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Publication numberUS2858555 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1958
Filing dateJun 9, 1955
Priority dateJun 9, 1955
Publication numberUS 2858555 A, US 2858555A, US-A-2858555, US2858555 A, US2858555A
InventorsMedovick George
Original AssigneeMedovick George
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-propelled cleaning or painting device
US 2858555 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

G. MEDOVICK Nov. 4, 1958 Filed June 9, 1955 4 14 @EaEGE MEDOV/C'K, 1 INVENTOR.'

34 BYflls'Av-raelvsys.

ji qe/els, Mary, 17 0575? gym/m:

Nov. 4, 1958 G. MEDOVICK SELF-PROPELLED CLEANING OR PAINTING DEVICE 2 SheetsSheet 2 Filed June 9, 1955 62-0255 Msaawcz,


BY Ms flrmewsys United States Patent SELF-PROPELLED CLEANING OR PAINTING DEVICE The present invention relates to self-propelled cleaning and painting devices which are primarily designed to be used in cleaning and painting comparatively long members supported at their extremities.

There exists at the present time a substantial problem as to how to effectively, and yet cheaply, clean and paint the suspension cables on various bridges, and how to effectively clean and treat various poles such as are commonly known as telephone poles, and various long suspended wires and cables in a number of diverse situations. With the present essentially hand-methods of cleaning and painting such long members which are supported at their extremities, it is very ditficult for an individual to reach all portions of these members without using extensive scaffolding or various types of suspended chairs or like equipment.

It is a broad object of the instant invention to provide new. and improved self-propelled devices which are exceedingly effectual in cleaning, painting, or otherwise treating such elongated members which are supported at their extremities. A related broad object of the invention is to provide constructions for this purpose which are exceedingly effectual in use, and yet which are comparatively small, easily manufactured, and comparatively cheap to both construct and operate. Further objectives of the invention, as well as many advantages of it, will be apparent from the remainder of this specification in cluding the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a device of the invention which is intended to be used in painting a substantially vertical cable such as is commonly found in suspension bridges;

Fig. 2 is an enlarged detail view showing the'fastening device employed with the construction shown in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a modified construction of the instant invention designed for treating telephone poles or like structures;

Fig. 4 is a partial perspective view in which part of the housing employed is broken away to illustrate operative means within a modified device of the invention designed to be employed in cleaning substantially vertical cables;

Fig. 5 is a detail view showing certain operative parts of theconstruction shown in Fig. 4; and

Fig. 6 is a detail view similar to Fig. 5 indicating a modified cleaning structure which may be employed with the invention.

In all figures of the drawings, like numerals have been employed to designate like parts.

The instant invention may required by Rule 73 of the Rules of Practice of the United States Patent Office, in patent cases, as being concerned with a self-propelled cleaning and painting device of the class described, which comprises a cylindrical propulsion unit upon which there are mounted propulsion wheels; means for turning these wheels; and a cylindrical treating unit attached to this propulsion unit so as to be be briefly summarized as member.

Patented Nov. 4, 1958 aligned therewith. With the invention such a cylindrical I treating unit may include either means for cleaning an elongated member, as previously indicated, or means for applying paint or other similar material to such elongated It is primarily intended that different types of treating units may be attached to a cylindrical propulsion unit so as to initially clean a member, and then to either apply a coat of paint or another similar material, such as a wood preservative, to this member.

This invention is best further explained directly by reference to the accompanying drawings. In Fig.1 there is shown a complete device of the instant invention 10 which includes a generally cylindrically shaped propulsion unit 12. This propulsion unit is formed of two shell-like sections 14 which are joined together by means of a conventional hinge 16 and by means of a plurality of clamps 18 which are located on the edges of these sections 14 remote from the hinge 16. Thus, the clamps 18 employed with the propulsion unit 12 are located at the back of this unit as viewed in Fig. l of the drawings.

Each of the clamps consists of a handle 20 pivotally I attached to one of the sections 14. To each handle 20,

at a point on the handle removed from the point of attachment to a section 14, there is secured a generally box-shaped link 22 in such a manner that one side of this link projects through an opening so as to be capable of movement with respect to the handle 20. On the side of each link 22 remote from the handle 20 is provided a sleeve 26 which is free to rotate with'respect to the link 22, and which carries a small projection 28 designed to hold one end of a spring 30. The other end of the spring 30 is designed to hook into engagement with a projecting lug 32 formed upon the other section 14 of the propulsion unit 12.

The type of construction employed with the clamps 18 is in many respects conventional, and is merely designed to secure the sections 14 to one another easily and conveniently. Thus, with this construction the clamps 18 may be released by merely pulling the handles 20 from the position shown in Fig. 2, enabling the springs 30 to be readily disengaged by 32. When this is done, the sections 14 may be turned with respect to one another remove the propulsion unit 12 from a cable 34 about which this unit has been disposed. The propulsion unit 12 may, by merely reversing the series of operations indicated, be clamped about another cable (not shown) with a minimum of difficulty. If desired, more than two secwheels 44. Thus, these guide wheels 52 include tires 50 and are mounted so as to be supported upon bearings 24 in the handle hand from the projecting lugs 1 about the hinge 16 so as to Each of the gears 40 is designed to engage a gear member 42 formed upon a driving wheel 44 mounted between bearings 46 on one 48 within the seca similar manner 46 so as toproject through openings tions 14 and engage the cable 34 in to the driving wheels 44.

Normally, the dimensions of the wheels 44 and 52 are suchthat when the sections 14 are located about the cable34 through the use of theclamps 18, these wheels firmly ,engage the cable 34. so that there is no chanceof slippage between the tion of the wheels 44 and 52 with respectto the cable 34. is quite important with the invention. It is readily seen in Fig.1 of. the 12 is essentially cylindrical in shape. These wheels 44 and 52 are symmetrically disposed about the axis of what may be considered a complete cylinder formed by the sections 14 when these sections are secured together in an operative position, Further, the driving wheels 44 and the guide wheels 52 are preferably located in different planes perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder defined by the sections 14 of the propulsion unit 12. This axis may be termed the axis of the complete propulsion unit 12. It is not necessary that all of the driving Wheels 44 or the guide wheels 52 be located in the same plane. It is, however, important that these wheels be disposed within the sections 14 so as to engage the cable 34 in such a manner that the propulsion unit is held in a position in which sidewise movement of this propulsion unit with respect to the cable 34 is prevented. In Fig. 1 of the drawings, only three driving wheels 44 and only three guide wheels 52 are shown. It is to be understood, however, that the number of these wheels may be multiplied to any desired extent, the minimum number of driving and guide wheels being three for what is considered to be a commercially feasible propulsion unit.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in Fig. l of the drawings, two of the driving wheels 44 and two of the guide wheels 52 are disposed upon each of sections 14. The number of wheels on any section may be varied so long as a substantially symmetrical construction capable of holding the propulsion unit against sidewise movement with respect to the cable 34 is obtained.

Each of the sections 14 is formed so as to include a propulsion unit 12. Within each of the sections 58 there is formed an enlarged paint reservoir 60 which is intended to be filled with paint through an opening (not shown) normally covered by a conventional cap 62. Mounted upon the sides of these ders 64 for compressed gas, such as, for example, carbon dioxide. These cylinders are connected through pipe means 66 to control boxes 68 which are employed to govern the emission of gas from these cylinders 64 to paint spray nozzles 70 mounted upon the top surfaces ofthe sections 58. The means connecting these nozzles 70 with the control boxes 68, and the paint reservoirs 60 are not shown in Fig. 1 of the drawings, but are exceedingly conventional in the art and are of the broad category normally employed in any paint spraying equip- The control boxes 68 thus serve in part as valves and contain valve means (not shown) for governing the removalof gas from the cylinders 64. An air line may be extended from the ground if desired.

Immediately adjacent the nozzles 70 there are mounted semicylindrical shields 72 which are designed to be usedin preventing paint emitted from the nozzles 70 from beingblown away from the cable 34 during operation of the complete device 10.

A ripg shaped contact 74 is mounted within guide se wheels and'the cable. The ,loca-.

drawings that the propulsion unit,

for either type of Wheel 1 sections 58 are cylinmeans 76 attached to one of the shields 72 so as to be connected to one of the control boxes 68. Both of the control boxes are connected by means of an appropriate electric cable 78. Further, the control box connected to the ring-shaped contact 74 is connected by means of another electric cable 80 to a switchbox 82 mounted upon one of the sections 14. This switchbox is connected to each of the motors 36 by the use of electric cables 84, and is connected to an appropriate source of electric current by means of another electric cable 86.

The operation of the complete device 10 shown in Fig. 1 of the drawings is essentially very simple. In use, the complete device is assembled about a cable, such as, for example, a suspension bridge cable adjacent the lower end thereof, the paint reservoirs 60 are filled with an appropriate paint, and the cylinders 64 are filled with a, compressed gas, such as, for example, carbon dioxide. Power is supplied. through the cable 86 and the other cables shown. so as to cause the motors 36 to operate turning the driving wheels 44, causing the complete device 10 to move along the cable 34 until such time as the contact 74 hits against the member (not shown) from which the cable 34 is suspended. As this happens, the contact 74 is moved, causing an appropriate switch (not shown) within the control box 68 to be actuated. motors 36 to reverse their direction of rotation, reversing the direction of movement of the complete device 10. Simultaneously with the reversal of the motors 36, valve means (not shown) within the control box 68 are actuated, allowing gas from within the cylinders 64. to escape, forcing paint through the nozzle 70 against-the cable 34. This painting operation continues until such time as thecomplete device 10 reaches the point from Whichits movement commenced. At this time, it may be discontinued by shutting off the power supplied to the cable 86.

It is obvious that in place of the precise electric arrangement indicated inFig. 1 of the drawings, other means may be provided so that the operation of the entire device 10 may be governed by an operator stationedupon the ground or a bridge, who merely throws switches governing the operation of the device 10 at the appropriate times. This method of actuation of the complete device 10 is not preferred for very long cables, however, inasmuch as it is exceedingly dilficult for an complete device 10 the clamps 18 and cable.

A modified complete device of 90 is shown in Fig. 3.

the instant invention This modified device is es- The motors. 94 are each connected so as to drive small gears 104. These small gears 104 are intended to encated between bearings 46 so as to project through openings 48. The driving Wheels 108 employed with this The actuation of this switch causes the Y modification of the invention preferably diifer from the driving wheels 44 in that they are provided witha comparatively rigid exterior surface from which there project a number of small, generally pointed lugs 110 which are intended to bite into the wood forming a complete telephone pole 113 so as to engage this telephone pole in a manner in which slippage of the complete device 90 is impossible. The sections 96 also carry guide wheels 114 of a similar construction to the wheels 108 so that these guide wheels 114 are mounted between bearings 46in order to project through other openings 48 within the sections 96. In the modification of the invention indicated in Fig. 3 of the drawings, both the guide wheels 114 and the driving wheels 108 are spaced generally symmetrically about the telephone pole 112 in difierent planes perpendicular to the axis of the telephone pole 112 so as to engage different portions of this telephone pole in the manner calculated to prevent undesired movement of the propulsion unit 98 from one side of the telephone pole 112 to another while in use.

The sections 96 are provided with upper flange-like constructions 116 which are designed to carry a treating unit 118 comprising at least two sections 120 secured together by a hinge 16. Within the bottom of each section 120 there is formed a paint tank 122, each paint tank being designed to he filled through an appropriate filling tube 124. These tubes are normally provided with conventional caps 126 for the obvious purpose. Immediately above the tanks 122 of the sections I120 are a plurality of spray nozzles 128 which are directed towards the telephone pole 112. These spray nozzles are connected to the paint tanks 122 in the conventional manner (by means not shown), and are also connected through an air line 130 and pipe means 132 so that when air is supplied to the treating unit 118 through the air line 130 all of these nozzles 128 are simultaneously actuated. Hood-like bafiie means 134 are secured to the tanks 122 so as to prevent the undesired dissemination of paint or other treating fluid by wind striking the complete device 90.

The operation of the modified construction shown in Fig. 3 of the drawings is essentially identical with the operation of the complete device illustrated in Fig. l in that mounting and demounting of this complete device 90 about one or more telephone poles follow the same series of steps outlined in the preceding discussion. The type of construction illustrated in the modified device 90 is particularly advantageous for use on wood poles where the lugs 110 may readily bite into the wood in the manner in which equipment of a telephone lineman bite into the same supporting structure. Inasmuch as telephone poles are not as a rule exceedingly high, the device of the instant invention may be readily controlled in the desired manner by an operator standing on the ground adjacent the telephone pole. The springs 30 employed with the clamps 18, upon both the treating unit 118 and the propulsion unit 98, serve a very efiectual purpose in adjusting the effective diameter of both the propulsion unit 98 and the treating unit 118 during the operation of the device so that at all times the efiective diameter of this device is that of a telephone pole. Thus, means are provided with this modification of the invention for compensating for any taper found on a telephone pole.

In Fig. 4 of the drawings, a second modified construction of the invention is shown. Here, the construction comprises a treating unit 136 which is designed to be used in cleaning by brushing a cable 34 such as is described in connection with Fig. 1 of the drawings. This treating unit 136 is intended to be mounted upon the propulsion unit 12 previously described, although, obviously, it can also be mounted upon the propulsion unit 98. It consists primarily of two shell-like sections 138 which are secured together by means of a hinge 140 and clamping means 142. These sections when secured the spikes of the conventional r of the drawings.

together in the manner shown in Fig. 4 form what is substantially a cylinder, within which there is mounted a plurality of brackets 144 designed to act as bearings in holding an elongated flexible cable 146 to which there is secured in a conventional manner bristles 148 constituting a part of a brush. During the operation of the construction shown in Fig. 4, this flexible cable 146 is turned by operating amotor 150, this motor 150 being connected to the cable 146 by means of conventional beveled gear means 152. This type of construction of the treating unit 136 is best understood with reference to Fig. 5 of the drawings in which details of the construction are illustrated.

Another modified treating unit 154 of the invention is explained by the detailed sectional view shown in Fig. 6 This sectional view is substantially similar to the sectional view of Fig. 5. In Fig. 6 a construction is illustrated in which the motor 150 is employed through gear means 152 so as to turn shafts 156 mounted within bearing brackets 158. Thus, with this construction a plurality of these shafts 156 is employed and the shafts are connected together by means of adjacent beveled gears 160. All of these shafts 156 are formed so as to hold bristles 148 forming a part of a complete brushing device.

Those skilled in the art will realize from the foregoing discussion the advantages of the instant invention indicated in the initial portion of this specification. They will also realize that the instant invention is not to be strictly construed as being drawn to only those constructions illustrated in the drawings. The'broad concept of the invention is intended to be applied to other constructions embodying the basic principles shown and described in this application. While the term cylindrica has been used to describe all of the treating units and propulsion units of the instant invention illustrated herein, it is to be understood that the structure of the invention may take various forms of the broad category indicated which are designed to be disposed about and encircle any elongated member supported at its ends. The instant invention is not to be considered as being restricted to use with structures such as poles, cables, or wires of cylindrical cross section; it can also be used with structures such as long I-beams. This invention is to be limited only by the accompanying claims forming a part of this specification.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a self-propelled device vertically disposed elongated ported at their extremities, such as bridge suspension cables, the combination of: a housing unit comprising at least two sections for encircling a portion of a vertically disposed elongated member, said housing unit including resilient clamps for joining said sections about the member; a plurality of wheels carried in said sections of said housing unit, the axes of rotation of said wheels lying in horizontal planes, with said Wheels projecting inward from said sections and with said resilient clamps urging said wheels into engagement with the encircled member; electric motor means carried on said housing unit; means coupling said motor means to said wheels in driving relationship for propelling the device up and down the member; a treating unit for encircling a portion of the member above said housing unit, said treating unit being mounted on and driven by said housing unit; a control for reversing said motor means to change the direction of motion of the device from upward to downward and for simultaneously energizing said treating unit; and a control actuating lever projecting above said treating unit for actuating said control when the device reaches the upper limit of its travel.

2. A device as defined in claim 1 in which said treating unit includes: rotary brush means mounted in a horizontal plane and encircling and engaging the member;

a drive motor for driving said brush means in rotation;

for use in treatment of members which are supand means for couplingsaid control to said drive motor in controlling relationship.

3. A device as defined in claimv 1 in which said treating unit includes: a plurality of paint spray units disposed symmetrically about the member for directing the paint onto the member; a paint reservoir coupled toeach of said spray units; a sourceof power for spraying; a valve for coupling said source of power to said spray units; and

means for coupling said control to. said valve in controlling relationship.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 598,602

Keesee Feb. 8, 1898 15

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U.S. Classification15/88, 118/208, 134/102.1, 134/199, 15/319, 134/172, 144/208.2, 144/24.13, 134/103.2, 118/307
International ClassificationB05C1/06
Cooperative ClassificationF16N2210/34, B05C1/06
European ClassificationB05C1/06