An innovation by students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has made it possible to eat without using arms. The first-year students from IIT-Gandhinagar developed a device named ‘Foodbuddy’ which will help people without arms or with not properly functioning motor skills to eat independently. The device can be connected through Google Assistant or Alexa and work based on voice command.
The idea came to the young minds after watching one of their friends affected with cerebral palsy. "The pain of our friend moved us to make a device that will solve the problem of many who lost their hands or could not use their hands," said both the developer Chris Francis and Praveen Venkatesh.
"The device operates on internet connection. When a user is hungry, s/he can command the device through the assistants, the machine will place the food in their mouth conveniently. The feeding can be resumed and paused, and the plate can be rotated independently by the user," said Venkatesh who is an electrical engineering student.
The device will cost around Rs 2-3,000, once launched. "We have already filed for a patent. We thought of the economic factor at the time of producing the device, and the cost of the device will not cross above Rs 3,000," said 18-year-old Praveen Venkatesh.
Chris Francis who studies computer science engineering in IIT Gandhinagar said that there are alternatives of their products available in the market, but they are very expensive and beyond the reach of the common people.
The students credit their teachers behind the success of this device. "The faculty of IIT Gandhinagar, Professor Vineet Vashisth, Madhu Vadali, Nithin George, Vashista worked with us day and night to develop this cost-effective device ," said Francis, adding that the Professors of Cooper Union, Alan Wolf and Eric Lima also helped them a lot.
Their innovation was surfaced in the second edition of Invent@IITGN, organised by IIT Gandhinagar.
A total of 28 students were selected from nine IITs across the country including IIT Bombay, IIT Dhanbad, IIT Dharwad, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Goa, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, and IIT Palakkad.