Hazel, who has motor neurone disease, could not lift her arms far and had very little grip. Consequently she had to be fed by her husband. She wanted to be more independent for both eating and drinking.
A machine was made which used a pair of pivoted arms to lift a carriage holding a spoon or fork up a vertical guide pole from plate to mouth level. A windscreen wiper motor operated a cam to raise and lower the 10- bearing carriage – the bearings being to minimise any jerkiness in the operation. It was operated by a squeeze button on Hazel’s knee. On the table was a turntable so that she could rotate her plate to position the food she wished to load on the spoon. Alongside this mechanism was a cage that could hold a beaker from which Hazel could drink through a straw.
Hazel is now able to feed herself.