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Publication numberUS20020163232 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/088,486
PCT numberPCT/FR2001/002450
Publication dateNov 7, 2002
Filing dateJul 26, 2001
Priority dateJul 26, 2000
Also published asCN1388784A, EP1222090A1, WO2002008013A1
Publication number088486, 10088486, PCT/2001/2450, PCT/FR/1/002450, PCT/FR/1/02450, PCT/FR/2001/002450, PCT/FR/2001/02450, PCT/FR1/002450, PCT/FR1/02450, PCT/FR1002450, PCT/FR102450, PCT/FR2001/002450, PCT/FR2001/02450, PCT/FR2001002450, PCT/FR200102450, US 2002/0163232 A1, US 2002/163232 A1, US 20020163232 A1, US 20020163232A1, US 2002163232 A1, US 2002163232A1, US-A1-20020163232, US-A1-2002163232, US2002/0163232A1, US2002/163232A1, US20020163232 A1, US20020163232A1, US2002163232 A1, US2002163232A1
InventorsCedric Vezinet, Joseph Catin
Original AssigneeCedric Vezinet, Joseph Catin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Child safety device adaptable on a vehicle
US 20020163232 A1
Abstract
Child safety device able to be adapted on a vehicle.
The device of the invention includes a portable element (2) fitted with a tiltable arch-shaped handle (4) and a base (3) permanently fixed on a seat of the vehicle, the portable element (2) and the base (3) being equipped with centering and positioning means and vertical locking means via the rotation of the portable element (2) with respect to the base (3).
According to the invention, the vertical locking means include an anchorage piece (15) provided with at least one locking branch (16) and an opening (17) emerging into a cavity and making it possible to insert the locking branch (16) through the opening (17) according to an engaging position and then bringing the portable element (2) into a locking position via a relative rotation of the anchorage piece (15) with respect to the opening (17).
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Claims(11)
1. Adaptable child safety device for use on a vehicle and including a portable element (2) provided with:
a tiltable arch-shaped handle (4) and a bearing surface (13),
and a base (3) permanently fixed on a seat of the vehicle and provided with a support surface (11) for cooperating with the bearing surface (13),
the portable element (2) and the base (3) being equipped with means for centering and positioning the portable element (2) on the base (3) and means for vertically locking the portable element (2) by means of rotation with respect to the base (3) between an engaging position and a locking position, characterised in that the vertical locking means include on one of the support (I 1) or bearing (13) surfaces an anchorage piece (15) provided with at least one locking branch (16) and on the other support (11) or bearing (13) surfaces, an opening (17) issuing into a cavity and having a passage section, said passage section of the opening (17) making it possible to insert the locking branch (16) through the opening (17) according to the engaging position and then bring the portable element (2) into the locking position by means of a relative rotation of the anchorage piece (15) with respect to the opening (17).
2. Device according to claim 1, characterised in that the anchorage piece (15) has the shape of a “T” whose upper portion constitutes two locking branches (16).
3. Device according to claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the anchorage piece (15) is placed on the support surface (11) and the opening (17) is fitted on the bearing surface (13).
4. Device according to one of claims 1 to 3, characterised in that the means for vertically locking the portable element (2) with respect to the base (3) further include at least one stop (18) placed on the portable element (2) and at least one tab (19) placed on the base (3), the stop (18) and the tab (19) being placed in such a way that the stop (18) is inserted under the tab (19) during rotation of the portable element (2) with respect to the base (3) in the locking position.
5. Device according to one of claims 1 to 4, characterised in that the centering and positioning means include on the support surface (11) a centering truncated cone (12) cooperating with the bearing surface (13) placed under the portable element (2).
6. Device according to one of claims 1 to 5, characterised in that the support surface (11) and the bearing surface (13) have shapes exhibiting a symmetry of revolution with respect to a spin axis (14) of the portable element (2) with respect to the base (3).
7. Device according to one of claims 1 to 6, characterised in that a locking in rotation of the portable element (2) is ensured by a slanting towards the rear of the tiltable arch-shaped handle (4) on both sides of bosses (20) situated on the base (3).
8. Device according to one of claims 1 to 7, characterised in that the portable element (2) is fitted with two lateral handles (22) to provide easy transport with studied grasping, even when the arch-shaped handle (4) is slanted.
9. Device according to one of claims 1 to 8, characterised in that the portable element (2) includes a body for receiving a seat for a child.
10. Device according to claim 9, characterised in that the engaging position corresponds to a position of the portable element (2) with respect to the base (3) in which the child is placed perpendicular to a driving direction of the vehicle.
11. Device according to claim 9 or 10, characterised in that the locking position corresponds to a position of the portable element (2) with respect to the base (3) in which the child is placed parallel to a driving direction of the vehicle.
Description

[0001] The invention concerns the technical sector of motor vehicle safety devices for a child and able to be used at the rear and/or at the front of vehicles for private individuals.

[0002] The term “motor vehicle child safety device” is limited to low weight categories, that is the groups 0, 0+ and 1, namely respectively child devices from 0 to 10 kg, 0 to 13 kg and 9 to 18 kg.

[0003] More specifically, the invention concerns devices made up of a body and a carrying arch-shaped handle offering a large number of functions, such as carrying outside the vehicle or use as a bench deck-chair.

[0004] Generally, these devices are secured to the seat of the vehicle directly by means of the safety belt which requires that the operation be repeated on each occasion the child enters or leaves the vehicle and thus presenting all risks which could occur resulting from the repeated handlings concerning safety adjustments.

[0005] At the current moment, these devices are associated with a second element, namely a base, so as to provide a solution to the problem mentioned above. The base is fixed in the vehicle with the aid of a safety belt and stays permanently. On each entering and leaving from the vehicle, the body is then solely fitted and locked on the base. A portion of the safety belt can, if needed, help the base in supporting the body by means of an adequate orientation around the body.

[0006] The main drawback of current safety devices lies in the fact of repeated and often difficult handlings brought about by installing the device in the vehicle which might or might not have a base.

[0007] In fact, without a base, the device is directly supported by the belt whose correct positioning is obligatory for the effective holding down of the device. This means that on a daily basis the user has to pay particular attention to ensure the safety of his or her child. In addition, the obligatory passage points of the belt are not always easily accessible, thus requiring several adjustments being made to install the device. In conclusion, apart from the fact that repetition constitutes a constraint, it may also represent a danger.

[0008] As regards those devices provided with base, these offer better reliability of the installation, bearing in mind that this is only carried out on the first use of the device. The practical aspect is also improved by virtue of the base since the installation is then limited to a single fitting of the two elements with one inside the other. However, the space needed to put the device in the vehicle is restricted by the presence of the base and the handle needs to be folded down before entering the vehicle. The operation then consists of accurately positioning at arm's length a device weighing about ten kilos perpendicular to the seat of the vehicle when this device in no longer able to be properly picked up, the arch-shaped handle having previously been folded back so as to reduce the spatial requirement of the device.

[0009] Finally, regardless of the device, after being installed in the vehicle, it is frequently necessary to adjust the position of the child in the device or adjust the setting of the harness. Now the position of the child perpendicular to the adult and back to the road then no longer allows acting effectively as accessibility to the inside of the body is limited and the adult carrying out the adjustment is quite often close to the back of the seat which reduces the field of activity. To this needs to be added is the orientation of the safety belt of the vehicle, one of the latter's two portions often being taut in the space separating the child and adult.

[0010] Thus, devices have been proposed provided with a base making it possible to position the portable element and have it pivot around a spin axis so as to lock said portable element with respect to the base along an adapted orientation.

[0011] The international patent application WO 98/23 462 describes a device of this type allowing the portable elements to pivot with respect to the base. The base of this device is fitted with a complex mechanism able to vertically and in rotation lock the portable element when the latter is positioned according to a particular orientation. Locking is ensured by horizontal rods which are inserted in orifices situated at the periphery of the support surface of the portable element. Locking is only possible when the horizontal rods are opposite with the orifices of the portable element. A bright colour at the extremity of these rods enables the user to visually ensure that locking of the portable element with respect to the base is fully effective. The unlocking of the portable element is ensured by a handle acting on the locking mechanism.

[0012] The users of child safety devices generally look for safety but also for devices extremely simple to use. Also, the presence of an unlocking handle, visual control of locking and adjustment of the rotating portable element thus constitute a large number of means and operations complicating the use of the device offered in the document WO 98/23 462. In addition, the implementation of these technical means is frequently at the origin of jerks prejudicial to the comfort of the child. Finally, the complexity of the mechanism of this device does not offer reliable use over a period of time.

[0013] Thus, the object of the invention is to provide a device satisfying these objectives concerning safety, simplicity and comfort.

[0014] To reach these objectives, the invention concerns a child's safety device able to be adapted on a vehicle and including:

[0015] a portable element fitted with a tiltable arch-shaped handle and a support surface,

[0016] and a base fixed permanently on a seat of the vehicle and provided with a bearing surface for cooperating with the support surface,

[0017] the portable element and the base being equipped with means for centering and positioning the portable element on the base and vertical locking means via rotation of the portable element with respect to the base between an engaging position and a locking position.

[0018] According to the invention, the vertical locking means include on one of the support or bearing surfaces an anchorage piece provided with at least one locking branch and on the other of the support or bearing surfaces an opening issuing into a cavity and having a passage section, said passage section of the opening making it possible to insert the locking branch through the opening along the engaging position and then bring the portable element into the locking position by means of a relative rotation of the anchorage piece with respect to the opening.

[0019] Various other characteristics are shown in the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings which show by way of non-restrictive examples embodiments and implementations of the object of the invention.

[0020]FIG. 1 represents a safety device according to the invention and intended to receive a child's seat.

[0021]FIG. 2 represents the portable element for receiving a child's seat.

[0022]FIG. 3 represents the base supporting the portable element of the device of the invention.

[0023]FIG. 4 is a cutaway section view representing the portable element positioned on the base of the device of the invention.

[0024]FIG. 5 illustrates the locking in rotation operation of the portable element.

[0025]FIG. 1 shows on reduced scale the safety device 1 according to a non-restrictive embodiment of the invention, said device comprising a portable element 2 placed on a base 3. The portable element 2 ensures the functions for housing and protecting the child and comprises either a sole element constituting the seat and the back of the device or several elements respectively constituting the seat, backrest, head support, etc.

[0026] These elements can appear in the form of a body or body elements integral with the portable element 2.

[0027] The portable element 2 preferably includes a body for receiving a seat for a child.

[0028] The elements or components of this portable element 2 are relatively rigid and light so as to satisfy the requirements of standards and the comfort expected by the consumer. This is why their essential features are mainly based on:

[0029] blown, injected, thermoformed or rotationally-moulded plastics (polypropylene, polyethylene, ABS)

[0030] polystyrenes,

[0031] polyurethanes

[0032] which are able to strengthen tubular reinforcements, especially metal ones.

[0033] As shown on FIG. 2, the portable element 2 has a tiltable handle 4 which in particular provides a carrying function. The design and ergonomics of the arch-shaped handle vary depending on the device. According to the models, the arch-shaped handle allows movement parallel to the body, perpendicular to the body or both movements. The base of the portable element 2 can also have rails providing a bench function.

[0034] The base 3 is secured to the seat of the vehicle by any suitably-adapted element, especially by means of a safety belt or strap. As shown on FIG. 3, the base 3 comprises points for passage of the safety belt, such as slides 5 and 6, a baffle 7 comprising a slide fitted with a closing element 8. The slides 5 and 6 comply with the requirements of the current European standard and are situated at a minimum distance of 150 mm from a point constituting the intersection of the backrest and seat of the vehicle on which the base 3 is fixed. The passage of the safety belt via the baffle 7 ensures a deviation of the orientation of the latter making it possible to free the space required for rotation of the portable element 2 on the base 3. The base can also include a U-shaped piece for limiting the risks of warping of the portable element 2 whose seat/backrest angle could be open. The U-shaped piece 9 is directly in contact with the backrest of the portable element 2 which makes it possible to block any movement ( of the backrest in relation to the base towards the front of the vehicle.

[0035] During preparation of the installation in the vehicle, the arch-shaped handle 4 can be folded down from its vertical position, towards the back of the portable element 2 into an intermediate position at about 45° which makes it possible to considerably reduce the spatial requirement of the portable element 2 and thus making it easy it to insert in the vehicle.

[0036] The first stage of installation consists of positioning or stacking the portable element 2 on the base 3.

[0037] As shown on FIGS. 3 and 4, the portable element 2 and the base 3 are equipped with means for centering and positioning the portable element 2 on the base 3. Thus, the first stage of installation is simplified by these means providing a function for the centering and instantaneously positioning the portable element 2 without looking for any position or locking as is the case with certain devices of the prior art.

[0038] According to one embodiment of the invention, the centering and positioning means comprise on the support surface 11 a cone or preferably a centering truncated cone 12 cooperating with the bearing surface 13 placed under the portable element 2.

[0039] This positioning stage is therefore carried out simply without searching to find the correct position by virtue of the cone or truncated cone 12 situated on the base 3 making it possible to obtain an automatic centering of the portable element 2 at the anticipated position, that is the engaging position.

[0040] According to one embodiment of the invention, the support surface 11 and the bearing surface 12 have shapes exhibiting a symmetry of revolution with respect to a spin axis 14 of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3. This makes it possible to obtain one of the characteristics of the invention, namely the pivoting or rotation of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3.

[0041] During the first installation stage, this pivoting characteristic enables the portable element 2 to be positioned on the base 3 so that this portable element 2 is in a different position with respect to a transport position, this being obtained via a simple pivoting or rotation of the portable element 2.

[0042] Thus, it is possible to position the portable element 2 on the base in an engaging position so that the latter faces to adult before making it subsequently pivot into the transport position.

[0043] The engaging position preferably corresponds to a position of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 in which the child is placed perpendicular to a driving direction of the vehicle or parallel to a bench of said vehicle. As shown on FIG. 1, this disposition corresponds to a disposition perpendicular to the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 obtained during the first installation stage of the portable element 2 in the vehicle.

[0044] This first installation stage is carried out simply as the portable element 2 is generally placed inside the vehicle lengthwise allowing a reduced spatial requirement. This position then enables the adult to control placing the child in the body and, if appropriate, easily put him back or adjust the harness, given the fact that the child and body are opposite the adult and not perpendicular as is generally the case,; especially for devices not possessing this pivoting characteristic.

[0045] When the child is placed correctly, the adult can make the portable element 2 pivot on the base 3 and lock it with respect to the base 3, this constituting a second installation stage.

[0046] The locking of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 constitutes one characteristic of the invention which is initially ensured with respect to a substantially vertical direction by vertical locking means.

[0047] In accordance with the invention, the vertical locking means include on one side an anchorage piece 15 provided with at least one locking branch 16 and on the other side an opening 17 issuing into a cavity and having a passage section, the anchorage piece 15 being inserted into the opening 17 according to the engaging position. The passage section of the opening 17 firstly makes it possible to insert the locking branch 16 through the opening 17 according to the engaging position and secondly bring the portable element 2 into the locking position by means of a relative rotation of the anchorage piece 15 with respect to the opening 17.

[0048] As shown on FIGS. 3 and 4, the anchorage piece 15 has the shape of a “T”, its upper portion constituting two locking branches 16. The anchorage piece 15 is preferably placed on the support surface 11 especially on the truncated cone 12, and an opening is fitted on the bearing surface 13 so as to receive said anchorage piece 15 when the portable element 2 is in the engaging position. Once rotation of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 has started, the anchorage piece 15 inserted in the opening 17 of the bearing surface 13 of the portable element 2 keeps said portable element 2 laid flat on the base 3.

[0049] It is also possible to have an anchorage piece 15 placed on the bearing surface 13 and the opening 17 fitted on the support surface 11.

[0050] The vertical locking position preferably corresponds to a position of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 in which the child is placed parallel to a driving direction of the vehicle or perpendicular to a banquette of said vehicle. As shown on FIG. 5, this disposition corresponds to a disposition parallel to the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 obtained during the second installation stage.

[0051] According to one embodiment of the invention, the means for vertically locking the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 include in addition at least one stop 18 placed on the portable element and at least one tab 19 placed on the base, the stop 18 and the tab 19 being placed in such a way that the stop 18 is inserted under the tab 19 during rotation of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 in the locking position.

[0052] Thus, the upper face of the stop 18 is in contact with the lower face of the tab 19 so as to lock and vertically fix the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3.

[0053] As shown on FIGS. 3 and 4, the stop 18 and the tab 19 are respectively placed on the portable element 2 and on the base 3 so that the stop is inserted under the tab 19 when the portable element 2 is placed parallel to the base 3, that is when it has rotated by about 90° with respect to an engaging position corresponding to a disposition of the portable element 2 perpendicular to the base 3.

[0054] When rotation has ended, the stop 18 is added to the anchorage piece 15 for vertical locking or in translation of the portable element 2. These two points constitute an effective and adequate fastening of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 guaranteeing that these two elements are firmly joined should an accident occur. Thus, the means constituted by the stop 18 and the tab 18 are able to strengthen the vertical locking of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3.

[0055] Dismantling of the portable element 2 can then only be carried out by an inverse movement of rotation and not by a vertical translation. The advantage of locking by rotation according to the invention resides in the fact of eliminating the jerk often required on current devices so as to activate a bolt. In fact, this sudden movement has the drawback of shaking the child and, could wake him up. In addition, vertical locking is effective immediately on the start of rotation of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 1.

[0056] A third installation stage consists of locking the portable element 2 in rotation with respect to the base 3.

[0057] According to one embodiment of the invention, the locking of the portable element 2 in rotation is ensured by a slanting towards the rear of the tiltable arch-shaped handle 4 on both sides of the bosses situated on the base 3.

[0058] The tiltable arch-shaped handle 4 is generally fixed by two fastening points on both sides of the portable element 2 so as to give the child a movement parallel to the body and around an axis passing through these two fastening points. The locking in rotation of the portable element 2 with respect to the base 3 is thus ensured by the tiltable arch-shaped handle 4 when the adult slants towards the rear or lowers to horizontal when rotation is effective, that is when the portable element 2 is in the locking position. The handle 4 then is clad against the bosses 20 and also prevents rotation of the portable element 2.

[0059] This locking in rotation or rotation of the portable element 2 is ensured to avoid any risk of an accident occurring.

[0060] The use of the arch-shaped handle 4 as a means for locking and unlocking in rotation the portable element 2 results in obtaining improved simplicity of the device in use owing to the absence of any additional element used for locking and unlocking.

[0061] According to one particular embodiment of the invention, the portable element 2 is fitted with two lateral handles 22 to ensure easy transport with studied grasping, even when the arch-shaped handle is slanted.

[0062] In particular, this is advantageous during installation inside the vehicle so as to limit the general spatial requirement of the device (arch-shaped handle folded back) whilst preserving adapted grasping. During preparation of installation into the vehicle, the tiltable arch-shaped handle 4 can be folded back without adversely affecting carrying as the handles 22 then take the relays of the tiltable arch-shaped handle 4.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7073859 *Aug 19, 2004Jul 11, 2006Pamela S. WilsonPivotable child seat for use in a vehicle
US7163265 *Sep 29, 2003Jan 16, 2007Combi CorporationChild car seat
US7461893Jun 8, 2005Dec 9, 2008Britax Childcare Pty LtdLatching means for a safety seat
US7481492 *Aug 31, 2007Jan 27, 2009Cosco Management, Inc.Child restraint with swiveling juvenile seat and swivel-direction controller
US7722118Mar 1, 2007May 25, 2010Mattel, Inc.Repositionable child support device
WO2005120886A1 *Jun 8, 2005Dec 22, 2005Britax Childcare Pty LtdLatching means for a safety seat
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/256.12, 297/183.3, 297/183.4, 297/183.2
International ClassificationB60N2/14, B60N2/28
Cooperative ClassificationB60N2/2857, B60N2/146, B60N2/2845, B60N2/2821, B60N2/2869
European ClassificationB60N2/14C, B60N2/28C, B60N2/28G2, B60N2/28P, B60N2/28R
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 18, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: RENOLUX FRANCE INDUSTRIE (SOCIETE ANONYME), FRANCE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:VEZINET, CEDRIC;CATIN, JOSEPH;REEL/FRAME:013004/0923
Effective date: 20020322