An automatic bed designed to help residents survive an earthquake has been granted a national patent.
The design, which uses modular furniture including cupboards on each end of the bed and a high-load bearing board, can be used for normal sleep and storage.
Yet if a quake hits, the components automatically combine to form a strong box that encases residents, said its inventor Wang Wenxi.
The necessities for survival such as drinking water, canned food, a megaphone, a hammer and other equipment can be stored in the cupboards in advance. They can help people last several days awaiting rescue, according to Wang.
"I experienced the Xingtai and Tangshan earthquakes giving me more understanding of such natural disasters," the retired 66-year-old said.
"The Wenchuan and Yushu earthquakes caused heavy casualties, so I thought the most serious thing I could do was to invent something to reduce the toll in lives."
Holding the certificate for a utility model patent awarded by the State Intellectual Property Office, Wang was overcome with emotion.
Since Wang retired from a local institute of industrial arts, he has showed keen interest in invention and creation.
Supported by his wife, Wang has now has six patented inventions including an automatic welding mask, an emergency brake for vehicles and crash buffer for cars.
Yet none of his patents have been commercialized due to the lack of a platform for exchange of such information.
"I think my life-saving bed is useful, especially suitable for brick-and-concrete low-rise buildings and bungalows as well as the families with the old, the weak, the sick and the disabled," Wang said.
(China Daily 08/18/2010 page14)