Title:
Trampoline with contact surface that promotes circulation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A trampoline assembly (10) for use by a user (233) includes a base frame (12), a suspension assembly (14) and a bed assembly (18). The suspension assembly (14) includes a plurality of suspension members (26) that couple the bed assembly (18) to the base frame (12). In one embodiment, the bed assembly (18) defines a contact surface (28) that is engaged by the user (233). Further, the contact surface (28) includes a plurality of spaced apart projections (30). The feet of the user (233) of the trampoline assembly (10) engage the projections (30) during use of the trampoline assembly (10). As a result thereof, the feet of the user (233) receive a massage like action. This causes increased blood flow in the feet, releases tension in the feet and stimulates the brain and internal organs.



Inventors:
Ikegami, Masato (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/398027
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
04/04/2006
Assignee:
Funtek USA, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B5/11
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roeder & Broder LLP (13400 Sabre Springs Pkwy. Suite 155, San Diego, CA, 92128, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A trampoline assembly for use by a user, the trampoline assembly comprising: a base frame; a suspension assembly including a plurality of suspension members; and a bed assembly that is coupled to the base frame with the suspension assembly, the bed assembly defining a contact surface that is engaged by the user, the contact surface including a plurality of spaced apart projections.

2. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the bed assembly includes a bed base layer that is directly coupled to the suspension assembly and the contact surface is fixedly secured to the bed base layer.

3. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the bed assembly includes a bed base layer that is directly coupled to the suspension assembly and the contact surface is removably secured to the bed base layer.

4. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the bed assembly includes a bed base layer that is directly coupled to the suspension assembly and the contact surface is positioned on top of the bed base layer.

5. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the spaced apart projections cover substantially the entire contact surface.

6. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the spaced apart projections cover approximately fifty percent of the contact surface.

7. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the spaced apart projections cover approximately ten percent of the contact surface.

8. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the projections extend upward at least approximately from 0.1 inches.

9. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the projections extend upward at least approximately from 0.2 inches.

10. The trampoline assembly of claim 1 wherein the frame has a diameter of less than approximately six feet.

11. A projection attachment for a mini-trampoline that includes a bed base layer, the projection attachment comprising: an attachment base that is sized and shaped to fit on the bed base layer; and a plurality of projections that extend upward from the attachment base, the projections defining at least a portion a contact surface.

12. The projection attachment of claim 11 wherein the attachment base has a diameter that is approximately equal to a diameter of the bed base layer.

13. The projection attachment of claim 11 wherein the attachment base has a surface area that is within approximately 90 percent of a surface area of the bed base layer.

14. The projection attachment of claim 11 further comprising a fastener assembly for securing the attachment base to the trampoline.

15. A trampoline assembly comprising a trampoline and the projection attachment of claim 11 positioned on the trampoline.

16. A method making a trampoline assembly for use by a user, the method comprising the steps of: providing a base frame; providing a bed assembly that defines a contact surface that is engaged by the user, the contact surface including a plurality of spaced apart projections; and coupling the bed assembly to the base frame with a suspension assembly that includes a plurality of suspension members.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein the step of providing a bed assembly includes providing a bed base layer that is directly coupled to the suspension assembly and securing the contact surface to the bed base layer.

18. The method of claim 16 wherein the step of providing a bed assembly includes providing a bed base layer that is directly coupled to the suspension assembly and removably securing the contact surface to the bed base layer.

19. The method of claim 16 wherein the step of providing a bed assembly includes providing a bed base that is directly coupled to the suspension assembly and positioning the contact surface on top of the bed base layer.

20. The method of claim 16 wherein the spaced apart projections cover substantially the entire contact surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Mini-trampolines have been used for exercise for a number of years. These mini-trampolines absorb a significant amount of shock during exercising. As a result thereof, these mini-trampolines provide a joint-friendly exercise device for individuals. These devices are particularly useful for mature individuals.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a trampoline assembly for use by a user. The trampoline assembly includes a base frame, a suspension assembly and a bed assembly. The suspension assembly includes a plurality of suspension members that couple the bed assembly to the base frame. In one embodiment, the bed assembly defines a contact surface that is engaged by the user. Further, the contact surface includes a plurality of spaced apart projections. The feet of the user of the trampoline assembly can engage the projections during use of the trampoline assembly. As a result thereof, the feet of the user receive a massage like action contact. This causes increased blood circulation in the feet, activates muscles in the feet, and releases tension in the feet. Further, this can improve the traction between the user and the trampoline assembly.

In one embodiment, the bed assembly includes a bed base layer that is directly coupled to the suspension assembly and the contact surface with the projections is fixedly secured to the bed base layer. Alternatively, the contact surface with the projections can be removably secured to the bed base layer. In another embodiment, the contact surface is positioned on top of the bed base layer.

In one embodiment, the trampoline assembly is what is commonly referred to as a mini-trampoline and has a diameter of approximately 3, 4, 5, or 6 feet.

In yet another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a projection attachment for a mini-trampoline. In this embodiment, the projection attachment includes an attachment base that is sized and shaped to fit on the bed base layer and a plurality of projections that cantilever upward from the attachment base. In this embodiment, the projections define at least a portion of the contact surface for the user.

As provided herein, in certain embodiments, the attachment base has a diameter that is approximately equal to a diameter of the bed base layer. Stated in another fashion, the attachment base has a surface area that is within approximately 90 percent of a surface area of the bed base layer. Additionally, the projection attachment can include a fastener assembly for securing the attachment base to the trampoline.

The present invention is also directed to a method making a trampoline assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a trampoline assembly, in partial cut-away, having features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side illustration of one embodiment of a bed assembly having features of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side illustration of yet another embodiment of a bed assembly having features of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side illustration of still another embodiment of a bed assembly having features of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a side illustration of yet another embodiment of a bed assembly having features of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a side illustration of still another embodiment of a bed assembly having features of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a side illustration of yet another embodiment of a bed assembly having features of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, in partial cut-away of one embodiment of a trampoline assembly 10 having features of the present invention. In this embodiment, the trampoline assembly 10 includes a base frame 12, a suspension assembly 14, a pad 16, and a bed assembly 18. The size, shape and design of these components can be varied pursuant to the teachings provided herein. Further, one or more of these components can be omitted. For example, the trampoline assembly 10 can be designed without the pad 16.

The base frame 12 provides a rigid structure that supports the bed assembly 18 above a support surface 20, e.g. the floor or the ground. In one embodiment, the base frame 12 includes a rigid perimeter frame 22 and one or more rigid legs 24. In FIG. 1, the perimeter frame 22 is a round tube that is formed into a circular shape. Alternatively, the tube can have a cross-section of another shape, e.g. square or oval, and/or the tube can be formed into another shape, e.g. a square, oval, or octagon.

In one embodiment, the trampoline assembly 10 is a mini-trampoline and the perimeter frame 22 has an outer diameter of approximately 3, 4, 5, or 6 feet. Alternatively, the trampoline assembly 10 can be a full sized round trampoline having a diameter of approximately 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 feet. Still alternatively, the perimeter frame 22 can be rectangular and have a length of between approximately 3 and 15 feet; and a width of between approximately 3 and 10 feet.

In one embodiment, the perimeter frame 22 can be divided into a plurality of sections (not shown) that can are secured together to form the perimeter frame 22. Alternatively, the perimeter frame 22 can be formed as a unitary structure.

The legs 24 are secured to and support the perimeter frame 22 and the rest of the trampoline assembly 10 above the support surface 20. The configuration of the legs 24 and the number of legs 24 can vary. In one embodiment, the trampoline assembly 10 can include six spaced apart legs 24, although greater or fewer than six legs 24 can be utilized. In one embodiment, each leg 24 is generally tubular shaped. Alternatively, the legs 24 can have another shape.

Further, the base frame 12 can be formed from various rigid materials such as metal, plastic, composite materials, or any other suitably rigid materials.

The suspension assembly 14 attaches the bed assembly 18 to the base frame 12 and places the bed assembly 18 in tension. In one embodiment, the suspension assembly 14 can include a plurality of spaced apart suspension members 26 that extend between the bed assembly 18 and the base frame 12. For example, each suspension member 26 can include a spring, elastic, plastic, rubber or another suitably resilient structure. The size and number of suspension members 26 can vary. For example, in one embodiment, the suspension assembly 14 can include between approximately 30-100 similarly-sized extension springs, with each spring being formed from 12 gauge steel. However, greater or fewer springs can be utilized.

The pad 16 covers the perimeter frame 22 and the suspension assembly 14 and helps to protect the user from injury. The dimensions of the pad 16 can vary. In FIG. 1, the pad 16 is somewhat annular disk shaped. The pad 35 can be formed from materials such as various foam plastics or spongy materials, and can have a nylon or other suitable, pliable protective covering.

The bed assembly 18 provides an upper contact surface 28 for the user. The contact surface 28 can also be referred to as a jumping surface. A number of alternate bed assembly 18 designs are specifically described herein. In the FIG. 1, the bed assembly 18 is generally circular in shape. Alternatively, bed assembly 18 can have another shape such as, rectangular shaped or oval shaped.

In one or more of the embodiments provided herein, the upper contact surface 28 includes a plurality of spaced apart projections 30 that extend upward. The contact surface 28 can also be referred to as a jumping surface. With this design, the feet of the user of the trampoline assembly 10 engage the projections 30 during use of the trampoline assembly 10. As a result thereof, the feet of the user receive a massage like action. This causes increased blood flow in the feet, activates muscles in the feet, and releases tension in the feet. Further, this can improve the traction between the user and the trampoline assembly 10. Moreover, the projections 30 can act against the feet to engage acupuncture pressure points that stimulate the brain and the organs of the user.

For example, the user can be jumping up and down with the trampoline assembly 10 or merely moving up and down with the feet in substantially continuous contact with the trampoline assembly 10.

In one embodiment, the trampoline assembly 10 is a mini-trampoline and the bed assembly 18 has an outer diameter of less than approximately 3, 4, 5, or 6 feet. Alternatively, the trampoline assembly 10 can be a full sized round trampoline having a bed assembly diameter of approximately 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 feet. Still alternatively, the bed assembly 18 can be rectangular and have a length of between approximately 3 and 15 feet; and a width of between approximately 3 and 10 feet.

In FIG. 1, the bed assembly 18 includes a plurality of spaced apart apertures 32 positioned around the perimeter that can be used to secure the suspension members 26 to the bed assembly 18. Each aperture 32 can be lined with an eyelet (not shown) that reinforces the aperture 32. Alternatively, the suspension members 26 can be secured to the bed assembly 18 in another fashion.

FIG. 2 is a side illustration of one embodiment of a bed assembly 218 having features of the present invention and feet of a user 233. In this embodiment, the bed assembly 218 includes a bed base layer 234 and a plurality of projections 230 that extend upward from the bed base layer 234. In one embodiment, the bed base layer 234 includes a lower first side 236A and an upper second side 236B. Further, the projections 230 extend and cantilever upward from the second side 236. Moreover, the projections 230 are directly affixed to the bed base layer 234. In this embodiment, the upper second side 236 and the projections 230 define the contact surface 228.

In one embodiment, the bed base layer 234 and the projections 230 are integrally formed together. Alternatively, for example, the projections 230 can be secured to the bed base layer 234 with chemical bonding, an adhesive or another fashion.

The material utilized and thickness of the bed base layer 234 can be varied. For example, the bed base layer 234 can be made of a weaved or webbed material such as nylon, canvas, or polypropylene. Further, the bed base layer 234 can have a thickness of approximately 3 millimeters, for example.

The material(s) used for the projections 230 can be varied. For example, the projections 230 can be formed from a resilient material such as various forms of plastic, rubber, epoxy, or any other suitable resilient material.

FIG. 3 is a side illustration of another embodiment of a bed assembly 318 having features of the present invention. In this embodiment, the bed assembly 318 again includes a bed base layer 334 and a plurality of projections 330 that extend upward from the bed base layer 334. Further, in this embodiment, the bed base layer 334 includes a lower first side 336A and an upper second side 336B. However, in this embodiment, the projections 330 are part of a projection attachment 340 that is positioned on the second side 336B of the bed base layer 334. In this embodiment, the projection attachment 340 is separate from the bed base layer 334.

In one embodiment, the projection attachment 340 includes an attachment base 342 having a lower first surface 344A and an upper second surface 344B. In FIG. 3, an edge of the projection attachment 340 is folded up to expose the lower first surface 344A. Further, the projections 330 extend and cantilever upward from the second surface 344. Moreover, the projections 330 are directly affixed to the attachment base 342. In this embodiment, the upper second surface 344B and the projections 330 define the contact surface 328.

In one embodiment, the attachment base 342 and the projections 330 are integrally formed together. Alternatively, for example, the projections 330 can be secured to the attachment base 342 with an adhesive or another fashion.

The material(s) used for the attachment base 342 and the projections 330 can be varied. For example, one or both of the attachment base 342 and the projections 330 can be formed from a resilient material such as various forms of plastic, rubber, epoxy, or any other suitable resilient material. Alternatively, for example, the attachment base 342 can be made of a cloth material.

In one embodiment, the first surface 344A of the attachment base 342 includes a material 345 that inhibits relative movement between the attachment base 342 and the bed base layer 334. For example, the first surface 344A can include a rubber like backing, a sticky backing, a rough backing, or another material that inhibits relative movement.

The size and shape of the projection attachment 340 can be varied. In one embodiment, the projection attachment 340 is sized and shaped to correspond to the size and shape of the bed base layer 334. In alternative examples, if the bed base layer 334 has a diameter of approximately 3, 4, 5 or 6 feet, then the projection attachment 340 has a diameter of approximately 3, 4, 5 or 6 feet. With this design, the projection attachment 340 covers substantially the entire bed base layer 334. In alternative, non-exclusive embodiments, the projection attachment 340 has an attachment surface area that is within approximately 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 95, or 100 percent of a layer surface area of the bed base layer 334.

FIG. 4 is a side illustration of another embodiment of a bed assembly 418 having features of the present invention. In this embodiment, the bed assembly 418 again includes a bed base layer 434 and a plurality of projections 430 that extend upward from the bed base layer 434. Further, in this embodiment, the bed base layer 434 includes a lower first side 436A and an upper second side 436B and the projections 430 are part of a projection attachment 440 that is positioned on the second side 436B of the bed base layer 434.

However, in this embodiment, the bed assembly 418 includes a fastener assembly 446 that can be used to selectively secure the projection attachment 440 to the bed base layer 434. The design of the fastener assembly 446 can vary. In FIG. 4, fastener assembly 446 is includes a first fastener component 448A that is secured to the projection attachment 440 and a second fastener component 448B that is secured to the bed base layer 434. In one embodiment, the fastener assembly 446 is a hook and loop type fastener. Alternatively, for example, the fastener assembly 446 can be a snap type fastener.

FIG. 5 is a side illustration of another embodiment of a bed assembly 518 having features of the present invention. In this embodiment, the bed assembly 518 again includes a bed base layer 534 and a plurality of projections 530 that extend upward from the bed base layer 534. Further, in this embodiment, the projections 530 are part of a projection attachment 540 that is positioned on the bed base layer 534.

Again, in this embodiment, the bed assembly 518 includes a fastener assembly 546 that can be used to selectively secure the projection attachment 540 to the bed base layer 534 or another part of the trampoline. In FIG. 5, the fastener assembly 546 is a plurality of pairs of ties that are part of the projection attachment 540. In this embodiment, the ties can be tied around the resilient members (not shown in FIG. 5) or through the apertures (not shown in FIG. 5) in the bed base layer 534.

FIG. 6 is a side illustration of yet another embodiment of a bed assembly 618 that is somewhat similar to the bed assembly 218 illustrated in FIG. 2. However, in this embodiment, the plurality of projections 630 cover only a portion of the contact surface 628. In alternative, non-exclusive embodiments, the projections 630 cover approximately 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, or 95 percent of the contact surface 628.

The size, shape and spacing of the projections 30, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630 disclosed herein can be varied. In alternative, non-exclusive embodiments, the projections 30, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630 can project upward at least approximately 0.1, 0.2, 0.25, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, or 1.0 inches. The projections 30, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630 for example, can be substantially cone shaped, cylindrical shaped, frusto-conical shaped, rectangular shaped, octagonal shaped, oval shaped or another shape. A top of each of the projections 30, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630 can be rounded.

The projections 30, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630 for example, can be positioned in a repeated, grid pattern, rows, diamond-shaped pattern, circular pattern, random pattern, concentric circles, or any other suitable geometric patterns.

The spacing between the projections 30, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630 can vary. In alternative, non-exclusive examples, the spacing between adjacent projections 30, 230, 330, 430, 530, 630 is less than approximately 0.1, 0.2, 0.25, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8 or 1.0 inches.

FIG. 7 is a side illustration of yet another embodiment of a bed assembly 718 that is somewhat similar to the bed assembly 218 illustrated in FIG. 2. However, in this embodiment, the plurality of projections 730 are different sizes and/or shapes.

While the invention as herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of some of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.