Development of a motorized hospital bed with swerve drive modules for holonomic mobility

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In hospitals; transferring patients using hospital beds is time consuming and inefficient. Additionally; the task of frequently pushing and pulling beds poses physical injury risks to nurses and caregivers. Motorized hospital beds with holonomic mobility have been previously proposed. However; most such beds come with complex drivetrain which makes them costly and hinders larger‐scale adoption in hospitals. In this study; a motorized hospital bed that utilizes a swerve drive mechanism is proposed. The design takes into account simplicity which would allow for minimum modification of the existing beds. Two DC motors for steering and propulsion are used for a single swerve drive module. The control of the propulsion motor is achieved by a combination of trajectory planning based on quintic polynomials and PID control. Further; the control performance of the proposed bed was evaluated; and the holonomic mobility of its prototype was successfully demonstrated. An average error of less than 3% was obtained for motion with a constant velocity; however; larger values in the range of 15% were observed for other conditions, such as accelerating and decelerating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1356
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Hospital bed
  • Mechatronics
  • PID control
  • Swerve drive
  • Trajectory planning


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