes a robot that can strategically use a fork to pick up and deliver the desired portion of food to a person's mouth.

The study originated from the need to develop an autonomous feeding system that can be placed on wheelchairs and feed people whatever they wanted to eat at any time. "When we started the project we realized: There are so many ways that people can eat a piece of food depending on its size, shape or consistency. How do we start?" said co-author Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee, a postdoctoral research associate in the Allen School. "So we set up an experiment to see how humans eat common foods like grapes and carrots. People seemed to use different strategies not just based on the size and shape of the food but also how hard or soft it is. But do we actually need to do that? We decided to do an experiment with the robot where we had it skewer food until the fork reached a certain depth inside, regardless of the type of food."

Learn more:

Source: University of Washington

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 19, 2019
Clinical & Molecular DX
NOV 19, 2019
A Blood Drop Test for Rapid Detection of Traumatic Brain Injury
A study published by Yue et al., in August 2019, reported that a simple blood test (a few drops of blood) can detect traumatic brain injury efficiently and...
NOV 19, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 19, 2019
Innovations that Can "Fuel" Our Future (Part I)
To reduce our reliance on fossil fuel, the global community needs to boost the presence of sustainable energy significantly. In the lineup of renewable ene...
NOV 19, 2019
Technology
NOV 19, 2019
Technology Helps Parents Understand Their Baby
Researchers at the University of York may now help parents understand what their babies are thinking through an app called ‘BabyMind’. The app ...
NOV 19, 2019
Technology
NOV 19, 2019
PlantVillage Nuru: An App that Predicts Climate Change Stress for Farmers in Africa
Researchers at Penn State reveal an artificial intelligence (AI) app is now available for free in smartphone use and can help protect farmer’s crops ...
NOV 19, 2019
Technology
NOV 19, 2019
The Bionic Leg: Merging Man with Machine
Studies have given amputees hope of moving around. Bionic Leg is the Connection between body and Machine. Image Credit: Telegraph.co.uk New novel neuropros...
NOV 19, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2019
Mars 2020 Rover Carries Full Weight on Wheels for First Time
NASA has been working on an advanced successor to the Martian Curiosity rover for quite some time. Dubbed the Mars 2020 rover, the upgraded SUV-sized auton...
Loading Comments...