New Obi™ Robotic Dining Device Wins Internationally Renowned “Oscar of Innovation”

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Obi™, a revolutionary robotic dining device, is a winner in the Mechanical/Materials category in the 54th annual R&D 100 Awards. The announcement was made at the recent annual award ceremony celebrating the 100 most technologically significant breakthroughs introduced into the marketplace in 2016.

Dubbed the “Oscars of Innovation,” the R&D 100 Awards recognize excellence across a wide range of industries.  Of the 5,400 innovations celebrated since the awards’ inception, Obi has the rare distinction of being among less than 60 consumer products to earn an R&D 100 Award over more than five decades. The honor is presented by R&D Magazine.

Obi is the first product from DESῙN, a small team of visionaries from Michigan and Ohio. It blends cutting-edge robotics, iconic design, intuitive controls and a friendly personality to empower individuals who cannot use their arms with an ability to take control of their meals at home and in public. No matter where a person has mobility on their body and how limited that mobility may be, Obi can accommodate a switch or control interface that will work for that person’s specific need.

Obi’s key functionality is a robotic arm that can select virtually any properly sized food from one of four compartments and deliver it to a position where the diner can eat from the spoon. The pace and selection of each bite is controlled by the user. Sophisticated programming collects a spoonful in a graceful manner that mimics a person’s instinctive use of silverware.

Past R&D 100 annual ceremony award winners include revolutionary innovators such as Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX) and Larry Page (Google). Every year since its inception, more applicants enter the competition, making each year tougher to win an award. Over the years, some notable inventions that have been honored include the ATM machine, fax machine, HDTV, the artificial retina, and the biological 3D Printer.

 “We are thrilled that Obi, as a consumer product, was recognized among these other scientific breakthroughs and impressive technologies,” said Jon Dekar, Obi’s inventor and DESῙN’s co-founder. “There were many ingenious technologies in the competition and to be recognized as a four person company on this international stage, along with MIT, NASA, and Fortune 500 companies, is a humbling and encouraging experience. We know Obi has the ability to enhance the lives of millions around the world and we will continue to work tirelessly to fulfill our belief that everyone deserves access to an independent, empowering dining experience.”

The robotic dining device was designed to accommodate an amazingly diverse set of user needs and preferences for people of all ages with a spectrum of different bodily control capabilities, desiring a range of configurations during their dining experience.  It’s rare to find two people with the same needs and preferences spanning the conditions affecting the upper extremities that Obi can best serve, such as ALS, amputation, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular conditions or injuries, Parkinson’s and spinal injury.

Powered by a rechargeable battery, Obi holds enough energy to serve four to six meals on a single charge. Obi also fits within the confines of a dinner placemat, operates quietly and can be carried with ease like a laptop computer.

DESῙN is offering risk free trials of Obi, along with direct-to-customer in-house rental and leasing options to make the device – which retails for $4,500 – more easily accessible to users without the added burden of working through a third party health care equipment or finance organization to bring an Obi home. Purchase, lease and rental details are available at www.meetobi.com.

Obi was also named a finalist in the 2016 International Design Excellence Awards earlier this year.

About DESῙN
DESῙN was formed in 2010 with a belief that everyone deserves access to an enjoyable dining experience.  Jon and Tom Dekar found a significant lack of technology helping people fulfill the basic human need of eating independently.   They became driven to create an empowering lifestyle product that not only helps people eat, but also dine in style with friends and family.  

DESῙN’s mission is to continually improve the quality of life by delivering robotic product solutions that empower and excite individuals like never before.  

DESῙN is headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. with operations in Michigan and Ohio. DESῙN is privately-held and is funded by a mix of individual and institutional investors. Its first product, the Obi™ assistive dining device, was launched in 2016. For more information, visit www.meetobi.com.

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[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row global_parent=”462″ admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text global_parent=”462″ admin_label=”Footer Fine Print (Changes made here will be visible on all pages)” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”center” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] © 2016 Obi. All rights reserved. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Woman running through a field on a sunny day illustrates the mental affects positivity can have on home care users.

The Life Changing Effects of Positivity

[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Blog Post” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] woman-running-through-field It’s no secret that how you perceive a situation drastically affects reality. After all, particularly with matters of the heart and personal triumphs or setbacks, the biggest factor in any outcome are the reactions of those involved. Insert: Positivity. The biggest and most powerful factor that we can all attempt to continually harvest. Despite all this, the skeptic in us all often wonders about positivity’s true effectiveness. What difference does it really make? Positivity is a notion that sounds easy enough, and its popularity is perhaps its biggest downfall when it comes to understanding its power. People throw around phrases like, “Think positive thoughts” and “You’ve got to remain positive” so much that they’ve almost become the sound bites that go in one ear and out the other. But what if there’s truly something behind all the hype? We were curious as to the hard, scientific facts around positivity to gauge whether or not this notion truly affects a situation. What we found isn’t surprising, but they’re amazing reminders of positivity’s power in our lives. For example, did you know that when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy and contentment, you actually will see more possibilities? And, when you embrace positivity, the outcomes and learnings that are experienced as a result help to build a strong foundation to vital life skills. In other words, thinking and experiencing positive thoughts literally opens up your mind to possibilities that would not be seen otherwise. These are proven facts. (For more great reading on the subject, check out this article!) photo-1457178505535-be57374cad03 So, how do you increase positivity in your life? We’ve got a few easy suggestions that you can start to practice immediately.

  1. Embrace feeling grateful. Far too often we take for granted the people that help to make our lives complete. Take a moment to think about who life you are most grateful for, and tell them.
  2. Focus on what’s truly important. It’s easy to get caught up in wants and desires in life that, when it comes down to it, don’t really matter. Things, for example. The latest car, the latest trend. When push comes to shove, what do these things really do for you? A heathy perspective on what is truly important in your life will help you to look at life with a new lens.
  3. Meditate. Meditation is like exercise for your mind. In a world where technology is consuming our every moment, the importance of turning off and turning on our mental power is becoming increasingly important. Silence, in this case, truly is golden.
  4. Smile. The power of a simply smile is so underrated. Even when you don’t feel like it, smile. People almost always will smile back, and a smile can turn any situation around in seconds.

Positive thinking can be the biggest “make or break,” which is why those who are able to understand and harness its power are those who are often the happiest. Taking a deep look at it is a great reminder for us all to focus on matters of the mind. It’s an easy and simple notion, but one that is communicated far too infrequently. You hold the keys to your destiny – it’s all within your mind – and at Obi we’re true believers that positivity should be at the core of all that we do.

Header Image via & Middle Image via

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[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row global_parent=”462″ admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text global_parent=”462″ admin_label=”Footer Fine Print (Changes made here will be visible on all pages)” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”center” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] © 2016 Obi. All rights reserved. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]