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A METHOD OF MONITORING THE OPERATION OF A PLURALITY OF MOTORS PRESENT ON A PERSON-SUPPORT APPARATUS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225244D
Publication Date: 2013-Feb-01
Document File: 7 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This disclosure relates generally to a person-support apparatus. More particularly, but not exclusively, one illustrative embodiment relates to a method and system for controlling the operation of a plurality of motors present on the person-support apparatus. Stephen M. Hankins Schiff Hardin LLP One Market Spear Tower, 32nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105 Shankins@schiffhardin.com 415-901-8756

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A Method of monitoring the operation of a plurality of motors present on a person-support apparatus

This disclosure relates generally to a person-support apparatus. More particularly, but not exclusively, one illustrative embodiment relates to a method and system for controlling the operation of a plurality of motors present on the person-support apparatus.

Generally, a person support apparatus, such as, for example, a hospital bed, may include multiple motors for performing functions such as Hi-Lo movement of the bed deck, articulation of one or more bed deck sections, and changing the length of the bed deck foot section. Multiple current measurement devices may be provided, one associated with each of the motors. Each current measurement device may be operatively coupled to the a motor and provided to ensure that none of the motors on the person-support apparatus experience any electrical overload or draw any excessive amount of current.

This disclosure provides a method and system for controlling the operation of a plurality of motors present on a person-support apparatus. The method involves the monitoring of the current flow during the operation of the plurality of motors using a single measurement. Initially, a theoretical value of the current consumption is established.  It may be calculated by a microprocessor operatively coupled to the person-support apparatus based on a variety of input signals such as use cases for the motors, the direction of rotation of the motors which are operating, or any variety of inputs that may be apparent to those skilled in the art.  The theoretical value of the current consumption may also be established through a look up table that may be stored in electronic storage media operatively coupled to the microprocessor.  In addition, the theoretical value of the current consumption may be input directly by a service technician, operator, caregiver, or another user of the patient-support apparatus.

During operation of the patient-support apparatus, power may be supplied to the selected motors and a real time current consumption value may be measured using a current measurement device. The theoretical current consumption may be compared to the real time current consumption, and if the theoretical current consumption exceeds the real time current consumption then the operation of the motors may continue.  In the event the real time current consumption exceeds the theoretical current consumption, an alarm may be activated, or the operation of one or more motors may cease.

A block diagram of a control system 10 for controlling the operation of a plurality of motors or actuators 12 present on a person-support apparatus can be shown in Fig. 1. Normally, the person-support apparatus can include a plurality of motors 12 such as a first motor 12a for controlling Hi-Lo operation of the bed, a second motor 12b for controlling the deck section articulation of the person-support apparatus. Similarly, the person-suppo...