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Publication numberUS3739421 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 19, 1973
Filing dateJan 13, 1971
Priority dateJan 14, 1970
Also published asCA933710A1, DE2101659A1
Publication numberUS 3739421 A, US 3739421A, US-A-3739421, US3739421 A, US3739421A
InventorsFukuba H
Original AssigneeFukuba H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic suction cleaner
US 3739421 A
Abstract
An automatic suction cleaner is provided with a suction air-current producer and a suction nozzle connected to said suction air-current producer, said suction nozzle being so devised as to automatically reciprocate to the extent of a specified distance from said suction air-current producer by virtue of the working of a coiler in order to rub the floor surface, the reversal in the reciprocating motion of said suction nozzle is effected by the switchover of the motion of said coiler which takes place whenever said coiler is overloaded.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 11 1 Fukuba June 19, 1973 [54] AUTOMATIC SUCTION CLEANER 3,085,267 4/1963 Jacuzzi 15 415 x Inventor: Hiroshi Fukuba, N0. FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Matsugwka 'Q F 675,552 12/1963 Canada 15/301 Nagareyflma-Shl, Chlba-ken, Japan 722,755 1/1932 France 15 319 22 Filed: Jan. 13, 1971 Appl. No.2 106,094

Primary Examiner-John Petrakes Assistant ExaminerC. K. Moore Att0rneyWoodhams, Blanchard and Flynn 57] ABSTRACT An automatic suction cleaner is provided with a suction air-current producer and a suction nozzle connected to said suction air-current producer, said suction nozzle being so devised as to automatically reciprocate to the extent of a specified distance from said suction aircurrent producer by virtue of the working of a coiler in order to rub the floor surface, the reversal in the reciprocating motion of said suction nozzle is effected by the switchover of the motion of said coiler' which takes place whenever said coiler is overloaded.

9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Parmznmw 3.739.421

SHEEI 1 OF 4 INVENTOR. Mmw FflAl/BA 1 AUTOMATIC SUCTION CLEANER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION a. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a floor cleaner, particularly an automatic suction cleaner for use in cleaning the surface of a floor, carpet or the like.

b. Description of the Prior Art The conventional suction cleaners provided with a suction air-current producer and a suction noule connected thereto by means of a coupling tube have been accompanied with many inconveniences. For example, the coupling tube generally lacks elasticity so that the user has to move the suction nozzle by hand when it is to be moved along the floor surface and due .to the lack of mechanism for changing the location of the suction air-current producer in the prior art, the user had to modify the location thereof by hand.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide an automatic suction cleaner which dispels the abovementioned inconveniences accompanying the conventional cleaners and is possessed of such a suction aircurrent producer that it is capable of automatically cleaning the floor surface neighboring thereto while being placed at an optional location on the floor surface to be cleaned.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an automatic suction cleaner which is so devised that a suction nozzle connected to a suction air-current producer placed at an optional location on the floor surface to be cleaned is automatically movable and, by means of making such suction nozzle move periodically over a specified distance by virtue of the working of a coiler, the dust encountered in the course of movement of the suction nozzle is sucked in and removed.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an automatic suction cleaner whose suction air-current producer connected to a suction nozzle is equipped with a veering wheel, which is so devised that said veering wheel turns around for shifting the position of the suction air-current producer after completion of a stroke of movement of said suction nozzle, and, by virtue of this shifting and the movement of the suction nozzle, the dust within a sectorial area of the floor surface can be automatically sucked in and removed.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an automatic suction cleaner whose suction nozzle head is composed of a plurality of inlet-port members which are pivot-connected to each other and, at the same time, are designed to be capable of reflex motion to restore the original state so that, when a portion of the nozzle head runs against an obstacle on the floor, said portion turns centering around the pivot and avoids said obstacle, thereby permitting a continuous forward and backward movement of the suction nozzle as a whole.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Of the accompanying drawings,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus which may be utilized in practicing one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the same apparatus, wherein the state of veering of the nozzle is shown with broken lines.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the same apparatus, wherein a vertical section of the essential part thereof is partially shown.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken in FIG. 3 along the line IV-IV.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical section of the front elevation of the nozzle head of the same apparatus.

FIG. 6 is a view taken of the left side of the same nozzle head as in FIG. 5 upon cutting off a portion thereof.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the same nozzle head as shown in FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, 1 denotes the box-shaped main housing containing known mechanisms necessary for a cleaner, such as the air-current suction producing device, a dust collecting device, etc. The housing 1 is provided with an exhaust port 21 on one side as well as the supporting tube 8 fixed onto the outside thereof. The supporting tube 8 accommodates the telescopetype multiple suction tube 2, and the end of said multiple tube 2 is equipped with the nozzle 7 which is easily demountable. 3 denotes the cord-supporting tube which is installed upright and in rotatable fashion on the main housing 1 and accommodates the cord 23 inserted therein by the medium of the reel 4 equipped on the upper endthereof, and said cord 23 is supposed to supply electricity to the electric instruments within the main housing 1 as well as the controlling box A. 5 denotes a pair of wheels installed on both sides of the bottom of the main housing 1 for the purpose of forward and backward travelling of the cleaner, 11 denotes the casing mounted on the rear of the main housing 1, and, on the top of said casing, there is mounted the motor 13. 20 denotes the angle controlling board, and 22 denotes the lid for the dust collector-outlet.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged views of the rear of the main housing 1, wherein the aforementioned casing 11 accommodates the drum 12 which is provided with double annular walls having therebetween an interstice whose lower end is left open, and the bottom lid 24' of said drum 12 is held in rotatable fashion on the shaft 25 which is installed on the lower surface of the casing 11. Said bottom lid 24 is provided with the upward projection 26. The interstice between said double walls accommodates the coiled flexible steel band 10, and one end of this steel band 10 is fixed onto the rear end of the innermost tube-member 2A of the multiple tube 2 while the other end of the same band 10 is fixed onto the uppermost end of the double walls of the drum 12. The shaft 14 of the motor 13 perpendicularly penetrates the top plate of the casing 11, and the lower'end of said shaft 14 fits in the disk 41 in such a fashion that the latter rotates together with the former while being capable of axial movement. The disk 41 is provided with the dent 15 to engage with the above-mentioned projection 26 so that disk 41 and plate 24 function as an overload-release clutch, and, between the upper surface of the disk 41 and the inner surface of the top plate of the casing 11, there is provided the spiral spring 16 which encircles the shaft 14 and presses upon the disk 41. 6 denotes the veering wheel which is disposed at the rear of the main housing 1 and at a right angle to the lengthwise direction thereof, and the axle 42 is held with conventional rotary solenoids l8 and 19 which are installed at the rear bottom of the main housing 1. 9 denotes the dust inlet port.

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show the details of the nozzle 7. To be precise, on the tip of the nozzle 7 there is rotatably mounted the central nozzle member 30 in, and this central suction-nozzle member 30 is bilaterally provided with the flanges 27 and 28 on which there are pivoted the nozzle members 31 and 32 respectively by means of the pivot pins 29. These nozzles members 31 and 32 are therefore capable of turning around the pivot 29, but the angle of turning is regulated to be about 90 both forward and backward relative to the lengthwise direction of the central nozzle member 30 by means of a stopper or the like. On the front side and back side of the nozzle members 31 and 32 there are fixed one end of the leaf springs 34, 35, 36 and 37, while the other end of these springs are fixed into the grooves 39 and 40 formed on the front side and back side of the nozzle member 30. Between the back side of the member 30 and the bottom of the nozzle 7 there is provided the tension spring 41 which normally maintains nozzle member 30 in a predetermined rotational position relative to the nozzle 7. 33 denotes the suction channel.

OPERATION When the main housing 1 is laid at an optional position on the floor surface to be cleaned and the switch button on the controlling box A is pressed, the motor 13 works to rotate the shaft and the disk 41, whereby the bottom lid 24 of the drum 12 is also rotated due to the dent 15 being engaged by the projection 26. This causes rotation of the drum 12 whereby, the steel band coiled within the drum 12 gets uncoiled and is fed out through the opening at the lower end of the drum 12. Since the end of the band 10 is secured to the outermost telescopic section 2A of multiple tube 2, the feeding out of the band 10 causes the tube 2 to extend. In this manner, the sections of tube 2 are moved out from the supporting tube 8 in regular order of the innermost tube 2A first and the outermost tube last as shown in FIG. 2. By virtue of this movement, the nozzle 7 fitted onto the end of the multiple tube section 2A advances. When the nozzle 7 has advanced in this way to the extent of the full length of the multiple tube 2, Le, a full outstroke, or it has collided against the wall surface 13 obstructing its advance, the sending out of the steel band 10 ceases and the rotation of the drum 12 is discontinued. Meanwhile, the motor 13 continues to run so that the disk 41 also continues to rotate and, as a result, the dent 15 becomes disengaged from the projection 26 of the bottom lid 24 which has ceased to rotate, and the disk 41 ascends along the shaft 14 in opposition to the pressure of the spring 16 and causes the switch 17 to be actuated. By virtue of the working of this switch 17, the rotation of motor 13 is reversed and the disk 41 also rotates reversely, whereby the dent 15 reengages with the projection 26 of the bottom lid 24 to make said bottom lid 24 as well as the drum 12 rotate reversely to roll up the band 10 in said drum and haul the sections of the multiple tube 2 into the supporting tube 8 one after another, thereby causing the nozzle 7 equipped on its end retreat. When the nozzle 7 has retreated to the full extend, this again actuates the switch 17, whereupon the operation of the motor 13 is discontinued. In the course of the advance and retreat of this nozzle 7, the dust existing on the floor surface en route is sucked up and removed, and, by virtue of the disengagement of the disk 41 and the bottom lid 24, damage to the motor 13 due to overload can be avoided.

Simultaneously with the discontinuance of rotation of the motor 13 as mentioned above, either one of the rotary solenoids 18 and 19 is energized to cause the axle 42 of the veering wheel 6 to rotate to run said wheel until the main housing 1 turns to either the right or the left pivoting around the wheels 5 whereupon the solenoid is de-energized. At this point motor 13 is again energized whereby, the afore-mentioned nozzle 7 starts again the reciprocating motion. In this connection, each of said rotary solenoids l8 and 19 is supposed to be capable of rendering a plurality of rotations of the axle 42 of the wheel 6 with a single stroke, and, for this purpose, there are employed conventional solenoids of such type that when one solenoid works the other solenoid stops working and said solenoids are installed in such a fashion that the direction of working thereof, i.e. the direction of rotation of the axle 42, are opposite to each other.

The controlling circuit necessaryfor making the motor 13 and the rotary solenoids 18 and 19 work as above can be easily constructed by employing commonplace electric parts so that its illustration is omitted from the present drawings, but it is accommodated in the controlling box A having the controlling buttons as shown in the drawings,

The following is an explanation of working of the nozzle 7 at the time when it collides against some fumiture or other obstacles existing on the floor in the course of advance or retreat.

If one side of the nozzle 7 comes in contact with the leg C of a desk as shown in FIG. 2 in the course of advance, the nozzle member 32 on said side turns centering around the pivot 29 in defiance of the elasticity of the springs 36 and 37 as shown in FIG. 7, whereby the nozzle 7 keeps moving forward without changing the direction of advance, and, moreover, said nozzle member 32 returns to its initial state by virtue of the elasticity of the springs 36 and 37 as soon as it gets clear of the leg C, while the nozzle 7 is sucking up the dust around the leg C all the time through the suction channel 33. On the other hand, if the nozzle 7 happens to come in contact with the obstacle C again at the time of retreat, the nozzle member on the side brought into contact with said obstacle turns to a direction opposite to the previous direction of advance and gets clear of the obstacle while the nozzle keeps sucking up the dust. In this connection, if it should happen that the pivoting of the nozzle member 31 or 32 fails to disengage the nozzle from the obstacle C then, the central nozzle member 30 will also turn about the tip of the nozzle 7 in defiance of the elasticity of the spring 41, whereby the nozzle 7 will pass the obstacle C and move on, while the central nozzle member 30 returns to its initial state by virtue of the working of the spring 41 as soon as it gets clear of said obstacle.

As described in the foregoing, the nozzle 7 can thoroughly perform the suction of the dust around those obstacles which are passable by means of the advance, retreat and alteration of the angle of movement of the nozzle. 7

What is claimed is:

1. An automatic suction cleaner, particularly for cleaning a work surface such as a carpet or floor, comprising:

housing means;

a suction cleaning device supported on said housing means and including nozzle means movable relative to said housing means and capable of being automatically moved through a predetermined distance for permitting cleaning of said work surface as said nozzle means moves through said distance;

said suction cleaning device further including telescopic tube means supported on said housing means, said nozzle means being mounted on one end of said telescopic tube means, and motor means drivingly connected to said telescopic tube means for extending and contracting said telescopic tube means through said predetermined distance; and

control means coacting with said suction cleaning device for angularly shifting the direction of working of said nozzle means to enable a prescribed area of surface centered around a selected point on said work surface to be cleaned.

2. A suction cleaner according to claim 1 wherein said control means includes means for automatically reversing the direction of travel of said nozzle means when said nozzle means encounters an obstacle which prevents said nozzle means from completing its movement in one direction through said predetermined distance.

3. A suction cleaner according to claim 1, wherein said housing means is provided with first means theron disposed for engaging said surface for supporting said housing means thereon, and a veering wheel mounted on the bottom of said housing means and positioned for rotation about an axis which extends generally in a direction toward said first means, whereby said housing means is thus supported on said surface for rotation substantially about said first means, and said control means including rotary solenoid means coacting with said veering wheel for selectively causing rotation thereof to cause said housing means to be pivoted substantially about said first means to cause the working direction of said nozzle means to be angularly shifted.

4. An automatic suction cleaner, particularly for cleaning a work surface such as a carpet or a floor, comprising:

housing means;

a suction cleaning device supported on said housing means and including movable nozzle means capable of being automatically moved through a predetermined distance for permitting cleaning of said work surface as said nozzle means moves through said distance;

said suction cleaning device including telescopic tube means supported on said housing means, said nozzle means being mounted on one end of said telescopic tube means, and motor means drivingly connected to said telescopic tube means for extending and contracting said telescopic tube means through said predetermined distance; and

control means coacting with said suction cleaning device for angularly shifting the direction of working of said nozzle means relative to said work surface to enable a prescribed area of surface centered around a selected point on said work surface to be cleaned;

said control means including the motor means for linearly moving said nozzle means in opposite directions through said predetermined distance and means then shifting said nozzle means angularly relative to the previous direction of movement;

said control means further including means for automatically reversing the direction of travel of said nozzle means when said nozzle means encounters an obstacle which prevents said nozzle means from completing its movement in one direction through said predetermined distance.

5. An automatic suction cleaner, particularly for cleaning a work surface such as a carpet or a floor, comprising:

housing means;

a suction cleaning device supported on said housing means;

nozzle means movable relative to said housing means and capable of being automatically moved through a predetermined distance for permitting cleaning of a work surface as said nozzle means moves through said distance;

telescopic tube means supported on said housing means and including a plurality of telescopic sections, one of said sections being fixedly connected to said housing means and interconnected to said suction device, another of said sections being movable relative to said housing means and having said nozzle means mounted on the free end thereof;

motor means mounted on said housing means to supply the power for expanding and contracting said telescopic tube means;

a drive mechanism connected to said telescopic tube means for expanding and contracting same;

disengagable coupling means connected between said motormeans and said drive mechanism for expanding and contracting said telescopic tube means while permitting disengagement of said motor means from said drive mechanism to prevent overloading of said motor means due to stoppage of said nozzle means; and

control means coacting with said suction cleaning device for angularly shifting the direction of working of said nozzle means to enable a prescribed area of surface centered around a selected point on said work surface to be cleaned, said control means causing said housing means to be pivotally moved relative to the work surface in response to disengagement of said coupling means to cause the direction of working of the nozzle means to be angularly shifted.

6. An automatic suction cleaner, particularly for cleaning a work surface such as a carpet or floor, comprising:

housing means movable relative to said work surface;

a suction cleaning device supported on said housing means;

a suction nozzle movable relative to said housing means and suction conduit means connected between said suction nozzle and said suction cleaning device;

drive means coacting between said housing means and said suction nozzle for causing said nozzle to be automatically moved through a predetermined distance relative to said housing means for permitting cleaning of said work surface; and

control means for causing said suction nozzle to be moved through said predetermined distance along a first linear path and for causing the linear path of movement of said suction nozzle to be angularly shifted relative to said first path after said nozzle has moved through said predetermined distance.

tube means.

9. A suction cleaner according to claim 5, wherein said control means includes switch means disposed for actuation by said coupling means when same is disengaged to cause stoppage of said motor means, and secondary drive means operatively connected to said switch means and energized thereby for causing pivoting of said housing means when said coupling means is disengaged.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1919132 *Apr 6, 1932Jul 18, 1933Riley AllanCleaning of rooms
US1935158 *Jan 11, 1929Nov 14, 1933Lumley Frank EVacuum cleaner
US2923954 *Jul 5, 1955Feb 9, 1960 babcock
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US3551930 *Oct 4, 1967Jan 5, 1971Robert R MyersSwimming pool cleaner
CA675552A *Dec 10, 1963Harry BierstockSuction cleaner device
FR722755A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3977038 *May 21, 1975Aug 31, 1976Hiroshi HukubaControlling apparatus for driving gear in suction cleaner
US4174549 *Oct 25, 1977Nov 20, 1979Herb MichelsonSoot blowing apparatus
US4180887 *Jan 16, 1978Jan 1, 1980Vorwerk & Co. Interholding GmbhVacuum-cleaner attachment
US4638526 *Mar 18, 1985Jan 27, 1987Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Nozzle assembly for vacuum cleaner
US4765015 *Nov 18, 1987Aug 23, 1988Idroplina S.R.L.Floor sweeping blade device for surface cleaning machines
US4918857 *Jul 27, 1988Apr 24, 1990Bilou, Inc.Pest collection and disposal device
US5012886 *Apr 14, 1989May 7, 1991Andre JonasSelf-guided mobile unit and cleaning apparatus such as a vacuum cleaner comprising such a unit
US5095577 *Feb 27, 1991Mar 17, 1992AzurtecAutomatic vacuum cleaner
US5175960 *Aug 24, 1989Jan 5, 1993Wade Bill RPest collection disposable device
US5720077 *May 26, 1995Feb 24, 1998Minolta Co., Ltd.Running robot carrying out prescribed work using working member and method of working using the same
US5946768 *Mar 14, 1997Sep 7, 1999Kelly; Michael D.Mobile workstation with vacuum unit
US6092261 *Jun 17, 1998Jul 25, 2000Tennant CompanyStorage system for vacuum pickup hose
US6389641Jun 15, 1998May 21, 2002Tennant CompanyDual mode debris pickup machine
WO2002011595A1 *Aug 1, 2000Feb 14, 2002Electrodomesticos Taurus SlHead for a dust vacuum cleaner
WO2002011596A1 *Aug 1, 2001Feb 14, 2002Electrodomesticos Taurus SlHead for a dust vacuum cleaner
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/319, 15/315, 15/415.1, 15/312.1
International ClassificationA47L5/00, A47L5/36, A47L9/28, A47L9/24, A47L9/26, A47L5/22, A47L9/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47L5/00, A47L9/02, A47L5/362
European ClassificationA47L9/02, A47L5/00, A47L5/36A