Title:
Small-size trampoline
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A small-size trampoline includes a frame assembly to support a jumping bed at a required height. The frame assembly includes front and rear frames, two side frames, and front and rear transverse bars connected to and between the two side frames. The front and rear frames and the side frames are so shaped that they could be vertically connected together. Each of the front and rear frames and the side frames includes a horizontal main section of a predetermined length, on which two vertical leg sections are formed. When the front and rear frames and the side frames are vertically connected to one another at the leg sections, they together provide an overall height equal to the height required by the jumping bed, and therefore allow the fully disassembled trampoline to have a largely reduced volume for economical packing.



Inventors:
Wang, Teng Yi (Taipei, TW)
Wu, Chang I. (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
11/044029
Publication Date:
08/03/2006
Filing Date:
01/28/2005
Assignee:
Shen-Tai Industry Co., Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B5/11
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROXELL LAW OFFICE PLLC (SUITE 1404 5205 LEESBURG PIKE, FALLS CHURCH, VA, 22041, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A small-size trampoline, comprising a frame assembly consisting of a front and a rear frame, two side frames, and a front and a rear transverse bar extended between and connected at two ends to predetermined positions on said two side frames; and a jumping bed fixedly supported on a top of said frame assembly in a tensely and elastically stretched state to locate at a required height; said front and rear frames and said two side frames being so shaped that they could be vertically connected together with said two side frames located at an upper position; each of said front and rear frames including a horizontal main section of a predetermined length, on which two upward first leg sections are formed; and each of said two side frames including a horizontal main section of a predetermined length, on which two downward second leg sections are formed; and said first leg sections having free ends adapted to vertically detachably connect to free ends of said second leg sections to provide an overall height equal to said height required by said jumping bed.

2. The small-size trampoline as claimed in claim 1, wherein said front and said rear frame are two U-shaped frames, and said two side frames are two inverted U-shaped frames matching said U-shaped front and rear frames.

3. The small-size trampoline as claimed in claim 1, wherein either said first or said second leg sections have diameter-reduced free ends, while the other said second or first leg sections to be connected thereto have free ends having a bore each; and said diameter-reduced free ends being adapted to vertically insert into said free ends with said bores.

4. The small-size trampoline as claimed in claim 3, wherein each of said diameter-reduced free ends has an elastically movably ball assembly pre-mounted therein, and each of said free ends with said bores is provided with through holes corresponding to said ball assembly.

5. The small-size trampoline as claimed in claim 1, wherein said front and rear transverse bars and said horizontal main sections of said two side frames together constitute a four-side frame needed to support and stretch said jumping bed.

6. The small-size trampoline as claimed in claim 5, wherein said four-side frame are covered with jacket tubes.

7. The small-size trampoline as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a rail assembled to a front side of said frame assembly.

8. The small-size trampoline as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said front and said rear frame includes two separate inverted T-shaped units, and said two side frames are two inverted U-shaped frames.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a small-size trampoline, and more particularly to a trampoline for small children that has a frame assembly providing enhanced structural strength and enabling largely reduced volume for economical packing when the trampoline is fully disassembled.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A trampoline is widely welcomed because it functions not only as an exerciser, but also an amusing game to provide a lot of fun. Trampolines developed in early stages are structured and dimensioned to produce a bouncing height suitable for adults only. For children to enjoy the fun of jumping on the trampoline, there are small-size trampolines particularly developed for children.

FIG. 1 shows an existing small-size trampoline 10 suitable for children. The small-size trampoline 10 includes a frame assembly consisting of four inverted U-shaped legs 11, 12, 13, and 14, a jumping bed 15 fixedly supported on a top of the frame assembly, and a rail 16 for children provided to one side of the frame assembly. The four inverted U-shaped legs 11, 12, 13, and 14 contact with the floor at free ends of their downward extended leg sections and have cords 17 wound around their horizontal sections to fixedly tie the jumping bed 15 to the frame assembly.

To protect children against accidents while jumping on the jumping bed 15, the four legs 11, 12, 13, 14 of the small-size trampoline 10 usually have a height H that is small but high enough to maintain the jumping bed 15 subjected to a downward force at a safe height from the floor.

Normally, to minimize the volume and cost for packing, storing, and transporting the small-size trampoline 10, the four legs 11, 12, 13, 14, the jumping bed 15, and the rail 16, which typically includes two collapsible sections, could be disassembled from one another. That is, the small-size trampoline 10 is shipped with all parts thereof fully disassembled and packed in a box as small as possible. Consumers are responsible for the assembling of the small-size trampoline 10 after they have purchased the same. However, since the four legs 11, 12, 13, 14 must have a sufficient height for children to use the small-size trampoline 10 safely, the packing box for the fully disassembled trampoline 10 would still has a considerably large volume and could not be reduced any further.

And, since the four legs 11, 12, 13, 14 are in contact with the floor at their free ends and provide oblique supports at only four corners of the small-size trampoline 10, the small-size trampoline 10 is structurally unstable and tends to move when a child bounces on the jumping bed 15.

To prevent children from accident or injury while bouncing on the jumping bed 15, the horizontal sections of the four legs 11, 12, 13, 14 are preferably covered with jacket tubes made of a foamed material. The jacket tubes are hollow tubes for manually putting on the horizontal sections of the legs 11, 12, 13, and 14 by forcefully pulling them through free ends of the leg sections one by one. It is time and labor consuming to do so.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a small-size trampoline that could be disassembled and packed in a much more flat and volume-reduced packing box to increase the quantity of trampolines in one shipment and save packing and transporting costs thereof.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a small-size trampoline that allows quick covering of a frame assembly thereof with jacket tubes.

To achieve the above and other objects, the small-size trampoline of the present invention includes a frame assembly to support a jumping bed at a required height. The frame assembly includes front and rear frames, two side frames, and front and rear transverse bars connected to and between the two side frames. The front and rear frames and the side frames are so shaped that they could be vertically connected together. Each of the front and rear frames and the side frames includes a horizontal main section of a predetermined length, on which two vertical leg sections are formed. When the front and rear frames and the side frames are vertically connected to one another at the leg sections, they together provide an overall height equal to the height required by the jumping bed.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the front and rear frames and the side frames are U-shaped and inverted U-shaped frames, respectively.

In a most preferred embodiment of the present invention, either the leg sections of the front and rear frames or those of the side frames have diameter-reduced free ends adapted to insert into bores at free ends of other leg sections to be vertically connected thereto.

The leg sections with the diameter-reduced free ends are internally provided with an elastically movable ball assembly each, and the other leg sections are correspondingly provided with through holes to engage with the ball assemblies.

The front and rear transverse bars and the horizontal main sections of the side frames together constitute a four-side frame needed to fixedly support the jumping bed on the small-size trampoline, and are covered with jacket tubes.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a rail is assembled to a front side of the frame assembly.

In another embodiment of the present invention most ideal for reducing the collapsed volume thereof, the front and rear frames include two separate inverted T-shaped units each, and the side frames are two inverted U-shaped frames.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The structure and the technical means adopted by the present invention to achieve the above and other objects can be best understood by referring to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings, wherein

FIG. 1 is an assembled perspective view of a conventional small-size trampoline;

FIG. 2 is an assembled perspective view of a small-size trampoline according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a frame assembly of the small-size trampoline of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 shows the manner of assembling a rail to the frame assembly of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is an assembled perspective view of a small-size trampoline according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Please refer to FIGS. 2 and 3 in which a small-size trampoline according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown. As shown, the small-size trampoline mainly includes a frame assembly 20 consisting of a front and a rear frame 21, 22, two side frames 23, 24, and a front and a rear transverse bar 25, 26; and a jumping bed 30 fixedly supported on a top of the frame assembly 20 in a tensely and elastically stretched state.

The front and rear frames 21, 22 and the side frames 23, 24 are so shaped that they could be vertically connected to one another with the side frames 23, 24 located at an upper position. In the illustrated preferred embodiment, each of the front and the rear frame 21, 22 is a U-shaped frame having a horizontal main section of a predetermined length, two ends of which are upward bent to provide two first leg sections 211, 212 and 221, 222; and each of the two side frames 23, 24 is an inverted U-shaped frame having a horizontal main section of a predetermined length, two ends of which are downward bent to provide two second leg sections 231, 232 and 241, 242. The first leg-sections 211, 212 and 221, 222 have upward free ends adapted to detachably connect to downward free ends of the second leg sections 231, 231 and 241, 242 (for example, an upward free end 213 of the first leg section 211 of the front frame 21 is detachably connected to a downward free end 233 of the second leg section 231 of the side frame 23).

In the illustrated preferred embodiment, as an example, the downward free end 233 of the second leg section 231 of the side frame 23 is diameter-reduced for inserting into a bore at the upward free end 213 of the first leg section 211 of the front frame 21. An elastically movable ball assembly 234 is pre-mounted in the diameter-reduced downward free end 233 of the second leg section 231, and through holes 214 are correspondingly pre-formed on the upward free end 213 of the first leg section 211. When the downward free end 233 is inserted into the upward free end 213, the elastically movable ball assembly 234 is initially radially inward compressed and then springs into the through holes 214 to fixedly locate thereat and thereby quickly connects the second leg section 231 to the first leg section 211. It is understood the above-described manner of connection is only one of many available ways, and a person of ordinary skill in the art could obviously complete the same connection in other similar ways.

The front and the rear transverse bar 25, 26 are separately connected at two ends to positions on the horizontal main sections of the two side frames 23, 24 near the second leg sections 231, 241 and 232, 242. In the illustrated preferred embodiment, the front and the rear transverse bar 25, 26 are connected to the side frames 23, 24 by way of screwing bolts 235 through holes 236 formed on the side frames 23, 24 into threaded holes 237 formed at two ends of the transverse bars 25, 26. The front and the rear transverse bars 25, 26 and the horizontal main sections of the two side frames 23, 24 therefore constitute a four-side frame needed to support and stretch the jumping bed 30. As shown in the drawings, the front and the rear transverse bars 25, 26 and the horizontal main sections of the two side frames 23, 24 are separately covered with hollow jacket tubes 27.

With the above arrangements, the first leg sections 211, 212 and 221, 222 of the front and the rear frame 21, 22 may have a height Hi about one half of the height H of the conventional small-size trampoline 10. Similarly, the second leg sections 231, 232 and 241 242 of the two side frames 23, 24 may have a height H2 about one half of the height H of the conventional small-size trampoline 10. Therefore, an overall height (H1+H2) of the fully assembled front and rear frames 21, 22 and side frames 23, 24 is close to or equal to the height H normally required to support the jumping bed of the small-size trampoline at a safe height.

As can be seen from FIGS. 2 and 4, a rail 90 may be optionally provided to one side of the frame assembly 20 of the small-size trampoline of the present invention. The rail 90 may consist of two sections 91, 92 connected at inner ends to define a collapsible middle point 93 of the rail 90. Moreover, through holes 94 and mounting pads 95 are provided near lower ends of the two sections 91, 92 for bolts 96 to extend therethrough and thereby connect the rail 90 to, for example, two lateral inner sides of the connected first and second leg sections 211, 231 and 212, 241.

Since the frame assembly 20 consists of front and rear frames 21, 22 and side frames 23, 24 that have a height about only one half of that of the conventional small-size trampoline 10, and two straight transverse bars 25, 26, the small-size trampoline of the present invention in a fully disassembled state could be packed in a much more flat and small box for storage and transportation. For example, the number of packing boxes containing the fully disassembled small-size trampoline of the present invention that could be loaded in the same sized container is increased by 50% as compared to the conventional small-size trampoline 10. Meanwhile, since the front and the rear frame 21, 22 and the side frames 23, 24 have relatively shortened leg sections, and the front and the rear transverse bars 25, 26 are straight bars, the jacket tubes 27 could be more quickly and conveniently put on these parts to save time and labor. Moreover, in the illustrated preferred embodiment, it is the horizontal main sections of the front and rear frames 21, 22 of the frame assembly 20 that contact with the floor. This largely increases the structural strength of the whole trampoline to bear force applied thereon, making the trampoline more stable and reliable for use.

FIG. 5 is an assembled perspective view of a small-size trampoline according to a second embodiment of the present invention. The second embodiment is generally similar to the first preferred embodiment and consists of two side frames 230, 240, front and rear transverse bars 250, 260 connected to and between the side frames 230, 240, a jumping bed 300, and a rail 900. However, the second embodiment is different from the preferred embodiment in that it has front and rear frames 210, 220 that include two separate units each. In the illustrated second embodiment, each of the units forming the front and rear frames 210, 220 is an inverted T-shaped support having an extended horizontal main section for contacting with the floor and an upward leg section for connecting to the side frames 230, 240.

The present invention has been described with some preferred embodiments thereof and it is understood that many changes and modifications in the described embodiments can be carried out without departing from the scope and the spirit of the invention that is intended to be limited only by the appended claims.