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The cup tipper –follow up

  • P.Allchin
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Posted by Paula Allchin


The Cup Tipper – We can’t win ’em all.
A few months ago central office sent out an appeal for ideas for me, for a Cup Tipper for a 20 years old young lady who has, effectively, no hands.  She has half an arm on one side and the other arm is rigid at the elbow with a weak hand.  She is also in a wheel chair and cannot walk at all.  She was born with all her problems
I got about 40 responses and I planned to report back to all of them, but my PC died and I have lost all their addresses.   So this is by way of thanks to the 40 and this information may be useful for other projects.
My client wanted to drink ‘like other people’ because all her life she has used straws.   She wanted to be able to drink from a cup with her lips only, hot and cold drinks.  Initially the best idea came from Northern Ireland and was a sort of rocking horse for a cup.
A prototype was very kindly made for free by PlasticOnline in Hull The wood panel in the right hand end of the rocker in the picture is a counter weight to stop it tipping towards the client accidentally.  This design did not work as she had to reach too far from her wheelchair over the edge of the table to get her lips to the rim, and then when she tipped it towards herself, it rolled to very near the table edge, and was in danger of falling off.
A tipping molten metal crucible design was considered, with fulcrum attachments on either side half way up the cup, but this would be very difficult to make in a fashion which could be kept hygienically clean, and it could not be controlled easily or safely.

After a lot of further thought and sharing the problem with others I have decided that a safe cup tipper is not possible.  Normally cups are held in one or two hands and the fulcrum is actually at the rim where the lips touch.
Any design would be difficult to control with the lips, because of the danger of scalding from a hot drink.
As the liquid in a cup tips, the centre of gravity changes, making a fixed pivot point only good for one volume of liquid.  A little liquid could be hard to tip and a full cup might fall towards you !
So – We can’t win ’em all.
I am helping my client with other handling problems, and have solved several already.  I am greatly heartened by help I have been given from several businesses around the country. When I asked for their particular help it was give freely, once I had explained what REMAP is, and what I was trying to do.   I even got back into an engineering factory which did some stainless steel welding for me – it was like returning home !
Martin Whillock.  REMAP York Panel

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