Movement Disorder Specialists   -

Pasadena, CA

LiftWare’s Active Tremor Cancellation Technology

LiftLab's LiftWare products are recommended for those who have hand tremors. With clever ideas and implementation, LiftLabs have created a helpful product for tremor patients. Here are the details:

Through our research and conversations with people living with tremor, we know that forcibly suppressing a person’s tremor can cause pain and discomfort. We developed a uniquely effective and compact device that uses active tremor cancellation to 1) reduce the amount of force we need to counteract and 2) implement a control system that can quickly filter out unintentional tremor while preserving intentional hand movement.

Overcoming the forces generated by a trembling hand or arm typically requires large, awkward structures such as braces or weights. We were able to miniaturize LiftWare relative to other technologies by inventing a system that stabilizes only the bowl of the spoon, requiring much less force than a system that suppresses hand tremor. And by allowing the hand to tremor, using LiftWare feels natural and is comfortable to use.

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Since we aren’t forcing the hand to be still, we needed a technology that could respond quickly to a person’s tremor, and also tell the difference between intentional motion (such as moving the spoon to your mouth) and unintentional tremor. Sensors embedded in the spoon detect motion, and a microcontroller uses sensor data to determine the best response. The microcontroller continuously directs motors in the handle of the device to move the spoon and cancel tremor both horizontally and vertically. Since we know that almost all Essential and Parkinsonian Tremor occurs between 4 and 7 cycles per second, we optimized our control system to only cancel motion in that range. As a result, food is kept steady in the bowl of the spoon through our active tremor cancellation technology.

The video clip shown below illustrates the effectiveness of a very early device working in the lab. The prototype is filled with granola while attached to an apparatus that simulates tremor. You can see that with the system turned off, the granola will immediately fly out of the bowl of the spoon, while turned on the granola is held indefinitely. We’ve come a long way since then, and are very proud of our final product.

LiftLabsLift Labs, part of Lynx Design, is a group of
highly talented people who are working to create new technologies for the social benefit.

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