Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Alan P Bowling


This work details the design, simulation, and experimental testing of a mechanically actuated smart hospital bed for the prevention of pressure ulcers in hospital patients. The smart hospital bed, or Smartbed, is designed to improve the “turning” process currently performed by health care workers, ensuring that patients are turned consistently and decreasing the labor requirement for caregivers. The mechanical structure of the bed is described, along with its advantages over current Smartbed products. Next, dynamic models of the Smartbed actuating systems are discussed along with descriptions of the devised single-unit and overall bed control systems. The control equations determined in simulation are then simplified, allowing them to be implemented in real time by a microcontroller. Finally, the simplified control system is tested against the original dynamic model in simulation, and the actuation of one constructed unit of the multi-unit bed platform is tested with open loop user input, validating design choices and improvements made to the hardware of the mechanism.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington