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Publication numberUS3896891 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 29, 1975
Filing dateAug 31, 1973
Priority dateAug 31, 1973
Publication numberUS 3896891 A, US 3896891A, US-A-3896891, US3896891 A, US3896891A
InventorsEdward W Miltenburg, Donald L Whetstine, Howard Carson
Original AssigneeStainless Medical Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular motorized wheel chair
US 3896891 A
Abstract
The specification discloses a motorized wheelchair which can be quickly and easily disassembled into separate lightweight components. The separate components can be conveniently stacked to minimize space requirements when transporting the chair from one location to another.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ July 29, 1975 United States Patent [1 1 Miltenburg et al.

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 1 MODULAR MOTORIZED WHEEL CHAIR [75] Inventors: Edward W. Miltenburg, Newport 297/D1G. 4 297/440 X 180/65 297/D1G. 4 X

2,798,565 7/1957 Rosenthal et al. 3,321,239 5/1967 Cosper............................ 3,613,813 10/1971 Biddle.............. 3,749,192 7/1973 Karchak et al.

Primary ExaminerM. Henson Wood, .Ir. Assistant Examiner-Gene A. Church [22] Filed:

ABSTRACT Us. CLWW180/6.5;297/DIG.4; go/D163; The specification discloses a motorized wheelchair which can be quickly and easily disassembled into sepee 0 Pam w o m ceo r. i m m w 0 t6 6 h hw T & .m o "S0 e P .W s O n P a m u o C nf. LE h .w m eeS wbm t O hn .w m n m mm tu mm anwb mWO 3 mmO 0 m" m Tm ram 8 WSW LM9 C Ld hm N 55 3 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures MODULAR MOTORIZED WHEEL CHAIR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A disabled individual who has temporarily or permanently lost the use of his legs must usually depend upon a mechanical substitute, such as a wheelchair, to move himself about. Most prior art wheelchairs are manually operated; and require considerable exertion to negotiate minor hills or travel distances Moreover. in a situation where the individual has both a leg and arm impairment, the manually operated wheelchair can be quite difficult to propel. As a consequence, a number of motor powered wheelchairs hav been marketed. These vehicles normally utilize two separate driving motors. One of the drive motors is connected to the left rear wheel by a pulley and the other is connected to the right rear wheel in the same manner. Steering is effected by an electronic system under control of the operator. The system applies power simultaneously to both wheels to move the chair forward, backward, or to rotate the chair in a circle. Power can also be applied to one wheel alone to turn the vehicle left or right.

While the conventional motorized wheelchair obviates the aforementioned problems of the manually powered device, it has several shortcomings. Paramount among these is the additional weight. Such wheelchairs are typically designed to fold up so that they can be transported in the trunk of an automobile or the back of a station wagon. But the additional weight imposed by the battery, motors and structural members make it difficult for most persons to lift or move them about. Consider for example, a typical situation involving a middle-aged wife having an invalid husband. Whenever they travel by auto, they must always seek the aid of a third person to lift the folded motorized chair IN and OUT of the auto. What is actually desired is'a motorized wheelchair which'can be easily disassembled into lightweight components for transportation and then easily reassembled.

A secondary disadvantage of the conventional folding wheelchair is discomfort. In order to facilitate its collapsibility, it has been necessary to make the seat portion relatively flat so as to severely limit the amount of contour and padding. Considering that persons who are confined to wheelchairs spend must of their life in this seat, the importance of comfort will be readily appreciated.

Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention is to provide a modular wheelchair which can be easily assembled and disassembled.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a wheelchair which consists of a number of modular components, all of which are of a weight and size such that they can be easily lifted and managed by persons of moderate strength.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a modular wheelchair having a comfortable and contoured seat.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be obvious from the detailed description of a preferred embodiment given herein below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The aforementioned objects are realized by the present invention which comprises a wheelchair consisting of five primary modules, namely; a left side module in- DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the modular wheelchair as it would appear when fully assembled.

FIG. 2 shows an exploded perspective view of the chair illustrating the various modules and how they connect.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Adverting to the drawings, and particularly FIG. 2. a preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a wheelchair, which includes five separate modular components, namely; a left side module. a right side module, a battery support frame, a seat back and a seat bottom. The left side module is comprised of a frame 1, a drive wheel 2, a castor mounted front wheel 3, a motor 4 and drive pulley 5 which is tightened by the overcenter toggle arrangement 6 via hand lever 7, and rotable foot rest 8. The right side module includes the corresponding elements 11-18 respectively. The battery support frame includes platform 21 which is attached to the two frame members 20 and 21. Both the back and bottom of seat components 22 and 23 have recessed padded depressions (24 and 25 respectively) to effect what is commonly known as a bucket seat.

Each of the modular components include connecting elements which function to interlock the modules so as to form the assembled wheelchair shown in FIG. 1. For example, the seat bottom 23, has two projections 30 and 31 which are adapted to slip into the holes 32 and 33 respectively of the side frames 1 and 11. The yoke 34 on the left side seat bottom 23 is spaced to straddle the frame 1 at the point indicated by the numeral 35. A corresponding yoke on the right side of seat bottom 23 (not shown) functions to straddle the frame 11 at the point indicated by numeral 36. The projections 40 and 41 on the bottom of the seat back 22 are spaced to slip into the accordant holes 42 and 43 respectively. The projections 50 and 51 on bar 21 are adapted to slip into the openings 52 and 53, the battery support frame being restricted from lateral motion by the flanges 54 and 55 which slightly overhang the side frames 1 and 11 as indicated by the numeral 60.

The ease of assembly and disassembly will be evident from the drawings. There are no knobs to turn or screws to tighten. The seat back 22 and seat bottom 23 can be removed by simply lifting upwards. The battery support and battery can be removed pulling forward to clear projections 50 and 51 and then upwardly.

An experimental unit has been fabricated using hollow, stainless steel framework. Exclusive of the battery, no modular component weighed more than 22 lbs. Each module could be easily lifted and handled by a person of moderate strength. Moreover, the modular coupling is designed so that each module is essentially thin and flat. The modules can be stacked one on top of the other with a total height of less than 18 inches.

As previously mentioned, the conventional folding wheelchair cannot utilize the deep comfortable bucket style seats. Nor can they be easily disassembled but must generally be moved as a complete unit. The present invention, on the other hand, is easily taken apart and assembled. When'itis assembled, as shown in FIG.

1, it "is considerably more comfortable than the flat, lightly padded foldable wheelchairs.

It will be evident that the basic concept of the invention is not limited to motorized wheelchairs. It could be used with equal applicability on any manually operable device which, on occasion, must be transported from place to place. Nor are the teachings of the invention restricted to the particular modular arrangement shown. Moreover, the modules may be made to connect to one another in a variety of ways other than in the particular manner demonstrated. Thus, although a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, it will be understood that the invention is not limited thereto, and that numerous changes, modifications, and substitutions may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.

We claim:

1. A wheelchair comprising:

a left side module including a left frame, a left rear drive wheel having a horizontal axis of rotation and a castor mounted front wheel;

a first motor and a means for connecting the output of said first motor to said left rear drive wheel;

a right side module including a right frame, a right rear drive wheel having a horizontal axis of rotation and a castor mounted front wheel;

a second motor and a means for connecting the output of said second motor to the right rear drive wheel;

a seat comprised of a bucket shaped back module and a bucket shaped bottom module;

means for attaching said seat to said left and right frames so as to enable said seat to be easily and quickly detached from said frames said means comprising:

a pair of substantially vertical elongated projections on the bottom of said bucket shaped back module, said projections being spaced apart so as to be substantially coplanar with said left and right frames, and;

a member of said left frame having an opening adapted to receive one of said bucket seat back projections, and; I

a member of said right frame having an opening adapted to receive the other of said bucket seat back projections;

at least one pair of substantially vertical elongated projections on the bottom of said bucket shaped bottom, said projections being spaced apart so as to be substantially coplanar with said left and right side frames, and;

means for attaching said battery support platform comprises:

a pair of elongated substantially horizontal projections on said support platform and a member of said left frame having an opening adapted to receive one of said projections and a member of said right frame, having an opening adapted to receive the other of said projections.

3. A wheelchair comprising:

a left side module including a left frame, a left rear drive wheel having a horizontal axis of rotation. and a castor mounted front wheel;

a right side module including a right frame, a right rear drive wheel having a horizontal axis of rotation and a castor mounted front wheel;

a'seat comprised of a back module and a bottom module; I means forattaching said seat to said left and right frames so as to enable said seat to be easily and quickly detached from said frames, said means comprising: i

a pair of substantially vertical elongated projections on the bottom of said back module, said projections being spaced apart so as to be substantially coplanar with said left and right frames and;

a member of said left frame having an opening adapted to receive one of said back module projections, and; i

a member of said right frame having an opening adapted to receive the other of said back module projections;

at least one pair of substantially vertical elongated projections on the bottom of said bottom module, said projections being spaced apart so as to be substantially coplanar with said left and right side frames, and

a member of said left frame having an opening adapted to receive one of said bottom module projections;

a member of said right frame having an opening adapted to receive the other of said bottom module projections.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2798565 *Dec 23, 1954Jul 9, 1957RosenthalMotorized wheel chair steered by driving
US3321239 *Oct 22, 1965May 23, 1967Dale L CosperConvertible wheel chair
US3613813 *May 16, 1969Oct 19, 1971Raymond G BiddleWheelchairs
US3749192 *Jul 16, 1971Jul 31, 1973A KarchakCollapsible wheel chair
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3990745 *Nov 3, 1975Nov 9, 1976Everest & Jennings, Inc.Wheelchair with removable back
US4209073 *Mar 1, 1978Jun 24, 1980Clarence EnixCollapsible four wheel electric powered vehicle
US4362311 *Nov 15, 1979Dec 7, 1982Bergman Per GDismountable wheel-chair
US4503724 *Feb 24, 1982Mar 12, 1985Ward Russell GPower transmission unit with oscillating drive and driven members
US4643481 *Nov 8, 1984Feb 17, 1987Saloff William SSeat system for preventing decubiti
US4967864 *Oct 5, 1988Nov 6, 1990Everest & Jennings, Inc.Modular power drive wheelchair
US5042607 *Jun 16, 1988Aug 27, 1991Inm Industriteknik AbPower driven vehicle for disabled
US5135063 *Aug 30, 1990Aug 4, 1992Smucker Manufacturing, Inc.Power unit for driving manually-operated wheelchair
US5156226 *Jul 19, 1990Oct 20, 1992Everest & Jennings, Inc.Modular power drive wheelchair
US5495904 *Sep 13, 1994Mar 5, 1996Fisher & Paykel LimitedWheelchair power system
US5542690 *Dec 16, 1994Aug 6, 1996Forth Research, Inc.Wheelchair for controlled environments
US6050593 *Sep 2, 1997Apr 18, 2000Golden Technologies, Inc.Personal mobility vehicle
US6095271 *Nov 13, 1998Aug 1, 2000Sunrise Medical Hhg Inc.Battery mounting system for a powered wheelchair
US6129165 *Apr 14, 1998Oct 10, 2000Pride Mobility Products, CorporationCurb-climbing power wheelchair
US6176337Feb 24, 1999Jan 23, 2001Golden Technologies, Inc.Personal mobility vehicle
US6186252Oct 5, 1998Feb 13, 2001Pride Mobility Products, CorporationFoldable midwheel drive power chair
US7207403 *Oct 7, 2004Apr 24, 2007Pride Mobility Products CorporationTransportable power wheelchair
DE3306908A1 *Feb 26, 1983Sep 6, 1984Medihouse Claus Hoehne GmbhWheelchair for the disabled
DE10300946B3 *Jan 13, 2003Aug 26, 2004Meyra Wilhelm Meyer Gmbh & Co KgElektro-Rollstuhl
EP0369791A1 *Nov 16, 1989May 23, 1990Sunrise Medical LimitedVehicle
EP1417948A1 *Oct 27, 2003May 12, 2004Pride Mobility Products, CorporationTransportable powered wheelchair
EP1437113A1 *Dec 12, 2003Jul 14, 2004MEYRA WILHELM MEYER GMBH & CO. KGElectrically driven wheelchair
WO1981002709A1 *Mar 28, 1980Oct 1, 1981Enix WCollapsible four wheel self-powerd vehicle
WO1988010109A1 *Jun 16, 1988Dec 29, 1988Inm Industriteknik AbPower driven vehicle for disabled
WO1990005515A1 *Nov 16, 1989May 31, 1990Sunrise Medical LtdVehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification180/6.5, 318/55, 297/DIG.400, 180/907
International ClassificationA61G5/08, A61G5/10, A61G5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61G2005/1091, A61G2005/1054, A61G2203/14, A61G5/045, A61G2005/0891, A61G2005/0875, Y10S297/04, Y10S180/907
European ClassificationA61G5/04A6