Sandwich Holder

INVENTION: The Sandwich Holder enables patients with limited use of their hands to independently feed themselves. In contrast to currently available sandwich holders, the Sandwich Holder delivers the following:

Secure grip Sleek and discrete design Minimal readjustments during a meal Ease of adjustment to various foods Intuitive to use The Sandwich Holder is the result of ongoing investigation by undergraduates in their work with disabled clients in Northwestern’s Institute for Design Engineering and Applications (IDEA). More than an invention, this creation has been prototyped and tested through multiple iterations as part of a curriculum that emphasizes working with disabled clients to design and build useful devices.

The Sandwich Holder is shown in Figure 1. As a users “scoops” a sandwich, he or she presses down on the bottom arm to lock a ratchet mechanism. The ratchet mechanism holds the sandwich firmly in place between two paddles. The user presses a lever to release the food. The paddles are teardrop shaped to provide stable grip (on the wide end), but with high exposure to food (on the narrow end). The teardrop shape also prevents snags on the food – a problem encountered in earlier designs. The upper paddle has ridges for enhanced grip, and it rotates to accommodate food in varied sizes and textures. Angles and lengths have been chosen to enhance user interaction with the device and minimize its size and weight.

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT: The inventors have conducted extensive interviews and trials to determine design requirements and refine devices used by their disabled clients. Twelve (12) devices were built for use by disabled patients.

Northwestern seeks a licensing partner to commercialize this invention. A patent application has been filed.

Inventor(s): Steve Jacobson, Stacy Benjamin, Shannon Binder, Neil Tiwari, William Briley, Richard Lichtas, Sylvester Ogletree

Type of Offer: Licensing

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