Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070266913 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/434,916
Publication dateNov 22, 2007
Filing dateMay 17, 2006
Priority dateMay 17, 2006
Publication number11434916, 434916, US 2007/0266913 A1, US 2007/266913 A1, US 20070266913 A1, US 20070266913A1, US 2007266913 A1, US 2007266913A1, US-A1-20070266913, US-A1-2007266913, US2007/0266913A1, US2007/266913A1, US20070266913 A1, US20070266913A1, US2007266913 A1, US2007266913A1
InventorsJohn C. Hardt
Original AssigneeBalt, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Workstation
US 20070266913 A1
Abstract
Disclosed is a workstation that includes a planar tray; a semi-circular body-recess in an edge of the planar tray; a telescoping column supporting the planar tray; and a foot trigger for releasing or locking the telescoping column. Also disclosed is a workstation that includes a first tray having a top surface, a first edge and a second edge. The second edge opposes the first edge. A second tray is hingedly attached to the first tray; and a cushioned member is in resting communication with the top surface of the planar tray and closer to the first edge of the planar tray than to said second edge. Additionally, a portable workstation is disclosed that includes a planar tray that has a first side and a second side. The second side opposes the first side. A first disc-tray is attached to the first side and a second disc-tray is attached to the second side.
Images(8)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(28)
1. A workstation comprising:
a planar tray;
a body-recess in an edge of said planar tray;
a telescoping column supporting said planar tray; and
a foot trigger for releasing or locking said telescoping column.
2. A workstation as recited in claim 1 further comprising a pneumatic cylinder in operable communication with said telescoping column.
3. A workstation as recited in claim 2 wherein said pneumatic cylinder is in communication with and actuated by said foot trigger.
4. A workstation as recited in claim 1 further comprising an angularly adjustable tray having a first edge in hinged communication with said planar tray.
5. A workstation as recited in claim 4 further comprising a first auxiliary tray attached to said planar tray.
6. A workstation as recited in claim 5 further comprising a second auxiliary tray attached to said first auxiliary tray.
7. A workstation as recited in claim 1 further comprising a first auxiliary tray attached to said planar tray.
8. A workstation as recited in claim 7 further comprising a second auxiliary tray attached to said planar tray.
9. A workstation as recited in claim 7 further comprising a second auxiliary tray attached to said first auxiliary tray.
10. A workstation as recited in claim 1 further comprising a pad lining a border of said body-recess.
11. A workstation as recited in claim 1 further comprising a pad lining said edge of said planar tray.
12. A workstation comprising
a first tray having a top surface, a first edge and a second edge, said second edge opposing said first edge;
a second tray hingedly attached to said first tray; and
a cushioned member in resting communication with said top surface and closer to said first edge than to said second edge.
13. A workstation as recited in claim 12 further comprising a column supporting said first tray.
14. A workstation as recited in claim 13 wherein said column is vertically adjustable.
15. A workstation as recited in claim 14 further comprising a pneumatic cylinder in operable communication with said vertically adjustable column.
16. A workstation as recited in claim 15 further comprising a foot trigger in communication with said pneumatic cylinder and configured to actuate said pneumatic cylinder.
17. A workstation as recited in claim 12 wherein said first edge is further comprised of a body-recess.
18. A workstation as recited in claim 12 further comprising a first auxiliary tray attached to said first tray.
19. A workstation as recited in claim 18 further comprising a second auxiliary tray attached to said first tray.
20. A workstation as recited in claim 18 further comprising a second auxiliary tray attached to said first auxiliary tray.
21. A portable workstation comprising
a planar tray having a first side and a second side, said second side opposing said first side;
a first disc-tray attached to said first side; and
a second disc-tray attached to said second side.
22. A portable workstation as recited in claim 21 further comprised of a column supporting said planar tray.
23. A portable workstation as recited in claim 22 wherein said column is vertically adjustable.
24. A portable workstation as recited in claim 23 further comprising a pneumatic cylinder in operable communication with said vertically adjustable column.
25. A portable workstation as recited in claim 24 further comprising a foot trigger in communication with said pneumatic cylinder and configured to actuate said pneumatic cylinder.
26. A portable workstation as recited in claim 21 wherein said planar tray further comprises a recessed third side.
27. A portable workstation as recited in claim 26 wherein said recessed third side comprises a cushioned pad.
28. A portable workstation as recited in claim 21 further comprised of an angularly adjustable tray hinged at one edge thereof to said planar support tray.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is related to a portable workstation for operably supporting a keyboard or laptop, a mouse and miscellaneous items.

BACKGROUND

In recent years the laptop portable personal computer, or simply “laptop” to which it is generally referred, has become an increasingly popular tool used by executives, salespersons, engineers, students, accountants, teachers, homemakers, lawyers and other business and professional persons. The laptop is very compact and is designed to rest in the user's lap so that the user has a “built-in” place for supporting the laptop when the user is seated. While this “built-in” supporting location is convenient, it has many drawbacks. For one, the user's legs must be held still in order to keep the laptop from moving around. This is uncomfortable and can often be a tiring exercise. Additionally, the user must have good balance to maintain the laptop in a position, which can be particularly difficult when the user is using the laptop in conjunction with reading notes, books or other materials, as is often the case.

Previous stands have been disclosed that provide a laptop reading and writing stand. However, previous stands suffer from the same problems connected with laptop computers because they usually rest on the lap of the user with no aid for balancing nor do they make use of the laptop more convenient. These previous stands have not been configured such that manufacture and use thereof are simplified nor are a variety of applications provided. Furthermore, previous stands, at least for storage and transport, have not been configured such that they could be broken-down compactly and easy to reassemble.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIVE ASPECTS

Some embodiments of the disclosed invention are directed toward a workstation that includes a planar tray, a semi-circular body-recess in an edge of the planar tray, a telescoping column supporting the planar tray, and a foot trigger for releasing or locking the telescoping column. Embodiments of the workstation also include a pneumatic cylinder, which is actuated by the foot trigger, in operable communication with the telescoping column.

Additionally, embodiments of the workstation further include an angularly adjustable tray having a first edge in hinged communication with the planar tray. Also, a first auxiliary tray attached to the planar tray is included in various embodiments of the workstation. A second auxiliary tray can be attached to the first auxiliary tray. Or, the first and second auxiliary trays can both be attached directly to the planar tray.

Also, a pad lining a border of the semi-circular body-recess can be present for ease of use of the workstation. The pad can line the edge of the planar tray or it can be positioned on the angularly adjustable tray such that a person can rest their wrists on the pad when using the workstation.

An additional embodiment of the workstation includes a first tray having a top surface, a first edge and a second edge. In this embodiment, the second edge opposes the first edge. This embodiment also includes a second tray hingedly attached to the first tray; and a cushioned member in resting communication with the top surface of the first tray such that it is closer to the first edge of the first tray than to the second edge of the first tray.

This embodiment of the workstation also includes a vertically adjustable column that supports the first tray. A pneumatic cylinder can be included such that it is in operable communication with the vertically adjustable column. The pneumatic cylinder can be actuated by a foot trigger placed at the bottom of the vertically adjustable column. The first edge of the first tray can be formed to have a semi-circular body-recess to allow for a person using the workstation to get closer to whatever object is sitting on the workstation, i.e. a laptop, typewriter, etc.

A first auxiliary tray can be attached to the first tray. Also, a second auxiliary tray can be attached to the first tray or a second auxiliary tray can be attached to the first auxiliary tray.

An additional embodiment of the workstation is a portable workstation that includes a planar tray having a first side and a second side. The second side of the planar tray in this embodiment opposes the first side of the planar tray. Also included in this embodiment of the workstation are a first disc-tray that is attached to the first side of the planar tray; and a second disc-tray attached to the second side of the planar tray. An angularly adjustable keyboard tray can be hinged at one of its edges to the planar support tray. The adjustable keyboard tray can be adjusted to make use of the workstation easier for typing, reading, etc.

A column, which can be vertically adjustable, can be used to support the planar tray in this embodiment of the workstation. The vertically adjustable column can be operably connected to a pneumatic cylinder that is actuated by a foot trigger at the bottom of the column. The pneumatic cylinder can also be in communication with said pneumatic cylinder and configured to actuate said pneumatic cylinder.

The planar tray of this embodiment of the workstation can also include a recessed third side. The recessed third side can include a cushioned pad. The cushioned pad can be along an edge of the recessed third side or it can be set on top of the planar tray near the recessed third side.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 a shows an embodiment of the inventive workstation;

FIG. 1 b shows an alternative configuration of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view of the vertically adjustable column revealing the pneumatic cylinder;

FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of the inventive workstation;

FIG. 4 shows yet an additional embodiment of the inventive workstation;

FIG. 5 a shows a user's view of the embodiment of the inventive workstation of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 b shows a side view of the embodiment of the inventive workstation of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 c shows an upper and lower sleeve assembly; and

FIG. 6 shows an exploded bottom view of the embodiment of the inventive workstation of FIG. 4 and a column for supporting the inventive workstation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The word “exemplary” is used herein to mean “serving as an example, instance, or illustration.” Any embodiment described herein as “exemplary” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show an exemplary embodiment of the inventive workstation 2 that includes a planar tray 4, a semi-circular body-recess 6 in an edge 8 of the planar tray 4, a column 10, which can be a telescoping column, supporting the planar tray 4, and a foot trigger 12 for releasing or locking the telescoping column 10. In this embodiment, the workstation 2 also can include a pneumatic cylinder 14, which is actuated by the foot trigger 12, in operable communication with the telescoping column 10. In addition, while the present embodiment depict body-recess 6 as being semi-circular, a skilled artisan will recognize that body recess 6 can be of any useful shape, including without limitation, oval, square, rectangular, elliptical, etc.

This embodiment of the workstation further includes an angularly adjustable tray 16 having a first edge 18 in hinged communication with the planar tray 4. A first auxiliary tray 20 is attached to the planar tray 4. A second auxiliary tray 22 can be attached to the first auxiliary tray 20. The second auxiliary tray 22 can be made to rotate along an axis parallel to the first auxiliary tray 20 so that it can be stored underneath the first auxiliary tray 20. Alternatively, the first and second auxiliary trays can both be attached directly to the planar tray as shown in FIG. 1 a and an additional third auxiliary tray 24 can be attached to an opposite side of the planar tray 4 as the first auxiliary tray 20. Similar to the second auxiliary tray, a yet additional auxiliary tray (not shown) can be rotatably attached to the additional third auxiliary tray and be made to rotate along an axis parallel to the third auxiliary tray 24.

A pad 26 lines a border of the semi-circular body-recess 6 and is cushioned so that a person pressing up against the workstation is met with a soft surface. The pad 26 can also line the edge 8 of the planar tray 4 or it can be positioned on a surface of the angularly adjustable tray 16 such that a person can rest her wrists or elbows on the pad 26 when using the workstation 2.

As shown in FIG. 3, an additional embodiment of the workstation 106 includes a first tray 104 having a top surface 106, a first edge 108 and a second edge 110. In this embodiment, the second edge 110 opposes the first edge 108. This embodiment also includes a second tray 112 hingedly attached to the first tray 104; and a cushioned member 114 in resting communication with the top surface 106 of the first tray 104 such that it is closer to the first edge 108 of the first tray 104 than to the second edge 110 of the first tray 104.

This embodiment of the workstation 102 also includes a vertically adjustable column 116 that supports the first tray 104. A pneumatic cylinder (not shown) can be included such that it is in operable communication with the vertically adjustable column 116. The pneumatic cylinder can be actuated by a foot trigger 118 placed at the bottom of the vertically adjustable column 116. The first edge 108 of the first tray 104 can be formed to have a semi-circular body-recess 120 to allow for a person using the workstation to get closer to whatever object is sitting on the workstation, i.e. a laptop, typewriter, etc. While the present embodiment depicts body-recess 120 as being semi-circular, a skilled artisan will recognize that body-recess 120 can be of any useful shape, including without limitation, oval, square, rectangular, elliptical, etc.

A first auxiliary tray 122 is attached to the first tray 104. The first auxiliary tray 122 is useful as a mouse pad or coffee cup holder and is made to rotate underneath the first tray 104 when not being used. Also, a second auxiliary tray (not shown) is positioned on a side of the workstation opposite the first auxiliary tray 122 to provide additional surface space for documents or miscellaneous items.

An additional embodiment of the workstation 202 is shown in FIG. 4 and includes a planar tray 204 having a first side 206 and a second side 208. The second side 208 of the planar tray 204 in this embodiment opposes the first side 206 of the planar tray 204. Also included in this embodiment of the workstation 202 are a first disc-tray 210 that is attached to the first side 206 of the planar tray 204; and a second disc-tray 212 attached to the second side 208. An angularly adjustable tray 214 can be hinged at one of its edges to the planar support tray 204. The planar tray 204 of this embodiment of the workstation 202 also includes a recessed third side 232. The recessed third side 232 includes a cushioned pad 234. The cushioned pad 234 can be along an edge 236 of the recessed third side 232 or it can be set on top of the planar tray 204 near the recessed third side 232.

Referring to FIGS. 5 a and 5 b, the adjustable tray 214 can be adjusted to make use of the workstation easier for typing, reading, etc. The adjustable tray 214 can be locked in place by a screw or a pin 218 in combination with an upper sleeve 220 a and a lower sleeve 220 b as shown in FIG. 5 b. If a screw (not shown) is used, the screw can be tightened such that upper sleeve 220 a is pushed up against a back inner surface of lower sleeve 220 b.

In an alternative embodiment, as shown in FIG. 5 c, the lower sleeve 220 b can have an elongated slot 222 along a substantial portion thereof so that the screw, which is permanently engaged with the upper sleeve 220 a, is slidable along the elongated slot 222. When the screw is tightened, the upper sleeve 220 a is locked in place. Alternatively, if a pin 218 is used, the pin 218 can be spring loaded (but it is not necessary that it is) such that it is urged toward the interior of the sleeves 220 a and 220 b. The lower sleeve 220 b still has an elongated slot 222. The upper sleeve 220 a has recesses or holes 226 therein for engagement with the pin 218. The upper sleeve 220 a is locked into place when the pin 218 engages a hole 226 in the upper sleeve 220 a through the elongated slot 222.

The adjustable tray 214 can be also be locked using a pair of multi-grooved disks (not shown) located at the hinge of the adjustable tray 214. Multi-grooved discs typically have a flat side and a grooved side. The grooves of the disc are arranged such that they extend along the disc's surface outward from the disc's axis around the entire surface of the grooved side. Multi-grooved discs interact with each other such that the grooves of one disk interact with the grooves of a second disc. Usually, the discs are urged together by an external force such a spring or screw. The multi-grooved disks in this embodiment can placed at either or both of the hinges for the adjustable tray 214 and can be urged together either by the screw or bolt that holds the adjustable tray 214 attached to the hinge or by a spring that is independent of the hinge. The screw can be adjusted based on the user's preference.

A lap engaging section 216 is added to a bottom surface of the planar tray 216. As shown in FIG. 5 a, the lap engaging section 216 is formed to fit the contour of most people's laps. This embodiment can be used where a person would like to rest the workstation on his lap without the ability to place the workstation on the floor. For example, if a person wishes to use the workstation in a car, train, etc., a person can simply rest the station on his lap without the need to for extra floor space that is typically not offered in cars or trains. Compartments 224 a and 224 b can be added to the lap engaging section 216. The compartments 224 a and 224 b can be used to store miscellaneous items such as writing utensils, computer peripherals, etc. For security reasons, a cover having a lock (not shown) can be placed over each of the compartments 224 a and 224 b.

As shown in FIG. 6, an optional column 228, which can be vertically adjustable, is used to support the planar tray 204 in this embodiment of the workstation. The top 238 of the column 228 engages with the planar tray 204 through an opening 230 in the bottom of the lap engaging section 216. The column 228 of the present embodiment is operably connected to a pneumatic cylinder (not shown) that is actuated by a foot trigger 240 at the bottom of the column. An upper portion 246 of the column 228 raises and lowers in relation to a lower portion 248 of the column 228 when the pneumatic cylinder is actuated. Typically, the pneumatic cylinder will be placed within the column 228; however, this is not a requirement. Also, the column 228 is but one component of an overall support stand 242. The support stand includes at least the foot trigger 240, casters 244, and the column 228. Lastly, a person having ordinary skill in the art will understand that a pneumatic cylinder is not the only way to raise and lower a vertically adjustable column; similar to the locking mechanism used with the adjustable tray 214, a screw mechanism, a pin-and-recess mechanism, etc. can be used to adjust column 228 and lock it in place.

The previous description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the present invention. Various modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. For example, one or more elements can be rearranged and/or combined, or additional elements may be added. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features disclosed herein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8181920 *Aug 7, 2007May 22, 2012E.F. Bavis & Associates, Inc.Apparatus and methods for an equipment stand for a drive-thru employee station
US8485111 *Dec 1, 2011Jul 16, 2013The Bank Of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ufj, Ltd.Table and table system
US20110232540 *Aug 14, 2008Sep 29, 2011Interactive Net Business S.R.L. Et Al.Mobile support for notebooks, portable computers and the like
US20120137936 *Jun 7, 2012The Bank Of Toyko-Mitsubishi Ufj, Ltd.Table and table system
EP2215927A1 *Dec 11, 2009Aug 11, 2010VS Vereinigte Spezialm÷belfabriken GmbH & Co. KGTable furniture
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/147, 108/50.01
International ClassificationA47B9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B21/0371, A47B9/10, A47B21/0314
European ClassificationA47B21/03D, A47B9/10, A47B21/03B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 17, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: BALT, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HARDT, JOHN C., II;REEL/FRAME:017909/0172
Effective date: 20060501
Oct 25, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: BEST-RITE CHALKBOARD COMPANY, TEXAS
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:B. A. L. T., INC.;REEL/FRAME:018433/0137
Effective date: 20051228
Owner name: MOORECO, L.P., TEXAS
Free format text: CONVERSION;ASSIGNOR:BEST-RITE CHALKBOARD COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:018433/0249
Effective date: 20060330
Oct 9, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: NEWSTAR FINANCIAL, INC., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT,
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:MOORECO, INC.;MOORECO INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019930/0243
Effective date: 20071005
Oct 23, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: BB&T CAPITAL PARTNERS/WINDSOR MEZZANINE FUND, LLC.
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:MOORECO., INC.;MOORECO INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019995/0266
Effective date: 20071005
Oct 25, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: MOORECO, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:MOORECO, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:020010/0636
Effective date: 20071005
Oct 18, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:NEWSTAR FINANCIAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:025217/0111
Effective date: 20101001
Owner name: MOORECO, INC./MOORECO INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, INC.