Title:
WORKSTATION WITH COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular work station comprising a base module, a lower spine and chair support module affixed to the base, a chair assembly module removable positioned on the chair support and an overhead support module removably affixed to the lower spine and positioned over a head of a user.



Inventors:
Fowlds, Sidney B. (West Vancouver, CA)
Hunsberger, Matthew (Vancouver, CA)
Wheeler, Chris (Vancouver, CA)
Application Number:
11/621030
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
01/08/2007
Assignee:
ParaFinCorporation (Palm Desert, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/46
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BROWN, PETER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VERMETTE & CO. (SUITE 320 - 1177 WEST HASTINGS STREET, VANCOUVER, BC, V6E2K3, omitted)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A modular work station comprising: (a) a base module (12); (b) a lower spine (14) and chair support (84) affixed to said base module (12); (c) a chair assembly module (85) removably positioned on said chair support (84); and (d) an overhead support module (30) removably affixed to said lower spine (14) and positioned over a head of a user;

2. The work station of claim 1, wherein said chair assembly has a foot rest assembly (21) affixed thereto and positioned to receive and support a user's feet when the user is in said chair assembly module (85).

3. The work station of claim 1, wherein said chair assembly module (85) has a keyboard tray (24) and arm rest assembly affixed thereto.

4. The work station of claim 2, wherein said chair assembly has an adapter bracket to which is affixed a chair controller, said foot rest assembly, a seat, and a keyboard tray and arm rest assembly.

5. The work station of claim 2, wherein tilting of said chair causes simultaneous tilting of said keyboard tray and arm rest assembly and said foot rest assembly.

6. The work station of claim 1, including a lower spine attached to said base by lower gusset plates and an overhead spine attached to said lower spine by upper gusset plates, said lower and upper gusset plates acting to dampen vibration of said lower spine and overhead support module.

7. The work station of claim 1, including monitor gusset plates attached to a distal end of said overhead spine and supporting a video monitor.

8. The work station of claim 1, including a table attached to said lower spine at one end and supported at another end by said base.

9. The work station of claim 1, including adjustable supports affixed to respective arm rests capable of raising and lowering said arm rests.

10. The work station of claim 4, wherein said foot rest assembly comprises a foot rest slider assembly pivotally coupled at one end to a foot rest plate and having slider plates on either side slidable within respective ones of a pair of elongated slots.

11. The work station of claim 10, including a leg rest assembly comprising a leg rest assembly (94), leg rest frame assembly (78), a foot rest slider assembly (69) coupled at one end to said leg rest assembly and slidable over said leg rest frame assembly, foot rest activator linkage (73) coupled to another end of said leg rest assembly (94), operative to extend and retract said foot rest (22), a compression lock (92) coupled to said foot rest activator linkage (73), a tilt handle (71) coupled to said compression lock (92) and operative to lock and unlock said compression lock, said compression lock preventing movement of said foot rest activator linkage (73) when locked, and parallel spaced apart leg rest frame plates (112) positioned on either side of said leg rest assembly, said leg rest assembly having shafts on either side thereof slidable within elongated slots in sides of said leg rest frame plates.

12. The work station of claim 11, including an ankle pad assembly mounted on said foot rest slider assembly for protecting the achilles tendon of a user.

13. The work station of claim 11, wherein said compression lock (92) has an elongated opening to permit movement over said compression sleeve (103) as said foot rest activator linkage (73) moves so as to lengthen said foot rest when in an extended position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to an ergonomically designed work station which supports computer peripherals in a location compatible with a user and supports the user in a position which minimizes stress on the human body.

2. Description of Related Art

Conventional computer work stations consist of a desk having a location for mounting of a computer monitor, a keyboard and a computer tower. The user generally sits on an office chair in front of the monitor. Such arrangements have been notorious for inducing back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome and other problems. A few workstations were designed attempting to integrate human comfort and health with performance. However, such workstations have been made up of many different parts interconnected or free standing. Moreover, some of these parts typically block off access by a user to a chair. Moving such systems involves moving awkwardly interconnected elements such as a chair and a desk as well as free standing stands for holding monitors and side tables.

Another problem with current workstations is the failure to interconnect various functions of the workstation. For example, for a workstation having a foot rest, any tilting function of the chair requires a separate adjustment of the foot rest in order for the latter to be compatible with the new position of the chair. A similar comment applies to the keyboard and mouse trays.

Finally, the manufacturability of workstations tends to be difficult because of the large number of parts and the complexity of various mechanical movements.

It is an object of the invention to provide an ergonomic workstation in which the entire workstation is integrated and the user area is accessible from the front.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided a modular work station having a base module, a lower spine and chair support module affixed to said base, a chair assembly module removable positioned on said chair support; and an overhead support module removably affixed to said lower spine and positioned over a head of a user.

The advantage of this modular construction is that each module is largely self-contained and can be made and tested independently of the other modules and then finally assembled and tested as a unit.

The chair assembly may have a foot rest assembly affixed thereto and positioned to receive and support a user's feet when the user is in the chair assembly.

The chair assembly may have a keyboard tray and arm rest assembly affixed thereto.

The chair assembly may have an adapter bracket to which is affixed a chair controller, the foot rest assembly, a seat, and a keyboard tray and arm rest assembly.

Tilting of the chair may cause simultaneous tilting of the keyboard tray and arm rest assembly and the foot rest assembly.

A lower spine may be attached to the base by lower gusset plates and an overhead support attached to said lower spine by upper gusset plates, said lower and upper gusset plates acting to dampen vibration of said lower spine and overhead support module.

Monitor gusset plates may be attached to a distal end of the overhead support and support a video monitor.

A table may be attached to the lower spine at one end and supported at another end by the base.

Adjustable supports may be affixed to respective arm rests and be capable of raising and lowering the arm rests.

The foot rest assembly may comprise a foot rest slider assembly pivotally coupled at one end to a foot rest plate and having slider plates on either side slidable within respective ones of a pair of elongated slots.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description, given by way of example, of a preferred embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the workstation;

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the workstation;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the base;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the foot rest slider assembly;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the foot rest slider assembly;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the foot rest slider assembly;

FIG. 7 is a perspective, exploded view of the leg rest assembly;

FIG. 8 is an exploded, perspective view of the chair and leg rest assembly;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the leg rest and arm rest assembly;

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of the chair and leg rest assembly with the leg rest assembly in a retracted position;

FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of the chair and leg rest assembly with the leg rest assembly partially extended;

FIG. 12 is a side elevation view of the chair and leg rest assembly with the leg rest assembly in a fully extended position;

FIG. 13 is a perspective exploded view of the adapter bracket assembly;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the keyboard tray and left-hand arm rest shown upside down;

FIG. 15 is a perspective, exploded view of the keyboard tray and left-hand arm rest shown upside down;

FIG. 16 is a top view of the keyboard tray and arm rest;

FIG. 17 is a side elevation view of the keyboard tray and arm rest;

FIG. 18 is an exploded, perspective view of the keyboard tray;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the chair controller;

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of the tilt handle and compression lock assembly in an exploded view;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the tilt handle and compression lock assembly in a locked condition;

FIG. 22 is an exploded view of the back rest and head rest; and

FIG. 23 is a side elevation view of the back rest and head rest.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an integrated workstation 10 includes a base 12 operable to rest on a support surface (not shown) and a spine 14 connected to the base 12 by means of a pair of spaced apart spine lower gusset plates 26. The spine lower gusset plates 26 are affixed to the spine 14 along one edge and to a central part of the base along a bottom edge of the spine lower gusset plates 26. The spine 14 is affixed to a set of spine upper gusset plates 28 at its top. Spine upper gusset plates 28 are also affixed to overhead support 30. The spine lower and spine upper gusset plates 26 and 28, respectively, provide rigidity and prevent any oscillation or springiness in the spine 14. The spine 14 has two hollow tubes separated by a tube open along one side and positioned between the two hollow tubes. Wires for operating the electronics can be hidden within the tubes. Monitor support arm 32 connects to overhead support 30 and, in turn, support monitors 34 at their distal ends via monitor pivotal arms 36 and distal gusset plates 29. The chair 16 is supported by a tapered outer cylindrical chair support 41 and tapered inner rotatable shaft 43 (see FIG. 2) which fits into a corresponding hole (not shown) in the chair controller 58 seen in FIG. 19. The chair 16 has a leg rest assembly 21, mouse trays 25 and 27 and a keyboard tray 24. A leg rest pad 76, back rest 20 and head rest 86 complete the chair 16. A table 88 is supported by table support 90 (see FIG. 2) and by spine 14. Two saddle straps 47 extend down from the underside of the table 88 and are used to support computer 53. Additional straps support stereos 45 and the like. The lower end of gusset plates 26 are affixed to base 12. A pair of lower audio speakers 31 is mounted to the lower gusset plates 26 and a pair upper audio speakers 33 is mounted to the upper gusset plates 28.

Referring to FIG. 2, a table 88 made of plexiglass or other suitable material fits over the spine 14 and is supported at its distal end by table support 90 which fits through table support slots 23 formed in the gusset plates 26 on either side of the work station 10.

As seen in FIG. 3 the base 12 consists of steel straps which have parallel sides 46 and 48 and extend to sides 51 and 52, respectively, which form a V-shape at either end. A pair of triangular plates 42 fit into the V-shaped regions. Castors 44 are attached to ends of sides 51 and 52 at each end of the base 12. The gusset plates 26 are attached to parallel sides 46 and 48 as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 and also support a chair support 84 having a tapered outer cylindrical housing 41 and tapered, inner rotatable shaft 43 as seen in FIG. 2. A controller 58 as seen in FIG. 19 fits in a recess below the seat 18 as seen in FIG. 2. The chair support 41 and shaft 43 fit into a receptacle (not shown) in the controller 58, which is a commonly used chair controller 58.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown in exploded form the foot rest slider assembly 21. Foot rest slider assembly 21 is attached to a triangular foot rest fine adjustment block 70 by spring-loaded locking pins 54 engaging holes 74 in the foot rest slider assembly 21. Gusset plates 56 are spaced by foot rest spacers 65 and 68. Spring loaded pins 54 fit into each hole 74 and can be pulled to release them from the selected holes 74. This allows moveable flanges 72 to move along respective flange slots 75 to the end of the foot rest 22 (see also FIGS. 5 and 6). There are others of holes 74 in the triangular piece 70 into which spring loaded pins 54 are insertable so as to adjust the length of the foot rest assembly 22.

A backing plate 59 is attached to edges of the gusset plates 56 and has screw holes through which screws 57 pass to fasten on ankle pads 50. Ankle pads 50 are designed to protect the Achilles tendons of a user. Slider plate stabilizers 67 are fastened to gusset plates 56 by means of screws 64 which pass through holes at either end of the plates 67 and through offset cylinders 61 into sleeves 65 which have threaded screw holes to threadedly receive screws 64.

Referring to FIGS. 7, 20 and 21, the foot rest slider assembly 69 is coupled to tilt handle 71 by means of foot rest activator linkage 73. Linkage 73 includes a foot rest activator connecting rods 66 coupled between compression sleeve 103 and link 80 and a compression spring assembly 92 coupled between a compression sleeve 103 and a rotating pin 91. Rotating pin 91 is coupled to link 80 of the foot rest activator linkage 73. A compression assembly 92 is located at an end of the tilt handle 71 or at the end of a shaft coupled to the tilt handle 71 as seen in FIGS. 20 and 21. On each side of the leg rest frame assembly 78 are a parallel pair of elongated plate slots 77. A pair of slider plate stabilizers 67 are positioned on the outside of leg rest frame assembly 78 with each of its two screw holes on each slider plate stabilizer 67 positioned adjacent slider plate slots 77. Countersunk screws pass through each slider plate stabilizer hole and slot and threadedly engage the thread in respective ones of two spacers that extend across the foot rest slider assembly 69. With the tilt handle 71 in its neutral position the compression assembly 92 is compressed and locked to rotatable pin 91. Releasing the tilt handle 71 releases compression lock 92 and permits rotatable pin 91 to rotate and foot rest activation linkage 73 to move. Upon reaching a desired position of the foot rest 22, the tilt handle 71 is returned to the neutral position and the linkage is locked from further movement. A fine adjustment of the foot rest 22 can be achieved by pulling out a spring loaded locking pins 54 and moving foot rest fine adjustment block 70 until pins 54 line up with a new set of holes at which point the locking pins 54 are released and the locking pins 54 engage a new set of holes (see FIGS. 4 to 6).

As is seen in FIG. 8 a chair assembly module includes a controller 58, an adapter bracket 49, a lower arm rest plate 83, a leg rest frame assembly 78, a seat 18, a back rest 20, and head rest 86. As seen in both FIGS. 8 and 9, loaded gas springs 52 are attached between the leg rest frame plates 112 of leg rest assembly 78 and the adapter bracket 49. The leg rest frame plates 112 pivot about pivot pin 113. The gas springs 52 are connected between a hole 95 in the side of the adapter bracket 49 and a hole 96 in the leg rest frame plates 112. As gas springs 52 extend, they cause leg rest frame plate 112 to pivot so that foot rest 22 is raised. As the leg rest frame plate 112 pivots the foot rest 22 upwardly as seen in FIGS. 10-12, the slider plate stabilizer 67 moves down slider plate slot 77 towards the end closest to the foot rest 22 causing the foot rest 22 to lengthen slightly so as to accommodate the natural extension of the leg.

Referring to FIG. 13, the adapter bracket 49 is made up of two parallel side plates 114, joined across the top by two bridge plates 115. Lower arm rest plate 83 fits on adapter bracket 49 between the bridge plates 115 to which the former is welded.

Referring to FIGS. 14 to 18, a keyboard tray 24 is rotatably attached to a tray rod 116 (see FIG. 15) and clampable by means of a clamping knob 93. A right-hand mouse pad and arm rest assembly 27 is also rotatably attached to tray rod 116. An armrest upper plate left 37 has two holes which fit over pem studs 108 extending through mouse armrest tray 110 and are affixed to a bottom of mouse armrest tray 110. An armrest trigger plate 102 is attached to the armrest upper plate 107 by means of pair of arm rest lock springs 104. Spacer discs 111 separate the mouse armrest tray 110 from the mouse arm rest upper plate 107 both of which are rotatably attached to tray rod 116. A contoured arm rest 40 fits atop mouse arm rest upper plate 107 together with an adjacent neoprene pad 109. Referring to FIG. 18 keyboard tray 24 has peripheral holes which receive countersunk screws 101. Screws 101 have threads which register with the threads of the keyboard tray top plate 99. A neoprene pad 98 fits over the keyboard tray top plate 99 (see FIG. 18). A keyboard tray lip 100 is screwed to the bottom of keyboard tray 24.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 15, the left and right arm rests 38 and 40, respectively, are controlled by a series of plates coupled to the adapter bracket 49. Arm rest upper plate 37 has four vertically oriented elongated slots 117 at each corner and a pair of parallel short slots 118 in the center. An arm rest trigger 102 is attached to arm rest upper plate 37 by means of arm rest lock springs 104. Arm rest trigger plate 102 has V-shaped slots 119 which overlap with parallel slots 118. Arm rest upper plate 37 is screwed to an underside of mouse arm rest tray 107 as can be seen in FIG. 15. Locking pins 120 are inserted into the parallel slots 118 and held in place. The protrusion on each locking pin 120 extends through the V-shaped slot and the slots in the adjacent plate into the slots in the adapter bracket 49 which have a serrated edge. Pulling up on the trigger plate causes the protrusions to release from the serrated sides of elongated slots in the adapter bracket 49 and the arm rest upper plate 37 to move upwardly. Downward movement is also possible if the arm rest upper plate 37 is already in an elevated position.

A chair controller 58 shown in FIG. 19, is a standard controller available commercially having a plurality of levers 60 to control various functions of a chair including pivoting of the whole chair about shaft 43.

Referring to FIGS. 20 and 21, the compression assembly 79 has a tiltable handle 71 that compresses and decompresses a compression assembly 79. The compression of a compression lock 92 which consists of a series of fingers spaced apart by thin washers. The compression of compression lock 92 causes the compression lock 92 to clamp onto sleeve 103 which is threadedly engaged with a long threaded rod (not shown) that also threadedly engages a sleeve 81 that is locked from rotation by a pin 82. Thus, when compressed, compression lock 92 is locked against rotation about sleeve 103 and prevents rotation of rotating rod 91. This, in turn, prevents movement of linkage 73.

Referring to FIGS. 22 and 23 the back rest 20 of the chair has a series of adjustment holes 124 formed in an attachment 130 which the back rest frame plates slide over. Spring loaded pins 126 engage a set of holes which depends upon the vertical positioning of the back rest 20. A head rest 86 attaches to the attachment 130 and so moves with the back rest 20. Attachment flange 128 is insertable into a slot in the chair controller 58.

It will be appreciated that workstation 10 is made up of 4 different modules namely, the chair assembly, the spine-base assembly, the tray and arm rest assembly and the upper spine assembly. The lower spine and base are assembled first, the chair assembly is assembled next and positioned over the tapered inner rotatable shaft 43 and the tapered outer cylindrical housing 41. Next table 88 is affixed to the spine 14 and base 12 by table support 90. Finally, the overhead support 30 is installed.

A user enters the chair 10 by pivoting the keyboard tray 24 to open the centre region either from the left-hand side or from the right-hand side. Any adjustments to the monitors 34 and to the height of chair 16 required for the user are made. Adjustment to the position of the foot rest can be made by moving the tilt handle 71 pulling out spring loaded pins 54 and sliding moveable plates 70 until a desired positioning of foot rest 21 is achieved. The entire workstation 10 can be moved by simply rolling it on casters 44. Since all peripherals are affixed to base 12, there is no need to move separate elements of the workstation 10.

Various features of the several different embodiments of the invention described herein may be used in combination with other features described herein to produce combinations of features other than those specifically described above and such combination are intended to be within the scope of this invention.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated, such embodiments should be considered illustrative of the invention only and not as limiting the invention.