The Mantis is for those of us that think chopsticks is a fun way to eat and wish to expand their use even for non-Asian dishes otherwise not suitable for chopsticks (say lentil soups, fluffy grains, etc). Since, habitually, we eat soups while leaning over the bowl anyway, we are willing to sacrifice some water-tightness on broths in favor of the added practicality in handling bean soups, custards, yogurts, and non-sticky grains without the need for a separate utensil. The Mantis forms a spoon on one end when the two members are fitted together; extending the functionality of the traditional chopsticks.
The straight pointed ends of the Mantis can be used as conventional chopsticks. This was a deliberate design choice to preserve familiarity with traditional use and individual holding habits.
The two pieces can interlock together to form a spoon. Held gently, the seam is precise enough to facilitate handling of liquids (such as soup) with low enough drip to be practical during use.
Turning the spoon portions sideways provides pointed ends which curve inwards. This allows for finer tweezer-like control of smaller food items or an enhanced "hugging" grip of larger, slippery, food items in scenarios where a fork or serving tong would normally be needed.
The Mantis is made of a high performance, semi-exotic, resin (PPS) carefully chosen, with health as a priority, for it's molecular stability at temperatures beyond what's possible with the common everyday kitchen plastics (such as nylons, polycarbonates, polypropylenes, polyethylenes, melamines etc) under the premise that a molecularly stable material will be less likely to leak anything of either known or unknown risk while in contact with foods. As such and unlike common plastics made with plasticizers/softeners that might migrate to foods over time, introducing potential endocrine disruptor (and other) health concerns, the Mantis resin is not known to contain, or off-gas, any (non-infinitesimal) amounts of the typical health-suspect compounds such as Phthalates, BPA, BPS (Bisphenols), azo compounds, halogenated aromatic compounds, or dioxins/furans. Ultimately, we chose this material because we felt it was one of the safest for ourselves and our families.
A few key points about the resin itself:
Common sense warnings for use around (or by) young children since, due to the pointed edges, the chopsticks can be a poking hazard. Similarly, bitting-off small pieces can become a choking hazard. Furthermore, this is a glass reinforced resin and should avoid grinding and inhalation of dust particles from it under Proposition 65 for Glass, oxide, chemicals (CAS # 65997-17-3)