Title:
Large-sized power umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An umbrella includes a center post having an upper end to which a crown is mounted. A number of ribs are pivoted to and radially extend from the crown. A runner is movably mounted to the center post. A stretcher is arranged between and pivoted to the runner and each rib. A canopy is attached to and supported by the ribs. An inner threaded member is mounted to the runner. A threaded rod engages the inner threaded member and is coupled to an output spindle of a motor by a reduction gear set whereby the rotation of the motor spindle is transmitted to the rod and the rotation of the rod causes the runner to move thereby opening/closing the umbrella. The motor is controlled by a control circuit that is in turn controlled by a remote control unit.



Inventors:
Ma, Joen-shen (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
10/227827
Publication Date:
03/04/2004
Filing Date:
08/27/2002
Assignee:
MA JOEN-SHEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B25/14; A45B23/00; A45B25/06; (IPC1-7): E04H15/00; A45B23/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20070283989Safe umbrella frameDecember, 2007Kuo
20090178699UMBRELLA WITH REPOSITIONABLE GRIPJuly, 2009O'donnell et al.
20080121259Systems And Methods For Assisting A Seated Person To A Standing PositionMay, 2008Weaver
20070163631Shade, more particularly an umbrella and/or sunshadeJuly, 2007Vanquaille et al.
20040211451Inverse umbrellaOctober, 2004Goh
20060011227Hiking staffJanuary, 2006Mcbirney
20080072946Beam And Truss Structure For A CanopyMarch, 2008Vanelverdinghe
20080087312Folding CrutchApril, 2008Sundarrao



Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBERG, KLEIN & LEE (3458 ELLICOTT CENTER DRIVE-SUITE 101, ELLICOTT CITY, MD, 21043, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An umbrella comprising: an umbrella frame comprising: a center post, and a runner movable along the center post to open/close the umbrella; and a driving system comprising: an inner threaded member mounted to the runner, a threaded rod extending substantially parallel to the center post and threadingly engaging the inner threaded member, a motor powered by batteries and controlled by a control circuit, a gear set connected between an output spindle of the motor and the threaded rod to transmit rotation of the output spindle to the threaded rod, and a control unit in signal communication with the control circuit to selectively move the runner for opening/closing the umbrella.

2. The umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein the rod is located outside the center post and substantially parallel to the center post, the center post defining an opening for extension of the gear set therethrough.

3. The umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein the rod is located inside the center post and substantially parallel to the center post, the center post defining an elongate slot movably receiving and guiding an inward projection of the runner, the inner threaded member being mounted to the inward projection of the runner.

4. The umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein the center post has a sidewall forming a recessed channel along the center post, the rod being substantially accommodated in the channel, the runner forming an inward projection movable along the channel.

5. The umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein the gear set is a reduction gear set.

6. The umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein the control unit is a wireless remote control communicating with the control circuit.

7. The umbrella as claimed in claim 1, wherein the control unit is connected to the control circuit by wires.

8. The umbrella as claimed in claim 1 further comprising solar cells for collecting and converting solar energy into electricity for powering the motor.

9. The umbrella as claimed in claim 8, wherein the batteries are rechargeable batteries.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a large-sized umbrella, and in particular to a large-sized power umbrella.

[0003] 2. The Related Art

[0004] Large-sized umbrellas are widely used in a variety of applications, such as beach umbrellas and garden umbrellas. The conventional large-sized umbrella comprises, in general, an upright center post having a lower end mounted to ground and an upper end to which a crown is fixed, a plurality of ribs pivoted to the crown and radially extending from the crown, a runner slidably mounted to the post and a plurality of stretchers arranged between and pivoted to the ribs and the runner. When the runner is moved toward the crown, the ribs are forced to open and expanding a flexible canopy attached thereto. When the runner is moved away from the crown, the umbrella is closed.

[0005] Conventionally, the runner is moved by a rope-pulley system which winds/unwinds a rope connected to the runner for driving the runner toward/away from the crown to open/close the umbrella. A disadvantage of the rope-pulley based driving system is the requirement of large man force in operating the driving system. This causes certain troubles to the general consumers.

[0006] Some of the large-sized umbrellas are equipped with a power driving system for eliminating the requirement of large man power in operating the umbrella. However, such a conventional power driving system has a complicated structure, requiring sophisticated and costly maintenance. In addition, such a power driving system is expensive and thus making the cost of the umbrella very high.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Thus, an object of the present invention is to provide a large-sized umbrella comprising a power driving system having a simple structure.

[0008] Another object of the present invention is to provide a large-sized power umbrella having low costs.

[0009] To achieve the above objects, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided an umbrella comprising a center post having an upper end to which a crown is mounted. A number of ribs are pivoted to and radially extend from the crown. A runner is movably mounted to the center post. A stretcher is arranged between and pivoted to the runner and each rib. A canopy is attached to and supported by the ribs. An inner threaded member is mounted to the runner. A threaded rod engages the inner threaded member and is coupled to an output spindle of a motor by a reduction gear set whereby the rotation of the motor spindle is transmitted to the rod and the rotation of the rod causes the runner to move thereby opening/closing the umbrella. The motor is controlled by a control circuit that is in turn controlled by a remote control unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art by reading the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a large-sized power umbrella constructed in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the large-sized power umbrella of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a large-sized power umbrella constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 4 is another cross-sectional view of the power umbrella of the first embodiment of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 5 is another cross-sectional view of the power umbrella of the second embodiment of the present invention; and

[0016] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a power umbrella constructed in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] With reference to the drawings and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, a power umbrella constructed in accordance with the present invention comprises an umbrella frame (not labeled) comprising a center post 10 on which a runner 11 is movably mounted. The center post 10 has an upper end to which a crown 12 is attached. A number of ribs 13 are pivoted to the crown 12 and radially extend therefrom. A stretcher 14 has opposite ends respectively pivoted to the runner 11 and each rib 13. Moving the runner 11 toward the crown 12 drives the stretchers 14 to expand the ribs 13, thus opening the umbrella, and moving the runner 11 away from the crown 12 allows the ribs 13 to collapse and thus closing the umbrella. A flexible canopy 15 is attached to and supported by the ribs 13.

[0018] Also referring to FIG. 4, the umbrella comprises a driving system (not labeled) comprising a threaded rod 24 located outside but parallel to the center post 10. The threaded rod 24 has an upper end rotatably supported by the crown 12 and a lower end rotatably supported by a lug (not labeled) of the center post 10. An inner-threaded collar or nut 16 is mounted to the runner 11. The rod 24 engages and extends through the inner-threaded collar 16 whereby the upper and lower ends of the rod 24 are located on opposite sides of the runner 11.

[0019] The driving system further comprises a motor 20 mounted in the center post 10 and powered by batteries 20 that are also mounted inside the center post 10. A reduction gear set 23 is coupled between an output spindle (not labeled) of the motor 22 and the rod 24. In this respect, the center post 10 forms a cutoff (not labeled) for the extension of the gear set 23. The rotation of the output spindle of the motor 22 is transmitted to the rod 24 in a speed reduced manner. The rod 24 is thus rotated about its own axis and forces the runner 11 to move with respect thereto due to the threading engagement between the inner-threaded collar 16 and the threaded rod 24 whereby opening/closing the umbrella can be accomplished.

[0020] A control circuit 21 is arranged between the batteries 20 and the motor 22 for controlling power supplied to the motor 22. A remote control device 30 allows manual control of the motor 22 via the control circuit 21. The control device 30 can be of wired type that has a wire connection with the control circuit 21. Or alternatively, the control device 30 is a wireless remote control communicating the control circuit 21 by means of electromagnetic signals.

[0021] FIGS. 3 and 5 show a power umbrella constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention comprising an umbrella frame (not labeled) comprising a center post 10 having an upper end to which a crown 12 is attached. A number of ribs 13 are pivoted to the crown 12 and radially extend therefrom. A runner 11 is movably mounted to the center post 10. A stretcher 14 has opposite ends respectively pivoted to the runner 11 and each rib 13. Moving the runner 11 toward the crown 12 drives the stretchers 14 to expand the ribs 13, thus opening the umbrella, and moving the runner 11 away from the crown 12 allows the ribs 13 to collapse and thus closing the umbrella.

[0022] The umbrella comprises a driving system (not labeled) for driving the runner 11 toward/away from the crown 12 to open/close the umbrella. The driving system comprises a threaded rod 24 located inside and parallel to the center post 10. The threaded rod 24 has upper and lower ends rotatably supported by the center post 10. The center post 10 defines an elongate slot 18 extending along the center post 10. The runner 11 forms an inward projection 17 extending through the slot 18 into the center post 10. The projection 17 is sized to allow for free movement of the runner 11 with respect to the center post 10. An inner-threaded collar or nut 16 is mounted to the inward projection 17 of the runner 11 and the rod 24 engages with the inner-threaded collar 16.

[0023] The driving system further comprises a motor 20 mounted in the center post 10 and powered by batteries 20 that are also mounted inside the center post 10. A reduction gear set 23 is coupled between an output spindle (not labeled) of the motor 22 and the rod 24. The rotation of the output spindle of the motor 22 is transmitted to the rod 24 in a speed reduced manner. The rod 24 is thus rotated about its own axis and forces the runner 11 to move with respect thereto due to the threading engagement between the inner-threaded collar 16 and the threaded rod 24 whereby opening/closing the umbrella can be accomplished.

[0024] A control circuit 21 is arranged between the batteries 20 and the motor 22 for controlling power supplied to the motor 22. A remote control device 30 allows manual control of the motor 22 via the control circuit 21. The control device 30 can be of wired type that has a wire connection with the control circuit 21. Or alternatively, the control device 30 is a wireless remote control communicating the control circuit 21 by means of electromagnetic signals.

[0025] FIG. 6 shows a power umbrella constructed in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention comprising an umbrella frame (not labeled) comprising a center post 10 having circumferential side wall (not labeled) in which a recessed channel 19 is formed and extending along the center post 10. A runner 11 is movably mounted to the center post 10. A number of stretchers 14 have ends pivoted to the runner 11.

[0026] The umbrella comprises a driving system (not labeled) for driving the runner 11 along the center post 10. The driving system comprises a threaded rod 24 located inside the channel 19 and parallel to the center post 10. The runner 11 forms an inward projection 17 movably received in the channel 19. An inner-threaded collar or nut 16 is mounted to the projection 17 of the runner 11 and the rod 24 engages with the inner-threaded collar 16. Ends of the rod 24 extend through openings defined in the center post 10 to engage the motor 22.

[0027] The channel 19 allows the rod 24 to be shielded without causing substantial damage to the structural strength of the center post 10.

[0028] The power umbrella of the present invention may further comprise solar cells 40 for collecting and converting solar energy into electricity for charging the batteries 20. In this respect, the batteries 20 are rechargeable batteries. Alternatively, the electricity of the solar cells 40 directly powers the motor 22. Preferably, the solar cells 40 are mounted on the canopy 15 close to the crown 12 for efficiently receiving and absorbing sunlight.

[0029] Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.