Title:
Nursery chair device with adjustable angle between the seat and a modifiable back and corresponding chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A chair comprises a seat and a back articulated with respect to one another and each articulated on a frame designed to be fixed to the chassis of said nursery device, at least one of said parts of the seat being connected to said seat and said back can be modified.



Inventors:
Gentil, Jean-luc (Cholet, FR)
Application Number:
10/464431
Publication Date:
02/26/2004
Filing Date:
06/17/2003
Assignee:
AMPAFRANCE (Cholet, FR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/363
International Classes:
A47D1/00; A47D1/10; (IPC1-7): A47D1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BROWN, PETER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WESTMAN CHAMPLIN & KOEHLER, P.A. (SUITE 1100 121 South Eighth Street, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55402, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. Nursery device, comprising a chair including a seat and a back, articulated with respect to one another and each mounted articulated on a frame designed to be fixed to the chassis of said nursery device, wherein at least one of said parts is connected to said frame by attachment means which can adopt at least two distinct positions with respect to said part of the seat and which are fixed with respect to said frame, so that the angle formed between said seat and said back can be modified.

2. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein said attachment means can adopt at least two distinct positions are mounted on the back.

3. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein said attachment means are connected to the seat by a sliding pivot type connection.

4. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein said frame is mounted on the other of said parts of the seat by means of a pivot connection and in that the length of the frame portion running between said sliding pivot connection and said pivot connection is fixed.

5. Nursery device of claim 3, wherein said attachment means have at least one part forming a housing for a cylindrical portion of said frame, in which said cylindrical portion is free to rotate and at least one part forming a plate that slides with respect to at least one guide and/or attachment element formed on said part of the seat.

6. Nursery device of claim 5, wherein the sliding plate is guided and/or attached by two runners.

7. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein said seat comprises means for indexing the position of said attachment means with respect to said part of the seat.

8. Nursery device of claim 7, wherein said indexing means comprise at least two recesses.

9. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein it comprises locking means for said attachments with respect to said part of the seat.

10. Nursery device of claim 9, wherein said locking means are actuated, at least to release them, by a single handle.

11. Nursery device of claim 10, wherein said handle is mounted on the upper part of said back, so as to make it possible to unlock and control the adjustment of the angle of said seat with just one hand.

12. Nursery device of claim 2, wherein said attachment means have at least one part forming a housing for a cylindrical portion of said frame, in which said cylindrical portion is free to rotate and at least one part forming a plate that slides with respect to at least one guide and/or attachment element formed on said part of the seat and includes locking means for said attachments with respect to said part of the seat, the locking means are actuated, at least to release them, by a single handle, wherein said handle is mounted on said plate.

13. Nursery device of claim 9, wherein said locking means include recall means which automatically return them to the locked position.

14. Nursery device of claim 2, wherein said seat is attached to said frame, free to rotate, close to its free end.

15. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein said frame defines a closed perimeter that is essentially rectangular shaped.

16. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein said frame is mounted on a pivot on said chassis.

17. Nursery device of claim 16, wherein it uses two similar connection assemblies mounted on said chassis and articulated with respect to it, said connection assemblies being also mounted on a pivot on said frame, on the one hand, and on the other hand on at least one of said parts of the seat so that pivoting said frame with respect to said chassis changes the angle between said seat and said back.

18. Nursery device of claim 17, wherein it comprises locking means for said attachments with respect to said part of the seat, the locking means are actuated, at least to release them, by a single handle, wherein said handle also permits control of the adjustment of the position of said frame with respect to said chassis.

19. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein said chair can be reversed with respect to said chassis.

20. Nursery device of claim 1, wherein it is a pushchair.

21. Chair designed to equip a nursery device according to claim 1.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The scope of the invention is that of nursery products, and in particular nursery devices in which a child may be placed in the upright position, such as pushchairs or reclining chairs. More precisely, the invention concerns a nursery device with a tilting chair and a seat angle that is adjustable, according to its inclination.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] One is familiar with many chair or cradle pushchairs that can be tilted. Usually, the chair is mounted onto the chassis of the pushchair, and various means are provided on the chassis to guide position and secure the chair in the desired position.

[0003] Patent document EP-99 460 003 proposes an improvement consisting of varying the angle between the back and the chair, according to the angle at which it is tilted.

[0004] Therefore, when the chair is in the upright position (seated position), the angle formed by the seat element and the back element of the chair, or the seat angle, is around 110° , so that it forms a chair with a back. Inversely, when the chair is in the reclined position, the angle formed by the seat of the chair is much more open (around 160°). In this way, the child is comfortably seated when the chair is in the upright position, and laid down when the chair is in the reclined position. Of course, intermediate positions may be provided.

[0005] To obtain this result, the chair has the form, viewed from the side, of a deformable triangular structure. The hypotenuse of this triangle is formed by the frame of the chair. The two other sides (part of the seat and part of the back) are two strengthening elements (usually plastic sheets) that are articulated at their joint summit. The frame is designed so that its length can be varied. The variations of this length automatically cause the angle formed by the part of the seat and the part of the back to open or to close.

[0006] More precisely, in the seated position, the length of the frame is at its shortest, and in the reclined position at its longest length. To this end, the frame is made of two parts, an upper part and a lower part, the upper part can telescopically enter a portion of the lower part.

[0007] This telescopic function is very effective in theory. However, in practice it poses many problems. It requires very precise adjustment and is not very reliable in time. The slightest defect, distortion or foreign body can hamper or block the relative movements of the parts with respect to one another.

[0008] Furthermore, the chair can be maintained in a given position, with the desired seat angle, by means of a set of arms joined to the pushchair chassis. Such a mechanism is however relatively complex, both to assemble when making the pushchair and to use. It is particularly impractical in the case where the chair is intended to be used alternatively facing forwards or facing backwards towards the mother.

[0009] More generally, the known systems have many disadvantages, both as concerns their manufacture:

[0010] many moving parts;

[0011] long assembly times,

[0012] as concerns their use:

[0013] awkward to handle;

[0014] difficulties in reversing the chair's position (facing forwards or facing backwards towards the mother);

[0015] safety problems, as the child can touch the elements for adjusting the angle).

[0016] In the above-mentioned patent document, an improvement is proposed in which the chair has on each of its sides a guide part that is part of said frame parts and has an oblong slot in which a guide pin moves that is part of the other part of the frame, the movement of said guide pin in said oblong slot allowing said length of the frame to be controlled and thus the angle of the chair.

[0017] Therefore, the means which ensure and control the position and angle of the back are part of the chair (and therefore independent from the chassis). The guide part is one piece, and is easy both to manufacture and fit onto the pushchair. This therefore reduces the manufacturing cost in comparison to the known techniques.

[0018] However, in spite of the significant improvement that this solution provides with respect to the prior techniques, the other disadvantages remain.

[0019] Indeed, there are still difficulties in assembling it, particularly due to the precise adjustment that is needed to obtain satisfactory operation.

[0020] Furthermore, as already mentioned, the principle of the frame made up of two parts that slide with respect to one another regularly cause problems: the sliding pats wear or become dirty, which can cause the mechanism to jam, making the chair difficult or impossible for the user to operate.

[0021] Moreover, such a pushchair remains relatively expensive to manufacture and assemble.

[0022] The particular objective of the invention is to overcome these various disadvantages of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0023] More precisely, a first objective of the invention is to provide a nursery device, with a reclining chair and an adjustable seat angle, that is more reliable and simpler than the devices of the known techniques.

[0024] Thus the invention has a particular objective of providing such a device whose mechanism for tilting the chair and varying the angle of the seat is not subject to the jamming phenomena, or only slightly.

[0025] The invention also has the objective of providing such a device at a lower cost, with respect to the traditional pushchairs of the same type.

[0026] More precisely, the objective of the invention is to supply such a device whose manufacturing costs and assembly costs are reduced. In particular, one objective of the invention is to provide such a device that uses a limited number of parts to tilt and control the angle of the seat.

[0027] Another objective of the invention is to provide such a device, where the chair may be placed in the desired position simply and safely, preferably by a person remaining behind the pushchair, without the child being able to alter this position.

[0028] Yet another objective of the invention is to conserve the advantages of the solution described in the document EP-99 460 003, and in particular:

[0029] easy fitting and removal of the chair on the chassis of the pushchair;

[0030] chair can be reversed without complicated, long operations;

[0031] ease of use of optional equipment that is part of the chair.

[0032] These objectives as well as others that will become clear below are achieved thanks to the invention, which concerns a nursery device comprising a chair including a seat and a back, articulated with respect to one another and each articulated on a frame designed to be attached to the chassis of said nursery device, characterised in that at least one of said parts of the seat is connected to said frame by means of attachments that can adopt at least two distinct positions with respect to said part of the seat and fixed with respect to said frame, so that the angle formed between said seat and said back can be modified.

[0033] A nursery device with a reclining chair with an adjustable seat angle is thus obtained that is more reliable and simpler than the devices of the known techniques.

[0034] In fact, the mechanism for tilting the chair and varying the seat angle does not use the traditional principle of a frame composed of two parts, sliding with respect to one another. This consequently avoids the disadvantages related to this principle, which is to say the risks of jamming or incorrect operation due to distortion or wear of the sliding parts, or the presence between them of foreign bodies.

[0035] Furthermore, the difficulties related to the assembly and adjustment of the sliding parts is also avoided.

[0036] According to one preferred solution, said attachments that can be placed in at least two distinct positions are connected to the back of said seat.

[0037] Preferably, said attachments are connected to said part of the seat by a sliding pivot type connection.

[0038] Advantageously, said frame is mounted on other of said parts of the seat by means of a pivot and the length of the frame portion running between said sliding pivot connection and said pivot connection is fixed.

[0039] It therefore appears clear that the nursery device of the invention has no telescopic mechanism.

[0040] Of course, it can be envisaged to fit telescopic parts to the device, for example in order to adjust the position of a foot or head rest. However, the operation of the mechanism for tilting the chair and adjusting the seat angle is free from any use of telescopic parts, unlike the solutions of the prior art.

[0041] According to one advantageous solution, said attachments have at least one part forming a housing for a cylindrical portion of said frame, in which said cylindrical portion is free to rotate and at least one part forming a plate that slides with respect to a guide and/or attachment element is formed on said part of the seat.

[0042] In this case, said sliding plate is preferably guided and/or attached by two runners.

[0043] According to one advantageous solution, said seat comprises means for indexing the position of said attachments with respect to said part of the seat.

[0044] Means of adjusting the angle if the chair and the seat angle to several different predetermined positions is disposed.

[0045] Preferably, the indexing means comprise at least two recesses.

[0046] Of course, other indexing means may be envisaged in other embodiments within the scope of this invention, in particular male/female type connections.

[0047] In one preferred solution, the nursery device comprises locking means for said attachments with respect to said part of the seat. In this case, the locking means are advantageously actuated by a single handle, at least to unlock them.

[0048] Preferably, said handle is mounted on the upper part of said back, so as to make it possible to unlock and control the adjustment of the angle of said chair with just one hand.

[0049] The device of the invention is thus particularly simple and easy to use.

[0050] Advantageously, said handle is mounted on said plate.

[0051] Preferably, said locking means include means which automatically return them to the locked position.

[0052] Safety is thus obtained for a nursery application, this level of safety being achieved with automatic means which avoid the user having to carry out a succession of movements, as is the case with the traditional solutions.

[0053] According to one advantageous solution, said seat is attached to said frame, and is free to rotate at its free end.

[0054] Advantageously, said frame defines a closed perimeter that is essentially rectangular shaped.

[0055] According to one preferred solution, said frame is mounted on a pivot on said chassis.

[0056] In this case, the device preferably uses two similar connection assemblies mounted on said chassis and articulated with respect to it, said connection assemblies being also mounted on a pivot on said frame, on the one hand, and on the other hand on at least one of said parts of the seat so that pivoting said frame with respect to said chassis changes the angle between said seat and said back.

[0057] Advantageously, said handle permits control of the adjustment of the position of said frame with respect to said chassis.

[0058] According to another characteristic, said chair can be reversed with respect to said chassis.

[0059] According to one advantageous application of the invention, the nursery device is a pushchair.

[0060] The invention also concerns a chair designed to equip a nursery device such as that described above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0061] Other characteristics and advantages of the invention will become clearer after reading the following description of an embodiment given by way of non-restrictive illustration and drawings, among which:

[0062] FIGS. 1 and 2 are two perspective views of a chair according to the invention, in the upright position, respectively of the front and rear;

[0063] FIGS. 3 and 4 are two perspective views of a chair according to the invention, in the reclined position, respectively of the front and rear;

[0064] FIGS. 5 to 7 are views of indexing means equipping such a chair according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0065] The invention therefore provides a new solution that allows the angle formed by the seat and the back of a chair for a nursery device to be adjusted simply and efficiently.

[0066] Below, an exemplary chair according to the invention is described, designed to equip a pushchair.

[0067] It can be noted however that the invention may be used for other nursery devices, in particular such as for reclining seats, seats and car seats, etc.

[0068] In reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the chair of a pushchair has a seat formed by a seat 1 and a back 2, articulated with respect to one another, such that the angle between the seat and the back may be modified between two configurations, one in which the child is in an upright position and the other in which the child is in the reclined position.

[0069] Such a chair also comprises a frame 3 on which are mounted via pivots the seat 1 and the back 2 as explained below.

[0070] This frame 3 essentially defines a rectangular perimeter and is designed, according to one advantageous embodiment, to be fixed to the chassis of a pushchair.

[0071] According to this embodiment of the invention, a cylindrical portion of the frame 3 is housed so that it can rotate freely in a housing 4 that is attached to a plate 41, that can slide along runners 21 formed on the back 2.

[0072] The housing 4 and the plate 41 thus form attachments which can adopt, according to one aspect of the invention, distinct positions with respect to one of the parts of the seat (in this case the back), while having a fixed position with respect to the frame 3.

[0073] Such a connection, of the sliding pivot type, allows the angle between the back 2 and the seat 1 to be modified, without any need for a telescopic frame. It can indeed be noted that the length of the frame portion running between the sliding pivot connection of the back 2 and the pivoting connection of the seat 31 is fixed.

[0074] It is pointed out that, according to other embodiments that may be envisaged, the attachments connecting the frame 3 and the back 2, may be also or alternatively be fitted between the frame 3 and the seat 1.

[0075] A handle 5 is mounted on the upper part of the back 2, thus permitting the user to unlock and adjust the angle of the chair with one hand.

[0076] FIGS. 5 and 6 are views of means for indexing the position of the plate 41, and therefore of the housing 4, with respect to the back 2.

[0077] In FIG. 5, the device is in the locked position, the handle 5 in the rest position. It is locked by means of locks 52 actuated by means of pins 521 which can move inside of angled slots 511. The locks 52 and the pins 521 are joined to one another so that movement of the pins 521 also causes the locks 52 to move. The pins 521 and locks 52 are mounted on the plate 41, but are moveable with respect to the plate 41.

[0078] In such a position of the handle 5, these locks 52 interact with slides 411 and runners 21 so as to prevent the plate 41 from sliding with respect to the back 2.

[0079] Of course, in such a configuration, it is not possible to modify the angle of the chair or the seat angle.

[0080] To obtain the unlocked position illustrated in FIG. 6, the handle 5 is pulled upwards, which causes the pins 521 to move in the slots 511, from their position in FIG. 5 to their position in FIG. 6. In other words, the pins 511 move towards one another, in order to release the locks 52 of the slides 411 and runners 21. The plate 41 can then slide freely with respect to the back 2.

[0081] The chair can thus be tilted and the seat angle adjusted to the various possible positions, with the locked position at the desired angle being obtained by simply releasing the handle 5, which automatically returns to the position illustrated in FIG. 5 via recall means 53 (e.g. springs or other suitable return mechanism) to which it is attached.

[0082] Moreover, the position of the plate 41 along the back 2 is indexed which is to say that indexing means are provided so that the plate 41 can occupy predetermined positions which correspond to as many distinct angled positions for the chair.

[0083] In order to do so, the slides 411 of the plate 41 have recesses 412 and the runners 21 have corresponding recesses that form housings for the locks 52.

[0084] In this way, by actuating the handle 5 as previously indicated, the locks 52 are released from one or the other of the recesses, the plate 41 is moved along the back 2, then when the handle 5 is released, the locks 52 return and enter another recess to lock the chair in another predetermined position.

[0085] According to the operation that has just been described, it can be understood that the handle 5 allows, with just one hand, the plate to be unlocked with respect to the back and then, by holding the handle 5 pulled upwards, to change the angle of the chair as well as the seat angle.

[0086] As previously indicated, the frame 3 is advantageously mounted on the chassis of a pushchair, by means of two connection assemblies 6 each featuring a slot 61 designed to accommodate an element fixed on the chassis, so that the frame can pivot with respect to the chassis of a pushchair.

[0087] These connection assemblies 6 are designed to be easy to fit and remove from the chassis of the pushchair, either to turn the chair facing forwards or to reverse it so that it is facing the adult pushing the pushchair.

[0088] According to this embodiment, the connection assemblies 6 are free to rotate on the one hand with respect to the frame 3 by means of the pivot connections 62 and, on the other hand, with respect to the back 2 by means of a pivot connection 63.

[0089] In this way, the pivoting of the frame with respect to the chassis automatically changes the angle between the seat 1 and the back 2, as will now be described in further detail.

[0090] The operation which permits the angle of the chair to be modified with respect to the chassis of the pushchair, as well as that of the angle between the seat 1 and the back 2 will now be explained.

[0091] Let us consider the hypothesis that the frame 3 and the seat 2 are initially in the upright position, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, in which the child is in a seated position, and let us suppose that the user wishes to change the position of the chair to place the child in a reclined position.

[0092] In this upright position, the user actuates the handle 5, thus releasing the plate 41 with respect to the back 2 (as previously described) thus permitting the frame 3 to pivot with respect to the chassis of the pushchair (it can be noted however that releasing the frame with respect to the chassis can be carried out beforehand by the user, using additional and/or independent commands).

[0093] By holding the handle 5 in the actuated position, and bringing it downwards, the user also follows the pivoting of the frame 3 to a position such as that illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0094] During this movement, the frame 3 turns inside its housing 4 while the plate 41 moves along the runners 21 of the back 2, to come to a position such as that shown in FIG. 4.

[0095] Simultaneously, the connection assemblies 6 pivot around the connection 62 with respect to the frame 3 to progressively reach a position in which they more or less run along the length of the frame 3, such as that shown in FIG. 3.

[0096] Progressively during this movement, and by means of the pivot connections 62, 63, 31, combined with the pivot connection sliding between the frame 3 and the back 2, the angle between the seat 1 and the back 2 opens progressively to finally occupy a position allowing the child to be reclined, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0097] It can be noted that points 4, 31, 7 and 63 therefore define a deformable quadrilateral, permitting the chair to be adjusted according to the invention.

[0098] The user then releases the handle 5 which, via the recall means, locks the chair in the desired position.

[0099] Of course, the user can at any time release the handle in an intermediate, this being facilitated by the presence of indexing means.

[0100] Changing from the reclined position to the upright position is achieved by following the above steps in reverse order.

[0101] Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.