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Picture a bed of nails, densely packed. Now blunt the ends of the nails and add atop each nail a 10 centimeter-long dense cushion. Make each cushion wide enough to touch the one beside it. Surround this mechanism with a wooden frame such that the cushions cannot be pressed outward. Under each nail add
a simple, robust, independent lifting mechanism capable of pushing it upward by about 15 centimeters. Under each lift add a powering mechanism controlled by a central computer.
Got all that? Okay. Now use automated line tracing to teach the computer where your hips, shoulders, arms, feet, chest, and head are. Use the program thus created to move the cushions such that no matter how you turn or move the pins in the bed will automatically adjust to keep your spine perfectly straight but make room for your arms, hips, and whatever else juts out of your body.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 05 2020]
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||[+] as I once thought of an even simpler
implementation - w/o computerized actuators.
Just a very densely packed bed of "nails," each
independently sprung. But I discarded the idea
mainly because of the number of components.
||A small single mattress in the UK is 75x190 CM ==
14,250 square CM. So I'd be looking at tens of
thousands of nails and springs - and you'd be
looking at a comparable number of strain gauges
||Consider also the need for smooth response time
to motions; people use beds for more than sleep. A
waterbed conforms perfectly and instantly to
static weight distribution, but can still "bottom
out" during vigorous sex. Your actuators would
have to all work smoothly enough to account for
any body motions without disrupting anybody's
||I never said it's practical...
||This was done in a movie. Um... some super hero thing, uh... give me a sec.
||Could a stretchy foam material join the top of 10cm cushions so less actuators are needed. This overlay fabric would try to form the best fair surface between actuation heights. Allowing the 10cm cushions to have space and to bend vertically may help this.
||Really just a normal mattress open at the bottom so springs can be vertically actuated 15cm.
||We can do wires pretty well so a magnetic nail in a cylinder with a number of coils could do the articulation. Sheilding would be a must and the number would have to increase by a few magnitudes due to limited force generated.