US 3923134 A
A rest and sleeping accommodation compartment and a centrally monitored complex of such compartments, suitable for use outdoors along major highways and near metropolitan areas, and also indoors at train and bus depots, airports, etc. Each compartment is composed of prefabricated panels which can be quickly assembled or disassembled at the site of use. A user obtains access to a compartment by depositing coins in a coin receiver which unlocks the door to the compartment. Once inside, the user is provided with a bed, table, chair and other facilities for his comfort and convenience. The amount of time a user may properly remain within the compartment is determined by the value of coins he deposits in a coin receiver on the inside of the compartment. A light or other warning signal is activated when the user's time has expired. Each compartment in a complex of the same contains means therein for detecting the presence of a user within the compartment, and a signal is provided at a control panel remote from the compartments to indicate whether the compartments are occupied. A signal is also provided at the control panel to indicate those compartments in which a user has stayed overtime, and means are provided for an operator at the control panel to vocally communicate with the users of the compartments.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Rezazadeh 1 1 REST ACCOMMODATION COMPARTMENT AND COMPLEX Reza Rezazadeh, Box 12, Rte. 4, Platteville, Wis. 53818 221 Filed: Sept. 26, 1974 211 Appl. No.: 509,545
 U.S. Cl 194/9 T; 194/1 A; l94/DIG. l8;
179/1 B; 52/79; 52/584  Int. Cl. G07F 5/10  Field of Search 194/1 R, 1 A, 1 B, 9 R,
194/9 T, 11, DIG. 18, 59, 65.51; 52/79, 36, 28, 169, 262, 234, 584, 585, 754, 755, 757, 264, 593; 179/1 B Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerI-l. Grant Skaggs Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Theodore J. Long; John M. Winter; Harry C. Engstrom 1 1 Dec. 2, 1975  ABSTRACT A rest and sleeping accommodation compartment and a centrally monitored complex of such compartments, suitable for use outdoors along major highways and near metropolitan areas, and also indoors at train and bus depots, airports, etc. Each compartment is composed of prefabricated panels which can be quickly assembled or disassembled at the site of use. A user obtains access to a compartment by depositing coins in a coin receiver which unlocks the door to the compartment. Once inside, the user is provided with a bed, table, chair and other facilities for his comfort and convenience. The amount of time a user may properly remain within the compartment is determined by the value of coins he deposits in a coin receiver on the inside of the compartment. A light or other warning signal is activated when the users time has expired. Each compartment in a complex of the same contains means therein for detecting the presence of a user within the compartment, and a signal is provided at a control panel remote from the compartments to indicate whether the compartments are occupied. A signal is also provided at the control panel to indicate those compartments in which a user has stayed overtime, and means are provided for an operator at the control panel to vocally communicate with the users of the compartments.
2 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures U. S..Patent Dec. 2, 1975 'Sheet10f5 3,923,134
US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 2 of5 3,923,134
U.S. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 3 of5 3,923,134
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REST ACCOMMODATION COMPARTMENT AND COMPLEX BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the'lrivention This invention pertains generally to modular rest and sleeping accommodation compartments and a central] monitored complex thereof.
2. Description of the Prior Art The most common type of lodging and sleeping accommodations available to travelers consist of hotels and motels which provide rooms rented out on a daily or weekly basis. Such hotel and motel rooms are generally not suited to the needs of travelers who are staying in a certain location for only a short period of time such as a few hours, but would wish to have some sort of rest or sleeping accommodations available to them. Ordinary hotel and motel facilities would be prohibitively expensive for such a traveler, and moreover, are usually inconveniently located for the traveler who must remain near a train or bus depot or an airport. My complex permits the traveler to pay only for the time that he actually uses the facility. While several types of coin operated rest compartments are known in the art, none have the various novel features of my invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I have invented a modular rest accommodation compartment designed to be placed in multiple unit complexes outdoors along highways and also indoors at train depots, bus stations, or airports. My rest and sleeping accommodation compartment complex provides an inexpensive, quiet and restful place for the traveler to wait and perhaps sleep for a few minutes, hours or overnight between his travels.
Each compartment is composed of panel units which are easily assembled and disassembled for transportation from one location to another. All portions of my rest and sleeping accommodation compartments are mounted on or contained in these panel units, except for furnishings such as a bed and table or chair. Thus, these compartments are readily adapted to inexpensive transportation and quick and simple assembly on site. Each compartment has a coin operated door which opens upon placement by the user of a proper coin in a coin slot in a timer unit mounted on the exterior of the compartment. The amount of time which the user is permitted to remain in the compartment is determined by the number of coins which the user places in a coin slot in the timer unit on the inside of the compartment. If the user remains too long in the compartment, a signal device such as a light or buzzer is activated to indicate the his time has expired.
My rest and sleeping accommodation compartments are most feasibly employed in large complexes containing many compartments. Each compartment in a large complex contains means therein for detecting the presence of a user within the compartment and indicating at a control panel at a position remote from the compartment whether or not the compartment is occupied, and also whether or not the occupant has over-stayed his time. Thus, time consuming and unseemly visual inspection of the compartments is not necessary. The central control panel is also in vocal communication compartment. This vocal communication system allows tion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one of my rest and sleeping accommodation compartments, with a portion of a side wall broken away to show the interior thereof.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a complex composed of a plurality of the rest compartments of FIG. 1, shown interconnected with a central control panel.
FIG. 3 is a view of the back panel unit and a portion of the side and floor panel units of the rest compartment of FIG. 1, showing these units in position to be atta'ched together.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the rest compartment of FIG. 1 with the ceiling panel unit thereof spaced away from the remainder of the compartment in position to be attached thereto.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of a corner of the rest compartment of FIG. 1, showing the attachment means of the panel units of the compartment.
FIG. 6 is a schematic circuit diagram showing the electrical circuitry of the complex of FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is the frontal elevation view of the control panel portion of the complex shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of a portion of the control panel of FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a frontal view of the timer unit portion of the rest compartment of FIG, 1 as seen from the exterior of the compartment.
FIG. 10 is a frontal view of the timer unit portion of the rest compartment of FIG. 1 as seen from the interior of the compartment.
FIG. 11 is a view of the timer unit portion of the rest compartment of FIG. 1 with the cover of the timer unit removed to show'the internal parts thereof.
FIG. 12 is a diagramatic plan view of a compartment complex layout embodying my invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to the drawings, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, a preferred embodiment of my rest accommodation compartment is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1 and an overall compartment complex layout is shown in FIG. 12. The compartment 10 is composed of prefabricated structural units which are easily and quickly assembled together to form the completed compartment. These structural units include two generally upright side panel units 11, a generally upright front panel unit 12, a generally upright back panel unit 13, a horizontal floor panel unit 14, and a horizontal ceiling panel unit 15. As shown in FIG. 3, the upright side panel units preferably consist of hollow metal frame Ila with insulating material llb such as fiberglass inside. The ceiling panel unit and the other upright panel units preferably have similar construction. These structural units can be assembled on the site of use to form the compartment 10, which generally will also contain a bed 16 and a table 17 or a chair (not shown), as well as other furnishings for the comfort and convenience of the user. Alternatively, the compartments may be pre-assembled and shipped as a whole to the site of use. The front panel unit 12 includes a door 18 having a window 18a, a vent 18b, and a door handle 18c. The door 18 is maintained normally locked by a coin-operated lock and timer unit 19 on the front panel unit.
The backpanel unit 13 includes a loud speaker 20 and a warning signal lamp 21, with the wiring for the speaker and the lamp being built into the interior of the pack panel unit and the lamp itself being mounted on the back panel unit in position to be visible to a user inside the compartment. The warning lamp 21 is utilized to warn the user when his allotted time in the compartment has expired, and may be of the type that flashes on and off automatically to more effectively attract the attention of the user. The warning lamp 21 may be combined with or replaced by an audio indicator such as a buzzer (not shown) if an audio warning signal is desirable and appropriate.
The ceiling panel unit includes a ceiling light 22 and a ventilation fan 23 which are controlled by a switch 24 mounted on the interior side of the front panel unit 12. The wiring connecting the light, the fan and the switch is again preferably entirely inside the panel units.
The construction of the floor panel unit 14 is best shown with reference FIG. 3, which shows the floor panel unit in cross section and in disassembled relation with respect to the back panel. unit 13 and a side panel unit 11. The floor panel unit is preferably composed of a metal frame 25 which has raised portions 25a around the periphery thereof. A first layer of resilient material 26 such as foam rubber is placed on the frame within the enclosure formed by the raised portions 25a. The resilient layer 26 is itself covered by a second layer 27 of flooring material which is firm, yet still somewhat resilient. Small pockets or openings are left in the resilient layer 26, and in each of these openings is placed a pressure sensitive limit switch 28. The weight of an occupant in the compartment 10 will cause the layer of flooring material 27 to depress somewhat, thus closing at least one of the limit switches 28. The switches 28 are preferably electrically connected in parallel, and are sufficient in number to adequately detect the presence of an occupant anywhere in the compartment. Other detection means, such as the pneumatic or sheet contact door openers commonly used in supermarkets, may also be adapted to use with my rest compartment. However, the use of the limit switches 28, in cooperation with the flooring material 27 and the resilient layer 26, allows the weight of the furnishings such as the bed 16 and the table 17 to be easily compensated for, merely by proper positioning of the switches.
The quick and easy assembly of my rest compartment 10 can be best illustrated with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, which show the attachment means by which the panel units can be attached together on site to form an i enclosure or compartment. As shown in FIG. 3, the floor panel unit 14 has slots 29 therein into which protrusions or latches 30 on the bottom edges of the upright structural units 11, 12 and 13 are engaged. The upright structural units l1, l2 and 13 have protrusions or tabs 31 extending from one side edge (vertical edge) thereof which fit into slots 32 in the interior side of an abutting unit. As best shown in FIG. 5, the upright units are preferably securely attached together with screws 31a which are threadingly engaged through the edge of one unit into a threaded hole in the tabs 31 of an abutting unit.
Attachment of the ceiling panel unit 15 to the upright units 11, 12, and 13 is best illustrated in FIG. 4. The ceiling panel unit has protrusions or tabs 33 which extend from the inner surface of the ceiling panel unit and which are spaced inwardly from a descending flange 34 which extends around the periphery of the ceiling panel unit. The tabs 33 fit into slots 35 spaced around the top edges of each of the upright units, and are preferably secured by screws (not shown) in the manner described above and illustrated in FIG. 5. The flange 34 surrounds a portion of the four upright panel units 11, 12, and 13, and thus enhances the structural stability of the compartment. The front panel unit 12 and the back panel unit 13 are electrically connected to the ceiling panel unit 15 by means of pronged electrical connectors 36 on the ceiling panel unit 15 and receptacles 37 in the top edges of the front panel unit and the back panel unit. As the ceiling panel unit 15 is properly positioned over the upright panel units of the compartment, the prongs on the connectors 36 seat into the receptacles 37 to provide the desired electrical connection.
As best shown in FIG. 1, an electrical power receptacle 38 and a control circuit receptacle 39 are mounted on the outer surface of the ceiling panel unit 15. Electrical power such as 115 volt A.C. line power is supplied to the compartment 10 through the receptacle 38 to operate the ceiling light 22 and the fan 23. Monitoring of and communication with the compartment 10 is accomplished through an electrical connection with the control circuit receptacle 39. The receptacle 39 is itself electrically connected to the warning light 21, the limit switches 28 and the lock and timer unit 19.
It is anticipated that my rest and sleeping accommodation compartment 10 will be most feasibly and economically employed in complexes comprising a large number of such compartments. A preferred arrangement of a portion of such a complex is shown in FIG. 2 and an overall complex plan is shown in FIG. 12. The control circuit receptacle 39 on each compartment 10 is connected to a control line 40 which leads to a central control unit 41 which may be conveniently located in a position remote from the compartments. The rows of compartments 10 in the complex shown in FIG. 12 are arranged in radial relation with the central control unit 41 with two rows each forming a V. The entrance doors face to the outside of the V for maximum visibility from the monitoring unit 41 in the central office 70. Suitable rest room facilities may be provided in the V- shaped area 71 between each two rows of compartments. A storage and maintenance facility is provided at 72 adjacent the office and recreation and eating facilities may be provided in wings 73 and 74. The central control unit 41 comprises a test board 41a and a micro- "phone 41b electrically connected thereto. The test board 41a has'a plurality of spaced openings therein,
with each opening having a red light 42 and a white light 43 which are connected to one of the compartmcnts in the complex. A'switch 44 on the test board allows the microphone 4lb'to be selectively connected in an electrical circuit with the speaker 20, as best shown in the schematic circuit diagram in FIG. 6 which illustrates the circuitry associated with one compartment. The switch 44, the switch 61, andthe microphone 4Ib are preferably connected in parallel with and thus are common to the circuitry for each compartment. A power line 45 preferably. provides low voltage (less than 115 volts line power) direct current power to the central control unit 41. For purposes of illustration, the power line 45 is shown in FIG. 6 to have a conducting line 450 which is at a high voltage and a conductingline 45b which is at a low voltage. If direct current power is not available, a rectifying power supply may be connected to standard 115 volt A.C. line power to thereby provide lower voltage DC. power. My rest compartments may also function on. standard AC. line power if the speaker and microphone 41b are not utilized. y
The electrically operative components of the. lock and timer unit 19 areshown in FIG. 11 and are illustrated schematically within the dash line labeled 19in FIG. 6. The lock and timer unit, together with associated wiring in the panel units, provides a means'for controlling the occupancy of the compartmentQA user cangain access to the compartment only by paying 'a prescribed amount of vmoney, and his stay in the corn partment is determined by the amount of money he deposits once inside, as described more fully below. The
lock and timer unit includes a commercially available coin receiver 46, which momentarily completes a circuit between conductors 47 and 48 when a legitimate coin is dropped in coin slot 46a on the outside of the compartment 10, and momentarily completes a circuit between conductors 47 and 49 when a coin is dropped into a coin slot 46b on the inside of the compartment. The conductor 47 is connected to the higher voltage power line a, the conductor 48 is connected to a solenoid 50 which unlocks the door 18 by momentarily retracting the spring loaded latch 51 when activated, and the conductor 49 is connected to a solenoid 52. Each time the solenoid 52 is momentarily activated when a coin is dropped into the coin slot 46b, it advances a timer 53 a preset amount of time, for example, 30 minutes for each quarter deposited in the interior coin slot. Thus the amount of time which a user may remain in the compartment is determined by the value of the coins he deposits. The timer 53, shown schematically in FIG. 6, consists of a standard electric clock 54 which meters the alloted time remaining to a user, and a normally open alarm switch 55 which is closed by the clock when an occupants allotted time has expired. The allotted time remaining is visually indicated to a user on the timer face as shown in FIG. 10.
A double pole switch 56 is operated by the door handle (not shown) on the inside of the door 18. Normally,-
when the compartment is not occupied, the switch 56 completes a circuit between the power lines 450 and 45b through a white light 57 which is mounted on the outside of the lock and timer unit 19. This light indicates to a potential occupant that the compartment 10 is vacant. When the occupant turns the inside of the door handle to lock the door 18, he shifts the switch 56 over to its alternative position which completes the circuit between the power lines 45a and 45bthrough a red light'558 which is "also mounted on the outside of the lock and timer unit. The, red light 58 indicates to passersby that the compartmentjis occupied.- The user must open the 'door handle .on the door 18 in order toleave the compartment, and thus he causes the white vacant light57 to go on andthe red occupiedlight 58 to go off. The user must also turn the knob 59 on the interior side of the lock and timer unit 19 in order to open the latch 51 and thus release the door. Emergency access to the compartments is possible by unlocking a key lock 60 on the outside of the lock unit 19 to retract the latch 51, and by unlocking a key lock (not shown) on the door A test switch 61 in the test panel 41 has two positions to selectively allow completion of a circuit through the testlights 42 or the tes't lig'hts 43 for allthe compartments. The red light 42 for a compartment will light only if the timer switch SS-andthe pressure switch 28 in 'that compartment are both closed, thus indicating that the particular compartment is'occupied and that the users time has expired. The white light 43 for a compartment will light if the pressure switch 28 in that compartment is closed, thus indicating that the particular compartment is occupied.
As indicated abovefa potential user can determine from the outside of the compartment if the compartment is vacant or occupied, since the white vacant light 57 will be on if the compartment is vacant. The user may then gain access to the compartment by depositing a coin, such as a quarter, in the coin slot 46a on the exterior of the lock and timer unit l9."The"solen'oid 50 will thus be momentarily activated, which will pull in the latch 51, thus allowing the use? to enter the compartment. After entering the compartment and closing the door 18 which automatically causes the spring loaded latch 51 to lock the door, the user closes the door handle (not shown) on the door which turns on the red occupied light 58. In order to properly remain in the compartment, the user must now deposit a coin or coins into the coin slot 46b on the interior side of the lock and timer unit 19. Each time a coin is deposited in the coin slot 46b the solenoid 52 is activated, which causes the timer 53 to be advanced a predetermined amount of time.
The user remains undisturbed in my rest compartment 10 until his allotted time expires, or until he desires to leave, whichever is sooner. His presence in the compartment will be detected because his body weight will cause the limit switches 28 in the floor panel 14 to be closed. As best shown in FIG. 6, if the user remains in the compartment beyond his allotted time, the timer switch 55 will close, thereby completing a circuit through the warning lamp 21, the switch 55, and closed pressure switch 28. If the operator of the test panel selects the overtime position on his switch 61, the lamp 42, corresponding to the compartment in which the user is located, will light up. The operator may then communicate with the user of the compartment by means of the microphone 41b which is engaged by the switch 44 to the speaker 20 in the compartment occupied by the user. In very large complexes containing a large number of my rest compartments 10, it is desirable for the operator to be able to communicate with all of the compartments that are overtime occupied. This is automatically accomplished by means of the circuit shown in FIG. 6 since a circuit is completed through each speaker in each compartment in'which the timer switch 55 is closed and the pressure switch 28 is closed. Thus the operator will not communicate with any compartments that are either not occupied and/or not overtime occupied. Alternatively, a switch could be provided for every compartment, thus allowing the operator to selectively connect the microphone 41b to the loud speaker 20 in the desired compartment.
When leaving the compartment 10, a user will turn the door handle on the interior side of the door to unlock the door thereby turning off the red occupied light 58 and turning on the white vacant light 57. The user also turns the knob 59 to the open position to release the latch 51, and then opens the door. Upon closure of the door 18 the spring loaded latch 51 automatically relocks the door.
It is understood that my invention is not confined to the particular construction and arrangement of parts herein illustrated and described, but embraces all such modified forms thereof as may come within the scope of the following claims.
1. A rest accommodation compartment complex, comprising:
A. a plurality of rest accomodation compartments,
each compartment comprising: I
l. a generally rectangular enclosure having front,
floor and ceiling panels;
2. a door in said front panel;
3. warning signal means for providing a signal to a user inside each of said compartments when supplied with electrical power;
4. occupancy control means for maintaining said door normally locked, said occupancy control means including,
a. coin operated means for receiving coins deposited by a compartment user from outside of said enclosure and unlocking said door in response to the deposit of a preselected value of coins,
b. means operable by a user from inside said enclosure for locking said door,
c. means for receiving coins deposited by a user inside each of said compartments,
d. means for metering and visually indicating the allotted time remaining to a user determinable by the value of coins received from the user inside each of said compartments, and
e. means for providing electrical power to said warning signal means when the users allotted time has expired and said occupancy control means is itself supplied with electrical power; and
B. detection means for detecting the presence of a user in said rest accommodation compartments and for providing a signal at a central control unit remote from said compartments to indicate which of said compartments is occupied.
2. The rest accommodation compartment complex as specified in claim 1 including an electrically actuated lamp at said central control center for each of said compartments, and wherein said occupancy control means provides electrical power to each of said lamps corresponding to a compartment in which the compartment users allotted time has expired, when said occupancy control means is itself supplied with electrical power.