Using Engineering to Create an Adaptive Self-Feeding System for Patients with Upper Body Disabilities
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This research project aims to provide a self-feeding manipulator system to accommodate those who have upper-body motor disabilities. The purpose of the device is to allow patients to rely less on their caregivers during a meal. The patient's safe feeding without injury or malfunction at home or in a public setting will successfully achieve this form of assistance. The target cost is USD 1096 with a minimum of six months to make it a marketable product and nine months to develop a prototype. People have created similar devices such as the Neater Eater, Mealtime Partners, and the Obi Robotic Feeder in the past. These devices stem from one general need: provide a means to assist people with disabilities in feeding themselves. However, the disadvantage to all the existing products is that they are very costly, ranging between 4000 – 8000 USD apiece. In addition, they are inaccessible to people in Qatar due to their production and market being overseas. We use engineering methods to create a device that is more versatile and accessible. This thesis discusses all the alternatives created to build the manipulator. The manipulator's design is one with four degrees of freedom, and the actuators used to mobilize the joints were Servo Motors. The manipulator is to work automatically using Denavit-Hartenberg, Forward Kinematics, and Jacobian robotics methods. Some parts of the manipulator require 3D printing and CNC machining, which will be accessible in the TAMUQ building. In addition, some parts will be bought based on our requirements calculations. Another engineering method used to control the manipulation of the system is by using an Arduino board. The device consists of four main subsystems. Firstly, there is the base which mounts on any flat surface. Also, a plate, divided into four sections, that attaches to the base and can rotate. The manipulator is also attached to the base, along with a spoon attached to the manipulator. Finally, the user-interface is a critical component of the system to allow easy communication between the user and the device. Since this device targets patients with upper-body disabilities, a user-interface that functions using the patient's feet would be suitable. We aim to have the device ready to test by the end of April 2021 and allow patients from Sidra Hospital to test the device.
Barghouti, Zeina; Badreldin, Marwan; ElEdrisi, AlMotazbelah; ElHadi, Reem; Ohanian, Hourig (2021). Using Engineering to Create an Adaptive Self-Feeding System for Patients with Upper Body Disabilities. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from