Being both long and heavy, wheeled hospital beds aren't known for being easy to move around. It typically takes at least two people to push and guide one down the corridors, and two people aren't always available in a busy hospital. Using the new SESTO system, however, one person should be able to wrangle a bed without difficulty.
SESTO was created in a collaboration between the National University of Singapore, and Singapore-based engineering firm HOPE Technik.
It consists of two motorized sets of omni-directional wheels, that are fastened onto either end of an existing wheeled bed. Using a control panel mounted on the back of the bed, a single hospital staff member controls its speed and direction. Should they loose finger contact with that panel, the bed will stop automatically.
Testing of SESTO began in September at Singapore's National University Hospital, where the technology has been well-received. As a result of the feedback from that pilot project, the system now includes a flip-down platform that the operator can stand on, allowing them to ride along instead of walking.
HOPE Technik hopes to have SESTO commercially available by the beginning of next year. The system can be seen in use in the video below.