US 3831591 A
A seat cushion pad adapted for use over a seat cushion or against a back cushion. The pad is provided with a motor-driven vibration generator of the unbalanced motor type. The motor has a housing to which is coupled one end of an undulatory spring, which extends from the motor housing substantially throughout the area of the pad, acting as a vibration-transmitting device which transmits vibration throughout the area of the pad and to the body of a user sitting or leaning thereon. The end of the spring opposite from that coupled to the motor housing is free or unanchored, so that the vibration amplitude of the spring is not restricted and reduced to zero by an end anchorage.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Newkirk [111 3,831,591 Aug. 27, 1974 VIBRATORY CUSHION  Inventor: Reginald H. Newkirk, 6449 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif. 90048  Filed: Mar. 14, 1973  Appl. No.: 341,279
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 92,634, Aug. 16, I971,
Primary ExamineP-Lawrence W. Trapp Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Forrest J. Lilly  ABSTRACT A seat cushion pad adapted for use over a seat cushion or against a back cushion. The pad is provided with a motor-driven vibration generator of the unbalanced motor type. The motor has a housing to which is coupled one end of an undulatory spring, which extends from the motor housing substantially throughout the area of the pad, acting as a vibration-transmitting device which transmits vibration throughout the area of the pad and to the body of a user sitting or leaning thereon. The end of the spring opposite from that coupled to the motor housing is free or unanchored, so that the vibration amplitude of the spring is not restricted and reduced to zero by an end anchorage.
1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures VIBRATORY CUSHION This application is a continuation of abandoned application Ser. No. 92,634 filed Aug. 16, 1971.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a vibratory massage pad to be used over or against a seat cushion.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Vibratory cushions are known in which zig-zag or undulatory springs are stretched between and anchored to opposite sides of a rigid rectangular cushion frame, with a vibrator connected to center points of the springs. Because of these opposite end anchorages, the vibration amplitude of the springs diminishes and finally becomes zero at each of its end regions.
OBJECT OF THE INVENTION It is the purpose of the present invention to provide a simplified as well as more effective and useful, flexible vibratory, cushioned pad, which has no rigid cushion frame, but in which the vibrations from a vibration generator are spread throughout the pad. The pad may be placed on a seat, such as the seat of an automobile, to be sat upon, or may be placed against the back of the seat, to be leaned upon.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The invention provides a pad in which is contained a vibrator, preferably a motor-driven unbalanced rotor. Thereby, the motor housing is vibrated in a gyratory manner. Connected at one end to the motor housing is one end of a substantially zig-zag or sinusoidal spring made of spring wire. The motor is located at one end of the pad, and the zig-zag spring extends therefrom, back and forth transversely of the pad, terminating in an unanchored free end at substantially the opposite end of the cushion. Thus the gyratory vibrations started at the motor end of the spring wire are transmitted along the length of the wire to the free end thereof without reduction of amplitude by any fixation of the free end. The spring is between layers of cushion padding and this padding thus transmits the vibratory action to the outside cover, and so to the person sitting or leaning upon it.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a diagrammatic plan view, with parts broken away, of a pad in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view, with portions broken away, of the motor and unbalanced disc vibration generator;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail section, taken on line 3-3 of FIG. I, showing the interior of the cushion; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the pad with a portion of the motor housing protruding from the front edge portion thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF AN ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT The pad of the invention is designated generally at P. It is preferably, though not necessarily, rectangular, and of a size to cover a seat, or seat back. It is of flexible construction, and comprises, illustratively, two outside covers 5, composed preferably of a suitable plastic material, a layer 6 of cotton padding under the upper cover 6, and a layer 7 of sponge rubber above the lower cover 5.
Between the layers 6 and 7 is a zig-zag, or substantially sinusoidal or undulatory spring 8, of a familiar type used heretofore, but in different ways, in seat cushions. As a generic word, I shall use the adjective undulatory to cover any such spring form and equivalents thereof. This spring spreads substantially throughout a large area of the pad, in this case throughout substantially the full area of the pad.
Inserted into the pad at one edge thereof is a motor housing 10, containing a DC. electric motor 11 whose shaft mounts an unbalanced rotor in the form of an eccentrically mounted disc 12.
The motor 11 is rigidly mounted inside the motor housing 10, which serves as a mounting frame for the motor; and the unbalanced rotor 12, when rotated by the motor, sets up a vibration in the nature of a gyratory force which causes the motor and the motor housing 10 to vibrate correspondingly.
One end of the spring wire constituting the undulatory spring is coupled to the gyratory housing 10.
In operation, the motor housing 10, undergoing gyratory vibration as a result of rotation of the unbalanced motor-driven unbalanced rotor 12, imparts this vibration to the end of the undulatory spring coupled to it, and this vibration is propagated and transmitted along the spring wire, back and forth across the underlying area of the pad, to the free end of the spring adjacent to the end of the pad most remote from the motor housing. Since this last-mentioned end of the spring is not rigidly anchored to a rigid frame, in the way such springs are invariably used, the vibration amplitude of the spring from the vibrating motor housing to the tip of its free end in undiminished. That is to say, with the upper extremity of the spring wire free to vibrate, instead of anchored rigidly, and so held to zero vibration amplitude, the vibration amplitude of the upper region of the spring is not progressively reduced to zero, and the pad thus vibrates and is live throughout the entire area overlying the undulatory spring.
As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art of vibration, the unbalanced rotor, gyrating in a horizontal plane, as viewed in the drawings, will have two components of vibration in quadrature in the plane of the rotor, and these combine to give a gyratory vibration to the motor housing and to the end of the undulatory spring coupled to the latter. One component of gyratory action in the example given clearly propagates longitudinally along the wire spring as longitudinal compressional wave; while the other also propagates along the wire but as a transverse or lateral shear wave. The angle mounting bracket 20 for the: motor in the motor housing will also, by inherency, bend slightly in the region of its angle bend as the unbalanced rotor 12 generates its force component while passing through the pofrom the motor to a source of battery power. For use over the seats of an automobile, the leads may be energized through a suitable connector and the conventional cigar lighter outlet from the automobile battery, not necessary to illustrate herein.
It will thus be seen that l have provided a simple, relatively inexpensive, flexible pad, powered from a low voltage source of DC. electricity, and which is vibratory substantially uniformly throughout substantially its entire area.
1. A vibratory cushioned pad for use between a vehicle seat back and the back of a user, comprising:
a generally rectangular flexible pad having outside covers, and layers of padding inside thereof;
a motor having a shaft carrying an unbalanced rotor and a support frame for said motor vibratory in response to vibration of said unbalanced rotor, said motor support frame being located at least partially inside said pad adjacent one end thereof;
spring Wire vibration transmitter also inside said pad, between said layers of padding, and comprising a vibratory spring wire having a portion coupled to said vibratory motor frame, and leading therefrom to a vibratoryfree-end extremity movable between said layers of padding, said spring wire having an undulatory configuration from said vibratory support frame to said free-end, so as to encompass a substantial area of said pad, said wire transmitting vibrations from said vibratory support frame along said wire via said undulatory configuration and entirely to said free-end thereof and thus throughout said area and the padding adjacent