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Publication numberUS20080045384 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/803,986
Publication dateFeb 21, 2008
Filing dateMay 16, 2007
Priority dateMay 18, 2006
Publication number11803986, 803986, US 2008/0045384 A1, US 2008/045384 A1, US 20080045384 A1, US 20080045384A1, US 2008045384 A1, US 2008045384A1, US-A1-20080045384, US-A1-2008045384, US2008/0045384A1, US2008/045384A1, US20080045384 A1, US20080045384A1, US2008045384 A1, US2008045384A1
InventorsKeiichi Matsubara, Toru Higuchi, Hisashi Mori
Original AssigneeKeiichi Matsubara, Toru Higuchi, Hisashi Mori
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Training system, operation terminal and computer-readable recording medium storing training assist program
US 20080045384 A1
Abstract
A training system including: a training equipment provided with a movable portion for allowing an exerciser to perform an exercise; and an operation terminal for transmitting operation information for an action of the movable portion to the training equipment. The training equipment includes: an equipment-side receiver for receiving the operation information; and a driver for driving the movable portion in accordance with the operation information. The operation terminal includes: an input portion for allowing operation information to be externally inputted; a terminal-side transmitter for transmitting the operation information inputted in the input portion to the training equipment; a terminal-side display portion for displaying an image; and a terminal-side display controller for allowing the terminal-side display portion to display the operation information.
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Claims(17)
1. A training system comprising:
a training equipment provided with a movable portion for allowing an exerciser to perform an exercise; and
an operation terminal for transmitting operation information for an action of the movable portion to the training equipment, wherein
the training equipment includes:
an equipment-side receiver for receiving the operation information; and
a driver for driving the movable portion in accordance with the operation information, and
the operation terminal includes:
an input portion for allowing operation information to be externally inputted;
a terminal-side transmitter for transmitting the operation information inputted in the input portion to the training equipment;
a terminal-side display portion for displaying an image; and
a terminal-side display controller for allowing the terminal-side display portion to display the operation information.
2. The training system according to claim 1, wherein the transmission of operation information from the terminal-side transmitter to the equipment-side receiver is performed in a wireless short-distance communication.
3. The training system according to claim 2, wherein the operation information includes at least one of a load applied to the movable portion and the number of actions of the movable portion.
4. The training system according to claim 3, wherein the training equipment includes: an equipment-side display portion for displaying an image; and an equipment-side display controller for allowing the equipment-side display to display the operation information.
5. The training system according to claim 4, wherein:
the training equipment includes: a detector for detecting an action state of the movable portion; and an equipment-side transmitter for transmitting action information showing the action state detected by the detector to the operation terminal,
the operation terminal includes a terminal-side receiver for receiving the action information, and
the terminal-side display controller allows the terminal-side display portion to display the operation information.
6. The training system according to claim 5, wherein
the training equipment includes an information converter for converting the action information detected by the detector to a visible form, and
the terminal-side display controller allows the terminal-side display to display the converted action information.
7. The training system according to claim 6, wherein
the training equipment includes an evaluation acquirer for acquiring evaluation information of an exercise,
the equipment-side transmitter transmits the acquired evaluation information to the operation terminal, and
the operation terminal includes a storage portion for storing the evaluation information in correlation with the exercise.
8. The training system according to claim 7, wherein the operation terminal is operable to transmit and receive information individually to and from a plurality of training equipments.
9. The training system according to claim 8, wherein the terminal-side display controller allows the terminal-side display to display action information transmitted from the plurality of training equipments.
10. The training system according to claim 9, wherein the terminal-side display controller divides a screen of the terminal-side display into a plurality of sub-screens corresponding to the plurality of training equipments respectively, and allows each sub-screen to display action information transmitted from each training equipment.
11. The training system according to claim 1, wherein the operation information includes at least one of a load applied to the movable portion and the number of actions of the movable portion.
12. The training system according to claim 1, wherein the training equipment includes: an equipment-side display portion for displaying an image; and an equipment-side display controller for allowing the equipment-side display to display the operation information.
13. The training system according to claim 1, wherein
the training equipment includes: a detector for detecting an action state of the movable portion; and an equipment-side transmitter for transmitting action information showing the action state detected by the detector to the operation terminal,
the operation terminal includes a terminal-side receiver for receiving the action information, and
the terminal-side display controller allows the terminal-side display portion to display the operation information.
14. The training system according to claim 1, wherein
the training equipment includes an evaluation acquirer for acquiring evaluation information of an exercise, and
the equipment-side transmitter transmits the acquired evaluation information to the operation terminal, and
the operation terminal includes a storage portion for storing the evaluation information in correlation with the exercise.
15. The training system according to claim 1, wherein the operation terminal is operable to transmit and receive information individually to and from a plurality of training equipments.
16. An operation terminal for transmitting operation information to a training equipment which includes a movable portion provided with a driver for allowing an exerciser to perform exercise and an equipment-side receiver for receiving the operation information for an action of the movable portion, the operation terminal comprising:
an input portion for allowing operation information to be externally inputted;
a terminal-side transmitter for transmitting the operation information inputted in the input portion to the training equipment;
a terminal-side display portion for displaying an image; and
a terminal-side display controller for allowing the terminal-side display to display the operation information,
wherein the terminal-side display includes a panel-type display unit, and the terminal-side display and the input portion are integrated into one body which is portable.
17. A computer-readable recording medium for storing a training assist program for an operation terminal which remotely controls a training equipment having a movable portion by receiving operation information for an action of the movable portion by an input portion, and transmitting it via a communication portion,
wherein the training program allows the operation terminal to function as:
an operation information generator for generating operation information in accordance with content inputted in the input portion;
a communication controller for transmitting the operation information to the training equipment via the communication portion; and
a display controller for allowing a display portion to display the operation information.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a technology for smoothly assisting training of exercisers mainly including an aged person and a person who needs assistance.

2. Description of the Background Art

Conventionally, various training equipments are known which are adapted to assist not only the muscular training for a normal person but also the rehabilitation for an aged person, a person who needs assistance, an injured or ailing patient, and the like. Japanese Patent Unexamined Publication No. 2004-8744 discloses a rehabilitation assisting system for allowing a trainee to perform a necessary rehabilitation exercise under guidance of a physical therapist. In this system, a physical therapist forcibly moves arms and the like of a trainee from a remote place by a remote operation. Specifically, an arm-type machine is provided on the side of the trainee, and an upper and lower limb exercise simulating device so configured as to simulate the arm-type machine is provided on the side of the physical therapist. The arm-type machine provided on the side of the trainee reflects an action of the physical therapist to forcibly guide exercise such as the rehabilitation of the trainee. The system is provided with an upper limb rehabilitation assisting equipment including an arms-type machine for allowing a trainee to train his arms, a video camera for recording an exercise state of a trainee and an image display device for showing a recorded image to a trainee, and an upper and lower limbs exercise simulation device provided on the side of an operation guiding terminal for controlling driving of the arm-type machine in accordance with an instruction given by a physical therapist who is at a remote place. Further, the system includes a communicator for transmitting instruction information of a physical therapist to the upper limb rehabilitation assisting equipment via a network.

The rehabilitation assisting system disclosed in Japanese Patent Unexamined Publication 2004-8744 makes it possible to remotely give an operation instruction. However, the upper and lower limbs exercise simulation device so configured as to simulate the arm-type machine should be provided on the side of a physical therapist, thus causing the equipment to be large in size. Further, a physical therapist needs to actually make actions with own upper and lower limbs at a remote place. Thus, it is difficult for a person who is not a skilled person such as a physical therapist to operate the simulation device. Furthermore, the system requires one physical therapist to deal with only one trainee. Thus, there is a certain limit in performing an efficient instruction operation. In addition, a physical therapist makes every action with his body to give an instruction to the trainee. Thus, it has been a great burden for a trainer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a training assist technology which can solve the above-mentioned problems.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a training system which can give a trainer an instruction to a training equipment used by an exerciser in an easy and precise manner and confirm information regarding an action state of the-training equipment in an easy manner at his hand.

Further, yet another object of the present invention is to provide a training system which allows one trainer to deal with a plurality of exercisers using training equipments.

According to one aspect of the present invention, a training system includes: a training equipment provided with a movable portion for allowing an exerciser to perform an exercise; and an operation terminal for transmitting operation information for an action of the movable portion to the training equipment. The training equipment includes: an equipment-side receiver for receiving the operation information; and a driver for driving the movable portion in accordance with the operation information. The operation terminal includes: an input portion for allowing operation information to be externally inputted; a terminal-side transmitter for transmitting the operation information inputted in the input portion to the training equipment; a terminal-side display portion for displaying an image; and a terminal-side display controller for allowing the terminal-side display portion to display the operation information.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading of the following detailed description along with the accompanied drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing terminals constituting a training system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing a training system in which an operation terminal is communicable with each of machine terminals disposed respectively to a plurality of training equipments.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view showing a first training equipment which is in a state where its foot plate is in a horizontal posture. FIG. 3B is a perspective view showing the first training equipment which is in a state where the foot plate is in a vertical posture. FIG. 3C is a perspective view showing the first training equipment in a state where an exerciser places his soles in contact with the foot plate and extends his legs.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a configuration of a second training equipment.

FIG. 5A is a side view showing a configuration of a third training equipment which is in a state where its arm portions are at positions close to a seat portion at most. FIG. 5B is a side view showing the third training equipment in a state where the arm portions are at positions separated from the seat at most.

FIG. 6 is a control block diagram showing respective configurations of the machine terminal and the training equipment.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing a configuration of the operation terminal.

FIG. 8 shows an example of a registration frame of the operation terminal.

FIG. 9 shows an example of a frame for creating a training menu.

FIG. 10 shows an example of a frame for confirming an exercise state during a training.

FIG. 11 shows another example of the frame for confirming an exercise state during a training, the frame being divided into sub-frames in accordance with the number of training equipments.

FIG. 12 shows a frame of a machine terminal for setting a movable range.

FIG. 13 shows frames of the machine terminal displayed at the time of measuring a physical fitness.

FIG. 14 shows steps of authenticating an exerciser.

FIG. 15 shows frames of the machine terminal showing another method of personal authentication.

FIG. 16 shows frames of the machine terminal showing yet another method of personal authentication.

FIG. 17 is a flowchart showing steps of processing to be performed by the machine terminal and the operation terminal during a training.

FIG. 18 shows an example of the evaluation guidance frame described in the flowchart above.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Hereinafter, a preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing terminals constituting a training system according to an embodiment of the present invention. A training system 1 includes an operation terminal 10 and a machine terminal 20. The machine terminal 20 disposed to a training equipment 30 which will be described hereinafter. The training system 1 is expected to be used for allowing a trainer to give an advice to an exerciser who uses a training equipment and deal with the exerciser in an appropriate manner in a fitness club, a nursing-care facility, an elder care facility and the like. The operation terminal 10 is a portable-type computer which is capable of communicating with the machine terminal 20 in a wireless or wired short-distance communication. Specifically, the operation terminal 10 is possessed by a trainer or an operator and includes, like a usual personal computer, a keyboard constituting a part of an input portion for allowing an instruction to be inputted, a display portion for displaying an image, a controller for processing information, and a storage portion for storing a processing program and various information. The operation terminal 10 can be made smaller in overall size by adopting a display portion composed of a panel-type display device integrated with a keyboard and the like into one body which is portable. The machine terminal 20 is also composed of a personal computer, and the internal configuration thereof is similar to that of the operation terminal 10. As can be referred to in FIG. 2, the machine terminal 20 is disposed to the training equipment 30 and allows an exerciser who exercises with the training equipment to perform an input operation.

FIG. 2 is a view showing the training system in which the operation terminal 10 is communicable with the machine terminals 20A, 20B, 20C, and 20D disposed respectively to training equipments 30A, 30B, 30C, and 30D of four different types. Here, the training equipments are of four different types, but the training equipments may be of the same type. Further, the number of types of the training equipments is not limited to four but may be the desired number. Each of the machine terminals 20A, 20B, 20C, and 20D disposed respectively to the training equipments 30A, 30B, 30C, and 30D is provided with a predetermined identification information. The identification information is written in a ROM 22 or a RAM 23 provided in each of the machine terminals 20A-20D, as can be referred to in FIG. 6. In the present embodiment, a router 50 which will be described hereinafter is provided between the operation terminal 10 and the machine terminals 20A-20D so that information can be transmitted and received individually with use of the identification information in such a manner as will be described hereinafter.

The operation terminal 10 and each machine terminal 20 are individually communicable with each other with use of the respective identification information. As will be described in detail hereinafter, the training system has features that the operation terminal 10 which is possessed by a trainer of a fitness club and the like is operable to remotely transmit and set information of a training menu such as a load and the number of repetitions or reps to each of the training equipments 30A-30D, and each of the training equipments 30A-30D is operable to transmit information of an exercise state of an exerciser to the operation terminal 10 possessed by the trainer. Such configuration of a bidirectional communication allows a trainer to easily assist and monitor an exerciser even if an exerciser is, for example, an aged person or a person who needs assistance and cannot easily handle the training equipments 30A-30D. Further, display portions are provided to the training equipments 30A-30D and the operation terminal 10, and information is displayed on both sides in a form which can be easily understood. Accordingly, an exerciser can easily understand a training menu which should be accomplished. On the other hand, a trainer can understand an exercise state of each exerciser precisely so that he can perform an appropriate adjustment of a load for each of the training equipments 30A-30D and give an advice to each exerciser. Such advantageous features could not be seen in conventional training equipments and systems.

FIGS. 3A through 3C are schematic views showing the training equipment 30A. FIG. 4 is a schematic view showing the training equipment 30B. FIGS. 5A and 5B are schematic views showing the training equipment 30C. The training equipment 30A shown in FIG. 3 is an equipment which is named “leg-press machine.” The training equipment 30B shown in FIG. 4 is an equipment named “leg-extension machine.” The training equipment 30C shown in FIGS. 5A, 5B is an equipment named “rowing machine.” The training equipment 30D shown in FIG. 2 is an equipment named “hip-abduction machine.”

The training equipment 30A shown in FIGS. 3A through 3C allow an exerciser to train his lower body by bending and stretching legs while resisting against a predetermined exercise load in a state of sitting on a seat. The training equipment 30A includes a base portion 300A. The base portion 300A is provided with a seat portion 301A, a foot plate portion 302A on which an exerciser, who is shown with an imaginary line, sitting on the seat portion 301A puts his feet, an unillustrated mechanical portion for moving the seat portion 301A and the foot plate portion 302A, and a controller for controlling driving of the mechanical portion. The machine terminal 20A allows an exerciser to perform an input operation for moving the seat portion 301A and the foot plate portion 302A.

The seat portion 301A is guided along a guide rail portion 303A extending in forward and backward directions, and an unillustrated servomotor allows the seat portion 301A to slide in forward and backward directions to give a predetermined load to an exerciser. FIG. 3A is a view showing a state where the foot plate portion 302A is in a horizontal posture. The foot plate 302A can be shifted between the postures shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B by an unillustrated lifting motor. FIG. 3C shows a state where an exerciser places his soles in contact with the foot plate portion 302A and extends his legs. An exerciser can train his lower body by bending and extending his legs between the postures shown in FIGS. 3B and 3C to slide his body forward and backward while resisting against a load given by the servomotor.

The machine terminal 20A is disposed near an exerciser who sits on the seat portion 301A. The machine terminal 20A includes a casing having a predetermined shape. In the casing, there are provided a display portion 24 composed of an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), and a touch panel 25 composed of a transparent pressure-sensitive sheet attached to a screen of the display portion 24 so that inputs to various buttons displayed on the display portion 24 are detected when an exerciser pushes the display portion 24 with his finger. A slide position of the seat portion 301A i.e. an exercise state is detected by a detector such as an unillustrated rotary encoder. Further, the level of electric current supplied to the servomotor for applying a brake to the same is monitored to detect a load given to an exerciser.

The training equipment 30B shown in FIG. 4 includes a base portion 300B. The base portion 300B is provided with a seat portion 301B, roller pad portions 302B for allowing a user, who is shown with an imaginary line, sitting on the seat portion 301B to train his legs, an unillustrated mechanical portion for moving the roller pad portions 302B, an unillustrated load applying portion composed of a servomotor for applying a load to the mechanical portion, and a controller for controlling driving of the mechanical portion in accordance with a detection signal transmitted from an unillustrated detector for detecting an action of the mechanical portion. The machine terminal 20B allows an exerciser to perform an input operation to make the roller pad portion 302B act.

The roller pad portions 302B are disposed horizontally in a lower portion of an arm 303B which is swung in a vertical plane about its upper end as a supporting point. The roller pad portions 302B include a pair of roller pads which are spaced apart a predetermined distance and arranged in parallel with each other. A user who sits on the seat 301B places his feet between the pair of roller pads and performs bending and stretching of legs to train his legs. The machine terminal 20B has a basic configuration which is the same as that of the machine terminal 20A.

The training equipment shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B includes a base portion 300C. The base portion 300C is provided with a seat portion 301C, arc-shaped arm portions 302C, an unillustrated mechanical portion for moving the arm portions 302C, an unillustrated load applying portion composed of a servomotor and the like for applying a load to the swinging of the arm portions 302C via the mechanical portion, and a controller for controlling driving of the mechanical portion in accordance with a detection signal transmitted from an unillustrated detector for detecting an action of the arm portions 302C. The machine terminal 20C allows an exerciser to perform an input operation to make the arm portion 302C act. The machine terminal 20C has a basic configuration which is the same as that of the machine terminal 20A.

FIG. 5A shows a state where the arm portions 302C are at positions close to the seat portion 301C at most, and FIG. 5B shows a state where the arm portions 302C are at positions separated from the seat portion 301C at most. The arm portions 302C include a pair of arms arranged in a horizontal direction and supported by a shaft extending in a horizontal direction at a lower end portion of the base portion 300C. An exerciser, who is shown with an imaginary line, sitting on the seat portion 301C grips the arm portion 302C and operates the same between the positions shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B to train muscles near upper arms.

The training equipment 30D shown in FIG. 2 has a configuration similar to those shown in FIGS. 3A-5B except for its exercise configuration. As can be understood by referring to FIG. 2, the exercise configuration of the training equipment 30D includes a pair of opening and closing arm portions 302D provided in a front portion of the seat portion 301D and arranged in a horizontal direction. Each of the opening and closing arm portions 302D can be swung about a vertical shaft arranged in a lower portion of the seat portion 301D. Each of the opening and closing arm portions 302D is provided at its front end with leg holders 303D oriented to a substantially vertical direction. In a state of sitting on the seat portion 301D, an exerciser places his each leg between the leg holders 303D, and performs opening and closing action to train his legs. Further, there is provided an unillustrated mechanical portion for allowing the rotational arm portions 302D to perform opening and closing action, and an unillustrated load applying portion such as a servomotor for applying a predetermined load to the mechanical portion is provided. The amount of swinging action of the opening and closing arm portions 302D is detected by an unillustrated detector such as a rotary encoder. The machine terminal 20D allows an exerciser to perform an input operation to make the rotational arm portion 302D act. The machine terminal 20D has a basic configuration which is similar to that of the machine terminal 20A.

FIG. 6 is a control block diagram showing the respective configurations of the machine terminal 20 and the training equipment 30. The machine terminals 20A,20B,20C,20D are collectively described hereinafter as the machine terminal 20, and the respective controllers of the training equipments 30A, 30B, 30C, and 30D are collectively described hereinafter as an equipment-side controller 40.

The machine terminal 20 includes a ROM 22 for storing an operation program and various image information (guide images, diagrams, buttons, font data and the like), and a RAM 23 for temporarily storing information which is under processing. The ROM 22 and the RAM 23 are connected to a machine terminal side controller 21 composed of a computer and the like. Further, the machine terminal side controller 21 is connected to a display portion 24 composed of an LCD and the like, a touch panel 25 layered on a screen of the display portion 24, and a communication unit 26 for performing a wireless or wired short-distance communication with the operation terminal 10 described hereinafter. The communication unit 26 includes a transmitter and a receiver. As a medium for the wireless communication, an infrared ray, a radio wave, a microwave and the like can be adopted.

Next, the machine terminal side controller 21 will be described. The image display processing portion 211 allows the display portion 24 to display various images and diagrams which are used in a registration processing for personal information and the like of an exerciser, a training setting processing and an action confirming processing. Information such as exerciser information and settings information are displayed in the diagram. A setting button display processing portion 212 allows the display portion 24 to display various buttons along with respective contents of operation. The contents of operation include various items which can be set by an exerciser. An operation determining portion 213 correlates coordination information of a displayed button with positional information of the touch panel 25 to determine a button corresponding to a pressed position on the touch panel 25.

A training sequence setting processing portion 214 creates a training sequence by arranging exercises of various kinds or a training menu in a chronological order designated by a trainer or an exerciser. The training menu may be inputted by a trainer through the operation terminal 10, or it may be inputted by an exerciser and a trainer through the touch panel 25. The training menu is set in accordance with a kind of exercise and at least one of a load and the number of repetitions for each exercise. In the present embodiment, both a load and the number of repetitions for each exercise are set.

The training repetition setting processing portion 215 sets the number of repetitions of exercise which is inputted by a trainer through the operation terminal 10 or instructed via the touch panel 25. The number of training repetitions is counted as one rep for each reciprocating action. The number of repetitions is counted by an internal counter. In any form of exercise, such as a form of allowing an exerciser to perform exercise in both ways of a reciprocating action i.e. a form of applying a brake in both ways of reciprocation, and a form of allowing an exerciser to perform exercise in only one direction of reciprocation e.g. a form of applying a brake at only one action during a pushing and pulling exercise or an opening and closing exercise), one reciprocation action is counted as one rep. It may take a form of counting one reciprocating action as two repetitions in the form of applying a brake in both reciprocating directions.

A setting changing processing portion 216 receives information regarding a change in setting from the operation terminal 10 via the communication unit 26, as will be described herebelow, and changes a setting when a setting of training is changed during a training.

An exercise information converting portion 217 converts the exercise information acquired in an exercise state determining portion 413, which will be described hereinafter, into visible information. For example, the exercise information is converted to a bar display or a value display. Specifically, in the case of using a bar display portion or an exercise progress state display area C2 to be described later with reference to FIG. 10, the exercise information converting portion 217 converts the exercise information into any one of the following first and second forms.

In the first form, the bar display is performed so as to reflect each action of the movable portion. Specifically, in accordance with data of setting area information in a movable range setting processing portion 411, a distance between the left and right ends of the bar display portion is correlated with a movable range of each exerciser. On the other hand, a colored bar stretches from the left end of the bar display portion to display a current position of the movable portion. In this form, for example, when the movable portion is located at an initial position, the colored bar is located at a point on the left end of the bar display portion. In accordance with an action of the movable portion, the bar stretches rightward. When the movable portion reaches the end of the movable range, the bar also reaches the right end of the bar display portion. Thereafter, when the movable portion is moved back to the initial position, the bar having been reached the right end is also contracted toward the left end of the bar display portion in accordance the action of the movable portion. Thus, as will be described hereinafter, even when a trainer stands in front of a training equipment and cannot see an action of the movable portion well or is orally giving an advice to one of a plurality of exercisers, the trainer can easily confirm if other exerciser performs exercise steadily by viewing an action of the bar. Specifically, a trainer can determined that there is no problem when each of the bar displays corresponding to a plurality of training equipments moves regularly. However, if an action of the bar becomes dramatically slow or stops during the exercise, a trainer can immediately find the abnormality so that he can deal with an exerciser.

In the second form, a trainer can easily confirm a state of performance or progress of an exerciser in one training menu. In this form, a distance between the left and right end of the bar display portion is correlated with the target training repetition of an exerciser in accordance with data regarding the target repetition of training e.g. the total number of reciprocating action of the movable portion set by the training repetition setting processing portion 215. On the other hand, a length of the bar is determined in accordance with a ratio of the current training repetition performed by an exerciser out of the target repetition, and a state of progress is displayed with a colored bar stretching from the left end in the bar display portion. According to this form, in the case where a plurality of exercisers perform the same exercise, and a state of performance of one exerciser is delayed, a trainer can easily determine who the delayed exerciser is and immediately check whether or not a load is excessive for the exerciser or whether or not the exerciser is excessively exhausted.

Referring back to FIG. 6, a training evaluating portion 218 allows the display portion 24 to display an evaluation reception frame each time when an exercise is completed, and receives an evaluation result inputted via the touch panel 25. A record controller 219 stores information acquired from various setting contents and exercise results in the RAM 23 as a history.

Here, each portion performs setting processing in accordance with instructions inputted through the touch panel 25 of the machine terminal 20. However, the setting processing is similarly performed in accordance with similar instructions inputted through the operation terminal 10 which will be described hereinafter.

A personal authentication processing portion 220 performs authentication before a training is started to determine whether or not an exerciser is a member. As will be described hereinafter, the personal authentication processing portion 220 performs the authentication processing by taking in personal information stored in the operation terminal 10 in accordance with its need.

A communication controller 221 performs a processing of transmitting predetermined data to the side of the operation terminal 10 at a predetermined interval or at a necessary timing. Further, the communication controller 221 discriminates information received at the communication unit 26 and acquires information assigned to the local device. A communication processing for controlling the communication between the machine terminal side controller 21 and the equipment-side controller 40 will be described hereinafter in descriptions of a communication unit 16 of FIG. 7.

Next, the equipment-side controller 40 for controlling driving of the training equipment 30 will be described. A load applying portion 51 supplies brake electric power for apply a load to the mechanical portion 52 which drives the movable portion for exercise of training equipment 30. The load applying portion 51 generates a brake signal which is transmitted to a servomotor and the like in FIGS. 2-5B. The load applying portion 51 applies a load to the movable portion against an action of an exerciser in one direction. Also, the load applying portion 51 may apply a load against an action of an exerciser in a reverse direction in accordance with a kind of exercise. For example, in the case of the training device shown in FIG. 4, the load applying portion 51 may apply a load directed downward when an exerciser tries to lift up his below knees, or it may apply a load directed upward when an exerciser tries to lower his below knees. Further, the load applying portion 51 may apply a load against reciprocating actions which an exerciser makes i.e. every action which the exerciser makes. Further to the transmission of such brake signals, the load applying portion 51 may include a form of outputting an operation signal for actively moving the movable portion to lead a training of an exerciser i.e. a form of applying a negative load to the movable portion. In some cases, a user may not be in a stage of performing a sufficient training due to an injury of leg and the like but need to maintain or revive exercise function, or a user may need to extend the movable range of his legs which have lost its flexibility due to aging. In such cases, the equipment may automatically perform reciprocating actions so that a user can allow an action of his legs and the like to rely on the action of the equipment and perform only a bending and extending exercise. As described above, the detector 53 is composed of a rotary encoder and the like and adapted to detect an action state of the mechanical portion 52 consecutively. Here, the action state indicates operational positions.

The equipment-side controller 40 is composed of a computer and the like and is connected to a ROM 41 and a RAM 42. The ROM 41 is stores an exercise control program and its content of setting in correlation with a load level in a table format. The RAM 42 temporarily stores information which is under processing.

A movable range setting processing portion 411 performs measurement and recording to set a range of action within which an exerciser can make action without excessive effort, before the training equipment is used. Specifically, a movable range is set, for example, by a length which is within a range where an exerciser can move the seat portion 301A, the roller pad portion 302B, the arm portion 302C or the opening and closing arm portion 302D which are movable portions of the respective training equipments 30A,30B,30C,30D without excessive effort in accordance with an instruction displayed on the display portion 24.

A training load setting processing portion 412 is adapted to set a level of brake electric power corresponding to a load which is designated by a user via the touch panel 25 of the machine terminal 20.

An action state determining portion 413 determines a position of the movable portion and counts the repetitions of exercise in accordance with a detection signal transmitted from a detector 53 and setting range information set in the movable range setting processing portion 411.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing the operation terminal 10. The operation terminal 10 includes a controller 11 composed of a computer and the like, a ROM 12 connected to the controller 11 for storing an operation program and various image information (guide images, diagrams, various buttons, font data and the like) and a RAM 13 for temporarily storing information under processing.

The controller 11 reads out operation control program data including image data for the training assisting control and the training assisting control program data from the ROM 12, which is internally provided in or externally attached to the controller 11 in a detachable manner, based on an operation system (OS) stored in the ROM 12. A part or all of the image, control program data and the like which are read out from the ROM 12 is temporarily stored in the RAM 13. Since then, the controller 11 performs processings by referring to the training assisting program data and various data stored in the RAM 13 and exchanging information with the machine terminal 20. In the present embodiment, the ROM 12 in which the training assisting program data and various data are stored may be internally provided, or the training assisting program data and various data stored in an external recording medium may be written or installed to the RAM 13 via a driver such as a hard disk drive, an optical disk drive, a flexible disk drive, a silicon disk drive, a cassette medium reader or the like which is selected in accordance with a kind of the external recording medium provided. In the latter form, a general personal computer having a versatility may be used.

Further, the controller 11 is connected with a display portion 14 composed of an LCD and the like, an input operating portion 15 including a keyboard, mouse and the like, and a communication unit 16 for performing a wireless or wired short-distance communication with the machine terminal 20. The input operating portion 15 may include, for example, a touch panel and the like layered on the display portion 14.

The communication unit 16 includes a transmitter and a receiver. As a medium for the wireless communication, an infrared ray, a radio wave, a microwave and the like may be adopted. In the case where a wireless communication is adopted in the communication unit 16, it is preferable that the transmission distance of the transmitter is a predetermined short distance within which a trainer carrying the operation terminal 10 can observe an exerciser who trains with the training equipment 30. For example, it is preferable that the distance is set to be within several meters or a dozen meters.

In the present embodiment, the operation terminal 10 and the machine terminals 20A-20D are connected via so called LAN (Local Area Network). Therefore, the communication unit 16 of the operation terminal 10 assuredly transmits and receives information to and from the communication units 26 of respective machine terminals.

As shown in FIG. 2, a wired or wireless router (or hub) 50 is provided between the operation terminal 10 and the machine terminals 20A-20D. The router 50 has four ports corresponding respectively to identification data preset in the machine terminals 20A-20D. According to this configuration, information transmitted from each of the communication units 26 of the machine terminals 20A-20D is transmitted to a corresponding port of the router 50. The operation terminal 10 receives information from a corresponding port of the router 50 so that it can acquire information accurately from a respective machine terminal 20. Further, the operation terminal 10 transmits information with predetermined identification information of the respective machine terminals 20A-20D to the router 50 so that the communication units 26 of the machine terminals 20A-20D can receive the information transmitted from the operation terminal 10.

Further, instead of setting ports, another configuration may be adopted in which each of the operation terminal 10 and the machine terminals 20A-20D transmits information with predetermined identification information of the machine terminals 20A to 20D. Each of the communication units 26 of the machine terminals 20A to 20D identifies the transmitted information, and the communication unit 16 of the operation terminal 10 identifies which one of the machine terminals 20A to 20D transmitted the information. Thus, information can be exchanged accurately between the communication unit 16 and each of the communication units 26.

Next, the controller 11 will be described. An image display processing portion 111 allows the display portion 14 to display various images and diagrams for a registration processing of various information such as personal information inputted to the input operating portion 15, a training setting processing and an operation confirming processing. Regarding the diagram, stored exerciser information and settings are displayed in a diagram. The setting button display processing portion 112 allows the display portion 14 to display various buttons along with contents of operation for allowing a trainer to input settings. An operation determining portion 113 determines input of operation corresponding to a pressed key in the input operating portion 15. In the case where a mouse and the like is used, input of operation corresponding to a cursor position on the display portion 14 is determined. Further, the operation determining portion 113 temporarily stores in the RAM 13 the determined content of operation.

A setting changing processing portion 114 receives a change of a training setting during the training. The personal authentication processing portion 115 performs processing of determining an exerciser based on information of the exerciser inputted the machine terminal 20 and transmitted via the communication unit 16. For example, the personal authentication processing portion 115 receives information of an initial letter of an exerciser and transmits names of alternate members included in the registered members to the machine terminal 20, and determines the name specified among the alternate members as a name of the exerciser.

A communication controller 116 gives instruction to transmit various information by sending the information along with identification information for determining the machine terminals 20A to 20D at a predetermined interval or a necessary timing of a given operation instruction, or by specifying each port of the router 50. In other words, the communication controller 116 gives instruction of transmitting various information by referring to information such as identification information or port information for specifying the machine terminal 20A-20D. Further, the communication controller 116 identifies information received at the communication unit 16 and extracts identification information to determine which training equipment 30 transmitted the identification information.

FIG. 8 is a view showing an example of a registration frame of the operation terminal 10. As shown in FIG. 8, there are items to be registered, such as a name, a membership number, a gender, a date of birth, a password, a group, an address, and a contact number. Further, there are items such as a height, a weight and a blood pressure. Furthermore, taking in consideration of use by an aged person, items such as a level of assistance needed and a personal medical office are provided. Here, a sequential membership number “∘∘” is given to a person named “∘∘∘TARO” who belongs to the group “A-1.”

On the left hand side of the frame, grouping of registered members is displayed. In the frame, names of registered members whom a trainer, who is hereinafter referred to as a personnel A, looks after are listed in correlation with membership numbers and group names. For example, groups are classified as “A-1” and “A-2.” Here, the personnel A looks after three groups, and the number of members who belong to each group is limited to about ten people. The number of groups and the number of people who belong to each group may be appropriately determined so as to be the number which can be looked after by one personnel.

Further, the operation terminal 10 includes a calendar. An age is automatically calculated by referring to a date of birth and a calendar. Furthermore, a registration frame can be opened by pressing, for example, a new registration button displayed in a previous frame. On the other hand, by selecting a membership number and the like to open a sub-frame, membership information displayed on the sub-frame can be renewed in accordance with need. By pushing or clicking a registration button TB with a mouse when input of all items is completed, the registration processing is completed. Further, when one name in an area which displays a name in the frame showing the grouping is clicked, the frame is switched to the registration frame for the member.

FIG. 9 shows one example of a frame for creating a training menu. For example, by pressing a menu creating button in a previous frame, the frame is switched to the present frame. In the present frame, spaces for the number of training repetition performed, information regarding a member, records of previous time, evaluation or comment on the previous time given by a trainer with respect to the training of the previous time and creation of a menu for this time are displayed successively from the upper side on the left half of the frame. Further, on the right half of the frame, a history of training performed in the past is displayed chronologically.

FIG. 9 shows a frame menu created in view of an exercise performed by a person named “□□□TARO” with the training equipment 30A. In this case, a machine named “ROWING” is selected, and a type of exercise such as a pushing exercise and a pushing and pulling exercise in accordance with a kind of machine used are prepared. The space for displaying a training history shows the number of times, a date, a kind of machine used, a type of exercise, a weight or load, the number of repetitions and Borg. The Borg indicates an evaluation comment on the exercises given by the exerciser “□□□TARO.” The “PUSHING” shown in the type of exercise indicates an exercise of extending legs against a load, and the “PULLING” indicates an exercise of bending legs against a load. The weight is shown in a unit of kg (kilogram). The weight is a load corresponding to a muscular strength value for performing exercise for 10 times at a maximum muscular strength. The maximum muscular strength is measured by an unillustrated leg muscle measurement (1/10RM method). Measuring this value allows each exerciser to perform an appropriate exercise. The number of repetitions indicates the number of repetitions of a predetermined action. An exerciser determines the Borg by selecting a comment from a list of comments displayed on the machine terminal 20, as will be described hereinafter, at each time when one type of exercise is terminated. The determined comment information is transmitted from the machine terminal 20A to the operation terminal 10.

The menu of time is created by a trainer, or it is created in accordance with a discussion between the trainer and an exerciser. The space for the menu of this time includes items such as an order of selected menu, a kind of machine used, a type of exercise, a weight, and the number of repetitions. A plurality of exercises are prepared as a default setting with reference to a kind of machine used and a type of exercise. A trainer is allowed to select exercises from these, and put marks * on his selections to set a menu in the order. In this example, a plurality of “ROWING PUSHING” are selected. The items such as a weight and the number of repetitions can be appropriately changed after the selection of the exercises. If the weight and repetition are changed at this time, the changes to the items are reflected at the time of creating the next training menu. Accordingly, a training menu can be created in which a training history of an exerciser and a present physical condition are sufficiently reflected.

FIG. 10 shows an example of a frame for confirming an exercise state during a training. When a member who is provided with a created menu starts exercise with the training equipment 30, a machine terminal 20 of the training equipment 30 transmits information indicating the start of exercise to the operation terminal 10. When the operation terminal 10 receives the information, its frame is switched to a control frame shown in FIG. 10. The frame includes, from its upper side, respective spaces for personal information, contents of the last training, contents of exercise performed at this time, control type or selected program of exercise, monitoring of an exercise state, a list of present setting, and a degree of progress or the number of times performed. Further, on the right hand side of the frame, there are displayed a pausing button for forcibly pausing an action of a training machine, a start button for starting the next exercise menu and operation buttons for lifting and lowering a seat. The “SEAT” button may be adopted in a form provided with a configuration to adjust the height of a seat portion of the training equipment 30 with a driver and a lifting or tilting mechanism.

Further, in the uppermost portion of the frame, there are displayed “e MACHINE 1”-“e FOUR SUB-FRAMES” tabs. The tabs “e MACHINE 1”-“e MACHINE 4” are assumed to be used in the training management form shown in FIG. 2. By pressing the tab, the frame is switched to a frame shown in FIG. 10 indicating an action state of a training equipment 30 corresponding to the pressed tab. The tab “e FOUR SUB-FRAMES” is a tab for selecting a mode to display contents of the tabs “e MACHINE 1”-“e MACHINE 4” collectively in one frame, which is depicted in detail in FIG. 11.

An exercise state monitoring space C1 is displayed in a form of crossing the frame at a substantially central portion. The action state monitoring space C1 displays an action state of a movable portion based on action state information taken in real time from the detector 53 via the exercise state determining portion 413, the movable range setting processing portion 411 and the exercise information converting portion 217. Opposite ends of the exercise state monitoring space C1 corresponding respectively to a start point and end point of an exercise. For example, the left end corresponds to the start point, and the right end corresponds to the end point. A bar mark C11 is reciprocated between the start point and the end point in accordance with a detection signal transmitted from the detector 53.

Further, an exercise progress state displaying space C2 visibly shows the ratio of repetitions performed with respect to the predetermined repetitions for one exercise being 100%. For example, it is shown with a bar display C21. The exercise progress state displaying space C2 shows the ratio of performed repetitions with respect to each exercise as a level of progress based on information taken in from the detector 53 through the exercise state determining portion 413 and an exercise information converting portion 217. The level of progress may be the ratio of performance with respect to a whole training menu. In such case, a state of performance can be determined in a total view.

A present setting list displaying space C3 shows items respectively showing a selected program, a load, repetition, and a movable range or area of a movable portion. Each content is displayed for confirmation. Contents of the selected program, load, repetition and a movable range or area of a movable portion can be changed by a trainer. An changing operation is transmitted to the machine terminal 20 via the communication unit 16 by a setting changing processing portion 114 after the contents are fixed. The machine terminal 20 reflects changes of setting to an operation of the training equipment 30. The selected program includes “PROGRAM” in which an exercise is performed with contents in accordance with a training menu, “SELF-TRAINING”, “PUSHING”, and “PULLING.” The “PROGRAM” is a mode in which an exercise is performed with contents in accordance with a training menu. The “SELF-TRAINING” is an operation mode in which an exerciser selects menu sequentially. The “PUSHING” is a mode for making an exerciser exclusively perform only an action of pushing or extending his legs. The “PULLING” is a mode for making an exerciser exclusively perform only an action of pulling or an action of bending his legs.

Further, a pausing button on the right hand space of the frame allows the personnel A to give an instruction to forcibly pause an exercise even during an exercise when he finds an exerciser's degree of fatigue.

FIG. 11 is another example of a frame for confirming an exercise state during training. The frame is divided into sub-frames in accordance with the number of training equipments. FIG. 11 shows a frame in the case of managing four training machines, and one frame is divided into four sub-frames G1,G2,G3,G4 aligned horizontally and vertically. The sub-frames G1,G2,G3,G4 show the respective contents of exercises performed with training machines.

In the uppermost portion of the frame shown in FIG. 11, there are displayed tabs of “e MACHINE” for switching to each frame. On the lower side of the tabs, there are displayed four sub-frames G1-G4. Layout of each of the sub-frames G1-G4 is substantially the same, and they are easily identified and compared at one view. Each of the sub-frames G1-G4 includes spaces respectively showing a type of exercise, personal information, exercise progress state displaying space C2′ which corresponds to the exercise progress state displaying space C2 shown in FIG. 10, a menu, a setting changing space on the right of the menu, and an exercise state monitoring space C1′ corresponding to the exercise state monitoring space C1 shown in FIG. 10, sequentially from the upper side. The space for changing settings adopts a form of tabs so that it can be switched to frames for changing weight, positions of seat and the number of times in accordance with a selected item. Further, on the lower left portion, there is displayed a “STOP” button for forcibly pausing the exercise.

A menu space C4 is composed of tabs. As “NEXT” button is pressed, a display of the space is shifted to other items or items in a lower layer sequentially. If a button for the number of repetitions is pressed, the setting contents changing space C5 is switched to the repetition changing frame. Regarding a weight and a seat, the current setting is changed if corresponding buttons are pressed. Then, the settings after being changed are stored as data of a history and displayed on the frame. Further, the changed contents are transmitted to the machine terminal 20 via the communication unit 16.

As described above, information regarding an action state of each training machine is transmitted to the operation terminal 10, and the information is displayed on a respective sub-frame on one frame of the display portion 14. Thus, a trainer can easily understand an operation of each training equipment 30 visually at one view and at real time. As a result, the present training system can assist adequate progression of training. For example, there is a case where training menus of four people or four equipments are all varied, and there is also a case where only one person or equipment completes training faster than others. Even in such cases, a trainer visually confirms, for example, the exercise progress state displaying space C2 or C2′ of the display portion 14 of the operation terminal 10 and knows a progress state for each training machine. Accordingly, a trainer can simulate in advance how to proceed an over all training. For example, if a bar of one machine comes close to the right end, a trainer can make a forecast that a training will be soon terminated and think of preparing the next menu for the exerciser or switch the exerciser with other exerciser who is waiting. Alternatively, since a trainer can take a look at an exercise progress state displaying space C2 or C2′ to determine if a load of exercise is excessive or an exerciser is exhausted regarding a training equipment 30 whose progression of training is very slow, immediate actions such as lowering the load of the equipment or confirming a physical condition of the exerciser. As a result, according to the present training system, an instruction for progress of the training which is efficient and appropriate for each exerciser can be given. Further, in the case where operation information of each training equipment is not collectively displayed on a frame of the operation terminal 10 unlike the present system, if one trainer tries to deal with a plurality of exercisers, the trainer has to take a look around each equipment or exerciser to confirm a progress state. Further, while taking a look around each equipment, the trainer needs to pay attention to check if there is a trouble occurred in other equipment or exerciser. Thus, it is actually impossible for one trainer to deal with a plurality of exerciser. In this point of view, according to the present system, one trainer can deal with a plurality of training equipments or exercisers as described above. Thus, the present system provides an operator of a fitness club, a nursing care facility and the like with a very useful effect of suppressing the number of trainers to be small for merit on costs.

FIG. 12 shows a frame of a machine terminal for setting a movable range. The frame shown in FIG. 12 is displayed on the display portion 24 of the machine terminal 24 when a button for setting a movable range is pressed. The example of the frame reflects the case of the training equipment 30C. As shown in the frame, a bar image extending horizontally and showing the maximum movable range is displayed. On the lower side thereof, there are displayed a guidance for measurement and an image of the training equipment 30C. Here, the guidance includes the content, “Your movable range will be set. Please perform the opening and closing exercises slowly in an appropriate form for three times.” During the measuring operation, the movable range setting processing portion 412 receives a result of detection transmitted from the detector 53 and determines an appropriate movable area in accordance with an moving range and a moving speed. The contents of determination is made visible by changing a display form of a bar image in a movable area portion. Further, information of the determined movable range is transmitted to the operation terminal 10 via the communication unit 26 of the machine terminal 20, renewed as new data and displayed as can be seen in FIG. 10.

FIG. 13 shows frames of the machine terminal displayed at the time of measuring a physical fitness. The frames shown in FIG. 13 are measurement guide frames which are switched when a setting button for measuring a physical fitness is pressed. At first, a guidance “Select the exercise and lift for six times. The weight is automatically set.” is displayed in the frame (a), and as set values, the times “6” and the weight “25.0 kg” are displayed. An exerciser performs the exercise for six times in this state. In accordance with the exercise state, the maximum muscular strength is calculated with use of a predetermined arithmetic expression based on a level of voltage induced by a servomotor, operation speeds detected by the detector 53 from the first time to the sixth time, and changes in the speed. The result is displayed in the frame (b), and “28 kg” which is calculated as an optimum weight is also displayed. Next, in the frame (c), it is asked whether or not the obtained optimum weight data should be reflected in the next training in a form of “YES” or “NO.” If “YES” is selected, the optimum weight measured at this time is transmitted to the operation terminal 10 via the communication unit 26 and stored in the personal information space.

FIG. 14 shows steps for authenticating an exerciser. A personal authentication processing is performed when an exerciser presses a personal authentication button. At first, as shown in the frame (a), all of initial letters of sequences of fifty Japanese alphabets e.g. “A” is displayed. The frame (a) guides operation of determining an initial letter of a family name of an exerciser. The frame (b) shows a state where the letter “MA” is pressed. In the frame (c), remaining Japanese alphabets of the selected sequence and optional marks such as a voiced sound mark are displayed. The frame (d) shows the state where the letters “MU” is pressed. When an initial letter of a family name is determined, the communication controller 221 refers to the personal information space of the operation terminal 10 via the communication unit 26, extracts therefrom names of members whose family name has an initial letter of “MU,” and receives the list via the communication unit 26. The frame (e) is a frame after receiving the list, and there are displayed names of at least four members. Further, it shows the state where an exerciser selects the name “MURAKI.” Next, when an “ENTER” button is pressed in the frame (e), the frame is shifted to the frame (f). Then, it is asked to enter a password. Here, when an exerciser enters a predetermined password e.g. four numbers via numerical buttons, information of the family name and password are transmitted to the operation terminal 10, as described above. Then, existence or nonexistence of the selected member is checked, and the result is replied back. The frame (g) is a frame showing the replied result. If “YES” is pressed in this frame, information indicating that an exerciser is determined is transmitted to the operation terminal 10. In such a manner as described above, the authentication processing of an exerciser is performed.

FIG. 15 shows frames of the machine terminal 20 showing another method of personal authentication. The example shown in FIG. 15 is a form of providing a transponder to an exerciser for personal authentication. The transponder has a predetermined shape such as a shape of watch. The transponder is of a well-known item and includes therein with a storage portion for storing exerciser authentication information and a transmitter for transmitting the stored contents. An exerciser is provided with a transponder at a reception corner when he enters a training facility. On the other hand, an operator performs a processing of correlating the member with exerciser information of the transponder, and stores the information in a management server device and the like. Data stored in the management server can be acquired at the operation terminal 10 through a local area network. In the above-described situation, when an exerciser presses a personal authentication button on the machine terminal 20 of the training equipment 30, the frame (a) is displayed. This frame guides an operation to place a transponder wound around an arm of the exerciser above a predetermined portion of the machine terminal. In this embodiment, the machine terminal 20 is provided with a receiver at an appropriate portion on its upper surface for receiving information from a transmitter of the transmitter. The exerciser identifying information of the transponder taken in at the machine terminal 20 is transmitted to the operation terminal 10 via the communication unit 26. Here, a search for an individual member is performed, and the individual information is replied back to the machine terminal 20 via the communication unit 26. The frame (b) is a frame showing member information which has been replied back. If “YES” is pressed in this frame, information notifying that an exerciser is determined is transmitted to the operation terminal 10. In such a manner as described above, personal authentication processing of an exerciser is performed.

FIG. 16 shows frames of the machine terminal 20 showing yet another method of personal authentication. In this embodiment, an authentication technology using ID information and password is adopted. Here, any of the ID information and password is of numerics. The personal authentication processing is performed when an exerciser presses a personal authentication button. At first, as shown in the frame (a), a guiding words of “Please enter the ID number (four numbers).” and numerical buttons of “0” to “9”. The frame (b) shows the state where the ID number is entered. The frame (c) shows the state where the entering of ID number is completed and the password is inputted. When entering of both the ID number and password is completed, the inputted information is transmitted to the operation terminal 10 via the communication unit 26. Here, the search for an individual member is performed, and the individual information is replied back to the machine terminal 20 via the communication unit 26. The frame (d) is a frame displaying the replied member information. If “YES” is pressed in this frame, information notifying that an exerciser is determined is transmitted to the operation terminal 10. In such a manner as described above, personal authentication of an exerciser is performed.

FIG. 17 is a flowchart showing processing steps of the machine terminal and the operation terminal during a training.

When an exerciser pushes a personal authentication button of the machine terminal 20 and inputs information necessary for a personal authentication (step ST1), processings for reference is performed in the operation terminal 10 (step S1). Next, a predetermined training menu is displayed on the operation terminal and machine terminal 20. Here, if a trainer inputs an instruction to start training to the operation terminal 10 (step S3), the start instruction signal is transmitted to the machine terminal 20, and the instruction to start the training is transmitted to the training equipment 30 (step ST3). Here, the start instruction is performed on the side of the operation terminal 10. However, an exerciser may start exercise by pressing a start button provided on the side of the training equipment voluntarily.

On the screen of the display portion 14 of the operation terminal 10, a control frame as shown in FIGS. 10 or 11 is displayed (step S5). On the other hand, the detector 53 of the training equipment 30 continuously detects an exercise state of the movable portion, and the information of a result of detection and various settings are generated as transferred data (step ST7). The transferred data includes information such as machine data and exercise data which are described above as training menu data, a state of progress, a detection result, and a weight and times of exercise.

On the other hand, existence and nonexistence of changes in settings is determined on the side of the operation terminal 10 (step S7). If there is no change, step S9 is skipped. If there is a change, the routine proceeds to step S9. In the step S9, if there is a change or a change in setting is included in the data transmitted from the machine terminal 20, a setting is rewritten or renewed. Further, on the side of the operation terminal 10, contents of changes is collected. The transferred data is generated (step S11), and the data is transmitted to the machine terminal 20. In the machine terminal 20, renewal of data and changing of display is performed based on the transferred data (step ST9). Here, the data transmission from the machine terminal 20 to the operation terminal 10, and the data transmission from the operation terminal 10 to the machine terminal 20 may be performed at a timing in a predetermined interval or in repetition. Additionally, the operation terminal 10 may be so configured as to perform transmission in response to a periodical data transmission received from the machine terminal 20. Alternatively, the operation terminal 10 may be so configured as to transmit data to the machine terminal 20 only when a change in setting occurs.

Next, a determination of whether or not one exercise is terminated is performed in the machine terminal 20 based on a set repetition information (step ST11). If the exercise is terminated, the routine loops back to step ST5, and the same processing is repeatedly performed. On the other hand, if the one exercise is terminated, a determination of whether or not all of the exercises are terminated is performed based on contents of the training menu (step ST13). If there is a remaining exercise, an evaluation (Borg) frame is displayed (step ST15) to ask an exerciser to input an evaluation. When an exerciser inputs an evaluation (YES in step ST17), a content thereof is transmitted to the operation terminal 10 (step ST19). Next, a content of the next exercise is set (step ST21), and the routine loops back to step ST3. Accordingly, the same processing is repeatedly performed.

FIG. 18 shows an example of the evaluation guidance frame described in step ST15 of FIG. 17. As shown in FIG. 18, a message such as “Select a comment from the buttons below.” to ask for a comment on exercise. Further, as comments for the exercise, there are displayed buttons such as “easy”, “just right”, “bit hard”, “hard”, “the number of training equipments being monitored is hard” and “could not perform for ten times.”

Next, determination results made in the steps ST11, ST13 are transmitted to the operation terminal 10. In the operation terminal 10, a determination of whether or not one exercise is terminated based information transmitted from the machine terminal 20 (step S13). If the exercise is not terminated, the routine loops back to step S5. If the exercise is terminated, a determination of whether or not all of the exercises are terminated (step S15). If all of the exercise is not terminated, an evaluation transmitted from the machine terminal 20 is displayed on a Borg space on the frame (step S17). Next, a content of the next exercise is displayed on a screen (step S19). On the other hand, if all of the exercise is terminated, a termination frame is displayed (step S21) and then a training history of this time is stored in the history space (step S23). Then, the present routine is terminated.

On the side of the machine terminal 20, if all of the exercise is terminated in step ST13, the routine proceeds to step ST23 to display a termination frame (step ST23) and then the routine is terminated.

Further, the following modifications can be adopted.

(1) In the present embodiment, four sub-frames are shown in FIG. 11. However, the present invention is not limited to this. In this case, the number of monitored training equipments and specification of the same may be determined based on a kind of identification information or used ports set in the router 50, and the number of sub-frames may be set in accordance with the determination. Alternatively, the number of sub-frames may be predetermined.

(2) In the present embodiment, machine terminal side controller 21 of the machine terminal 20 and the equipment-side controller 40 of the training equipment 30 are separated. However, those may be integrated into one machine-side controller.

As described above, a training system comprises a training equipment provided with a movable portion for allowing an exerciser to perform an exercise; and an operation terminal for transmitting operation information for an action of the movable portion to the training equipment. The training equipment includes: an equipment-side receiver for receiving the operation information; and a driver for driving the movable portion in accordance with the operation information. The operation terminal includes: an input portion for allowing operation information to be externally inputted; a terminal-side transmitter for transmitting the operation information inputted in the input portion to the training equipment; a terminal-side display portion for displaying an image; and a terminal-side display controller for allowing the terminal-side display portion to display the operation information.

According to this configuration, the input portion of the operation terminal allows operation information to be inputted, and the inputted operation information is transmitted to the training equipment. In the training equipment, the driver drives the movable portion to act in accordance with the operation information. Further, the operation information is displayed on the terminal-side display portion. Thus, an operator such as a trainer who operates the operation terminal can confirm the inputted operation information through the display portion. Accordingly, an operator may allow an exerciser to perform an accurate and appropriate exercise. Thus, a trainer can give an instruction to a training equipment which an exerciser uses in an easy and precise manner, and easily confirm information related to operation state of the training equipment at his hand.

It is preferable that the transmission of operation information from the terminal-side transmitter to the equipment-side receiver is performed in a wireless short-distance communication.

According to this configuration, an operator can freely come close to or stay apart from a training equipment. Thus, it is not necessary for an operator to always stay near the training equipment, and an operator may have more freedom in his work, such as doing other easy works at the same time.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the operation information includes at least one of a load applied to the movable portion and the number of actions of the movable portion.

According to this configuration, setting of exercise load and exercise times in accordance with a physical condition, a state of body and a training state of an exerciser is made possible.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the training equipment includes: an equipment-side display portion for displaying an image; and an equipment-side display controller for allowing the equipment-side display to display the operation information.

According to this configuration, an exerciser can confirm which exercise should be done in accordance with information displayed on the display portion of the training equipment. Therefore, an exerciser can perform a training comfortably or with a mental preparation for the training.

Further, in the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the training equipment includes: a detector for detecting an action state of the movable portion; and an equipment-side transmitter for transmitting action information showing the action state detected by the detector to the operation terminal, the operation terminal includes a terminal-side receiver for receiving the action information, and the terminal-side display controller allows the terminal-side display portion to display the operation information.

According to this configuration, transmission of information is made possible between the training equipment and the operation terminal. Thus, action information obtained in the training equipment can be confirmed also on the side of the operation terminal. Accordingly, more appropriate advice can be given to an exerciser.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the training equipment includes an information converter for converting the action information detected by the detector to a visible form, and the terminal-side display controller allows the terminal-side display to display the converted action information.

According to this configuration, action state is converted to a visible form and displayed on the terminal-side display portion. Thus, an operator of the operation terminal can easily understand an action state of an exerciser by confirming contents displayed on the operation terminal. A vertical action, forward and backward actions or horizontal action of the movable portion of the training equipment is displayed on the operation terminal as a reciprocating action of, for example, a gauge meter.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the training equipment includes an evaluation acquirer for acquiring evaluation information of an exercise, the equipment-side transmitter transmits the acquired evaluation information to the operation terminal, and the operation terminal includes a storage portion for storing the evaluation information in correlation with the exercise.

According to this configuration, an evaluation of an exerciser regarding exercise is stored in a storage portion. Thus, an operator such as a trainer and the like can easily confirm accuracy of operation information set by himself. Further, the stored evaluation information can be utilized for preparation of menu at the time of next training. Further, even in the case where an exerciser has a handicap related to oral communication with others, the exerciser can tell his fatigue and the like to an operator by using the evaluation acquirer. Accordingly, an operator can easily and expeditiously understand a degree of fatigue of an exerciser, and take an appropriate action.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the operation terminal is operable to transmit and receive information individually to and from a plurality of training equipments.

According to this configuration, the operation terminal is operable to transmit and receive information individually to and from a plurality of training equipments. Accordingly, a plurality of training equipments can be individually controlled. Thus, an operator can understand exercise states of a plurality of exercisers simultaneously, and it is made possible for a trainer to make each exerciser perform an effective exercise, and give an appropriate advice to an individual exerciser. Here, discrimination or identification of a plurality of training equipments by the operation terminal by way of providing a router having a plurality of ports between the operation terminal and the plurality of training equipments and setting a port of a router for each training equipment, or by way of setting identification information for each training equipment and transmitting information with the identification and allowing the receiver side to determine the identification information.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the terminal-side display controller allows the terminal-side display to display action information transmitted from the plurality of training equipments.

According to the above-described configuration, exercise state information transmitted from a plurality of training equipments are displayed on the terminal-side display portion. Thus, an operator can visually understand exercise states of a plurality of exercisers and give an appropriate advice to an exerciser individually. Further, one operator can monitor and deal with a plurality of exerciser, as described above. Accordingly, a fitness club and a nursing-care facility adopting the present system has a cost merit of suppressing the number of operator to be low.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the terminal-side display controller divides a screen of the terminal-side display into a plurality of sub-screens corresponding to the plurality of training equipments respectively, and allows each sub-screen to display action information transmitted from each training equipment.

According to this configuration, an operator can understand exercise states of a plurality of exercisers with one frame.

In the above-described configuration, it is preferable that the terminal-side display includes a panel-type display unit, and the terminal-side display and the input portion are integrated into one body which is portable.

According to this configuration, the terminal-side display portion is thin since it adopts a panel-type display unit including a liquid crystal and a PDP device. Further, since the terminal-side display portion and the input portion are integrated into one body, an operator can possess the operation terminal. Accordingly, a trainer is capable of moving to any place where he can understand an exercise state of an exerciser and set ting a needed operation information in accordance with inquiries with an exerciser.

Further, a computer-readable recording medium stores a training assist program for an operation terminal which remotely controls a training equipment having a movable portion by receiving operation information for an action of the movable portion by an input portion, and transmitting it via a communication portion. The training assist program allows the operation terminal to function as: an operation information generator for generating operation information in accordance with content inputted in the input portion; a communication controller for transmitting the operation information to the training equipment via the communication portion; and a display controller for allowing a display portion to display the operation information.

According to this configuration, an operation information generator creates operation information in accordance with content inputted in the input portion, and a communication controller transmits the operation information to the training equipment via the communication portion. Further, the display controller allows a display portion to display the operation information. Thus, an operator such as a trainer who operates the operation terminal can confirm an operation information which he inputted via the display portion. Accordingly, the trainer can make an exerciser perform a precise and appropriate exercise.

This application is based on patent application No. 2006-138597 filed in Japan, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by references.

As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit of essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiment is therefore illustrative and not restrictive, since the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims rather than by the description preceding them, and all changes that fall within metes and bounds of the claims, or equivalence of such metes and bounds are therefore intended to embraced by the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8152696 *Apr 26, 2011Apr 10, 2012Yoga Today, LLCExercise apparatus and methods
US8684888Mar 6, 2012Apr 1, 2014Yoga Today LlcExercise apparatus and methods
US20110201477 *Apr 26, 2011Aug 18, 2011Scott Alan BlumExercise apparatus and methods
US20120058859 *Mar 3, 2010Mar 8, 2012Automorphe LimitedAutomated weightlifting spotting machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/4
International ClassificationA63B24/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/00181, A63B71/0009, A63B2024/0078, A63B24/00, A63B24/0075
European ClassificationA63B21/00T, A63B24/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 24, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: KONAMI SPORTS & LIFE CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MATSUBARA, KEIICHI;HIGUCHI, TORU;MORI, HISASHI;REEL/FRAME:019759/0458
Effective date: 20070622