Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A "smart armchair" will take care of you

16.10.2006
A surprisingly “attentive” armchair has been designed by Moscow specialists. Its load-carrying structure looks absolutely hi-tech and resembles in appearance a very “advanced” rocking-chair equipped with an on-board computer and a lot of sensors, owing to which it is exceptionally comfortable for work.

This is due to the fact that by attentively tracking the body position of a person sitting in it, the armchair is able to independently fine-tune to it: to slightly change the configuration so that the legs, for example, do not go numb, to warm up or, on the contrary, to slightly cool the back and the seat, to slightly change position of the arms of a chair so that the hands on the keyboard do not get tired. Along with that, the armchair maintains the optimal distance between the eyes and the monitor screen, and it looks after the mouse so that it does not “run away” and the keyboard does not slide aside.

Everyone is familiar with a situation when he/she has to spend a lot of time sitting at the desk. If the lengthy work fully takes up the individual’s attention, some time later the person feels that all the body “aches” as if from physical activity, and the legs simply “go numb”. The explanation to that is rather simple: in a static posture, the load falls on the same muscles and they are overstrained. And the body weight falling on a relatively small area below the back seems excessive within some time, even if both the weight and the area are not big. The tissues in this area get squeezed, blood supply deteriorates – and the brain sends urgent signals: it is necessary to change the body position.

If we are asleep or are not too busy, this is not difficult – a person would simply turn over or change the posture. But what if the person is working? Then it goes either way: we either “listen” to the requirement – and get inevitably distracted, and probably “lose the idea” which can be precious, or we do not get distracted – and thus spoil the health by ourselves.

All these observations, which seem to be lying on the surface, were articulated as follows by one of the designers of the “smart armchair”, orthopedic surgeon Alexy Kosik: “Any static posture, whatever comfortable it is initially, becomes tiresome within some time. If the posture is not changed – it would become unbearable.” The Gravitonus polyfunctional system - the ergonomic armchair – developed by him and his colleagues allows to the solve the problem.

Special imbedded sensors are constantly measuring the local temperature and pressure of parts of the body on the armchair surface. By constantly analyzing this data the embedded on-board computer ensures the feedback – it adapts the armchair to the user. Perhaps, the person did not have time to think that the back, for example, is tired or frozen – the computer has already counted with the help of the sensors that the person needs to give relaxation to tired muscles, and they should be slightly warmed up. As a result, there is no need to get up, stretch oneself, go to fetch the rug or a pullover – as if by magic wand the back of the armchair will slightly change the position and get warmer. Of course, the monitor slope angle and a distance to it would change to the right degree - in extreme case, it will be possible to work even in a lying position, which indeed better promotes not intense mental effort but sleeping.

Certainly, for common users such an armchair is hardly urgent - it will also be inevitably expensive and will require more space than a usual one. For professionals who spend full time at the PC this is yet an unachievable dream – the armchair has been patented, designed but only two copies had been produced. The first copy is at home of one of the developers – the authors are constantly improving it. And the second copy is an excellent example of how important such a construction may be. Not for everybody, but for persons with limited physical abilities. For those, who are so to say chained to the chair by a disease – but not to such a remarkable armchair but to a wheelchair.

In this case, the “smart armchair” allows to solve several problems at once. First, a person feels much more comfortable in such an armchair, and the most serious patients will have no bedsores – by the way, why not develop a similar bed equipped with sensors and a computer for bed-patients? Secondly, by controlling various devices via the computer both in the armchair and all over the house the patient will be able to significantly extend his/her abilities. If the patient operates the computer with the help of a special “mouse” developed by the same authors, which is placed in the patient’s mouth, then it is possible to live a rather full life even without arms, particularly if the Internet is available at home. This is the way the patient lives, who possesses the second of the two existing armchairs.

Nadezda Markina | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>