Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tank Bed

Sci-fi shows have the ultimate water-bed: a large water filled tank in which floats the subject, probably for medical regeneration or such.
It sounds comfortable to me, bringing back all kinds of memories of swimming pools, and floating in them. However, breathing is an issue. We humans cannot breathe under water. A null issue in Sci-fi, since it's always implied there that they have extra-corporeal breathing and circulation: basically their blood is being oxygenated outside the tank and then re-injected. (A tad extreme for a bed, ya think?)
So for a bed version, I would have a strapped-on oxygen mask attached to a tube, attached to an air-pump, a-la a CPAP machine. This is dependent on power, so in case of power failure, there will be an uninterruptible power supply, and instructions to drain the tank should the power fail. We can refill it if the failure proves temporary.
The tank fills from above, adding a certain amount of sea-salt for buoyancy. The user is put in from above (I guess you climb stairs to go to bed?), deploys the mask, and starts the air pump. The pump shoves air into your lungs through the mask, and exhalings bubble out of the mask into the water, where they rise to the surface. After eight hours of sleep, the tank drains from an openable vent at the bottom, into the sewer, the user climbs out through hand-rails or a cord, and the tank is cleaned, perhaps through a water-spray.
A relaxing, if extremely weird, way to sleep.

2 comments:

The EGE said...

What about using perflurocarbons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_breathing

It's not currently practical, but a possibility in the near future. I for one would find in insanely cool, assuming I could supress the instinct to not drown.

themadengineer said...

Drowning occurs when there is a liquid in your lungs that you cannot extract oxygen from, for instance, water. It would not be possible to drown per say in oxygenated perflurocarbons.
I'd be more worried about carbon-dioxide buildup, damage to the lungs (which occurred in the rat tests of perflurocarbons), or some yet unknown problem.
It's the lung damage issue which makes me prefer the mechanical ventilation system.

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