Smart Computer Stand
Floor Location : M 124 N
Covid-19 has changed people’s lifestyle worldwide. Schools and workplaces moved online, students and working adults alike began to experience life stuck in front of a computer. I was one of those students, and I was spending up to 12 hours a day in front of my computer. I was lacking the exercise I needed, and my posture was getting worse. My first thought was that I needed a computer stand. Something that would fit on my current desk, and could rise to a height where I could use my computer comfortably while standing up, while being able to lower down to a comfortable sitting height. The commercially available adjustable stands can only adjust the height manually or with a button, but people like me won’t do so frequently. This is why I decided to create my own smart computer stand. One that can help people improve health during the pandemic.
To start, I came up with two general designs: one that uses gears and gear racks to power an x-lift, and another one that uses belts and gears. Gears tend to slip a lot more, and the design called for 8 motors while the belt design only uses 4. The belt design is based on the fact that when a belt moves, one side moves one way while the other moves the other way. By securing the legs on the x-lift onto the belt, it moves the legs together at equal speeds with a low chance of slipping. This was the design I chose to go with. Next, I modelled the design on Fusion 360 and 3D printed a to-scale model. Then, I assembled the stand with various materials: wood for the frame, rails and coasters, timing belts and gears, metal rods to hold the belt gears in place, and 4 step motors. The entire thing is held together by screws and 3D printed parts I designed myself. The motors run off of a 12V power supply and motor controllers managed by an Arduino, which is also hooked up to an ultrasonic sensor.
The finished stand satisfies my goals. It features a fully motorized computer stand with an ultrasonic sensor used for detecting whether a person is in front of it. It allows user to set the preferred high and low positions, then automatically rise up to get the user to stand up, after a pre-set amount of time, it automatically lowers down so the user can sit down again, and continues. If the user goes away from the stand, the ultrasonic sensor detects it and the stand will stop changing position, until the user comes back.