Title:
Instrument for exercise machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercise machine includes a frame, a motor/generator and an instrument. The motor/generator is mounted on the frame and switched between a motor mode and a generator mode. The instrument includes a casing, a display, a control panel and an integrated circuit module. The casing is mounted on the frame. The display is mounted on the casing. The control panel is mounted on the casing for enabling a user to enter data and at least one command for switching the motor/generator between the modes. An integrated circuit module is received in the casing (10) and electrically connected with the display, the control panel and the motor/generator.



Inventors:
Sher, Mike (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
10/303183
Publication Date:
04/08/2004
Filing Date:
11/25/2002
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/8
International Classes:
A63B22/08; A63B24/00; (IPC1-7): A63B71/00; A63B22/06; A63B69/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DeWitt LLP (2100 AT&T Tower 901 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, 55402, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An exercise machine including: a frame; a motor/generator mounted on the frame and switched between a motor mode and a generator mode; and an instrument including: a casing mounted on the frame; a display mounted on the casing; a control panel mounted on the casing for enabling a user to enter data and at least one command for switching the motor/generator between the modes; and an integrated circuit module received in the casing and electrically connected with the display, the control panel and the motor/generator.

2. The exercise machine according to claim 1 wherein the communication of the integrated circuit module with the motor/generator is conducted in a wire-less manner.

3. The exercise machine according to claim 2 wherein the integrated circuit module includes a transceiver, and the motor/generator includes a transceiver in communication of signal with the transceiver of the integrated circuit module.

4. The exercise machine according to claim 2 wherein the communication of the integrated circuit module with the motor/generator is conducted via infrared light.

5. The exercise machine according to claim 4 wherein the integrated circuit module includes an infrared light transceiver, and the motor/generator includes a transceiver in communication of signal with the infrared light transceiver of the integrated circuit module.

6. The exercise machine according to claim 1 wherein the communication of the integrated circuit module with the motor/generator is conducted via a cable.

7. The exercise machine according to claim 1 wherein the instrument includes at least one sensor mounted on the casing for detecting the user's pulse when her or his hand is put on the at least one sensor.

8. The exercise machine according to claim 1 wherein the motor/generator can be operated in two rotational directions.

9. The exercise machine according to claim 1 wherein the control panel includes a plurality of buttons formed thereon.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to an instrument for an exercise machine.

[0003] 2. Related Prior Art

[0004] Taiwanese Patent Publication No. 186181 discloses an exercise machine capable of controlling workout based on personal data recorded in an optical datum card. As disclosed, an instrument 6 includes a controller 24 and an optical reader 36 with at least one pair of optical transmitter LE and optical receiver PH. An optical datum card is located between the optical transmitter LE and the optical receiver PH so that data recorded therein can be optically read. However, a user has to carry his or her personal optical datum card in order to operate the exercise machine. Loss of the personal optical datum card causes the user a lot of trouble. Furthermore, the instrument is complicated so that the reading of the data is often inadequately and that durability is often inadequate.

[0005] The present invention is therefore intended to obviate or at least alleviate the problems encountered in prior art.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0006] It is the primary objective of the present invention to provide an exercise machine equipped with an instrument that does not required a card for operation.

[0007] According to the present invention, an exercise machine includes a frame, a motor/generator and an instrument. The motor/generator is mounted on the frame and switched between a motor mode and a generator mode. The instrument includes a casing, a display, a control panel and an integrated circuit module. The casing is mounted on the frame. The display is mounted on the casing. The control panel is mounted on the casing for enabling a user to enter data and at least one command for switching the motor/generator between the modes. An integrated circuit module is received in the casing and electrically connected with the display, the control panel and the motor/generator.

[0008] The instrument includes at least one sensor mounted on the casing for detecting the user's pulse when her or his hand is put on the at least one sensor.

[0009] The motor/generator can be operated in two rotational directions.

[0010] In a first aspect, the communication of the integrated circuit module with the motor/generator is conducted in a wireless manner. The integrated circuit module includes a transceiver. The motor/generator includes a transceiver in communication of signal with the transceiver of the integrated circuit module.

[0011] In a second aspect, the communication of the integrated circuit module with the motor/generator is conducted via a cable.

[0012] Other objects, advantages, and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] The present invention will be described through detailed illustration of embodiments referring to the attached drawings.

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exercise machine equipped with an instrument according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a front view of the instrument of FIG. 1.

[0016] FIG. 3 is a front view of a display used in the instrument of FIG. 2.

[0017] FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an integrated circuit used in the instrument of FIG. 2.

[0018] FIG. 5 is a flow chart of the operation of the instrument of FIG. 2.

[0019] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an exercise machine equipped with an instrument according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0020] Referring to FIG. 1, an exercise machine 30 is equipped with an instrument according to a first embodiment of the present invention. The exercise machine 30 is in the form of an exercise bike. The exercise bike 30 includes a frame 32. The frame 32 includes two cross bars 34, a keel 36 mounted on the cross bars 34, a front post 31 extending from the keel 36 and a rear post 38 mounted on the keel 36. The instrument 10 is mounted on the front post 31. A seat 40 is mounted on the rear post 38. A motor/generator 42 is mounted on the keel 36. The motor/generator 42 can be switched between several gears, e.g., first to sixth gears. The motor/generator 42 includes a mandrel 44 with two ends each connected with a crank 46. A medal 33 is connected with each of the cranks 46. A transceiver 48 is mounted on the motor/generator 42. The transceiver 48 may be an infrared transceiver.

[0021] Referring to FIGS. 1˜4, the instrument includes a casing 10, a display 11 mounted on the casing 10, two handles 12 each formed on a side of the casing 10, a control panel 13 mounted on the casing 10 and an integrated circuit (hereinafter referred to as “IC”) module 20 received in the casing 10.

[0022] The display 11 is used to display information regarding the exercise machine and values regarding workout intended for a user. The display 11 exhibits a LOW BATTERY indication 111 that is highlighted when the instrument runs out of power.

[0023] On each of the handles 12 is formed a sensor 121 for detecting the pulse of the user when he or she puts his hands on the sensors 121.

[0024] The control panel 13 includes a START/STOP button 13a, a SET button 13b, a first selection button 13c, a second selection button 13d, a direction button 13e, a MANUAL/AUTOMATIC button 13f and a third selection button 13g.

[0025] The IC module 20 includes a central process unit 21 (hereinafter called “CPU”), a transceiver 22 electrically connected with the CPU 21 and a power supply 23 for powering the CPU 21 and the transceiver 22. The CPU 21 records and processes the data entered via the control panel 13. The transceiver 22 is exposed to the exterior through a hole (not shown) defined in the casing 10. The transceiver 22 may be an infrared transceiver.

[0026] FIG. 5 shows a flowchart of the operation of the IC module 20 according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

[0027] In step 52, the user turns on the instrument and starts the process via pushing the START/STOP button 13a.

[0028] In step 54, the IC module 20 instructs the display 11 to show an indication for the user to enter her or his user code. The user enters her or his code via pushing the SET button 13b.

[0029] In step 56, the IC module 20 checks whether the user code has been recorded. The process goes to step 58 if it has never been entered and goes to step 62 if otherwise.

[0030] In step 58, the IC module 20 instructs the display 11 to show an indication for the user to enter her or his personal data, i.e., attributes such as sex, age, height and weight. The user selects from these attributes via pushing the SET button 13b. After selecting one of the attributes, the user enters a correct value via pushing the first selection (or “UP”) button 13c and the second selection (or “DOWN”) button 13d. Thereafter, the process goes to step 60 in which the personal data are recorded. Then, the process goes to step 54.

[0031] In step 62, the IC module 20 instructs the display 11 to display an indication for the user to select from a manual mode and an automatic mode. The user selects from the manual mode and the automatic mode via pushing the MANUAL/AUTOMATIC button 13f. If the user selects the automatic mode, the process goes to step 64 and to step 66 if otherwise.

[0032] In step 64, the IC module 20 instructs the display 11 to display an indication for the user to select from two rotational directions of the motor 42. The user selects from the rotational directions of the motor 42 via pushing the direction button 13f. Then, the process goes to step 66.

[0033] In step 66, the IC module 20 instructs the display 11 to display an indication for the user to send a signal to the motor/generator 42. The user sends a signal to the motor/generator 42 via pushing the START/STOP button 13a.

[0034] On receiving the signal, the motor/generator 42 starts to act as a generator if the user selects the manual mode in step 62 or a motor if otherwise. In the automatic mode, the motor/generator 42 drives the mandrel 44 and therefore the pedals 33 in one of the directions. For safety of the user, the motor/generator 42 is pre-set to start at the first gear. Then, the process goes to step 68.

[0035] In step 68, the IC module instructs the user to select from several gears. The user selects from the gears via pushing the UP button 13c and the DOWN button 13d.

[0036] In step 70, the user may optionally tell the IC module 20 to instruct the display 11 to display data about her or his workout via pushing the third selection button 13f. The data include the values of kilometers run, calories consumed, the user's pulses, time elapsed and cycles rotated for example. When this subroutine is called, the IC module 20 instructs the display 11 to display the values of kilometers run, calories consumed, the user's pulses, time elapsed and cycles rotated, one after another. The value of calories consumed is calculated from the age, the weight and the value of the kilometers run via the CPU 21.

[0037] In step 72, the user turns off the instrument via pushing the START/STOP button 13a.

[0038] FIG. 6 shows an exercise machine 30 equipped with an instrument according to a second embodiment of the present invention. The second embodiment is different from the first embodiment in that between the CPU 21 and the motor/generator 48, a wire communication is used instead of the wireless communication. In detail, the CPU 21 is connected with the motor/generator 42 via the cable 25. Accordingly, the transceivers 22 and 48 are eliminated.

[0039] The present invention has been described via illustration of two embodiments. The applicant gives these embodiments only as examples, and those skilled in the art can derive variations from the embodiments. Therefore, these embodiments shall not limit the scope of the present invention that is defined in the claims.