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Allen Samuels: New Cot Designs to Aid Refugees

On left: Child sleeping and storage attachments for cot; on right: sleep trays for adults and children. 
On left: Child sleeping and storage attachments for cot; on right: sleep trays for adults and children. 

New designs by Stamps Professor and Dean Emeritus Allen Samuels may be able to provide relief to refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine. The first device, described below, consists of a child sleeping compartment and storage bin that would attach to a standard cot, providing a more safe and secure sleeping arrangement for mothers traveling with small children.

With tens of thousands of refugees fleeing a war, numerous facilities such as warehouses, gymnasiums, schools and even parking structures are being used for temporarily housing, with little or no notice. Mothers with infants and other children are often provided, at best, a fold-down adult cot with no accommodation for infants. The sketch model shows, a standard fold down cot with two attachments at each end of the cot. At the head of the cot is (1) an attachment to safely secure and sleep an infant from 0 – 4 months of age. At the foot of the cot (2) there is an attached storage container for personal items such as clothing, diapers, and more. A wire frame and cloth canopy can also be added to provide some privacy. Lastly, a soft D” shaped cushion would be located on the long side of the cot functioning to space one cot from another and to provide a soft standing surface better than a raw cement floor and to result in a somewhat healthier environment. 

Samuels also has designed two single-piece, fold-up sleep trays, that could be used to provide temporary accommodations: an adult sleep tray that can sleep one adult or two children, and a one-piece, fold up infant sleeper that sleeps and raises an infant off of the ground. 

Samuels is seeking partnerships from European cot manufacturers and box fabricators in hope of having these designs made and distributed to those without proper and safe accommodations.