A new Swedish product takes us far away from this classic scene of chaos!
For anyone who’s a Charlie Chaplin fan, this scene from the 1936 film Modern Times is a must watch! When Chaplin’s forced to give it a go as this feeding machine’s first customer he’s treated to a lovely meal…all over his shirt as well as numerous ensuing side dishes of slaps to the face!
Thankfully, even those in the film deem the machine as being ¨impractical¨ but poor Chaplin suffers a mental breakdown as a result of this and other embarrassing scenarios with abusive machines. Could some sort of feeding assistant like this ever be practical? The creators of Bestic think so!
Bestic is a robotic feeding assistant developed by Sten Hemmingsson. Affected by Polio in his early teens, it became difficult for Hemmingsson to continue feeding himself independently and being fed by another person was something that affected his self esteem in a very negative way. Since he wasn’t able to find anything on the market that suited his needs, he began looking into other options. In 2004 Hemmingsson began collaborating with engineer Ann-Louise Norén to produce the first prototype of the Bestic feeding assistant in 2005. After four prototypes and a successful evaluation carried out by the Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Bestic is now on the market!
You can see the Bestic in action in the video below or check out their website for further information.
What other ways could robots help us lead more independent lives? Check out the European Flagship initiative: Robot Companions for Citizens for some ideas.