BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention was first described in Disclosure Document Number 415,723 filed on Mar. 17, 1997. No previous applications are pending or exist anywhere in the world.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to brooms, vacuums, sweeping apparatus, and the like, and, more particularly, to a rechargeable, industrial broom.
2. Description of the Related Art
Generally, brooms, vacuums, sweeping apparatus and the like have been known and disclosed in a variety of configurations and in many manners. For instance, a search conducted of the related art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention; however, the following references were considered related:
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| ||U.S. Pat. No. ||Inventor ||Issue Date |
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| ||5,096,472 ||Perry ||Mar. 17, 1992 |
| ||5,089,037 ||Marsolais ||Feb. 18, 1992 |
| ||5,015,274 ||Perry ||May 14, 1991 |
| ||4,723,971 ||Caldas ||Feb. 9, 1988 |
| ||4,370,776 ||Kullik ||Feb. 1, 1983 |
| ||4,294,597 ||Archer et al. ||Oct. 13, 1981 |
| ||4,284,422 ||Ferland ||Aug. 18, 1981 |
| ||3,678,524 ||Nise et al. ||Jul. 25, 1972 |
| ||3,490,208 ||Meyer et al. ||Jan. 20, 1966 |
| ||D 255,357 ||Brooks et al. ||Jun. 10, 1980 |
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- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
As described in these references, the features disclosed within the related art are shown to allow for the high volume collection of industrial debris utilizing two basic technics. The first involves a centralized vacuum source wherein a distribution system is made in communication with a centralized collection system. Although such systems allow for the use of higher capacity blowers and vacuums, because of their size and space restrictions they are not as adaptable to the needs of the industrial user. The second system involves essentially a smaller scale system located on a transportation means, such as a movable, wheeled cart. Such a system, although effective in theory, still greatly limit the practical use, control, reach, storage, and portability. Consequently, a need has therefore been felt for such a rechargeable, industrial broom as described below.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved industrial broom for effectively collecting debris.
It is a feature of the present invention to provide an improved industrial broom including an adjustable swivel nozzle that allows the user to adjust the angle of collection.
Briefly described according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a rechargeable industrial broom is provided having a base unit having an overall width of approximately 24 inches. At the base is formed an intake orifice, and stationary bristles. The stationary bristles are attached to the broom by means of a 12-inch suction pipe and a swivel nozzle. The nozzle allows the broom to move at any angle. A bag, similar in design to the conventional vacuum bag, is connected to the back of the unit. The cloth bag snaps onto a discharge orifice, and debris captured by the broom eventually makes its way to this bag. At the bottom of the bag is a zipper for waste removal. The broom is powered by a 12-volt in-line motor. A rechargeable adapter can be incorporated directly into the interior of the broom.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Advantages of the present invention are many. The stationary bristles collect the scattered debris, and the suction mouth, capable of extending up to 24 inches with the pull of a lever, pulls debris from the floor. The bristles and suction mouth are able to move in any direction due to the swivel nozzle, thereby assuring complete coverage of even hard to reach areas. Once debris is captured, it is deposited into the cloth bag, which can be easily emptied and replaced. The rechargeable battery eliminates the needs for cords, and improves access and portability.
The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a rechargeable industrial broom according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view thereof;
FIG. 4 is a detailed partial view of the nozzle portion for use with the current invention shown in its retracted state; and
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 5 is a detailed partial view of the nozzle portion shown in its extended state.
In order to describe the complete relationship of the invention, it is essential that some description be given to the manner and practice of functional utility and description of a rechargeable industrial broom.
The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms of its preferred embodiment, herein depicted within the Figures.
1. Detailed Description of the Figures
Referring now to FIG. 1, a front elevational view of a rechargeable industrial broom 10 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is disclosed. The rechargeable industrial broom 10 comprises a operating handle 15, which is attached to a main body 20. The main body 20 contains most of the major operating components of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 and will be described in greater detail herein below. The main body 20 possesses a waste collection bag 25, shown attached to the rear of the main body 20 on its left hand side as viewed from the front as shown. The waste collection bag 25 is secured via a attachment chain 30. Exiting the bottom of the main body 20 is a main suction tube 35, through which all vacuumed waste is routed. The main suction tube 35 is connected to a swivel joint 40. The swivel joint 40 allows for the connection and subsequent movement along a linear axis of a nozzle 45. The nozzle 45 is positioned along a surface to be cleaned such as a floor 50. It is envisioned that the angular displacement of the operating handle 15 from the nozzle 45 would be approximately 20 degrees in either direction from its vertical position as shown. Along the lower edge of the nozzle 45 is positioned a multitude of brush bristles 55. The brush bristles 55 aid in picking up small pieces of waste from the floor 50. It is envisioned that the brush bristles 55 are of the replaceable nature by the final user, since the brush bristles 55 will be in constant contact with the floor 50 and subject to wear on a regular, continuous basis. The total overall height of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 is approximately 60 inches. However, the dimensions as well as the depicted configuration of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 is not intended to be a limiting factor.
Referring next to FIG. 2, a rear elevational view of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 is depicted. The main body 20 is once again shown with the waste collection bag 25 exiting now on the right. The waste collection bag 25 is connected to a waste discharge tube 60 via a connecting clamp 65. The attachment chain 30 once again prevents excessive movement of the waste collection bag 25. A zipper 70 is provided to empty the contents of the waste collection bag 25. The zipper 70 is simply unzipped and the contents of the waste collection bag 25 emptied into a receptacle such as a trash can. The zipper 70 is then zipped to a closed position and the vacuuming process continues. Located on the operating handle 15 is an on/off switch 75, which operates in the usual and customary manner, and a nozzle width adjustment lever 80, which is used to adjust the width of the nozzle 45. The mechanism and system by which the nozzle 45 is adjusted in width will be described in greater detail herein below. Located on the rear of the main body 20 is a rear access cover 85, which is held in place by a plurality of fastening means 90 such as screws. The removal of the rear access cover 85 allows access to a primary battery 95 and a secondary battery 100, which are used to provide electrical power to the rechargeable industrial broom 10. Located below the primary battery 95 and the secondary battery 100 is a direct current motor 105 which is coupled to an vacuum impeller 110 by a drive belt 115. The system of the direct current motor 105, the vacuum impeller 110 and the drive belt 115 are the components which produce the vacuum effect to allow the removal of waste from the floor 50 as shown in FIG. 1. All of the components located under the rear access cover 85 are shown in phantom lines to indicate their usual hidden position, and are shown here for purposes of clarity only. Located on the upper portion of the main body 20 is a battery recharge adapter 120, a low battery indicator light 125, and a battery selector switch 130. The battery recharge adapter 120 is used to allow recharging of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 at any location where a convenience outlet is present. Thus it is not necessary to utilize a separate recharger when using the rechargeable industrial broom 10. The low battery indicator light 125 is used to indicate the electrical charge condition of either the primary battery 95 or the secondary battery 100 as selected by the battery selector switch 130. The battery selector switch 130 allows the user of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 to select either the primary battery 95 or the secondary battery 100 for the purposes of operating the rechargeable industrial broom 10. It is envisioned that the user would first begin operation of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 on the primary battery 95 and use it until the primary battery 95 is depleted. The user would then switch the battery selector switch 130 over to the secondary battery 100 and continue his or her cleaning duties, with the knowledge that the rechargeable industrial broom 10 must be recharged at the earliest possible time. In this manner the user does not have to stop cleaning duties or have the cleaning operation interrupted by discharged batteries as is the normal case with only one battery. The circuitry associated with the charging and operation of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 is readily known and may take many final configurations not depicted here. Shown exiting the lower portion of the main body 20 is a rear wheel support brace 135, which is used to position a rear wheel 140, which is used in the unattended vertical support of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 as shown. The arrangement of the rear wheel support brace 135 and its associated rear wheel 140 will become clearer during additional descriptions below.
Referring next to FIG. 3, a side elevational view of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 is disclosed. This view more clearly depicts the supporting nature of the rear wheel support brace 135 and the rear wheel 140. Further aiding in the gliding of the rechargeable industrial broom 10 over the floor 50 (as shown in FIG. 1) is a first front wheel 145, located immediately behind the brush bristles 55 on the nozzle 45. A second front wheel 150, not shown in this view for purposes of clarity, is located on the opposite side of the nozzle 45. The nozzle width adjustment lever 80 is shown in an easy to grasp area of the operating handle 15 directly above the on/off switch 75. The nozzle width adjustment lever 80 is envisioned to be of a sleeved cable arrangement, similar to that found on bicycles, to allow the adjustment of the width of the nozzle 45. A control cable 155, which is the lower portion of the cable connected to the nozzle width adjustment lever 80 is shown exiting the lower portion of the main body 20 and connecting to a first pivot point 160.
Referring now to FIG. 4, a detailed partial view of the nozzle 45 shown in its retracted or collapsed state is shown. This view is as seen along the rear of the rechargeable industrial broom 10. (Similar to that seen in FIG. 2, but without the rear wheel support brace 135 and the rear wheel 140). The first front wheel 145 and the second front wheel 150 are clearly shown as providing a bearing surface for the nozzle 45. The control cable 155 located in front of the main suction tube 35 attaches to the first pivot point 160 below the swivel joint 40. In its retracted state as shown, the first pivot point 160 then produces a tension effect in a first retractable arm 165 and a second retractable arm 170. This action in turn thus causes a second pivot point 175 and an third pivot point 180, respectively, to travel in an inward path, as depicted by a pair of inward direction arrows 185. This in turn thus causes the accordion like nature of the nozzle 45 to collapse to effect a suction path with of approximately 12 inches. It should be noted however that this dimension is not a limiting factor and could be revised to any desired dimension by changing the geometry of the above components respectively. It is envisioned that the nozzle 45 would be constructed of a flexible plastic to allow for the accordion like retraction to take effect. When the nozzle 45 is in its retracted state as shown, the rechargeable industrial broom 10 could be used to get into smaller areas that a wider nozzle 45 could not. The retracted state as shown in FIG. 4 occurs when the user squeezes the nozzle width adjustment lever 80 (not shown in this FIG.) and overcomes the tension in a first spring 190 and a second spring 195 as attached to the second pivot point 175 and the third pivot point 180 respectively. The first spring 190 and the second spring 195 impart a rotational action onto the first retractable arm 165 and the second retractable arm 170 respectively thus resulting in a nozzle 45 which is spread out in a direction opposite to that shown by the inward direction arrows 185 and whose resultant outcome will be shown in FIG. 5.
Referring finally to FIG. 5, a detailed partial view of the nozzle 45 shown in its extended state is disclosed. The first spring 190 and the second spring 195 are now effecting their rotational energy onto the first retractable arm 165 and the second retractable arm 170 respectively and causing the resultant extension about the first pivot point 160. The first pivot point 160 is not held in an upper position near the swivel joint 40 by the control cable 155, so it travels downwards toward the lower portion of the nozzle 45, thus causing an extension effect on the nozzle 45 as depicted by a pair of outward direction arrows 200. This extended state of the nozzle 45 is approximately 24 inches or a doubling of the 12 inches as shown in FIG. 4. It should be noted however that these dimensions are not intended to be a limiting factor as aforementioned described. In this intended state, the nozzle 45 can cover double the floor area and is suitable for normal area use where increased coverage is the prime consideration.
2. Operation of the Preferred Embodiment
In operation, the present invention can be easily utilized by the common user in a simple and effortless manner. To use the present invention with its preferred embodiment can best be described in conjunction with the elevational views of FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, and the detailed partial views of FIG. 4 and FIG. 5.
To use the present invention, the user would first remove the rechargeable industrial broom 10 from its charging location and transport the rechargeable industrial broom 10 to its location of use. Next the user would check the waste collection bag 25 to make certain the waste collection bag 25 is emptied of any previous waste. Next, the battery selector switch 130 would be placed in the primary battery position and the capacity of the primary battery 95 verified by lack of illumination of the low battery indicator light 125. At this point the rechargeable industrial broom 10 is ready to be used.
The user would next activate the rechargeable industrial broom 10 by operating the on/off switch 75 and begin the vacuuming of the floor 50 in a normal and customary manner. It should be noted that the nozzle 45 is in its extended state of approximately 24 inches at this point without the nozzle width adjustment lever 80 being operated by the user. This wide path allows for the greatest coverage pattern by the rechargeable industrial broom 10. Should the user come to a location where the nozzle 45 will not fit such as around tables, chairs, benches, machines, or other such objects, the user may simply squeeze the nozzle width adjustment lever 80 and thus cause the nozzle 45 to retract to approximately 12 inches as shown in FIG. 4. Vacuuming may then continue in an uninterrupted manner. When the user is finished vacuuming around obstacles and no longer requires the retracted nature of the nozzle 45, the user simply releases the nozzle width adjustment lever 80 and resumes vacuuming with the extended nozzle 45 in an uninterrupted manner.
Should the primary battery 95 reach its discharged state, the user may simply activate the battery selector switch 130 and continue vacuuming. The user must bear in mind that the rechargeable industrial broom 10 should be recharged at the earliest possible time, however, the vacuuming chore at hand may be completed without interruption.
When the vacuuming duty is completed, the user transports the rechargeable industrial broom 10 to its storage charging location. Next, the user empties the waste collection bag 25 of its collected contents into a trash receptacle. The user then plugs the battery recharge adapter 120 into a standard convenience receptacle to allow both the primary battery 95 and the secondary battery 100 to recharge. After completion of the recharging cycle, the rechargeable industrial broom 10 is ready to be used again and the above cycle repeated.
The foregoing description is included to illustrate the operation of the preferred embodiment and is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. The scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.