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Exciting News for Obi!

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There are big months, and there are BIG months – and to say that August was one of the biggest for Obi would definitely be an understatement! After working with our incredible PR firm, we launched our first major press release to introduce Obi to journalists, online publications and more. While we’ve always been excited about Obi and everything our robotic companion can do – we were floored by how many notable publications picked up our story to share with their readers, listeners and subscribers. After just a few weeks, we had over 40 articles written about Obi from acclaimed publications like Digital Trends, CNET and even NPR. Not only did they all have positive things to say about how Obi can help people lead more independent lives, but they also shared a little bit more about the story of DESiN and how Jon’s passion for helping his grandfather lunched Obi into the device it is today.

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From radio shows to viral Facebook videos, it’s been a wild ride the last few weeks as we saw Obi get picked up by press across the nation. One of the most exciting press placements we received was a radio interview with NPR. Jon had his radio debut, sharing a the story of how Obi has been a labor of love for the past 6 years –  starting with a simple idea to help his grandfather (who was diagnosed with a neuromuscular degenerative disease similar to Parkinson’s) feed himself, to becoming an R&D 100 awards finalist today. It was pretty incredible hearing Obi’s story on a national program, and we’ve been excited by all the positive feedback we’ve received from people across the country learning about Obi for the first time.

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Another exciting moment was seeing our Obi introduction video picked up by NowThis Future, a popular social news source, and viewed over 990K times. Other publications like Yahoo, Amazon, and  UNILAD Tech also picked up stories about Obi, sharing our video across social media and introducing our robotic companion to new audiences. Although it’s been years in the making, the last few months have been quite an exciting adventure – and we’re happy to be able to share our journey with even more people that could benefit from our device. We’re hoping this is just the beginning – and we promise to keep you updated on all other exciting developments. Make sure to follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter– and don’t forget to share this article with someone who you think would love to learn more about Obi too!

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Obi Visits the AMCSI Convention

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When we’re not working on product innovations, you can often find us traveling across the country to attend various conferences and expos showcasing all that Obi can do for potential users and caregivers! We recently had the pleasure of attending the 2016 AMCSI National Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma a few weeks back to introduce Obi to the AMCSI community. Not only did we get to meet some incredible people, families and caregivers amongst the AMC community, but we also were able to demonstrate Obi to show how our technology can help create a more independent life. The result? Let’s just say that we had a few people’s eyes light up when they saw all that Obi could do. To us, that’s the most rewarding part of what we do!

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If you’re not familiar with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, it’s known to be a rare genetic condition that affects only 1 in 3,000 babies each year. This results in decreased flexibility in the joints, also known as contracture, which can cause stiff joints and muscle weaknesses in wrists, elbows hands and more. Depending on the severity, the contractures can cause difficulty with feeding oneself, causing the individual to rely on a caregiver or family member. Also, because AMC is such a rare condition, often doctors misdiagnose or are simply unaware of what AMC is. That’s where the AMCSI community comes in to really make a huge impact in the lives of those with AMC!

AMCSI is a nonprofit organization created by a mother with a vision to provide information and support to those affected by Arthrogryposis. From families to patients to those in the medical community; each year, the nonprofit hosts a conference to share information and education about AMC – highlighting product innovations, new research and create a supportive environment to host workshops for families experiencing AMC firsthand. We were floored by how kind, supportive and welcoming the AMCSI community was during the four-day conference – and we learned so much about the disorder and heard some truly inspiring stories about the families and children that we met.

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It was pretty incredible to bring Obi to the conference to meet those who could benefit from experiencing dining independence for the first time in their lives. It’s conferences like this, and the amazing people that we meet, that keep us going day after day. A big thanks to AMCSI for having us and all the families we met over the conference – we’re excited to see you next year for the next big event! If you know anyone who has Arthrogryposis or you believe in the great work that AMCSI is doing, please share this post – we’d love to bring awareness to such a worthwhile organization doing so much good across the US.

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Obi and the 2016 R&D 100 Awards

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We’re excited to announce that Obi has been named a finalist for the 2016 R&D 100 awards in both the prestigious market disruptor and mechanical/materials categories! For those unfamiliar with the honor, the R&D 100 Awards are considered the “Oscars of Invention,” honoring the newest and most innovative technology products on the market since 1963. The conference recognizes breakthroughs in innovations, strategy and leadership, and we are honored that our robotic companion has been recognized as a top contender for this year’s awards (and in more than one category!)

Inventor and Designer, Jon Dekar, shared his thoughts on the exciting nomination stating, “We are so thrilled to be included among the finalists for the R&D 100 Awards. My team and I have poured our heart and soul into making Obi the best dining companion for those unable to feed themselves. Obi is more than just a product to us, it allows us to give someone a part of their independence back.” After recently being named a finalist in the 2016 International Design Excellence Awards earlier this year, we’re excited to see that the robotics and technology community is just as excited about Obi as well are, and we’re excited to add another accolade to our resume.

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While we still have a few months to wait to hear whether we’ve done (the final winners for the R&D 100 Awards will be announced in November), it’s truly an honor to be nominated and acknowledged for all that Obi can do to help people lead more independent lives. To keep up with all the exciting news about Obi, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well. We’ll be sharing updates about these exciting awards as well as exciting product news

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Obi at the Chicago Abilities Expo

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A few weekends back, we had the privilege to attend and showcase Obi in action at the Chicago Abilities Expo! If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience the Abilities Expo firsthand, it’s an incredible event held for the community of people living with disabilities, their families, seniors, veterans and healthcare professionals who are looking to discover the newest ability-enhancing innovations and services available. This expo has been around for almost 40 years, and has been hosted around the country – so when we heard that they were going to have an event in nearby Chicago, we knew we had to drive down to experience it for ourselves!

Throughout the three-day expo, we met a variety of inspiring people, who were incredibly smart, kind and excited at what Obi could offer themselves or someone they knew. We had the great fortune of having David Hare join us at the expo, sharing firsthand how Obi has given him dining independence and dignity as someone living with ALS. As always, David was a huge hit – giving live demos of Obi’s technology and design features for the many people (from children to seniors!) who stopped by to check out Obi for themselves

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While we’ve attended various conferences and expos in the last year, the Abilities Expo was one of our favorite events to date. Not only did we get to meet some truly inspiring individuals, but we also got to chat with those who would directly benefit from Obi’s technology. Seeing people’s eyes light up when they realized how Obi could help themselves or someone they know was the best feeling in the world, and we’re excited to check in with our new Obi customers to learn how our product is giving them the ability to have dining independence with a newfound dignity. And for those who stopped by to just see our robot in action for fun, everyone made sure to leave our booth with their first “kiss” from a robot. Big props to our fearless co-founder Jon on thinking of that one 😉

Sad you missed out on all the Abilities Expo fun? Make sure to check out our Facebook Live post to see some behind the scenes action, meet our executive team and see David Hare demoing Obi too! Check it out right here.

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Snapshot of the Obi self feeder from the front shows the arm and spoon in position over the plate.

The Useful Robot Revolution Is Here

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When you look around your city, your neighborhood and even your own home, you might discover that robots are all around us in more ways than you’ve realized. From the Roomba in your living room to the technology used in manufacturing every day products – robots continue to be on the rise as technology evolves. But how many of these robots provide value to us in truly meaningful ways? While we have robots that can dance, play and entertain, there are so many incredible innovations that robots could bring to the table in terms of health and home care, personal assistance and more.

As the robotics field continues to evolve, a new interest in helpful consumer robotics has emerged, creating robots on a consumer scale rather than those that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to singularly produce. While we’d all love a $150,000 robot to help us fold our laundry or prepare food, the current model isn’t sustainable to help people on a mass scale. We know the need is there to have robots provide value to people every day – and now the new robotics revolution to create useful robots is changing the industry to provide value beyond the more traditional robots of old.

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Robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks (infamously known for creating the Roomba and roadside bomb disposing PackBot) agrees with us – and recently shared with the BBC how he’d like to see the industry move from championing “cute” robots to instead focus on creating useful robots that help individuals lead healthier, more productive lives. While he himself has created some of the most helpful robots in recent history, he hopes to see great advances in assistant robots for baby boomers and disaster response robots in the near future. He tells the BBC, “No one wants cute robots – it’s all about doing real tasks to make people’s lives easier.” Clearly, we couldn’t agree more!

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We’re proud to be pioneering Obi as a dignified dining companion, creating a robotic product that’s not only useful to those living with disabilities or medical conditions, but is also affordable to customers for personal use. Useful robots are here to stay, and we’re excited to be pioneering robotic technology that not only looks beautiful, but works beautifully too. We anticipate that useful robotic assistants will continue to be on the rise in the coming years – whether in the form of personal assistants, task managers, or health care assistants, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of the technological curve here at DESiN. While Obi’s our first ground-breaking product, we anticipate that this is only the beginning of creating innovative and meaningful products that not only help individuals, but also our society as a whole.

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Meet Obi

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Hello, and welcome to the new Obi blog! We’re excited to use this blog as a resource for customers, caregivers, or those interested in learning more about Obi and our incredible customers who inspire us to continue creating cutting edge technology.

For those who aren’t familiar with our product, we created Obi with the goal to improve our customer’s standard of living by creating fun, elegant and intuitive technology. Obi, our robotic companion, makes eating accessible to customers with varied needs, creating a enjoyable dining experience. We designed Obi to be sleek and cutting edge, blending elegant design, intuitive controls and personality together to create a one of a kind robot (and we must say, we’re pretty excited with the final product!)

Since we’re new to you, we wanted to take a few moments to share the features and technology that we believe make Obi so great. Some of the key highlights are…

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Intuitive features: Obi was created to be simple to use, for both users and caregivers. Users are able to select which food items they’d like to choose from the multi-compartment tray, and are then able to deliver to the food to the users’ (their) mouth. Caregivers have two buttons – one to turn on the device, and the other to“teach” the arm where to deliver the food. If that’s not the definition of intuitive, we don’t know what is.

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Elegant Design: Through testing and multiple iterations of our product, we created a sleek and beautiful designed product that employs cutting edge robotics to the homes of our customers. While beauty isn’t the most important component of our product, it’s just another way it makes Obi a cut above the rest.

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Unique Benefits: While we may be biased, we do think there are various benefits that set Obi apart in the industry. Besides being sleek and cool, we truly believe that Obi is revolutionary in it’s technology and offerings. It allows for an interactive dining experience, alleviating the mealtime stress and pressures for caregivers and customers alike, and is both graceful and inconspicuous at home.

Over the next few months, we’ll share the stories that make Obi unique – from the customers and caregivers we’ve met, to the medical professionals we’ve worked closely with to ensure that Obi meets the needs of our community. We’ll show how we’ve made mealtime a more social experience between individuals and caregivers, allowing for our customers to feel more self-sufficient and dignified, while making this technology available at a larger scare than ever before.

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PRIVACY POLICYTERMS & CONDITIONS

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© 2016 Obi. All rights reserved.

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