Title:
Articulating mobile
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for entertaining a child, the apparatus including a mobile body configured to attach to a side railing of a crib, a plurality of arms pivotally extending from the mobile body along a first end, and a motor operably connected to the arms and including a controller. The arms articulate according to a predetermined sequence of the controller.



Inventors:
Sejnowski, Joseph P. (North Kingstown, RI, US)
Kearney, John P. (Attleboro Falls, MA, US)
Merianos, Marsha (East Bridgewater, MA, US)
Petrie, Aidan John (Jamestown, RI, US)
Application Number:
11/135622
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
05/22/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Chi) (790 N WATER ST SUITE 2500, MILWAUKEE, WI, 53202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An crib mobile comprising: a base configured to attach to a side railing of a crib; a plurality of arms extending from the mobile body along; and a motor operably connected to the arms, wherein the arms articulate according to a predetermined sequence.

2. The mobile of claim 1, wherein the arms are attached to the mobile body along a longitudinal axis.

3. The mobile of claim 2, wherein the arms move in parallel planes perpendicular to the longitudinal axis.

4. The mobile of claim 1, wherein the predetermined sequence comprises a substantially wavelike motion.

5. The mobile of claim 4 wherein the controller can adjust the frequency of the wavelike motion.

6. The mobile of claim 4 wherein the controller can adjust the amplitude of the wavelike motion.

7. The mobile of claim 1, wherein the predetermined sequence comprises a sinusoidal function.

8. The mobile of claim 1, wherein the arms are each different lengths.

9. The mobile of claim 1, wherein ornaments are attached to free ends of the arms.

10. The mobile of claim 1, further comprising a flexible web extending between the arms.

11. The mobile of claim 1, further comprising a speaker to play at least one of sound effects and music.

12. The mobile of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of lights configured to illuminate as a function of the movement of the arms.

13. The mobile of claim 12, further comprising a plurality of lights configured to illuminate as a function of at least one of the sound effects and music.

14. The mobile of claim 1, further comprising a remote to control the operation of the arms.

15. The mobile of claim 14, wherein the remote comprises an infrared transmitter.

16. The mobile of claim 14, wherein the remote comprises an radiofrequency transmitter.

17. A crib mobile comprising: a body attachable to a side railing of a crib; a plurality of arms each extending from the body; and a motor contained within the body and operably attached to the arms, such that the motor drives each of the arms in similar oscillatory motions and different phases, such that the motions of the arms together simulate a wave motion.

18. The mobile of claim 17, wherein the arms are each different lengths.

19. The mobile of claim 17, further comprising a controller, wherein the controller can adjust a frequency of the wavelike motion.

20. The mobile of claim 17, further comprising a controller, wherein the controller can adjust an amplitude of the wavelike motion.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This description relates to devices for entertaining and stimulating an infant.

BACKGROUND

Devices have been developed and configured to attach to a crib to provide entertainment and stimulation to an infant. A mobile is one such example.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, an apparatus includes a mobile body configured to attach to a side railing of a crib, a number of arms pivotally extending from the mobile body along at a first end, and a motor operably connected to the arms and including a controller. The arms articulate according to a predetermined sequence of the controller.

In various examples, the mobile includes one or more of the following features. The arms can be attached to the mobile body along a longitudinal axis. The arms can be configured to move in parallel planes perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. The predetermined sequence can include a substantially wavelike motion. The controller provide a user with the capability to adjust the frequency and/or the amplitude of the wavelike motion. The predetermined sequence can include a sinusoidal function.

In certain constructions, the arms of the mobile are each different lengths. Ornamental objects can be attached to the second end of the arms. In some examples, a flexible web extends between the arms. The mobile can also include a remote to control the operation of the mobile with a radiofrequency or infrared signal, for example. In further examples, the mobile includes a speaker to play sound effects and/or music. The mobile can include a number of lights configured to illuminate according to the movement of the arms, the sound effects and/or music.

In another aspect, the mobile includes a mobile body configured to attach to a side railing of a crib, a number of arms pivotally extending from the mobile body and configured to articulate according to a substantially wavelike motion, and a motor operably connected to the arms and including a controller. In some examples, the arms are each different lengths. In certain examples, the controller can adjust the frequency and/or the amplitude of the wavelike motion.

The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a mobile.

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the mobile of FIG. 1 attached to a crib.

FIGS. 3A and 3B show the mobile of FIG. 1 with the articulating arms in first and second positions, respectively.

FIG. 4A is a perspective exploded view of the mobile of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4B is a detailed view of FIG. 4A showing the arms and components for articulated the arms.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a remote for control of the mobile of FIG. 1.

Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, a mobile 10 can include a base 15 and a number of arms 20a-20d (collectively 20) which are pivotally connected at first ends 23a-23d at connectors 25a-25d disposed at a connector assembly 30 located on the base 10. The connectors 25 are configured to articulate the arms 20 in a predetermined sequence. In the example shown in the figures, the mobile 10 includes four arms 20 which are arcuate and include connectors 25a-25d arranged collinearly along the connector assembly 30. In other examples, the mobile includes a greater number of arms 20 which are substantially linear and have connectors 25 which are not arranged collinearly along the connector assembly 30. The arms 20 can also be serpentine or helical for example.

The base 15 can include an on/off switch 35 and a number of other controls 40a-40e, which can include lights, for example. The base 15 can include apertures 45 and a speaker positioned behind the apertures for playing sound effects and/or music. The controls 40 can control features of the mobile 10 such as the illumination of the lights contained within the on/off switch 35 and controls 40, the movement of the arms 20, and/or the type and duration of the sound effect and/or music.

In some examples, a flexible web (not shown) can extend between the arms 20. In certain examples, ornaments 50a-50d can be attached to second ends 53a-53d of the arms 20 with a tether 55a-55d. The second ends 53 of arms 20 can be, for example, a loop. The ornaments 50 can include stuffed animals such as a bird, turtle, frog, butterfly and/or fish. During movement of the arms 20, the ornaments 50 move to entertain and stimulate the infant. In some examples, supplemental ornaments 60a-60d can be attached proximate the second end of the arms 20 to further adorn the mobile 10. The supplemental ornaments 60 can include, a leaf, for example.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the mobile 10 can be attached to adjacent rails 70 of a crib 75 with a nut 80 which engages threaded post 85 extending from a back side of the base 15. The nut 80 can include one or more concavities 90 to permit the nut 80 to be secured to the rails 70 without tools. As shown, the second ends 53 of the arms 20 project well above the interior of the crib 75 for entertaining and stimulating an infant when the mobile 10 is in use.

Referring now to FIGS. 3A and 3B, a mobile 10 is shown with arms 20 of differing length. In FIG. 3A, the longest arm 20d is shown in the highest position, while in FIG. 3B the longest arm 20d is shown in the lowest position. Beginning from one side of the assembly 30, each arm 20 is progressively articulated outward in the direction of arrow A and subsequently progressively articulated inward, opposite the direction of arrow A according to a predetermined sequence. In some examples, the motor drives the arms 20 in similar oscillatory motions and different phases, such that the motions of the arms together simulate a wave motion. In certain examples, the arms 20 are articulated according to sinusoidal function. In some examples the arms 20 are articulated substantially randomly. Other predetermined sequential movement of the arms is contemplated. FIG. 3B also depicts a web 98 extending between the arms 20 to for an alternative simulated wave motion.

Referring now to FIGS. 4A and 4B, a front housing 100 and a rear housing 105 define the base 15 of the mobile 10. The front housing 100 includes a slot 103 sized to receive a top front cover 104 and the arms 20. The rear housing 105 can include a battery access door 107. The arms 20 are each connected at the first ends 23 to rockers 110a-110d and rocker inners 115a-115d. The rocker inners 115 engage a cam 120 which rotates about a cam shaft 125 to rotate the rocker inners 115 about a rocker shaft 127 and articulate the arms 20 according to a predetermined sequence. The cam 120 and cam shaft 125 are operably linked to a motor 130 by a gear train 135, a clutch 140 and a rocker axle clutch gear 145. The clutch 140 and clutch gear 145 disengages the cam shaft 125 from the motor 130 should the arms 20 become obstructed. The arms 20 can be biased in or against the direction of the arrow A (FIG. 3) by spring elements 150a-150d.

The motor 130 is disposed within first and second motor covers 155, 160, respectively, which are all positioned between the first, second, third and fourth motor housing covers 165, 170, 175 and 180, respectively.

The base 15 includes a main controller 200 and a main switch 205. Both the main controller and the main switch 200, 205, can be printed circuit boards, for example, and are secured to the front housing 100 by first and second controller supports 207, 209, respectively. The main switch 205 is operably connected to the controllers 40 to control the movement of the arms 20, the illuminations of controllers 40 and/or the sound effects and music. A speaker 210 is positioned in a speaker mount 215 proximate to the apertures 45 of the front housing 100.

Referring now to FIG. 5, a remote 220 include a remote base 225, at least one remote switch 230 and an antenna 235. In one embodiment, the antenna 235 is arcuate to serve as a hook for hanging the remote 220 in a convenient location. The remote 220 is configured to wirelessly communicate with the main controller 200 of the mobile 10 by an infrared or radiofrequency signal, for example. A corresponding infrared or radiofrequency receiver can be located on the base 15 (not shown). In various examples, the remote 220 can control the movement of the arms 20, the illuminations of controllers 40 and/or the sound effects and music of the mobile 10.

A number of embodiments of the invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.