|Publication number||US3350095 A|
|Publication date||Oct 31, 1967|
|Filing date||Aug 16, 1965|
|Priority date||Aug 16, 1965|
|Publication number||US 3350095 A, US 3350095A, US-A-3350095, US3350095 A, US3350095A|
|Inventors||Edward W Clasen|
|Original Assignee||Edward W Clasen|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (36), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Oct. 31, 1967 E. w. CLASEN 3,350,095
MOBILE WALKING AID WITH BRAKE MEANS Filed Aug. 16, 1965 gygzm r,
///5 HTTQQNEY United States Patent 3,350,095 MOBILE WALKING AID WITH BRAKE MEANS Edward W. Clasen, 6500 Chippewa St, St. Louis, Mo. 63109 Filed Aug. 16, 1965, Ser. No. 479,813 6 Claims. (Cl. 27270.3)
In general, the present invention relates to rehabilitation equipment or apparatus, and more particularly to improvements in walking aids. Specifically, the invention provides a novel safety assemblage for incorporation at the lower extremities of the leg members of a walking aid whereby to render such an apparatus mobile, and at the same time safeguarding the user against injury in consequence of such mobility, as will appear. It is not deemed necessary to elaborate herein on the various reasons why their physical condition is such that people are unable to walk without assistance. The condition may be a permanent or a temporary one, an example of the latter being a person with bed-ridden legs.
Consequently as is well known and understood, walkers or walking aids are commonly employed in hospitals, and of course also in the home. A typical walking aid would comprise a lightweight framework of tubular members including a top or handle bar member, four leg members that support said bar member, and one or more brace members. The leg members are usually provided with extensible foot extremities having a telescopic fit with the lower end portions of the leg members. Means are provided for adjusting the height of the handle bar member to suit the user, and the lowermost end portions of the leg members or the foot extremities, are usually covered with rubber caps that contact the floor.
The present invention however makes no claim to any of the walking aid structures and height adjustments thereof generally described in the preceding paragraph.
In other words, the primary object of this invention is to provide a novel organization or assemblage of elements adapted, when properly applied to walking aids of the type described, to convert same into mobile units that would be easy to steer, and could be rendered immobile simply in consequence of arm pressure applied by the user to the handle bar member. The pressure could be applied voluntarily, for example should a person using the walking aid become fatigued and desire to rest for a while. Then again, the pressure could be applied involuntarily, or so to speak naturally and automatically, for example should a person using the walking aid stumble or temporarily lose his balance. In such event (it of course being assumed that the user would always be gripping the handle bar member with both hands), his entire upper body weight would so to speak, automatically albeit involuntarily be brought to bear downwardly against the handle bar member.
Briefly, the organization or assemblage of elements contemplated by'the present invention includes: a ring ele ment; a relatively heavy compression spring; a spool element; a roller; an annular band rotatively mounted about the body portion of the spool element and provided with arm extensions for mounting the aforesaid roller therebetween; and a brake element.
In accordance with the concepts of the present invention, an assemblage of elements of the character described would be cooperatively associated with the lower end portion of the adjustable extension included in each leg member of a walking aid. It is to be noted however, inasmuch as some conventional walking aids may simply have leg members without adjustable extensions, that the present invention can also be embodied directly in the lower ends of such leg members to function in similar capacity. Inasmuch however, as the majority of modern walking aids are equipped with leg extensions, the application of the invention to such extensions has been chosen for illustrative and descriptive purposes herein.
The invention is illustrated on a sheet of drawings that accompanies this specification, and a more comprehensive understanding of the features and advantages thereof may be had from the detailed description to follow with reference to said drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of a walking aid incorporating the concepts of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view thereof;
FIGURE 3 is a front elevational view thereof;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view on an enlarged scale, illustrating the elements comprising the present invention applied to one leg of the walking aid;
FIGURE 5 is a top plan view partly in section taken as indicated on the line 55 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a vertical sectional view, partly in elevation, taken on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 5; and
FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 6, with certain elements shown in a moved position.
The invention is shown in association with an exemplary or typical walking aid of simple construction. Designated as a whole by the reference character A, the aid is comprised of a lightweight tubular framework including a top or handle bar member B, a pair of opposed front leg members C, a pair of opposed rear leg members D, a transverse brace member E connecting the front leg members and a pair of brace members F, each connecting a front and a rear leg member. As illustrated, the four leg members C and D are vertically disposed, it being understood that in some walking aids the front legs C may be slanted slightly forwardly, or offset forwardly. The side sections G of the handle bar member are each provided with a hand grip H, usually of plastic or rubber material.
Each of the four leg members is provided with a tubular extension K that has a telescopic fit with its lower end portion L, whereby the height of the handle bar B may be adjusted as is understood. Various means may be employed to maintain the walking aid in the desired status of adjustment. In the illustrated construction, set screws M are exemplarily shown for the purpose. As earlier indicated however, the present invention is not concerned with the constructional details thereof, nor with the height adjustment means of a Walking aid.
' The organization or assemblage of elements comprising the present invention has been illustrated in association with said tubular extensions K. It will be understood of course as pointed out earlier herein, that the walking aids not equipped with such extensions, the assemblage of the invention could just as well be applied directly to the lower end portion of each leg member.
Generally designated 10, the assemblage of the present invention includes as its principal components: a ring element 12; a relatively heavy compression spring 14; a spool element 16; a roller 18; a roller supporting component generally designated 20; and a brake element generally designated 22.
The ring element 12 surrounds the extension K, and is secured thereto on a determined plane by means of a pair of screws 24 as shown, or otherwise. The ring has an angular contour in cross-section, and includes an outstanding annular flange 26 that serves as an abutment for the upper end of the compression spring 14.
The body of the spool element 16 surrounds the extension K, and is provided with an upper outstanding annular flange 28, and a similar lower flange 30. The upper flange 28 serves as an abutment for the lower end of the compression spring 14, said spring being interposed about the extension K between the ring flange 26 and said spool flange 28.
The roller 18 may be fabricated of any appropriate material such as plastic, hard rubber, and the like. The component 20 includes a circular band segment 32 that loosely encircles the body of the spool element 16, and is loosely confined vertical-wise between the flanges 28 and 30 thereof. The band segment 32 merges into a pair of spaced arm extensions 34, that as shown in the drawings, are curved downwardly and support the roller 18 between them via a headed journal pin or axle 36 that extends through horizontally aligned circular openings in said roller, and in the arm extensions 34. Intermediate the band segment 32 and the arm extensions 34, said extensions include contiguously disposed inwardly offset segments 38 secured together by a rivet 40 as shown, or otherwise.
What is herein designated the brake element 22 comprises a plug that is pressfitted into the lowermost or bottom extremity of the extension K. It includes an insert portion 42 having an outstanding circular flange segment 44 whereonto a brake annulus 46 is permanently secured in any appropriate manner, adhesively or otherwise. The brake annulus 46 is formed of relatively soft rubber or neoprene material, and preferably has a rounded bottom peripheral edge 48, so that when said brake element is caused to engage a floor surface, its braking action will be immediately effective irrespective of whether a leg member of the walking aid is vertically or somewhat diagonally disposed.
Reverting to the spool element 16 and the roller supporting component 20, it is to be observed that said spool, although slidably disposed about the extension K, is maintained in position by the band segment 32, the latter in turn being maintained in position via the roller 18 and the arm extensions 34, as should be clear from an inspection of FIGURES 4, 6 and 7. It is furthermore to be observed that the component 20, together with its roller 18, is freely rotatable about the spool element as suggested by broken lines and arrows in FIGURE 5. It should thus be apparent that steering operations are facilitated.
The compression springs 14 are relatively heavy, and as indicated earlier, the walker framework is relatively light. Consequently said spring, interposed about the extensions K between the ring flange 26 and the spool flange 28 normally biases the framework upwardly in the manner illustrated paritcularly in FIGURES 2, 3, 4 and 6. From these views it should also be evident that the upward biasing forces of the compression springs 14 are limited by the engagement of the brake element flanges 44 with the lower flanges 30 of the spool elements 16. The brake elements 22 are thus normally maintained clear of the walking surface, the walker framework being supported from the compression springs.
Although it is believed that the foregoing description augmented by the drawings should adequately present the advantages and features inherent in this invention, a brief further explanation will be given.
Thus it will be assumed by way of example, that a bedridden patient is in the process of rehabilitation. Grasping the handle bar member B with both hands via the hand grips H, the patient would propel the walking aid A forwardly in understood fashion. At such time, the FIG- URE 6 condition of the invention would obtain with respect to all four of the leg members. Steering would be easy, and because of the resilient compression spring supporting arrangement, the patient may advance even though a slight obstruction, such as a door sill for example, should be in his path. In the event however, that the patient should stumble or lose his balance as his foot or feet encountered the obstruction, his weight would so to speak involuntarily bear down on the handle bar B, thus automatically overcoming the upward bias of the compression springs 14 and causing the brake elements 22 to descend and engage the walking surface in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 7. Injury to the patient would thus be obviated as the walking aid is thus instantaneously brought to a standstill.
That the patient may voluntarily bring the walking aid to a standstill at any time, and for any reason, should be obvious. It would only be necessary for said patient to apply downward arm pressure via the handgrips H.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with the lower end portion of a tubular leg member included in a Walking aid of the character described, an organization or assemblage of elements adapted to provide normal mobility and safe temporary immobility for the aid, said assemblage comprising: 4
a ring element rigidly secured thereto on a determined plane above the extremity of the lower end portion of said leg member;
a spool element slidably surrounding said lower end portion of the leg member;
a relatively heavy compression spring interposed about the lower end portion of the leg member between the ring element and the spool element;
supporting means for the roller including a circular band rotatably mounted about the body of the spool element; and
a brake element secured to the bottom extremity of said lower portion of the leg member and extending therebelow, said brake element being normally maintained in a position above the walking surface by the upwardly biasing force of the compression spring exerted against the ring element, and being adapted to be brought downwardly into engagement with said walking surface in consequence of pressure applied from above to counteract the upwardly biasing force of said compression spring.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the ring element has an angular contour in cross-section, and includes an outstanding annular flange that serves as an abutment for the upper end of said compression spring.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein the spool element includes an upper outstanding annular flange and a lower outstanding annular flange, said upper flange serving as an abutment for the lower end of said compression spring, said upper and lower flanges serving to loosely confine the circular band rotatably mounted about the body of the spool element against more than slight vertical movements thereof.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein the supporting means for the roller further includes:
a pair of spaced downwardly curved arm extensions provided with aligned circular openings through which a headed journal pin for said roller extends, said extensions being integral with the circular band, and having contiguously disposed inwardly offset segments secured together intermediate said band and extension.
5. The combination of claim 1 wherein the brake element comprises a plug including:
an insert portion pressfitted into the bottom extremity of the leg member;
an outstanding circular flange integral with the insert portion adapted to engage against the spool element when the walking aid is mobile;
a brake annulus of rubber and the like permanently secured to said flange for engaging a walking surface when the walking aid is immobile, the bottom peripheral edge portion of the annulus being rounded.
6. In combination with the tubular extension forming the lower end portion of a leg member included in a Walking aid of the character described, an organization or assemblage of elements adapted to provide normal mobility and safe temporary immobility for the aid, said assemblage comprising:
a ring element rigidly secured on a determined plane above the lower extremity of said extension, said ring element having an angular contour and including an outstanding annular flange;
a spool element including a body slidably surrounding the extension and having an upper outstanding annular flange and a similar lower flange;
a relatively heavy compression spring interposed about a roller; supporting means for the roller including a circular band rotatably mounted about the body of the spool element, a pair of spaced downwardly curved arm extensions integral with said band, a pair of aligned circular openings in said arm extensions, a headed journal pin extending through said openings and a central opening in the roller, and contiguously disposed inwardly otfset segments rigidly secured together intermediate the band and the arm extensions thereof, the upper and lower flanges of the spool element serving to loosely confine said hand against more than slight vertical movements thereof; and
'brake element in the form of a plug including an insert portion pressfitted into the lower extremity of the tubular extension aforesaid, an outstanding circular flange integral with the insert portion, and a brake annulus of rubber and the like permanently secured to said flange, the bottom peripheral edge portion of the annulus being rounded;
said brake element being normally maintained in a position above the walking surface by the upwardly biasing force of the compression spring exerted against the abutment flange of the ring element, and being adapted to be brought downwardly into engagement with said walking surface in consequence of pressure applied from above to counteract the upwardly biasing force of said compression spring.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,048,951 12/1912 Edwards 16-44 1,570,307 7/1924 Kirby 27270.3
FOREIGN PATENTS 6,628 3/ 1903 Great Britain. 11,753 6/ 1895 Great Britain. 564,783 10/1923 France.
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||482/68, 297/6, 280/43.24, 16/44|
|International Classification||A61H3/04, A61H3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A61H3/04, A61H2003/046|