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safety seat

Make a safer seat for little kids
  [vote for,

How about designing a car-seat for babies that would allow for smooth 3D rotation if the force on the seat was too high.

That would make the seat far safer for the kid, as it's weight center point would always turn the kid into proper direction when a car got into a crash.

__ Ok, elaboration:

The seat would need a strong, but lightweight semi-circular frame around it in 2 orbital directions (much like the old astronaut's 3d rotation training thingie). The central weight point of the seat with the kid would have to be lower than the center of the circular frame. Some sort of soft-locking mechanism (iron ball with a spring and a socket comes to mind) would hold the seat in place, but... If the driver got into a crash, the mechanism would let go and set the seat in motion. The center of the seat's gravity should be pulled in the same direction that the car was going, turning the kid's back in that direction. The result would be much like if the kid was facing the force backwards -> No neck injury, seatbelt injury or broken ribs/collar bones etc...

anzlovar, Jan 29 2004


       Might you elaborate a bit on this?
half, Jan 29 2004

       + Wonderful idea.   

       A professor of mine was working for an auto manufacurer on a similar system for adults. It wouldn't rotate nearly as far - just a bit to have more of a downward force rather than a forward force on the driver. Wow, while typing this I just realized the tragic irony of his life - a few years ago he was killed by a drunk driver.
Worldgineer, Jan 29 2004

       You need a gimbal mount like they use it for compasses. The mount could be motorized and coupled to accelerometers in the outer skin of the car, so the seat actually starts turning before the impact reaches the seat.
kbecker, Jan 30 2004

       Thanks. That's pretty much what I thought.   

       kbecker's contribution addresses one of my issues, namely it wouldn't be able to turn quickly enough if the unlocking mechanism relied upon an inertial release. Wonder if spinning it by motor could inflict damage to the seat occupant? Maybe the seat could constantly react to the accelerometers instead of waiting for an impact. Might be a bit of a motion sickness issue with that approach though.
half, Jan 30 2004

       This sounds like a good application for some of the underlying Segway HT technologies.
bocktar, Jan 30 2004

       Why limit this to baby seats? Why not put these on commercial aircraft? I understand that the human body can within close to 60 G's for a few microseconds 'if' the body is positioned correctly. If we had these in aircraft, I would imagine that even if only a few more lives were saved, that it would be worth the cost. [+]   

       [azlovar] Welcome to the HB.
Klaatu, Jan 30 2004

       Welcome and WTAGIPBAN.
krelnik, Jan 31 2004

       Very Nice [anzlovar]+
[klaatu] The answer is because you would get less seats in. A lot less come to think of it!.
gnomethang, Jan 31 2004


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