In a less travelled corner of the Inventor's Fair, Lily put a hand on her hip. "Listen, I know you had the best of intentions, but this is the worst name for an invention I have ever seen. Are you serious, Coriann? You couldn't come up with *anything* more appealing?" The engineer sighed. "I stick to my strengths, and naming things is not one of them." Coriann tapped the bed to her side. "It's the machinery that matters. This will be a big hit at any healer's hospital!" Lily took a look at the bed. "You've attached a power linkage to the bed, but I'm not sure what you're attempting to do with it." The mechanic leaned down to check underneath the sheet. "Oh, I see, you have a reciprocal rod to fold the bed along a hinge." "Fold, raise, lower, and tilt." The engineer gave a bright smile. "No need for an orderly to prop someone up while they eat so they don't choke. Just throw this clutch here-" she flipped a lever, "and here we are!" With a grinding noise, the bed tilted forward, with the upper part of the bedframe pushing itself forward. Anyone sitting in the bed would have been forced upright. "And take a look at this as well." Coriann threw another lever, and the center of the bed seemed to sink through the bed, taking the bedsheet with it and exposing a hole. "No-mess toilet use, as well as easy sheet replacement. Here, climb on, give it a try." "If you mean use the toilet feature, no thank you, I'm alright." Lily tapped on a lever. "I can see the appeal, but really, you need to come up with a new name. No patient's going to want to sleep in something called a 'Rack'." Coriann shook her head. "It's fundamentally a racking mechanism, though. The rack and pinion linkage is what even allows the bed to operate, to begin with. Why give up the accuracy of the name for some irrelevant medieval memory?" The mechanic groaned. "I just said why- alright, no, it's fine. Look, if you need help later getting the healers to buy this, you'll know why." "They're smart enough to see the usefulness of the invention no matter what it's named." The engineer folded her arms. "At least, they should be." Lily glanced around the fairgrounds. Though there were still occasional people wandering the back area stalls, none gave the two more than a passing glance. "Listen, forget the name for a second. I think you need a demonstrator to really sort of attract folks here. There's all sorts of crazy attention-getting gadgets at the fair this year, a bed probably won't cut it." "Do you mean get a patient from the Covenant? That's probably not healthy for them..." Coriann had a thoughtful look. "Maybe one that's about to be discharged?" "No, no. Hold on, I'll go find Tarvo or Alistair and see if they can be convinced to lay in this thing today." Lily hid a grin. "Make sure not to tell them about the toilet-bedsheet feature, let's keep that one a surprise."
Coriann du Freise intended these beds to relieve strain on hospital staff; during her observation period with the healers of The Covenant she noted how many times orderlies would have to directly hold people upright on their cots in order for a nurse to feed them foods and medicines or change their sheets, and the significant strain this put on smaller staffers. The Powered Rack she designed is intended to alleviate these issues using a Powered linkage. Through the gearing underneath the mattress, a caretaker can shift the head of the bed to a vertical position, allowing for feeding, and can raise or lower the platform as needed to help the occupant get in or out of the bed. In addition, the area of the bed underneath the buttocks is designed with a quick-release clasp mechanism attached to the bedsheet, allowing easy cleanup of incontinent patients by withdrawing the entire sheet from the bed into a bedpan. While not designed with the use in mind, straps may be added in order to better hold and restrain unruly patients. This has led to cynical jokes regarding du Freise's chosen name for her invention, jokes she steadfastly ignores.
Current Powered Racks are assembled by hand at the workshops of the Engineer's Guild. The production process is being finalized in order to move production to a manufactory for scale, with the bottleneck being the custom sewn hinged mattresses that must be produced by hand by a skilled upholsterer. The fitted bedsheets that support the automated sheet-clearing feature are also custom made for the bed, as they are shaped to be withdrawn smoothly without tearing.
Access & Availability
After the 724 Inventor's Fair in the Capital, a small number of these beds were built and placed in the major injury ward at the Covenant as a trial. With positive feedback from the nurses and doctors of the Covenant, the Engineering Guild is prepared to launch the bed into production and distribution across Etoile.
While not a particularly complex machine by the standards of Power Engineering, the Rack is significantly more complex than an ordinary hospital cot, requiring a custom upholstered bed mattress with a folding pivot and a multiply-hinged bedframe. The requirement to be attached to a power linkage also significantly increases the mechanical complexity of the bed, requiring regular servicing by a Power maintenance technician. While the bed has manual linkages that can be operated in the event of power delivery failure, they are cumbersome and slow.
The Powered Rack was invented in 724 by Coriann du Freise, a Power engineer of the Etoile Capital City. After completing a mandatory cross-disciplinary training at The Covenant with the Healers, she observed and applied power linkages to a custom-built folding bed and frame, allowing the bed itself to manipulate its occupant to the desires of their caretaker.
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