Title:
Folding-up mechanism for an electric treadmill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A folding-up mechanism for an electric treadmill having a single lifting motor for adjusting a platform frame to an inclined and upright position with a handrail frame moved to a storage position. The lifting motor and a drive screw are interposed between two base frames. The drive screw is screwed in a slip pipe with female thread. An intermediate tube is pivotally coupled to a rear end of the slip pipe with a front crossbar and a handrail frame coupled to the opposing end of the intermediate tube. One end of the platform frame is pivotally attached to an upright bar of the base frames while a bottom side of the platform frame is pivotally coupled to a telescopic tube, a pull rod, and a push rod that are in turn coupled to the slip pipe, the intermediate tube, and the handrail frame so that the slip pipe is movable to and fro when the lifting motor is activated to impart an in-place rotation to the drive screw, thereby achieving the expected effects.



Inventors:
Wang, Leao (Taiping, TW)
Application Number:
11/175842
Publication Date:
11/09/2006
Filing Date:
07/06/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B22/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KUO-HSIUNG CHIU (13F., NO.23, JIUN-HO STREET, PEITUN DISTRICT, TAICHUNG, null, 406, TW)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A folding-up mechanism for an electric treadmill comprising: a) a platform frame having a rear roller driven by a motor through a driving belt, the rear roller being active in cooperation with a front roller for an in-place rotation of a continuous belt; b) two base frames each having an upright bar extending from a central point thereof, the platform frame being pivotally connected to the upright bars; c) a lifting motor for driving a drive screw to undergo an in-place rotation; d) a slip pipe having a female threaded hole for receiving the drive screw; e) an intermediate tube pivotally disposed at a distal end of the slip pipe, a front crossbar being connected at an opposing end of the intermediate tube, a handrail frame extending upwardly from a rear end of the intermediate tube, an electronic console being fitted atop the handrail frame; f) a telescopic tube with both ends thereof pivotally coupled to a first crossbar at a bottom side of the platform frame and to a top side of the rear end of the slip pipe, respectively; g) a pull rod with both ends thereof pivotally coupled to a second crossbar at a bottom side of the platform frame and to a middle portion of the intermediate tube, respectively; and h) a push rod with both ends thereof pivotally coupled to the read end of the slip pipe 40 and to a bottom end of the handrail frame, respectively. wherein the slip pipe is movable to and fro when the lifting motor is activated to impart an in-place rotation to the drive screw, thereby bringing the platform frame in an inclined or upright position with the handrail frame moved to a storage position.

2. The fold-up mechanism for an electric treadmill as claimed in claim 1 wherein a sensing switch is mounted on a traveling path of the telescopic unit and the slide tube.

3. The fold-up mechanism for an electric treadmill as claimed in claim 1 wherein the telescopic unit includes a pneumatic cylinder.

4. The fold-up mechanism for an electric treadmill as claimed in claim 1 wherein the telescopic unit includes a hydraulic cylinder.

5. A folding-up mechanism for an electric treadmill having a single lifting motor for adjusting a platform frame to an inclined and upright position with a handrail frame moved to a storage position, wherein the lifting motor and a drive screw are interposed between two base frames; wherein the drive screw is screwed in a slip pipe with female thread; wherein an intermediate tube is pivotally coupled to a rear end of the slip pipe with a front crossbar and a handrail frame coupled to the opposing end of the intermediate tube; and wherein one end of the platform frame is pivotally attached to an upright bar of the base frames while a bottom side of the platform frame is pivotally coupled to a telescopic tube, a pull rod, and a push rod that are in turn coupled to the slip pipe, the intermediate tube, and the handrail frame, so that the slip pipe is movable to and fro when the lifting motor is activated to impart an in-place rotation to the drive screw, thereby achieving the expected effects.

6. The fold-up mechanism for an electric treadmill as claimed in claim 5 wherein a sensing switch is mounted on a traveling path of the telescopic unit and the slide tube.

7. The fold-up mechanism for an electric treadmill as claimed in claim 5 wherein the telescopic unit includes a pneumatic cylinder.

8. The fold-up mechanism for an electric treadmill as claimed in claim 5 wherein the telescopic unit includes a hydraulic cylinder.

Description:

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application of Ser. No. 11/123,159 filed May 6, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Fields of the Invention

The invention relates to a folding-up mechanism for an electric treadmill, and more particularly, to a folding-up mechanism having a single lifting motor for adjusting a platform frame to an inclined and upright position with a handrail frame moved to a storage position.

2. Description of the Related Art

A tilting mechanism of a conventional treadmill is used to adjust the supported angle of a main frame relative to a base frame for creating a certain walking slope. Meanwhile, a fold-up mechanism is used to fold-up the main frame in a storage position for reducing the space occupied by the treadmill. Generally speaking, these can be classified into a manual and an automatic type. The present invention is an improvement of the above-mentioned mechanisms.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,733,228 teaches a mechanism with a lifting motor, pull cable, pulley wheels and return springs to fold-up a main frame of a treadmill between two handrails. Therefore, the main frame can be lifted in a tilt and a fold-up position. Although this prior art has its original design, the mechanism requires complicated and miscellaneous components. In addition, the pull cable and the return springs are subject to fatigue and slack. This is regarded as drawbacks of this prior art.

Another prior art U.S. Pat. No. 6,325,745 teaches a treadmill with its main frame pivotally coupled to a slide groove of a base. Meanwhile, a lifting motor pushes downwardly a supporting rod pivotally attached to the main frame. In this way, the main frame is swivelable in the slide groove to be lifted in a storage position. However, this apparatus doesn't have the function to bring the main frame in a tilt position. Besides, the lifting motor applied its driving force to only one end of the main frame so that the arm of force is evidently mechanically too short. Especially, the lifting motor is movable with the lifting action, and the lifting motor bears all loading created by the main frame. So, the lifting motor is subject to overload that would cause damage to the lifting motor.

A further prior art U.S. Pat. No. 6,015,368 teaches a treadmill with a longer spindle and sleeve to support a rear supporting rod at a bottom end behind a main frame over a long distance to fold-up the main frame. Also, this prior art doesn't have the function of tilting the main frame. Moreover, a lifting motor has to be movable with the lifting action. Thus, it has the same disadvantages as U.S. Pat. No. 6,325,745.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus, based on the above-mentioned considerations, the designer employs a flat lifting motor in cooperation with a drive screw, a slip pipe, an intermediate tube, a telescopic tube, a pull rod, a push rod, and a handrail frame to allow a platform frame to swivel on a pivotal point of an upright bar for adjusting the platform frame to an inclined and upright position with the handrail frame moved to a storage position. In this way, the lifting motor can complete the lifting action with less torque output so that the service life of the lifting motor can be extended. Moreover, the supporting force can be optimally controlled. This is the primary object of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accomplishment of this and other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following description and its accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an axially cutaway view of the preferred embodiment of the invention in accordance with FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is an axially cutaway view of the preferred embodiment of the invention in accordance with FIG. 1, showing the action to bring a platform frame in an inclined position;

FIG. 4 is an axially cutaway view of the preferred embodiment of the invention in accordance with FIG. 1, showing the action to lift the platform frame toward an upright position; and

FIG. 5 is an axially cutaway view of the preferred embodiment of the invention in an upright position with a handrail frame to be moved in a storage position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a treadmill in accordance with the invention includes:

a platform frame 10 having a rear roller 13 driven by a motor 11 through a driving belt 12, the rear roller 13 being active in cooperation with a front roller 14 for an in-place rotation of a continuous belt 15;

two base frames 20 having an upright bar 21 extending from a central point thereof, the platform frame 10 being pivotally connected to the upright bars 21;

a lifting motor 30 for driving a drive screw 31 to undergo an in-place rotation;

a slip pipe 40 having a female threaded hole 41 for receiving the drive screw 31;

an intermediate tube 50 pivotally disposed at a distal end of the slip pipe 40, a front crossbar 51 being connected at an opposing end of the intermediate tube 50, a handrail frame 52 extending upwardly from a rear end of the intermediate tube 50, an electronic console 53 being fitted atop the handrail frame 52;

a telescopic tube 60 with both ends thereof pivotally coupled to a first crossbar 16 at a bottom side of the platform frame 10 and to a top side of the rear end of the slip pipe 40, respectively;

a pull rod 70 with both ends thereof pivotally coupled to a second crossbar 17 at a bottom side of the platform frame 10 and to a middle portion of the intermediate tube 50, respectively; and

a push rod 90 with both ends thereof pivotally coupled to the read end of the slip pipe 40 and to a bottom end of the handrail frame 52, respectively.

Referring to FIGS. 2 through 5, the action of the aforementioned configuration is shown. The slip pipe 40 is moved to and fro when the lifting motor 30 is activated to impart an in-place rotation to the drive screw 31. As shown in FIGS. 2 und 3, the platform frame 10 is adjusted to an inclined position. At this point, the platform frame 10 is swiveled on a pivotal point A of the upright bar 21 for simulating an uphill or a flat surface. As shown in FIGS. 4 und 5, the platform frame 10 is adjusted to an upright storage position. Referring to FIG. 3, a sleeve 61 reaches the end of the telescopic tube 60. When the slip pipe 40 continues to move toward the lifting motor 30, the telescopic tube 60 will gradually lift the platform frame 10 due to the connection relationship. Since the intermediate tube 50 and the slip pipe 40 are pivotally coupled, the intermediate tube 50 can be swiveled on a pivotal point B to be lifted by the pull rod 70 until the platform frame 10 is moved to an upright position. When the intermediate tube 50 is moved upwardly, the distance between the pivotal point C and the pivotal point B is reduced. Under the condition that the length of the push rod 90 remains unchanged, the handrail frame 52 will be moved toward the platform frame 10.

In order to bring the main frame 10 in operational position, the slide tube 40 is extended by the lifting motor 30 in a reverse drive direction.

In light of the safety, a protection cover 22 is accurately extended between both inverted T-bases 20 to prevent the internal transmission units from direct exposure to the outside.

In order to separate the tilting action from the fold-up action as well as to prevent the lifting motor 30 from over-driving, a sensing switch 80 is mounted at a proper place of the traveling path of the telescopic unit 60 or the slide tube 40. Accordingly, the tilting action from the fold-up action can be effectively controlled by contact or release of the sensing switch 80.

A simple example will be described to detail the action of the sensing switch 80 as follows:

When any sensing switch 80 is touched during the operation of the motor 11 and the continuous moving belt 15, it is programmed that the main frame 10 is located at a highest point of the tilting action so that no more lifting action is permitted. In this way, the lifting motor 30 can be only operated in a reverse manner to lower the tiling angle of the main frame 10 relative to the inverted T-bases 20. Besides, the sensing switch 80 is inoperative when the continuous moving belt 15 is out of operation. This results in a better safety in use.

The telescopic unit 60 can be replaced by a pneumatic, a hydraulic cylinder (not shown) or other equivalent units for both enhancing the lifting effect and reducing the loading of the lifting motor 30.

Many changes and modifications in the above-described embodiment of the invention can, of course, be carried out without departing from the scope thereof. Accordingly, to promote the progress in science and the useful arts, the invention is disclosed and is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.