Grant Douglas, who has cerebral palsy,
helped with the development of the S'up spoon
Most of us take the humble spoon for granted, but for those with conditions affecting their motor control, a regular spoon can be a spill just waiting to happen and enjoying a bowl or cereal, soup or ice cream is a two-person job. But the team at Scotland-based design engineering consultants 4c Design are looking to give people with motor control issues more independence with the S'up Spoon.
The project was inspired by Grant Douglas, a computer science graduate who also happens to suffer from cerebral palsy. His condition gives him poor hand control, which makes eating with anything other than a fork difficult. Douglas teamed up with Mark Penver, a graduate intern at 4c Design, and they hit upon the idea of designing a spoon that would reduce spillage for those with uncontrollable arm movements.
After testing various designs on people with cerebral palsy, the end result is the S-up Spoon. Designed for left- and right-handed users, it features a deeper cavity than a regular spoon that partially extends into the handle. This allows it to more securely hold loose food and liquids, thereby reducing spillage as the spoon makes its way from plate to mouth. The spoon also has a high arch in the handle to make it easier to pick up from flat surfaces and a concave dip in the top to provide a better grip for improved handling.
"Eating in a restaurant would just be unthinkable before," says Douglas. "This is a major breakthrough. I can eat Chinese with two portions of rice as well as ice-cream totally independently and with very little spillage. It could increase the independence and choice of many people who have unwanted hand or arm movements, including myself."
The team plans to produce the finalized S'up Spoon design in Eastman Tritan copolyester, a BPA-free polycarbonate alternative and have taken to Kickstarter to make this a reality. They also hope to examine the potential of other materials, including steel, in the future. The crowdfunding campaign is looking to raise £33,000 (US$55,000) for tooling costs to get the spoon into mass production, with £18 (US$30) the minimum pledge to reserve a single S'up in black/dark gray. If all goes well, deliveries are estimated to begin in December.
An overview of the S'up Spoon and it's development can be seen in this video: https://d2pq0u4uni88oo.cloudfront.net/projects/1189886/video-433123-h264_high.mp4.