Bedridden patients and elastic bodies are transported by generating surface waves on an active bed. The motion of each node on the bed surface is coordinated such that it follows a circular trajectory with a certain phase lag from its adjacent nodes. This surface wave actuation allows a bedridden patient to move freely while lying comfortably upon the bed. First, the basic properties of surface waves are investigated. Technical requirements for transporting humans and elastic bodies are obtained. To assure comfort during transport, the stress distribution at the contact area is analyzed based on elasticity theory. Transport speed and efficiency are analyzed as well. A proof-of-concept prototype is designed, built and tested. It is demonstrated that a human is moved along the bed surface while lying on the bed.

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