The Vanier Contour

Votes: 1
Views: 695

The Vanier Contour is a new technology for support. This chair uses a displacement driven system instead of a traditional compression based system. With this system, any contour can be matched with an equal force distribution, unlike compression based systems that are susceptible to pressure concentrations and hot spots.

This unique design greatly increases the material options when building a support system. Hard materials like wood and metal are just as comfortable as memory foam. Wood slats provide a nice eye-catching look while anodized aluminum slats provide stand out colors. Additionally, we have added heating elements on the aluminum slats of the chairs to provide the ultimate temperature control experience. The aluminum is cool when the user is hot, and warm when the user is cold.

How it works:
A single cord is interlaced between pulleys on the chair frame and the supporting slats. When one slat moves, the others must compensate. Supporting force is only applied when the slats have found a balanced position and by the nature of the system, each slat must apply the same force.

There are a large number of parts associated with this design which is the main cost driver. We leverage CNC machining at our local facility for precision and repeatability. Cast parts with reduced machine steps is one method we would like to employ to reduce cost. We hope to transition away from steel bearings and to more durable engineered plastics. For reduction in the assembly costs, we would like to use robotics.

This chair was inspired by the office environment and the long hours required of tech jobs. The active nature of the chair allows the user to sit in a variety of positions just as comfortably throughout the day. This technology could be applied to the medical field (wheel chairs, beds) to help reduce bed sores. We could also find a home in the automotive industry to provide long term, consistent support while driving.

Please see the video for the best representation of this technology.

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  • Name:
    Blake Vanier
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    Making and physics
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    Problems that need solutions.
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