|Publication number||USRE42767 E1|
|Application number||US 10/615,553|
|Publication date||Oct 4, 2011|
|Filing date||Jul 8, 2003|
|Priority date||Oct 9, 1997|
|Also published as||EP1177491A1, EP1177491A4, EP1177491B1, US6151986, US6453767, WO2000068755A1|
|Publication number||10615553, 615553, US RE42767 E1, US RE42767E1, US-E1-RE42767, USRE42767 E1, USRE42767E1|
|Inventors||Larry Willemsen, Gregory Scott Kolwich|
|Original Assignee||Ksr Industrial Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (44), Classifications (13), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a divisional of patent application Ser. No. 09/309,526, filed May 11, 1999 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,151,986, which is a continuation-in-part application of patent application Ser. No. 09/135,346, filed Aug. 17, 1998 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,178,847, which is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 08/947,563, filed Oct. 9, 1997, now abandoned.
The present invention relates generally to adjustable vehicle control pedals, and more particularly to such pedals which can conveniently fit into existing motor vehicle design packages.
For many years, vehicle manufacturers and/or designers have been aware of ergonomic considerations for drivers of different stature. In an effort to accommodate different sizes of drivers, vehicle controls (steering wheels, etc.) have been designed with adjustability to accommodate this wide range of driver size. The importance of creating a harmony for the occupant, whereby all vehicle controls adjust to the driver has been increasingly more important from an ergonomic and safety point of view. However, package space, functional safety and cost have historically excluded pedals from adjustability.
Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide an adjustable vehicle control pedal apparatus which ergonomically accommodates drivers of different stature, yet advantageously substantially fits into current vehicle design packages. It is a further object of the present invention to provide such an apparatus which performs reliably, and can be incorporated in a vehicle at a relatively low cost. Yet further, it is an object of the present invention to provide such an apparatus which operates much like a standard pedal and advantageously allows for carryover hardware and switches.
The present invention addresses and solves the problems/drawbacks enumerated above, and encompasses other features and advantages as well. The present invention comprises an adjustable control pedal apparatus for use in a vehicle having a pitch axis. The brake and/or clutch pedal apparatus comprises a driven pedal arm rotatably and operatively mounted to the vehicle about a rotation axis substantially parallel to the pitch axis. An inner pedal arm is adjustably mounted to the driven pedal arm, and a pedal is attached to the inner pedal arm. The brake and/or clutch pedal apparatus further comprises means, substantially disposed within the driven pedal arm and the inner pedal arm, for varying the proximity of the pedal to the operator.
A preferred embodiment of the invention includes a jack screw which moves a block member having pins which travel in slots in the inner and driven pedal arms to vary the proximity of the pedal.
The accelerator pedal apparatus of the present invention comprises an inner pedal arm rotatably and operatively mounted to the vehicle about a rotation axis substantially parallel to the pitch axis. A driven pedal arm is adjustably mounted to the inner pedal arm, and a pedal is attached to the driven pedal arm. The accelerator pedal apparatus also comprises means, substantially disposed within the inner pedal arm and the driven pedal arm, for varying the proximity of the pedal to the operator.
A first alternative preferred embodiment of an adjustment apparatus for a brake pedal has a pedal arm which encompasses more of the inner pedal arm.
A second preferred alternative preferred embodiment of the invention is directed to an adjustment apparatus for a brake pedal and includes a driven pedal arm having a pair of slots for receiving a clevis mounted to a jack screw rod. The clevis is connected to the inner pedal arm connected to the clevis by a pin. The inner pedal arm has a slot receiving for a slide block. A pinion gear is moved around the jack screw to position the pedal arm and pedal.
A third preferred alternative embodiment of the invention is particularly directed to an adjustment apparatus for an accelerator pedal having a pedal assembly which is mounted to a bracket by a pivot shaft. The pedal assembly includes an inner arm and a pedal arm. The pivot shaft has a worm gear portion which engages a pinion on an end of a jack screw. The jack screw is rotatably mounted to the inner arm. The jack screw is received in a threaded member mounted to the pedal arm. The motor turns the pivot shaft to rotate the jack screw and move the pedal arm with respect to the inner arm.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent by reference to the following detailed description and to the drawings, in which:
Referring now to
Referring first to the brake and/or clutch pedal apparatus, the adjustable control pedal apparatus 10 of the present invention comprises a driven pedal arm 12 rotatably and operatively mounted to the vehicle V about a rotation axis 14 substantially parallel to the pitch axis P. The pitch axis P, roll axis R and yaw axis Y are shown in
In inner pedal arm 18 is adjustably mounted to driven pedal arm 12. A pedal 20 is attached to inner pedal arm 18. The brake and or clutch pedal apparatus 10 may be rotatably mounted to the vehicle V by any suitable means. However, in the preferred embodiment, the apparatus 10 is mounted in a support bracket 64 which is similar to the support of a conventional pedal. Both the inner pedal arm 18 and the driven pedal arm 12 are mounted on the same pivot shaft 66.
The brake pedal 20 includes a cam face which accommodates different foot sizes at varying points of adjustment. The cam face has a lower portion which curves toward the fire wall from the top portion of the brake pedal. When the brake pedal is in a full forward position the top portion of the pedal is in position for depression by the driver. However, when the pedal is adjusted toward the rear of the vehicle, the pedal raises and the lower portion moves outwardly so as to be in the position for depression by the fool of the driver. The pad 21 is preferably cast as part of the pedal 20; thus, the pad 21 would be “as cast” and provide for marketing/styling inputs such as molding in a trade name which could provide driver awareness of the adjustable pedal feature. However it is to be understood that a standard rubber/elastomeric or the like conventionally known material may be disposed on the pedal 20 to provide the pad 21.
Although it is to be understood that any suitable material may be used, in the preferred embodiment the driven pedal arm 12 and the inner pedal arm 18 are cast from a magnesium alloy. This is advantageous in that the cast magnesium alloys allow for integration of the complex shape to both house the gearing and screw (described further hereinbelow) and integrate the pad 21. It is further advantageous in that the cast magnesium alloys provide suitable strength while being light in weight. It is estimated that the weight of the brake pedal apparatus 10, including the motor M (described hereinbelow) is 2.20 kilograms.
The adjustable control pedal apparatus 10 further comprises means, substantially disposed within the driven pedal arm 12 and the inner pedal arm 18, for varying the proximity of the pedal 20 to the operator. It is to be understood that this varying means may comprise any suitable means, however, in the preferred embodiment, the varying means comprises a first pair of opposed slots 22, 24 defined in the driven pedal arm 12. A second pair of opposed slots 26, 28 are defined in the inner pedal arm 18, the second pair of slots 26, 28 being angularly offset from the first pair of slots 22, 24 (as best seen in
It is to be understood that the angular offset may be at any angle suitable to provide for desired pin 34, 34′ translation and a subsequent predetermined pedal 20 movement with reasonable torque requirements for the motor M. In the preferred embodiment, the angle θ between a set 30, 32 of angularly offset slots is approximately 15°. It is to be further understood that the slot sets 30, 32 in either or both of the apparatuses 10, 10′, 10″ may be disposed either above or below the respective pivot point on the pedal apparatus 10, 10′, 10″.
The varying means may further comprise two pins 34, 34′ operatively mounted within the inner pedal arm 18, one of the pins 34 extending outwardly through one of the opposed sets 30 of angularly offset slots, and the other pin 34′ extending outwardly through the other 32 opposed set of angularly offset slots.
The varying means may further comprise means for translating the pins 34, 34′ in a first 36 or a second 38 direction, whereby when the pin 34, 34′ is translated in the first direction 36, the pedal 20 is moved toward the operator, and when the pin 34, 34′ is translated in the second direction 38, the pedal 20 is moved away from the operator. However, it is to be understood that, although first direction 36 is depicted in
Each pin 34, 34′ comprises an inner bearing member 40, 40′ and an outer bearing member 42, 42′, the members being rotatable with respect to each other (see
Although the slots 22, 24, 26, 28 are shown as being rectangular or oblong in shape, it is to be understood that these slots may be of any suitable geometric configuration.
It is to be understood that the pin translating means may comprise any suitable means, however in the preferred embodiment, this pin translating means comprises a block member 44 having two opposed ends 46, 48 and being disposed between the two opposed sets 30, 32 of angularly offset slots, the block member 44 having the pins 34, 34′ extending outwardly from each of the two ends 46, 48, the block member 44 further having a threaded bore 50 extending therethrough, as seen in
The pin translating means may further comprise a jack screw 52 threadingly engaged within the threaded bore 50 and longitudinally oriented about an axis 54 substantially parallel to a line perpendicular to the pitch axis P. A pinion gear 56 is attached to the jack screw 52. A worm gear 58 is meshingly engaged with the pinion gear 56. The screw 52 may be axially constrained by any suitable means; however in the preferred embodiment, this means includes a thrust bearing 88 into which the screw 52 may be press fit at one end. At the end distal from the thrust bearing 88, a suitable plug 92 receives screw 52 in plug bore 90. Plug 92 has suitable external threads 94 for threading engagement within plate 96.
Alternatively, block member 44 may be more square like in shape, being substantially the same length and height as bearing members 40, 40′, 42, 42′. The axis 54 about which screw 52 is longitudinally oriented would then be approximately centered between bearing member 40 and bearing member 40′.
The pin translating means may further comprise means for driving the worm gear 58. It is to be understood that this driving means may comprise any suitable means. However, in the preferred embodiment, the worm gear driving means comprises a motor M and a rotating drive cable 60 operatively mounted to the motor M and to the worm gear 58. Although motor M is shown schematically apart from the pedal apparatus 10, it is to be understood that motor M may be pedal mounted in the brake and/or accelerator pedal apparatus; motor M may be mounted by support bracket 64; and/or motor M may be mounted by a separate bracket. Upon rotation of the worm gear 58 in a first direction, the block member 44 will be translated along the longitudinal axis 54 of the jack screw 52 and away from the pinion gear 56, and upon rotation of the worm gear 58 in a second direction, the block member 44 will be translated along the longitudinal axis 54 of the jack screw 52 and toward the pinion gear 56. As the end of block member 44 travel in each direction, the motor M will automatically shut down. The motor M will do so by any suitable means, including but not limited to a limit switch for detecting amp overload (overload limit switch); by automatically stalling at a predetermined torque value; a potentiometer; or an encoder wheel.
The cable 60 may be any suitable drive cable. However, in the preferred embodiment, cable 60 is a square end, rotating drive cable. it is to be understood that cable 60 may be operatively attached to worm gear 58 and motor M by any suitable means, such as by a suitable snap fit connecting assembly. However, in the preferred embodiment, as can be seen in
The current vehicle design packages provide acceptable space to adjust both pedals 20, 20′ about 63.5 mm rearward (toward the operator) and about 10 mm downward. Modifications to the dash may be required to move the pedals 20, 20′ forward (away from the operator) about 12 mm. It is to be understood that these adjustments are exemplary only, and that the pedals 20, 20′ may be made to adjust within a smaller or wider range.
Although it is to be understood that any suitable material may be used, in the preferred embodiment, the driven pedal arm 12′ is cast from a magnesium alloy. The inner pedal arm 18′ is preferably injection molded from a suitably rigid polymeric material. The advantages above with regard to the brake pedal apparatus 10 materials apply equally here; however, the accelerator pedal apparatus 10′ may be even lighter in weight, due to the use of polymeric material(s) for the inner pedal arm 18′. The driven pedal arm 12′ is preferably cast from a magnesium alloy to provide styling harmony with the brake pedal apparatus 10. The weight of the accelerator is estimated to be about 0.67 kilograms.
The pedal pad 21′ may also include a cam face (as with brake pedal apparatus 10) to accommodate different foot sizes at varying points of adjustment. The cam face in both pads 21, 21′ includes an elongated face (as compared to conventional pads) such that as the pedal apparatus 10, 10′, 10″ is adjusted (as stated above), the pads 21, 21′ maintain normal contact with the ball of the operator's foot through the adjustment.
Thus, additional adjustability is gained through the geometry of the cam faced pedal pads 21, 21′.
The remainder of the accelerator pedal apparatus 10′ is as described above in relation to the brake pedal apparatus 10, 10″. For example, the pin translating assembly also operates through two diverging slots (22, 26) and (24, 28), one set 30 being on one side of the apparatus 10, and the other set 32 being on the opposed side of the apparatus 10′.
A first alternative preferred embodiment of the adjustable brake pedal apparatus of the present invention is depicted generally as 10″ in
A second alternative preferred embodiment of the adjustable brake pedal apparatus 110 is shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
A drive mechanism 160 is mounted at the rear corner 144 of the driven pedal arm. The drive mechanism 160 has a housing 162 which is mounted to extend between the side portions 130. The housing supports the pinion gear 56 and worm gear 58. The pinion gear 56 is centered with respect to the side portions 130 to receive the jack screw 146 in a threaded bore 164. The pinion gear 58 is mounted in meshing contact with the pinion gear 56 to be driven by drive cable 60 and motor M as discussed above. The slots 142 of the driven pedal arm 112 maintain the alignment of the connector and the jack screw with the axis of the pinion gear 56 during the operation of the drive mechanism 160.
As shown in
Referring now to the accelerator pedal apparatus, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 5-7, the adjustable control pedal apparatus 10′ of the present invention comprises an inner pedal arm 18′ rotatably and operatively mounted to the vehicle V about a rotation axis 14′ substantially parallel to the pitch axis P. Inner pedal arm 18′ may be operatively connected to the vehicle V by any suitable, conventionally known means. For example, the throttle cable (not shown) may operatively attach throughbore 80.
A driven pedal arm 12′ is adjustably mounted to an inner pedal arm 18′. A pedal 20′ is attached to driven pedal arm 12′. The accelerator pedal apparatus 10′ may be rotatably mounted to the vehicle V by any suitable means. In the preferred embodiment, the apparatus 10′ is mounted on a pivot shaft 84 in a support bracket 82 (most of which is shown broken away in
A third alterative preferred embodiment of a pedal adjuster apparatus 210 for use with an accelerator pedal is shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
The upper portion 258 of the pedal arm has a rear wall 264 and a pair of side walls 266 extending therefrom to form the u-shaped channel. The pair of the side walls 266 are spaced apart to receive a slide block 268 therein. The slide block 268 has a threaded bore 270 for receiving the jack screw 250. A pair of pins 272 extend from opposite sides of the slide block 268 to be received in slots 274 formed in each side wall 266. The slots 274 extend longitudinally downwardly from the top to guide the slide block 268 during adjustment. The rear wall has an aperture 276 for fixedly receiving the threaded portion of the jack screw. The position of the pedal arm 220 may be thus adjusted by rotating the pivot shaft 216 and worm gear 226 to turn the pinion gear 254 and jack screw 250 in the slide block 268 of the pedal arm 220. The slots 274 of the pedal arm 220 permit the slide block 288 to move with respect to the pivot rod 256 as the pedal arm 220 pivots during adjustment.
An abutment surface 278 is formed on a front portion of the pedal arm 220 beneath the slots 274. The abutment surface 278 contacts the stop surface 238 of the inner arm 218 when the pedal is in the forward position. The stop flange 280 is formed at the end of the jack screw 250 to stop the travel of the pedal arm 220 at its full rearward adjustment position, as shown in
As shown in
The present invention may also include means for providing a memory option to “remember” and re-set the pedals 20, 20′ or pedal arms according to a pre-programmed operator preference. This memory option means may be provided by any suitable means, such as for example, a location transducer such as a potentiometer or encoder. This memory option means may be in a computer module, which module may be integral with the motor M, but may also be separate from it. The motor M may sense the position of the pedals 20, 20′ or pedal arms and send the signal to the computer module.
It is to be understood that the motor M may be any suitable motor having any desired specifications, as required and/or necessitated by a particular end use. An exemplary motor is commercially available from DAEWOO, and preferably has a power rating of approximately 1/20 horsepower; however, the power rating may be up to between about ¼ horsepower and ⅓ horsepower.
As shown in
The apparatuses of the present invention are further quite quiet in operation—squeaks and/or rattles are substantially prevented by standard plastic bushings for the pedal pivots; and by bronze thrust bearings for the gear drive.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the disclosed embodiments may be modified. Therefore, the foregoing description is to be considered exemplary rather than limiting, and the true scope of the invention is that defined in the following claims.
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|U.S. Classification||74/512, 74/513, 180/334|
|International Classification||G05G1/405, G05G1/30, G05G1/40, B60T7/06, B60K23/02, B60K26/02|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T74/20534, G05G1/405, Y10T74/20528|
|Jan 8, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: KSR TECHNOLOGIES CO., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KSR INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:020325/0379
Effective date: 20080108
|Mar 13, 2012||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Mar 12, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Apr 11, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: KSR IP HOLDINGS LLC., DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KSR TECHNOLOGIES CO.;REEL/FRAME:032660/0691
Effective date: 20140407