24 September 2013

A vibration-cancelling spoon for persons with tremors

The device is described at Fast Company Design:
At first glimpse, the Liftware almost seems like a novelty gadget: an electronic spoon stuffed full of smartphone motion sensors and accelerometers. But the problem that the Liftware is trying to solve is far from trivial. Across the country, there are over 10 million people suffering from essential tremor; there are an additional 2 million people suffering from Parkinson's disease. For these 12 million Americans, the Liftware isn't just an electronic spoon; it's a tool that could give them their dignity and self-respect back...

Here's how it works. Inside every Liftware handle is a number of common motion sensors, the type that you might find in your iPhone or digital camera. Each of these sensors measures motion, then passes it through a small microcontroller that uses custom algorithms to analyze the signal and identify the type of tremor being detected. If the motion has the frequency and amplitude of a large human tremor, the Liftware microprocessor will tell actuators in the handle to adjust the handle's attachment in the opposite direction of the tremor, hopefully canceling it out.
Anyone who has had a family member with Parkinson's will appreciate the potential value of such a device.


  1. The technology (and control algorithms) for this sort of thing is actually pretty pedestrian these days. I'm not sure about the mechanical side, but the control problem is easily solved once you characterize the shaking.

    The real genius was going "hey, I bet we could actively cancel those tremors!"

    To whoever did that: bravo!

    PS: your link to the source is broken.


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