US 3591226 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventors l'lobson J. ElmoreJr.
2772 Oakland Terrace, Decatur, Ga. 30032; William F. Elmore, 214 Ridgeway Drive, Guliport, Miss. 3950] Appl. No. 825,758
Filed May 19, 1969 Patented July 6, 1971 GRlPPlNG DEVICE FOR HANDICAPPED PERSON 3 Claims, 9 Drawlng Figs.
223/] 19, 294/104 Int. Cl A47i 13/06 Field of Search 294/19, 24,
References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS 1,142,678 4/1957 France 294/19 Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby Assistant Examiner-Douglas D. Watts Attorney-Polachek & Saulsbury ABSTRACT: This gripping device has an elongated tube with a handle at one end and,a shoehorn at the other end. A pivotable arm is located near the shoehom and is operated by a cable which extends through the tube and terminates at the handle. The arm cooperates with the shoehom in gripping a shoe. The arm can be spring biased to open or closed position with respect to the shoehorn. When in closed position the arm and shoehom can grip an article therebetween.
GlRllPlPlING DEVICE FOR lHlANDllCAlPPlElD PERSON The invention relates to the art of gripping devices, particularly those which can be used by infinn or handicapped persons to assist in putting on a shoe, and generally to pick up various articles from the floor without bending or stooping.
While remotely operated gripping and grasping devices have been known heretofore, none has been particularly adapted for use by a handicapped person having restricted arm and leg movement. One very difiicult task for such a ban dicapped or infirm person is the act of putting on a shoe. Ac cording to the invention this is facilitated by a device having a shoehorn at one end of a long tube. An arm or lever is pivotally mounted near the shoehorn to grip the rear of a shoe with the shoehorn positioned inside the shoe. The operator can move the shoe to a suitable position for putting his foot inside the shoe without having to stoop or bend over.
A rod, wire or cable extends from the pivotable arm to a point near the other end of the tube where a handle is mounted. The arm can be spring-biased to open or closed position and the cable will be pulled to open or close the grip of the arm on an object engaged between the arm and the shoehorn.
In another form of the invention a spring-biased arm is operated by one lever via a cable to open the arm with respect to the shoehorn. A second lever operates the arm via a second cable to increase the closing force of the arm. A ratchet at the second lever serves to hold the second cable taut for keeping a tight grip on an object engaged between the arm and shoehorn. The shoehorn can be magnetized for picking up ar ticles such as pins, razor blades, etc.
The invention is explained in further detail in connection with the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side view of a gripping device embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of one end portion of the device.
FIG. 3 is a side view of part of the device showing it engaged with a shoe to facilitate insertion of an operator's foot into the shoe.
FIG. 6 is a reduced perspective view of the device showing it being used by a seated handicapped person to pick up an article from the floor.
FIG. Sis an enlarged side view of part of the device showing it disposed for magnetically picking up various articles.
FIG. 6 is a side view of another gripping device according to the invention.
FIGS. 7A and 7B taken together constitute an enlarged central longitudinal sectional view of the device of FIG. 6, showing details of construction.
FIG. 8 is a similar view to FIG. 5, showing another modified form of the invention.
Referring first to FIGS. 1-5, there is shown a gripping device 10 having a relatively long rigid tube 12. At one end of the tube is a tubular handle M which serves as a handgrip. A strap 16 is attached to the handle to engage on the wrist 18 of operator 20. At the other end of the handle is mounted a spoonlike shoehorn 22. The concave inner side of the shoehorn extends angularly to the axis of tube 12 as best shown in FIG. 2. A pair of diametrically opposed longitudinal slots 24,25 are formed in the tube near the shoehorn. A curved lever arm 26 extends through these slots and is pivotally supported by a pin 28. The lower end portion 30 of arm 26 is tubular in form and is enclosed in a resilient rubber or plastic sleeve 32.
A tension coil spring 34 is engaged between a hole 35 adjacent sleeve 32 and a bracket eye 36 at the underside of tube 12. The spring tends to hold the arm 26 in open or retracted position with respect to shoehorn 22. A flexible cable 38 is at' tached at one end to the upper end of arm 26. The cable extends through an opening 40 in tube 12. The other end of the cable extends out of an opening 42 near handle 14 and terminatcs in a ring 44. The ring is shown in FIG. I engaged on a bracket d6 attached to the underside of the tube. I-Zrackct Mi can serve as a bottle opener if desired.
In operation of the device as shown in FIG. 3, the lower end portion 30 of arm 26 is advanced toward the shoehorn 22 against tension in the expanded spring M which is being pulled by retracted cable 38. Sleeve 32 engages the back 4% of shoe 50 while the shoehorn 22 overlays to top of the shoe to facilitate insertion of the operators foot 52 into the shoe. After the foot is inserted and device it) is withdrawn, the arm 26 will open with respect to the shoehorn to the solid line position shown in FIGS. l, 2 and ii.
In FIG. d, a round article 60 such as a cane is shown on the floor 611 being gripped between arm 26 and shoehorn 22. The operator 20 seated in a wheelchair 64, has his forefinger (in engaged in ring Ml at the end of cable Sill. Upon releasing the ring, the arm 26 will be opened by spring M to release article FIG. 5 shows the shoehorn 22 which is made of magnetized steel, picking up various articles magnetically such as a pin 70, razor blade '72, etc.
FIGS. 6, 7A and 7B show another gripping device WA in which parts corresponding to those of device It are identically numbered. Shoehom 22 is mounted at the front end of tube 12a. Lever arm 2% pivots on pin 26" and extends through slots 24a, 25a in the tube. A tension spring is engaged between a pin 82 on the tube and hole 1%, and tends to close the lower end 30 of the lever arm against the shoehorn as shown in FIG. 7A. A resilient pad or cushion M is cemented behind the shoehorn at the front end of the tube and serves as an abutment for an article 60a against which sleeve 32 presses.
Cable 3% is secured at one end to lower portion 36) of the lever arm 26a and extends through opening 3b in tube 12a. The cable extends out through an opening d8 near the other end of the tube as best shown in FIG. 7B, and terminates in a loop 87 at hole 89 in the forward end 91 of a bent lever 90. The lever has a rear portion 92 spaced from handle Ma at its underside. Sleeve 92 covers lever portion 92. Lever 9t] pivots on a pin 93 in bracket '94.
Another cable 95 is attached at one end to the upper end of lever arm 260. This cable extends through opening 96 in the tube. The other end of the cable extends through opening 97 at the top of the tube near handle Ma and terminates on a lever 98 which is pivotally supported on bracket 99. Lever 98 has a curved fingerpiece 93' which enables the lever to be tilted pivoted clockwise as viewed in FIGS. 6 and 7B to retract cable 95. A segment 100 of a ratchet is secured to the rear edge of lever 98. The teeth I01 of the ratchet are engaged by a pawl I02 pivotably mounted on a bracket i0 1 and held in engagement with the ratchet teeth by a leaf spring 106 on handle Ma.
In the operation of the g ripping device 10A, the operator will engage the rear portion 92 of lever with the fingers of one hand while the palm of the same hand overlays handle Ma. By pressing lever portion @2 toward handle Ma the lever will turn counterclockwise as viewed in FIGS. 6 and 7B. This will retract cable 38:: to open lever 26 by turning it counterclockwise. After engaging an article We between lever end 30 and pad 84, the lever 90 can be manually released and spring 80 will bias lever 26 clockwise to keep article 60a engaged between sleeve 32 and pad M or shoehorn 22. If it is desired to engage article 600 with greater force than can be applied by spring 80, the operator will engage fingerpiece 98' with his forefinger and retract lever 9%. This will retract cable and the lever end 32 will be pressed with greater force against article 60a. As lever 98 is turned pawl m2 engages successive teeth 101 of ratchet lltllt). The operator can then release fingerplece 98' and the pawl will hold the ratchet to keep cable 95 tensioned. Pawl 102 has a rearwardly projecting finger 103 which can be manually retracted to disengage the pawl from the ratchet against the action of a leaf spring 106. This will release the tension in cable 95. The article 60a can then be released by turning lever 90 to retract cable 38a.
In both forms of the invention described, the operator is provided with means for gripping and lifting various small articles by use of one hand alone, without having to stoop or bend. He can put on shoes easily and quickly with minimum effort by use of either gripping device described.
HO. 8 shows another gripping device 108 with rigid tube 12a and shoehorn 22 at one end thereof as indicated in the previous illustrations. in this form of the invention, the arm 26a is shown to be slidable in slot 260 and is secured to a slide rod 126 by a thumbscrew 26b or the like and the plunger is normally pressed toward the shoehorn 22 by a coil spring 34a so as to engage the sleeve 32 with the shoehorn 22. The retracting cable 38 is attached to the slide rod 126.
What we claim is:
l. A gripping device comprising an elongated tube, a handle at one end of the tube, an elongated member rigidly secured to the other end of the tube and having a side disposed at an angle to the axis of the tube; a grip lever arm pivotally connected to the tube adjacent to the side of the elongated member, a spring connected between the lever arm and the tube to urge the grip end of the lever arm in one direction toward and in contact with the side of said elongated member, a retracting cable attached to the grip lever arm for separating the pivoted grip end from said elongated member to engage an object between said grip lever arm and said elongated member, said cable extending along the tube to the handle, means connected to the cable operable by the hand of the user while gripping the tube handle to separate the gripping end of the lever from the elongated member, said elongated member being spoon shaped with a concave side facing outwardly from one end of the tube, said elongated member adapted to serve as a shoe horn when inserted into the shoe while the back of the shoe is engaged between the grip lever arm and said member.
2. A gripping device as defined in claim 1, and another cable connected to the lever arm and arranged to pivot the same to urge the grip end of the lever toward said elongated member in cooperation with said spring and a hand lever connected to the cable and pivoted upon the tube and operable by the hand while gripping the tube handle to positively urge the grip end against the object being gripped.
3. A gripping device as defined in claim 2, and releasable pawl and ratchet means located at tee handle, and operable upon the hand lever to lock the hand lever against the object, said pawl having a manually engageable extension for manually retracting the pawl to disengage from the ratchet and release tension in said other cable.