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Publication numberUS20080016616 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/809,622
Publication dateJan 24, 2008
Filing dateJun 1, 2007
Priority dateJun 2, 2006
Also published asWO2007143092A2, WO2007143092A3
Publication number11809622, 809622, US 2008/0016616 A1, US 2008/016616 A1, US 20080016616 A1, US 20080016616A1, US 2008016616 A1, US 2008016616A1, US-A1-20080016616, US-A1-2008016616, US2008/0016616A1, US2008/016616A1, US20080016616 A1, US20080016616A1, US2008016616 A1, US2008016616A1
InventorsJon Roleder, Robson Splane, Richard Estrada, William Chow
Original AssigneeRoleder Jon W, Splane Robson L, Estrada Richard V, Chow William W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Furniture that converts into a massage device
US 20080016616 A1
Abstract
A convertible furniture assembly (10) for positioning on a floor (18) includes a furniture frame (20), a top assembly (22), and a mover assembly (24). The furniture frame (20) engages the floor (18). The top assembly (22) is generally flat. The mover assembly (24) couples the top assembly (22) to the furniture frame (20). The mover assembly (24) allows the top assembly (22) to move between a furniture configuration (12) in which top assembly (22) and the furniture frame (20) cooperate to define a piece of furniture, and a massage configuration (14) in which the top assembly (22) provides a generally flat massage upper surface (16B) for supporting a person during a massage. For example, the top assembly (22) can positioned a greater distance from the floor (18) in the massage configuration (14) than in the furniture configuration (12). With this design, the furniture assembly (10) easily converts between the piece of furniture in the furniture configuration (12) and the massage table in the massage configuration (14). As a result thereof, the furniture assembly (10) has multiple functions.
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Claims(22)
1. A convertible furniture assembly for positioning on a floor, the convertible furniture assembly comprising:
a furniture frame that engages the floor;
a generally flat top assembly; and
a mover assembly that couples the top assembly to the furniture frame, the mover assembly allowing the top assembly to move between a furniture configuration in which top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to define a piece of furniture, and a massage configuration in which the top assembly provides a generally flat massage upper surface for supporting a person during a massage, wherein top assembly is positioned a greater distance from the floor in the massage configuration than in the furniture configuration.
2. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 1 wherein the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a bench in the furniture configuration and wherein the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a massage table in the massage configuration.
3. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 1 wherein the top assembly includes a first top section and a second top section, and wherein the mover assembly allows the first top section to move relative to the furniture frame independently from the second top section.
4. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 3 wherein the mover assembly pivots the first top section relative to the furniture frame and the second top section during movement between the configurations.
5. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 4 wherein the mover assembly pivots the second top section relative to the furniture frame and the first top section during movement between the configurations.
6. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 4 wherein the top assembly includes a third top section that fits between the first top section and the second top section after the first top section and the second top section have been moved to the massage configuration.
7. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 1 wherein the top assembly includes at least one top section that can be stored within the furniture frame.
8. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 1 wherein the mover assembly includes a mover bias that urges the top assembly to the massage configuration when the top assembly is away from the furniture configuration.
9. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 8 wherein the mover bias urges the top assembly to the furniture configuration when the top assembly is near the furniture configuration.
10. A convertible furniture assembly for positioning on a floor, the convertible furniture assembly comprising:
a furniture frame that engages the floor;
a top assembly; and
a mover assembly that couples the top assembly to the furniture frame, the mover assembly allowing the top assembly to move between a furniture configuration in which top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to define a piece of furniture and a massage configuration in which the top assembly provides a generally flat massage upper surface for supporting a person during a massage, wherein the top assembly includes a first top section and a second top section, and wherein the mover assembly allows the first top section to move relative to the furniture frame independently from the second top section.
11. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 10 wherein the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a bench in the furniture configuration, and wherein the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a massage table in the massage configuration.
12. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 10 wherein the mover assembly pivots the first top section relative to the furniture frame and the second top section during movement between the configurations.
13. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 12 wherein the mover assembly pivots the second top section relative to the furniture frame and the first top section during movement between the configurations.
14. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 13 wherein the top assembly includes a third top section that fits between the first top section and the second top section after the first top section and the second top section have been moved to the massage configuration.
15. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 10 wherein the top assembly includes a third top section that can be stored within the furniture frame.
16. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 10 wherein the mover assembly includes a mover bias that urges the top assembly to the massage configuration when the top assembly is away from the furniture configuration.
17. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 16 wherein the mover bias urges the top assembly to the furniture configuration when the top assembly is near the furniture configuration.
18. A convertible furniture assembly for positioning on a floor, the convertible furniture assembly comprising:
a furniture frame that engages the floor;
a generally flat top assembly; and
a mover assembly that couples the top assembly to the furniture frame, the mover assembly allowing the top assembly to move between a furniture configuration in which top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to define a piece of furniture, and a massage configuration in which the top assembly provides a generally flat massage upper surface for supporting a person during a massage; wherein top assembly is positioned a greater distance from the floor in the massage configuration than in the furniture configuration; wherein the top assembly includes a first top section and a second top section; wherein the mover assembly allows the first top section to move relative to the furniture frame independently from the second top section; and wherein the mover assembly includes a mover bias that urges the top assembly to the massage configuration when the top assembly is away from the furniture configuration.
19. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 18 wherein the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a bench in the furniture configuration and wherein the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a massage table in the massage configuration.
20. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 18 wherein the mover assembly pivots the first top section relative to the furniture frame and the second top section during movement between the configurations; and wherein the mover assembly pivots the second top section relative to the furniture frame and the first top section during movement between the configurations.
21. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 18 wherein the top assembly includes a third top section that fits between the first top section and the second top section after the first top section and the second top section have been moved to the massage configuration.
22. The convertible furniture assembly of claim 18 wherein the mover bias urges the top assembly to the furniture configuration when the top assembly is near the furniture configuration.
Description
RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority on pending Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/810,471 filed on Jun. 2, 2006 and entitled “Furniture That Converts Into a Massage Device”. As far as is permitted, the contents of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/810,471 are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

As the benefits of therapeutic massage are becoming more widely appreciated, more and more people are participating in therapeutic massage. A typical massage table allows the person to be lying down while receiving a massage. Further, a typical massage table maintains the person at a good height so that the person administering the massage can comfortably administer the massage. Existing massage tables fold up into a travel configuration. Unfortunately, even in the travel configuration, the massage table can take up a significant amount of closet storage space. As a result thereof, massage tables are not very common in most homes.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a convertible furniture assembly for positioning on a floor. In one embodiment, the convertible furniture assembly includes a furniture frame that engages the floor, a generally flat top assembly, and a mover assembly that couples the top assembly to the furniture frame. The mover assembly allows the top assembly to move between a furniture configuration in which top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to define a piece of furniture and a massage configuration in which the top assembly provides a generally flat, massage upper surface for supporting a person during a massage. In this embodiment, the top assembly in the massage configuration is positioned a greater distance from the floor than in the furniture configuration.

With this design, the furniture assembly easily converts between the piece of furniture in the furniture configuration and the massage table in the massage configuration. As a result thereof, the furniture assembly has multiple functions and the massage table does not have to be stored during non-usage. Further, furniture assembly is very versatile and can be adapted for use for a number of different projects in the home.

In one embodiment, the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a bench in the furniture configuration, and the top assembly and the furniture frame cooperate to form a massage table in the massage configuration.

In one design, the top assembly includes a first top section and a second top section and the mover assembly allows the first top section to move relative to the furniture frame independently from the second top section. For example, in this design, the mover assembly can (i) pivot the first top section relative to the furniture frame and the second top section during movement between the configurations, and/or (ii) pivot the second top section relative to the furniture frame and the first top section during movement between the configurations.

Additionally, the top assembly can include a third top section that fits between the first top section and the second top section after the first top section and the second top section have been moved to the massage configuration. In one embodiment, the third top section can be stored within the furniture frame when it is not in the massage configuration.

In one embodiment, the mover assembly includes a mover bias that urges the top assembly to the furniture configuration when the top assembly is near the furniture configuration. Further, the mover bias can urge the top assembly to the massage configuration when the top assembly is away from the furniture configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a convertible furniture assembly having features of the present invention in a furniture configuration;

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly in a massage configuration;

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly in a first intermediate configuration;

FIG. 2B is a partly cutaway, perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly in the first intermediate configuration;

FIG. 2C is a partly cutaway, perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly in a second intermediate configuration;

FIG. 2D is a partly cutaway, perspective view of a portion of the convertible furniture assembly in the second intermediate configuration;

FIG. 2E is a partly cutaway, partly exploded perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly in a third intermediate configuration;

FIG. 2F is a partly cutaway, partly exploded perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly in a fourth intermediate configuration;

FIGS. 3A-3E are cut-away views of a portion of the convertible furniture assembly that illustrate a mover assembly at five different positions;

FIGS. 4A-4C are simplified view that illustrates how a mover bias functions;

FIG. 5 is perspective view of another embodiment of a convertible furniture assembly having features of the present invention;

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of a convertible furniture assembly in the furniture configuration having features of the present invention; and

FIG. 6B is a perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly of FIG. 6A in the massage configuration.

DESCRIPTION

The present invention is directed a convertible furniture assembly 10 that can be converted from a common piece of household furniture into a massage device. A number of non-exclusive embodiments of the convertible furniture assembly are disclosed herein. For example, FIG. 1A illustrates a first embodiment of a convertible furniture assembly 10 in a furniture configuration 12 in which the convertible furniture assembly 10 appears and functions as a normal piece of household furniture. Further, FIG. 1B illustrates this convertible furniture assembly 10 in a massage configuration 14 in which the convertible furniture assembly 10 appears and functions as a massage device, such as a massage table. In certain embodiments, the convertible furniture assembly 10 easily converts between the piece of furniture in the furniture configuration 12 and the massage table in the massage configuration 14. As a result thereof, the furniture assembly 10 has multiple functions and the massage table does not have to be stored during non-usage. Further, the furniture assembly 10 is very versatile and can be adapted for use for a number of different projects.

It should be noted that, in certain embodiments, the furniture configuration 12 can be referred to as the first or retracted configuration and the massage configuration 14 can be referred to as the second or expanded configuration.

A number of Figures include an orientation system that illustrates an X axis, a Y axis that is orthogonal to the X axis and a Z axis that is orthogonal to the X and Y axes. It should be noted that these axes can also be referred to as the first, second and third axes.

The design of the convertible furniture assembly 10 can vary, as well as the size and shape of the furniture assembly 10 in the two configurations 12, 14 can vary. In FIG. 1A, in the furniture configuration 12, the convertible furniture assembly 10 is a bench that can be placed at the end of a bed or in another location in a home. In this embodiment, the convertible furniture assembly 10 includes a generally planar, bench upper surface 16A that is between approximately fifteen and twenty inches above the floor 18 when the convertible furniture assembly 10 is in the furniture configuration 12. In this configuration 12, the bench upper surface 16A can be used for sitting.

In other non-exclusive embodiments, in the furniture configuration 12, the convertible furniture assembly 10 can be and function as a coffee table, an end table, a love seat, a couch, a chaise lounger, an ottoman, or a bench.

Further, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1B, the convertible furniture assembly 10 functions as a massage table and has a generally flat, padded massage upper surface 16B that supports a person at the appropriate height for a massage. For example, the convertible furniture assembly 10 can be designed so that the massage upper surface 16B is between approximately twenty-three and thirty-three inches above the floor 18.

Thus, in the examples discussed above, the massage upper surface 16B is between approximately eight and twenty higher than the bench upper surface 16A. However, other ranges of movement can be utilized.

Further, in certain embodiments, the massage upper surface 16B is wider than the bench upper surface 16A. For example, the massage upper surface 16B can be approximately 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 45, or 50 percent wider than the bench upper surface 16A. However, other widths can be utilized.

In one embodiment, the convertible furniture assembly 10 includes a furniture frame 20, a top assembly 22, and a mover assembly 24. Alternatively, the furniture assembly 10 can be designed to include more or fewer components than those illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

The furniture frame 20 supports some of the other components of the furniture assembly 10. The design of the furniture frame 20 can varied to achieve the desired piece of furniture in the furniture configuration 12. In FIGS. 1A and 1B, the furniture frame 20 includes a leg assembly 26, and a furniture body 28. Non-exclusive examples of suitable materials for the furniture frame 20 include any variety of wood, plastic, composites, aluminum, or steel.

The leg assembly 26 supports the furniture body 28 above the floor 18. The design of the leg assembly 26 can vary. In FIGS. 1A and 1B, the leg assembly 26 includes four spaced apart legs 26A, with each of the legs 26A being positioned at and secured to one of the corners of the furniture body 28. Alternatively, the leg assembly 26 could be designed to have more than four or less than four legs 26A and/or the legs 26A can be secured to the furniture body 28 in other locations.

In this embodiment, each of the legs 26A is somewhat cane shaped with a generally rectangular shaped cross-section. Alternatively, one or more of the legs 26A can have a configuration different than that illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B. Further, in FIG. 1A, a portion of each of the legs 26A extends above the bench upper surface 16A.

The furniture body 28 supports the mover assembly 24 and provides an area for storing objects, such as a portion of the top assembly 22, massage related products, or other materials.

The top assembly 22 forms the bench upper surface 16A of the piece of furniture in the furniture configuration 12, and forms the massage upper surface 16B of the massage table in the massage configuration 14. The design of the top assembly 22 can be varied according to the desired piece of furniture in the furniture configuration 12. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the top assembly 22 includes a plurality of top sections 30 that move relative to the furniture body 28 during movement between the configurations 12, 14.

In one non-exclusive embodiment, the top assembly 22 includes four top sections 30, namely a first top section 30A, a second top section 30B, a third top section 30C, and a fourth top section 30D. In this embodiment, the first top section 30A and the second top section 30B are positioned adjacent to each other in the same plane and cooperate to form the bench upper surface 16A in FIG. 1A. Further, the four top sections 30A-30D are positioned adjacent to each other in the same plane and cooperate to form the massage upper surface 16B in FIG. 1B. Alternatively, for example, the top assembly 22 can be designed with more than four or fewer than four top sections 30.

In this embodiment, the third top section 30C and the fourth top section 30D can be stored in the furniture frame 20 below the first and second top sections 30A, 30B when the assembly 10 is in the furniture configuration 12.

The mover assembly 24 facilitates movement of the first and second top sections 30A, 30B relative to each other and the furniture frame 20 to move the top assembly 22 between the configurations 12, 14. Further, the mover assembly 24 connects the first and second top sections 30A, 30B to the furniture frame 20.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly 10 in a first intermediate configuration 32A and FIG. 2B is a partly cutaway, of FIG. 2A. In the first intermediate configuration 32A, the mover assembly 24 has been used to individually move (e.g. pivot) the first top section 30A and the second top section 30B upward and outward from the furniture configuration 12 (illustrated in FIG. 1A). In the first intermediate configuration 32A, the first top section 30A and the second top section 30B are spaced apart and are in the same plane. Further, FIG. 2B illustrates that the third top section 30C and the fourth top section 30D can be stored in the furniture frame 20.

These Figures also illustrate the furniture body 28 in more detail. In this embodiment, the furniture body 28 is shaped somewhat similar to generally rectangular, open box and includes a front side 28A, a rear side 28B, a right side 28C, a left side 28D, and a bottom 28E. In this embodiment, each side 28A-28D and the bottom 28E is each generally flat plate shaped. Alternatively, the furniture body 28 can have a different configuration than that illustrated in these Figures.

The design of each of the top section 30A-30D can be varied pursuant to the teachings provided herein. In FIGS. 2A and 2B, the first top section 30A includes a first upper region 34A and a first support plate 34B. Somewhat similarly, the second top section 30B includes a second upper region 36A and a second support plate 36B. Further, the third top section 30C includes a third upper region 38, the four top section 30D includes a fourth upper region 40, and the third and fourth top sections 30C, 3D share that same dual support plate 42. Moreover, in one non-exclusive embodiment, the third upper region 38 and the four upper region 40 are pivotable connected together so that these regions 38, 40 can be selectively folded relative to each other.

In one embodiment, each of the upper regions 34A, 36A, 38, 40 is generally rectangular shaped and includes (i) a rectangular plate shaped upper region support base (not shown), (ii) a cushion pad (not shown) that is positioned on the support base, and (iii) a covering 44 that is wrapped around the cushion pad and that is secured to the support base. The cushion pad provides a cushion for the comfort of the person resting on the upper regions 34A, 36A, 38, 40. Non-exclusive examples of suitable materials for the cushion pad include urethane foam, foam rubber, and memory foam. In non-exclusive embodiments, the cushion pad has a thickness of approximately 1 inch, 1.5 inches, 2 inches, 2.5 inches, 3 inches, or 4 inches. The covering 44 secures the cushion pad to the support base and provides a protective covering for the cushion pad. Non-exclusive examples of suitable materials for the covering 44 include leather, plastic, cloth, sheet vinyl and urethane artificial leather.

The first support plate 34B is rigid and supports the first upper region 34A. Somewhat similarly, the second support plate 36B is rigid and supports the second upper region 36A. In FIGS. 2A and 2B, each of the support plates 34B, 36B is generally rectangular plate shaped. In this embodiment, each of the support plates 34B, 36B is pivotable connected to the furniture body 28 with the mover assembly 24 and can be independently moved relative to the furniture body 28.

The dual support plate 42 is rigid and supports the third and fourth upper regions 38, 40. In FIG. 2B, the dual support plate 42 includes a first plate 42A, a second plate 42B, and a hinge 42C that pivotable connects the plates 42A, 42B together. With this design, the dual support plate 42 can be folded for easy storage in the furniture body 28.

Suitable materials for the support plates 34B, 36B, 42 include plywood or another rigid material.

In one embodiment, the first top section 30A also includes a first section pivot 34C (illustrated in phantom) that pivotable connects the first upper region 34A relative to the first support plate 34B. Somewhat similarly, the second top section 30B also includes a second section pivot 36C (illustrated in phantom) that pivotable connects the second upper region 36A relative to the second support plate 36B. With this design, the first upper region 34A and the second upper region 36A can be independently rotated about the Z axis relative to the respective support plate 34B, 36C and the furniture body 28 to change the width of the upper surface. For example, each of the pivots 34C, 36C can be a roller bearing or another type of pivot. In FIGS. 2A and 2B, the upper regions 34A, 36A are illustrated in a first rotational position 45A.

As discussed above, the mover assembly 24 facilitates movement of the first and second top sections 30A, 30B relative to each other and the furniture body 28, and the mover assembly 24 connects the first and second top sections 30A, 30B to the furniture body 28. The design of the mover assembly 24 can be varied pursuant to the teaching provided herein. For example, in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the mover assembly 24 independently moves the first and second top sections 30A, 30B upward and outward in an arc shaped path. Alternatively, for example, the mover assembly 24 can move the first and second top sections 30A, 30B concurrently or independently linearly upward.

In FIGS. 2A and 2B, the mover assembly 24 includes a first mover subassembly 46A that moves the first top section 30A, and a second mover subassembly 46B that moves the second top section 30B. In this embodiment, the mover subassemblies 46A, 46B are similar in design. Further, in this embodiment, each of the mover subassemblies 46A, 46B includes (i) a pair of mover frames 48A, 48B, and (ii) a pair of mover biases 48C, 48D. Alternatively, for example, each mover subassembly 46A, 46B can be designed without the mover biases 48C, 48D. Still alternatively, the mover assembly 24 can be designed to include one or more electric motors that move the top sections 30A, 30B.

In one embodiment, each of the mover frames 48A, 48B is generally rectangular frame shaped and includes a pair of spaced apart side members 50 and a pair of spaced apart transverse members 52 that extend between the side members 50. Further, in this embodiment, each of the mover frames 48A, 48B includes a pair of proximal connectors 54A, and a pair of distal connectors 54B. Each proximal connector 54A pivotable connects a proximal end of one of the side members 50 to either the front or rear side 28A, 28B of the furniture body 28. Somewhat similarly, each distal connector 54B pivotable connects a distal end of one of the side members 50 to the bottom of one of the top sections 30A, 30B. For example, each of the connector 54A, 54B can be a roller bearing or another type of pivot.

The mover biases 48C, 48D facilitates movement of the first and second top sections 30A, 30B between the configurations. In one embodiment, the mover biases 48C, 48D are uniquely designed and positioned (i) to urge the top sections 30A, 30B towards the massage configuration 14 (illustrated in FIG. 1B), and (ii) to urge the top sections 30A, 30B towards the furniture configuration 12 (illustrated in FIG. 1A) when the top sections 30A, 30B are near the furniture configuration 12. With this design, the mover biases 48C, 48D can be used to maintain the top sections 30A, 30B in the massage configuration 14 and subsequently to maintain the top sections 30A, 30B in the furniture configuration 12.

In one embodiment, each of the mover biases 48C, 48D includes a proximal end that is pivotable connected to the rear side 28B of the furniture body 28 and a distal end that is pivotable connected to one of the side members 50.

The design of each mover bias 48C, 48D can vary. For example, each of the mover biases 48C, 48D can be a pneumatic cylinder, a spring, or another type of resilient member.

Moreover, each of the mover subassemblies 46A, 46B can include a pair of attachment brackets 56 that facilitate attachment of the side members 50 to the front side 28A or the back side 28B of the furniture body 28.

FIG. 2C is a partly cutaway, perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly 10 in a second intermediate configuration 32B in which (i) the first and second top sections 30A, 30B have been moved upward, (ii) the first upper region 34A has been rotated ninety degrees about the Z axis relative to the first support plate 34B, and (iii) the second upper region 36A has been rotated ninety degrees about the Z axis relative to the second support plate 36B. It should be noted that in the second intermediate configuration 32B, upper regions 34A, 34B have been rotated so that the width of the top is wider, and the support plates 34B, 36B are partly exposed for supporting the third and fourth top sections 30C, 30D as illustrated below.

FIG. 2D is a partly cutaway, perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly 10 in the second intermediate configuration 32B after the third and fourth top sections 30C, 30D (not shown in FIG. 2D) have been removed from the furniture body 28.

FIG. 2E is a perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly 10 in a third intermediate configuration 32C in which (i) the first and second top sections 30A, 30B have been moved upward, (ii) the first upper region 34A has been rotated about the Z axis relative to the first support plate 34B (illustrated in FIG. 2E), (iii) the second upper region 36A has been rotated about the Z axis relative to the second support plate 36B (illustrated in FIG. 2E), and (iv) the folded dual support plate 42 has been positioned on and supported by the exposed edges of the support plates 34B, 36B. In FIG. 2E, the third and fourth top regions 38, 40 are folded and are illustrated above the rest of the furniture assembly 10.

FIG. 2F is a perspective view of the convertible furniture assembly 10 in a fourth intermediate configuration 32D in which (i) the first and second top sections 30A, 30B have been moved upward, (ii) the first upper region 34A has been rotated about the Z axis relative to the first support plate 34B, (iii) the second upper region 36A has been rotated about the Z axis relative to the second support plate 36B, and (iv) the unfolded dual support plate 42 is positioned on and supported by the previously exposed edges of the support plates 34B, 36B. In FIG. 2F, the third and fourth top regions 38, 40 have been unfolded and are illustrated above the rest of the furniture assembly 10.

FIGS. 3A-3E are cut-away views of a portion of the convertible furniture assembly 10 that illustrate the operation of a portion of the mover assembly 24 in more detail. More specifically, FIG. 3A illustrates the furniture assembly 10 in the furniture configuration 12 in which the side members 50 have been rotated completely downward. In this position, the side members 50 are at a first rotational position 58A relative to the furniture body 28 and are substantially horizontal. Stated in another fashion, the side members 50 are at approximately 0 degrees relative to the X axis. Further, in FIG. 3A, the mover biases 48C, 48D push upward (illustrated as an arrow 59) and to the left to urge and retain the side members 50 down (urging clockwise rotation of the side members 50). In this embodiment, the top section 30 engages the furniture frame 28 to inhibit further downward movement of the top section 30.

FIG. 3B illustrates the furniture assembly 10 after the side members 50 have been rotated counterclockwise. In this position, the side members 50 are at a second rotational position 58B relative to the furniture body 28 and are slightly angled relative to the horizon. Stated in another fashion, the side members 50 are at approximately ten degrees relative to the X axis. Further, in FIG. 3B, the mover biases 48C, 48D push upward (illustrated as arrow 59) and to the left to urge the side members 50 upward towards the massage configuration 14 (urging counterclockwise rotation).

FIG. 3C illustrates the furniture assembly 10 after the side members 50 have been rotated farther counterclockwise. In this position, the side members 50 are at a third rotational position 58C relative to the furniture body 28 and are slightly angled relative to the horizon. Stated in another fashion, the side members 50 are at approximately forty-five degrees relative to the X axis. Further, in FIG. 3C, the mover biases 48C, 48D continue to push upward (illustrated as arrow 59) and to the left to urge the side members 50 upward towards the massage configuration 14.

FIG. 3D illustrates the furniture assembly 10 after the side members 50 have been rotated even farther counterclockwise. In this position, the side members 50 are at a fourth rotational position 58D relative to the furniture body 28 and are angled and are approaching vertical. Stated in another fashion, the side members 50 are at approximately seventy degrees relative to the X axis. Further, in FIG. 3D, the mover biases 48C, 48D continue to push upward (illustrated as arrow 59) and to the left to urge the side members 50 upward towards the massage configuration 14.

FIG. 3E illustrates the furniture assembly 10 after the side members 50 have been rotated even farther counterclockwise. In this position, the side members 50 are at a fifth rotational position 58E relative to the furniture body 28 and are angled and are past vertical. Stated in another fashion, the side members 50 are at approximately one-hundred and ten degrees relative to the X axis. Further, in FIG. 3E, the mover biases 48C, 48D continue to push upward (illustrated as arrow 59) and to the left to urge the side members 50 to stay in the furniture configuration 12. In this embodiment, counterclockwise rotation of the side members 50 continue until the side members engage stop 51 attached to the furniture body 28.

Thus, referring to FIGS. 3A-3E, the mover assembly 24 easily moves the respective top section 30 relative to the furniture body 28 while retaining the top surface substantially horizontal during the movement.

FIGS. 4A-4C are simplified view that illustrates how one mover bias (not shown in FIGS. 4A-4C) directs a force 59 (illustrated as an arrow) on a side member 50. More specifically, FIGS. 4A-4C illustrate one embodiment (i) of how the mover bias urges the side member 50 to the massage configuration 14 (illustrated in FIG. 1B) when the side member 50 is away from the furniture configuration 12 (illustrated in FIG. 1A) and (ii) of how the mover bias urges the side member 50 to the furniture configuration 12 when the side member 50 is near the furniture configuration 12. FIGS. 4A-4C illustrate that the side member 50 can include a downwardly extending flange 51 which is connected to the mover bias.

For example, FIG. 4A illustrates the position of the side member 50 in the furniture configuration 12. At this time, the side member 50 is approximately horizontal (parallel to the X axis), the upward and to the left force 59 provided by the mover bias urges the side member 50 to rotate clockwise to move and hold the side member 50 in the furniture configuration 12. Stated in another fashion, because the force 59 is directed below the proximal connector 54A (the pivot point) of the side member 50, the force 59 from the mover bias urges the side member 50 to the furniture configuration 12.

Alternatively, referring to FIG. 4B, if the side member 50 is manually rotated counterclockwise about the proximal connector 54A between approximately fifteen and twenty-five degrees relative to the X axis, the force 59 from the mover bias is aligned radially to, and directed at the proximal connector 54A of the side member 50. At this time, the mover bias 48D does not generate a torque about the proximal connector 54A.

Next, referring to FIG. 4C, if the side member 50 is manually rotated counterclockwise about the proximal connector 54A another approximately twenty-five and thirty degrees, the force 59 from the mover bias is now directed above the proximal connector 54A of the side member 50. At this time, the force 59 generates a counterclockwise torque about the proximal connector 54A that urges the side member 50 towards the massage configuration 14.

With this design, a user can manually move the side member 50 downward from the massage configuration 14 to the furniture configuration 12 by pushing on and rotating the respective top section. Once in the furniture configuration 12, the force 59 from the mover bias maintains the side member 50 in the furniture configuration 12. Next, by simply lifting the top section slightly, the side member 50 is rotated until the force 59 generates a torque on the side member 50 that moves the side member 50 to the massage configuration 14.

FIG. 5 is another embodiment of a convertible furniture assembly 510 that is somewhat similar to the convertible furniture assembly 10 described above. However, in this embodiment, the convertible furniture assembly 510 is a coffee table in the furniture configuration 512. In this embodiment, coffee table can be converted into a massage table in the massage configuration somewhat similar to the embodiment described above.

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of a convertible furniture assembly 610 in the furniture configuration 612 and FIG. 6B illustrates the furniture assembly 610 in the massage configuration 614. In this embodiment, the convertible furniture assembly 610 is a coffee table in the furniture configuration 612. Further, in this embodiment, the four padded upper regions 634A, 636A, 638, 640 can be stored under a rigid support plate 634B that defines the top of the coffee table. Subsequently, as illustrated in FIG. 6B, the mover assembly 624 can be used to linearly move the support plate 634B upward and the four padded upper regions 634A, 636A, 638, 640 can be placed on the support plate 634B to define the massage table.

While the current invention is disclosed in detail herein, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7966947May 9, 2008Jun 28, 2011Earthlite Massage Tables, Inc.Resting device assembly including a table and a trolley
US8997274 *Jan 23, 2013Apr 7, 2015Edward PhillipsAdjustable furniture apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/2.1
International ClassificationA47B85/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B85/00
European ClassificationA47B85/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 4, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: EARTHLITE MASSAGE TABLES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ROLEDER, JON W.;SPLANE, ROBSON L.;ESTRADA, RICHARD V.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019952/0888;SIGNING DATES FROM 20071001 TO 20071002