US 20030132356 A1
A support arm for holding a monitor or keyboard at a distal end thereof, comprising a mechanical structure for coupling the proximal end of the arm to a support, a mechanical structure for attaching a monitor or keyboard to the distal end of the arm, a pair of intermediate rotary joints spaced along the arm, each providing for rotation about a substantially vertical axis of rotation, and a rotary joint proximate the distal end for allowing the use angle of the monitor or keyboard to be altered.
1. A support for holding a monitor or keyboard at a distal end thereof, comprising:
a mechanical structure for coupling the proximal end of the arm to a support;
a mechanical structure for attaching a monitor or keyboard to the distal end of the arm;
a pair of intermediate rotary joints spaced along the arm, each providing for rotation about a substantially vertical axis of rotation; and
a rotary joint proximate the distal end for allowing the use angle of the monitor or keyboard to be altered.
 This application claims priority of Provisional application serial No. 60/349,025, filed on Jan. 17, 2002.
 This invention relates to a mechanical arm that supports a monitor or keyboard.
 Monitors and keyboards are typically placed on the desktop, which takes up valuable desktop space and also constrains their use. These devices require a table or other flat surface that also takes up floor space. There are many environments in which it is desirable to free up desk space, and also environments in which it is desirable to free up floor space or in which the floor space is simply not available. For example, there are many situations in which a monitor is not associated with a desktop computer, such as in kiosks, airports and stock and commodity trading floors.
 Another consideration is that in such situations most times monitors are mounted to a large bracket that is itself mounted to a wall. This requires much labor to install and also is completely inflexible as to any change in desired location of the monitor or keyboard.
 The invention comprises a pivoting arm that is designed to support at its distal end a computer monitor or a keyboard. At its proximal end, the arm has a mechanical structure for coupling to a support object or surface. In the preferred embodiment the support is a structure with complementary channels that receive the flange portions of the invention, but this is not a limitation of the invention. At its distal end, the arm has a mechanical structure, such as the sliding coupling shown, for attaching a monitor or a keyboard to the arm.
 The arm has at least a pair of rotary joints that provide for rotation about vertical axes. These joints allow the in-and-out and side-to-side positioning of the distal end. The arm also has at least one rotary joint that allows rotation about a horizontal axis. This joint allows for positioning of the viewing angle of the monitor, or the use angle of the keyboard.
 The arm is sufficiently substantial to hold the weight of the object at the distance from the proximal support. The construction of the preferred embodiment accomplishes this aim.
 Other objects, features and advantages will occur to those skilled in the art from the following description of the preferred embodiment and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1A is a partial isometric view, FIG. 1B a full isometric view, and FIG. 1C a top view of the preferred embodiment of the support arm of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the support arm of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 shows the support arm of FIGS. 1 and 2 in use holding a monitor and attached to a vertical support surface.
 Support arm 10 comprises mechanical structure 12 for coupling the proximal end of arm 10 to a support, and mechanical structure 14 for attaching a monitor or keyboard to the distal arm of end 10. A pair of intermediate rotary joints 18 and 20 are spaced along the arm, each providing for rotation about a substantially vertical axis of rotation, labeled A and B respectively. Arm 10 also comprises rotary joint 60, FIG. 2, proximate the distal end of arm 10 that allows the use angle of a monitor or keyboard attached to the arm to be altered by rotation about horizontal axis C. This preferred embodiment also includes mechanical structure that provides rotary motion about vertical axis D to provide an additional adjustability feature.
 Mechanical structure 12 comprises interlocking plates 42 and 40 having L-shaped ends 43 and 41, respectively, that are held together by screw 44. The ends are sized, shaped and spaced so as to fit in vertical support structure 100 shown in FIG. 3, having parallel slots, of the type often used in retail store displays. Other mechanical structures are contemplated, including a more traditional plate that can be mounted with bolts or the like to a wall, or other structures that accommodate the surface to which the arm is to be attached.
 Distal end structure 14 defines narrow channel 30, best shown in FIG. 1C, with end structures 36 and 38 that are relatively moveable toward and away from one another to change distance E by the use of cam lever 32 that is attached to nut 34. When the cam is loosened, the slot is slightly expanded, and when the cam is tightened, the slot is slightly narrowed. This end structure is designed to interface with a thin flat elongated plate such as plate 80, FIG. 3, that is fixed to the back 90 or another portion of the keyboard or monitor. If the plate is elongated, vertical adjustability is provided. This allows the quick and easy coupling, change of position and decoupling of a monitor or keyboard with the inventive arm. Other mechanical structures for attaching a monitor or keyboard to the distal end of the arm are contemplated under this invention, such as a bracket or shelf or the like.
 The preferred embodiment is shown in the most detail in FIG. 2. Rotary joint 46 sits in opening 48 of bracket 49. Rotary joint 50 sits in opening 52 of mechanical arm 16. Arm 16 is of sufficient strength to support the desired amount of weight at the desired maximum extended length of arm 10. Horizontal rotary joint structure 60 includes member 62 which in this embodiment also is capable of rotating about vertical axis D through use of opening 64 at the distal end of arm 10. Arc-shaped openings 65 provide for end stops to the up and down motion about horizontal axis C.
 Although specific features of the invention are shown in some drawings and not others, this is for convenience only as some feature may be combined with any or all of the other features in accordance with the invention.
 Other embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art and are within the following claims: