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Publication numberUS20070142175 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/614,063
Publication dateJun 21, 2007
Filing dateDec 20, 2006
Priority dateDec 20, 2005
Publication number11614063, 614063, US 2007/0142175 A1, US 2007/142175 A1, US 20070142175 A1, US 20070142175A1, US 2007142175 A1, US 2007142175A1, US-A1-20070142175, US-A1-2007142175, US2007/0142175A1, US2007/142175A1, US20070142175 A1, US20070142175A1, US2007142175 A1, US2007142175A1
InventorsCurt Morgan, James Dawson
Original AssigneeCurt Morgan, James Dawson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment
US 20070142175 A1
Abstract
Various embodiments of the invention are directed towards an automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment. The invention discloses electromechanical means for processing an input signal and manipulating physical aspects of the exercise equipment such that the equipment collapses for easier storage or movement. The invention is adaptable to a wide range of electronic exercise equipment such as complete exercise systems, treadmills, exercise bicycles, sit-up devices, rowing machines, and other such devices.
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Claims(14)
1. A physical exercise apparatus featuring an automated collapse feature, comprising:
a bed support, comprising an inclined surface, having a bed support first end that is supported on a floor by at least one horizontal translation roller that rolls on the floor and thereby allows the first end to be translated, and having a bed support second end,
a vertically oriented support that receives, holds and allows rotation of the bed support second end so that the bed support is held at a selected incline angle “theta” relative to the floor,
a support bed that supports a person and that moves along the bed support between the bed support first end and the second bed support end,
a command processor to receive and implement a command for a change in at least one control parameter associated with an exercise/therapy workout,
a vertical translation mechanism, associated with the vertical support, that translates the bed support second end along the vertical support by a selected amount in response to receipt of an electronic signal from the command processor, without requiring that the person dismount from the support bed and without requiring that the person interrupt an exercise/therapy workout,
said command processor further configured to receive one or more input signals to commence collapsing or un-collapsing of the exercise equipment and to generate a first output signal,
said first output signal to be received by a control unit; said control unit configured to generate a second output signal upon receipt of said first output signal according to a predetermined algorithm,
said second output signal to be received by a second mechanical mechanism that controls the movement one or more physical aspects of the exercise equipment, and
said second mechanical mechanism to translate one or more physical aspects of the exercise equipment such that the exercise equipment is collapsed or un-collapsed as a result of the translation of the one or more physical aspects of the exercise equipment.
2. A physical exercise apparatus featuring an automated collapse feature according to claim 1, wherein physical exercise apparatus utilizes an additional electro-mechanical mechanism connected to horizontal translation roller in order to effectuate the collapse of the exercise equipment by translating the inclined surface towards the vertically oriented support.
3. A physical exercise apparatus featuring an automated collapse feature according to claim 1, wherein physical exercise apparatus utilizes an additional electro-mechanical mechanism to winch a cable, said cable running between said vertically oriented support and the inclined surface, wherein the winching of said cable effectuates the collapse of the equipment.
4. A physical exercise apparatus featuring an automated collapse feature according to claim 1, wherein physical exercise apparatus utilizes said vertical translation mechanism to winch a cable, said cable running between said vertically oriented support and the inclined surface, wherein the winching of said cable effectuates the collapse of the equipment.
5. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment, comprising:
a command processor, said command processor configured to receive one or more input signals to commence collapsing or un-collapsing of the exercise equipment and to generate a first output signal,
said first output signal to be received by a control unit; said control unit configured to generate a second output signal upon receipt of said first output signal according to a predetermined algorithm,
said second output signal to be received by a mechanical mechanism that controls the movement one or more physical aspects of the exercise equipment,
said mechanical mechanism to translate one or more physical aspects of the exercise equipment such that the exercise equipment is collapsed or un-collapsed as a result of the translation.
6. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 5, wherein said exercise equipment is a complete exercise system that utilizes the body weight of a person, along an inclined plane of variable angle, to generate resistance.
7. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 6, wherein said complete exercise system utilizes an additional electro-mechanical mechanism connected to rolling wheels, the rolling wheels located at the base of the inclined plane of the equipment, in order to effectuate the collapse of the exercise equipment by translating the inclined plane towards the vertical tower.
8. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 6, wherein said complete exercise system utilizes an additional electro-mechanical mechanism to winch a cable, said cable running between a vertical section and the inclined plane of the equipment, winching of said cable effectuating the collapse of the equipment.
9. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 8, wherein said complete exercise system utilizes the electro-mechanical mechanism employed by the vertical translation mechanism to winch a cable, said cable running between a vertical section and the inclined plane of the equipment, winching of said cable effectuating the collapse of the equipment.
10. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 5, wherein said exercise equipment is a simulated stair climbing device that uses a mechanical mechanism to generate variable speed and resistance.
11. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 5, wherein said exercise equipment is a treadmill type exercise device that uses a mechanical mechanism to generate variable speed and resistance.
12. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 5, wherein said exercise equipment is a sit-up exercise device that uses a mechanical mechanism to generate variable speed and resistance.
13. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 5, wherein said exercise equipment is a rowing machine type exercise device that uses a mechanical mechanism to generate variable speed and resistance.
14. An automated mechanism for collapsing exercise equipment according to claim 5, wherein said exercise equipment is a stationary bicycle type exercise device that uses a mechanical mechanism to generate variable speed and resistance.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/752,304, filed Dec. 20, 2005 entitled “Automated Mechanism For Collapsing Exercise Equipment,” which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

Various embodiments of this invention relate to mechanisms for collapsing exercise equipment; specifically, to mechanisms for collapsing exercise equipment that utilize an automated electromechanical mechanism to process an input signal in order to collapse the equipment for easy and convenient storage, moving, or handling.

BACKGROUND

One of the many challenges facing designers of home exercise equipment is designing equipment that can easily be collapsed for quick and easy storage in a closet, under a bed, or other similar place. As exercise equipment is often large and unsightly, quick and easy storage of the equipment is an important concern for consumers. Meanwhile, the equipment must remain rugged and durable for an exercise routine and, yet, it is desirable that the same equipment be collapsible such that it can be stored with a minimum of effort and taking up a minimum of floor space.

Several exercise devices have been developed that allow a person, once he or she has completed his or her exercise routine, to collapse the equipment such that it may be easily moved or stored. These devices typically involve a series of hinges, levers, and locking pins that are manipulated by the user before and after storage. These devices, however, can be cumbersome to handle and may require additional strain and effort on the part of the user in order to collapse the equipment.

A number of devices have been developed that ease the collapsing process by utilizing a motor and mechanical mechanism. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,077,200, 6,267,710, 6,471,622, 6,726,602, 6,872,169, and 6,913,563, for example, disclose treadmill type exercise equipment that utilize the treadmill's motor mechanism to collapse the treadmill into a flat position for easy storage. Thus, a person can more easily store the equipment while expending a minimum of additional effort because the treadmill motor performs the mechanical work needed to collapse the equipment. Such mechanized collapsing equipment, however, has not been applied to several other types of motorized exercise equipment.

Therefore, there remains in the art a long felt need for a mechanism for quickly and easily collapsing a number of types of exercise equipment while requiring a minimum amount of effort expended.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the invention are directed toward overcoming the above shortcomings by disclosing a mechanism that may be adapted to a number of types of exercise equipment to facilitate the equipment's quick and easy automated collapse.

The device operates, generally speaking, by utilizing an electromechanical mechanism to manipulate parts of the equipment. Upon receiving an input signal, a command processor and automated control mechanism provides a signal to the equipment's electromechanical mechanism to manipulate and collapse certain aspects of the equipment, thus allowing easier storage. The device is an improvement on apparatus such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,786,847 wherein the mechanism is used to adjust workout parameters because, in this invention, the mechanism is also used as an automated means of collapsing the device.

This invention may operate by employing the mechanical mechanisms existing within the exercise equipment to perform the collapsing function or, alternatively, use a separate mechanical mechanism that is solely dedicated to the automated collapsing process.

Also, as claimed below, a myriad of types of exercise equipment, such as: stair climbers, treadmills, exercise bicycles, sit-up devices, rowing devices, complete whole-body exercise devices, and further such devices, may employ the disclosed mechanism in order to facilitate automated collapse.

In one embodiment of this invention, an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus, such as the apparatus taught in U.S. Pat. No. 6,786,847, utilizes an additional electromechanical mechanism at the foot of the inclined place in order to drive a set of wheels that serve to collapse the apparatus. Upon receiving a command to fold the unit, the vertical translation mechanism raises the inclined plane to its highest position. Then, as the wheels beneath the incline plane rotate, pushing the plane towards the vertical tower, a hinge in the middle of the plane is released, allowing the plane to fold. The vertical translation mechanism is lowered in coordination with the turning of the wheels, such that the apparatus collapses into a “Z-shape,” with the vertical tower forming the uppermost portion of the “Z.” Release of the folded apparatus follows the opposite sequence.

In another embodiment of this invention, an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus, such as the apparatus taught in U.S. Pat. No. 6,786,847, utilizes an additional electromechanical mechanism at the base of the tower in order to winch a cable that extends from the foot of the inclined plane to the base of the vertical tower. As the cable is winched inwards, the vertical translation mechanism is adjusted to a middle position. The cable's force on the inclined plane causes the hinge in the middle of the plane to be released and, as the wheels of the plane are pulled towards the vertical tower, the apparatus collapses into a “Z-shape”, with the vertical tower forming the uppermost portion of the “Z”. Release of the folded apparatus follows the opposite sequence.

In another embodiment of the invention described in the above paragraph, rather than using an additional electromechanical mechanism, the same electromechanical mechanism used by the vertical translation mechanism is coupled with gears, cables, chains, and/or pulleys in order to effectuate the winching effect on the cable. A cable can be used which runs beneath the inclined plane, via pulleys, from the elevating platform to the wheels at the distal end of the inclined plane.

In another embodiment of the invention, the same electromechanical apparatus for collapsing is adapted for use with exercise equipment that lacks motorized inclination adjustment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an inclined position.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an intermediate stage of being collapsed.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in a fully collapsed position.

FIG. 2B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an inclined position.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an intermediate stage of being collapsed.

FIG. 3B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in a fully collapsed position.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an inclined position.

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an intermediate stage of being collapsed.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in a fully collapsed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an inclined position. In FIG. 1A an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown along with its constituent parts including the elevating platform 2 and worm gear 3, that serve to elevate and lower the inclined plane and a sliding pad 8 upon which to perform exercises. The inclined plane of the exercise apparatus is divided to a proximate half 4 and a distal half 5, that are connected and articulate with one another by a hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane. Upon receiving a signal to collapse the exercise equipment, an electro-mechanical mechanism located at the distal end of the inclined plane, drives the wheels 7, also located in the distal end of the inclined plane, to drive the inclined plane towards the elevating platform 2 and effectuate collapse of the exercise apparatus 1. The motion of the wheels 7 is coordinated with the motion of the elevating platform 2 such that the exercise apparatus 1 fully collapses upon receiving the signal.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an intermediate stage of being collapsed. In FIG. 1B an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown as the elevating platform 2 is being lowered by the worm gear 3, in order to allow the exercise apparatus to collapse. The proximate half 4 and a distal half 5 are no longer parallel, as the hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane is now bending and the sliding pad 8 collapsing along with the distal half of the inclined plane. The electro-mechanical mechanism drives wheels 7 to drive the inclined plane towards the elevating platform 2 and effectuate collapse of the exercise apparatus 1.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in a fully collapsed position. In FIG. 2A an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown as the elevating platform 2 is fully lowered by the worm gear 3. The proximate half 4 of the inclined plane lies adjacent to the elevating platform 2 and a distal half 5 and sliding pad 8 is also collapsed towards the elevating platform 2, as the hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane is now fully closed. The wheels 7 are as close to the elevating platform as possible, now that the unit has reached its fully collapsed position.

FIG. 2B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an inclined position. In FIG. 2B an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown along with its constituent parts including the elevating platform 2 and worm gear 3, that serve to elevate and lower the inclined plane and a sliding pad 8 upon which to perform exercises. The inclined plane of the exercise apparatus is divided to a proximate half 4 and a distal half 5, that are connected and articulate with one another by a hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane. Upon receiving a signal to collapse the exercise equipment, an electro-mechanical mechanism located within the elevating platform 2, drives a winch 7 that pulls a cable 10 to pull the wheels towards the elevating platform. The motion of the winch 9 and cable 10 is coordinated with the motion of the elevating platform 2 such that the exercise apparatus 1 fully collapses upon receiving the signal.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an intermediate stage of being collapsed. In FIG. 3A an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown as the elevating platform 2 is being lowered by the worm gear 3, in order to allow the exercise apparatus to collapse. The proximate half 4 and a distal half 5 are no longer parallel, as the hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane is now bending and the sliding pad 8 collapsing along with the distal half of the inclined plane. The electro-mechanical mechanism drives the winch 9 to pull the cable 10 and the wheels 7 towards the elevating platform 2. The motion of the winch 9 and cable 10 is coordinated with the motion of the elevating platform 2 such that the exercise apparatus 1 fully collapses upon receiving the signal.

FIG. 3B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in a fully collapsed position. In FIG. 3B an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown as the elevating platform 2 is fully lowered by the worm gear 3. The proximate half 4 of the inclined plane lies adjacent to the elevating platform 2 and a distal half 5 and sliding pad 8 is also collapsed towards the elevating platform 2, as the hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane is now fully closed. The winch 9 is fully tightened and the wheels 7 are as close to the elevating platform as possible, now that the unit has reached its fully collapsed position.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an inclined position. In FIG. 4A an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown along with its constituent parts including the elevating platform 2 and worm gear 3, that serve to elevate and lower the inclined plane and a sliding pad 8 upon which to perform exercises. The inclined plane of the exercise apparatus is divided to a proximate half 4 and a distal half 5, that are connected and articulate with one another via a hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane. Upon receiving a signal to collapse the exercise equipment, an electro-mechanical mechanism located in the elevating platform 2 serves to adjust the position of the elevating platform 2. A cable 10 is connected via pulleys 11 and 12 to the elevating platform 2, at an attachment point 13. The motion of the elevating platform 2, pulleys 11 and 12, and cable 10 are coordinated such that the wheels 7 are pulled inwards and the exercise apparatus 1 fully collapses upon receiving the signal.

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in an intermediate stage of being collapsed. In FIG. 4B an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown as the elevating platform 2 is being lowered by the worm gear 3, in order to allow the exercise apparatus to collapse. The proximate half 4 and a distal half 5 are no longer parallel, as the hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane is now bending and the sliding pad 8 collapsing along with the distal half of the inclined plane. The electro-mechanical mechanism located in the elevating platform 2 serves to adjust the position of the elevating platform 2. A cable 10 is connected via pulleys 11 and 12 to the elevating platform 2, at an attachment point 13. The motion of the elevating platform 2, pulleys 11 and 12, and cable 10 are coordinated such that the wheels 7 are pulled inwards and the exercise apparatus 1 fully collapses upon receiving the signal.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention while in a fully collapsed position. In FIG. 5 an inclined plane complete-body exercise apparatus 1 is shown as the elevating platform 2 is fully lowered by the worm gear 3. The proximate half 4 of the inclined plane lies adjacent to the elevating platform 2 and a distal half 5 and sliding pad 8 is also collapsed towards the elevating platform 2, as the hinge 6 located in the middle of the inclined plane is now fully closed. A cable 10 is connected via pulleys 11 and 12 to the elevating platform 2, at an attachment point 13. The elevating platform 2 is now fully lowered and the cable 10 is pulled such that the wheels 7 are drawn as close to the elevating platform as possible 7.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7503880 *Mar 20, 2007Mar 17, 2009Engineering Fitness International Corp.Exercise device
US7762928 *May 29, 2008Jul 27, 2010Meissner Richard KArtificial rock climbing systems and methods adapted for water environment
US7766801Mar 17, 2009Aug 3, 2010Engineering Fitness International CorporationMethod of using an exercise device having an adjustable incline
US8323157Jul 22, 2010Dec 4, 2012Total Gym Global Corp.Method of using an exercise device having an adjustable incline
US8696528Nov 29, 2012Apr 15, 2014Total Gym Global CorporationExercise device and method of using same
US8834332 *Aug 16, 2011Sep 16, 2014Total Gym Global Corp.Collapsible inclinable exercise device and method of using same
US20120053028 *Aug 16, 2011Mar 1, 2012Total Gym Global Corp.Collapsible Inclinable Exercise Device and Method of Using Same
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/1, 482/142
International ClassificationA63B26/00, A63B15/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B22/0605, A63B22/0089, A63B2210/56, A63B22/0076, A63B21/068, A63B2021/0612, A63B23/0211, A63B22/02
European ClassificationA63B21/068