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Title:
Device for Mounting a Child Seat in a Car and a Child Seat
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a device for mounting a child seat in a car comprising a frame with two frame tubes having at their ends attachment devices for connecting the frame to car mounted brackets and a slide movable along the frame tubes. The slide has a support surface for supporting the child seat and two or more hooks of which at least one is movable for coupling the child seat on the slide. According to the invention the support surface can support a first circular flange of the child seat and the hooks have a circular shape and/or are placed in a circle for gripping the first circular flange.


Inventors:
Vegt, Herman Van Der (Utrecht, NL)
Application Number:
12/048731
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/14/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D1/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ST. ONGE STEWARD JOHNSTON & REENS, LLC (986 BEDFORD STREET, STAMFORD, CT, 06905-5619, US)
Claims:
1. A device for mounting a child seat in a car comprising a frame with two frame tubes having at their ends attachment devices for connecting the frame to car mounted brackets and a slide movable along the frame tubes, the slide having a support surface for supporting the child seat and two or more hooks of which at least one is movable for coupling the child seat on the slide characterized in that the support surface can support a first circular flange of the child seat and the hooks have a circular shape and/or are placed in a circle for gripping the first circular flange.

2. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby the upper surface is parallel to the frame tubes and preferably immediately above their upper surface.

3. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby the movable hooks have a first position whereby the child seat can be positioned on or removed from the support surface and a second position whereby the hooks can hold the first circular flange against the support surface, and a mechanism for positioning the movable hooks in the first position and the second position.

4. The device in accordance with claim 1, whereby the hooks can grip the first circular flange with their outside circumference.

5. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby there are three or more hooks.

6. The device in accordance with claim 5 whereby the movable hooks can move in three or more radial directions.

7. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby the movable hooks can slide along a linear guide between the first position and the second position.

8. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby the slide has at the locations of the hooks one or more second flange parts so that in the second position the hooks grip both the first circular flange and a second flange part.

9. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby the movable hooks have spring means for moving it to the first position and holding means for holding it in the second position.

10. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby a cam disc rotatable around a first axis and preferably placed in the centre of the hooks can move the movable hooks, the cam disc having cam surfaces, each of which presses against a side plane of the movable hook.

11. The device in accordance with claim 10 whereby the cam surfaces are shaped such that the spring means prevent rotation of the cam disc when the movable hooks are in the second position.

12. The device in accordance with claim 10 whereby the cam disc is rotated by a handle rotatable around a second axis and provided with means for coupling the rotation of the cam disc and the handle.

13. The device in accordance with claim 1 whereby the slide has a mounting position whereby it is located away from the attachment devices and is provided with blocking means for preventing the slide to move from the mounting position towards the attachment devices.

14. The device in accordance with claim 13 whereby the blocking means comprise pins that can extend from each frame tube.

15. The device in accordance with claim 14 whereby each pin is connected to a first sensor determining whether the attachment device is connected to the car mounted anchorage.

16. The device in accordance with claim 13, whereby by the frame tubes are provided with notches and the slide with a catch for preventing the slide to move in the direction away from the attachment devices.

17. The device in accordance with claim 16 whereby the catch is connected to a second sensor for determining whether a child seat is placed on the support surface and/or the circular flange is fully positioned on the support surface.

18. The device in accordance with claim 13 whereby the frame tubes each have a button for disconnecting the attachment device from the car mounted bracket, which button is covered and/or deactivated by the slide when the slide is not in the mounting position.

19. The device of claim 1 further including a child seat mounted on said device whereby the child seat has a circular flange that can rest on the support surface and that can be gripped by the hooks.

20. The device of claim 19 whereby the circular flange has on its inner diameter a cylindrical surface that can rotate around the hooks.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority of European patent application No. 07104250 filed on Mar. 15, 2007, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention concerns a device for mounting a child seat (1) in a car comprising a frame (8) with two frame tubes having at their ends attachment devices (2) for connecting the frame to car mounted brackets (48) and a slide (5) movable along the frame tubes, the slide having a support surface (20) for supporting the child seat and two or more hooks (11) of which at least one is movable for coupling the child seat on the slide characterized in that the support surface (20) can support a first circular flange (22) of the child seat (1) and the hooks (11) have a circular shape and/or are placed in a circle for gripping the first circular flange.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Such a device is known from EP 1344679.

The disadvantage of the known device is that the child seat cannot rotate when it is placed on the device so that the child must be placed on the child seat when this is in a position whereby the child is not facing the door of the car. This makes placing the child in the seat more complicated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In order to overcome this disadvantage the device for mounting a child seat (1) in a car comprises a frame (8) with two frame tubes having at their ends attachment devices (2) for connecting the frame to car mounted brackets (48) and a slide (5) movable along the frame tubes, the slide having a support surface (20) for supporting the child seat and two or more hooks (11) of which at least one is movable for coupling the child seat on the slide characterized in that the support surface (20) can support a first circular flange (22) of the child seat (1) and the hooks (11) have a circular shape and/or are placed in a circle for gripping the first circular flange. In this way the child seat placed on the upper surface can rotate, thereby making it possible to turn the seat towards the side of the car for placing a child on the seat and after that rotating the child seat so that the child faces the front of the car. For taking the child out of the car the child seat can rotate back so that removing the child from the car is easy.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the device includes an upper surface (20) parallel to the frame tubes (8) and preferably immediately above their upper surface. In this way the mass of the child is as near as possible to the brackets in the car, so that in case of a collision the rotation of the child seat relative to the brackets is more limited so that the displacement of the child is as small as possible.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the device includes movable hooks (11) having a first position whereby the child seat (1) can be positioned on or removed from the support surface (20) and a second position whereby the hooks can hold the first circular flange (22) against the support surface, and a mechanism (9, 26, 32) for positioning the movable hooks in the first position and the second position. By moving the movable hooks for connecting the child seat to the device with a mechanism the operator actively connects the child seat to the device.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the device includes hooks (11) that can grip the first circular flange with their outside circumference. In this way during use the child seat is rotatable around the movable hooks. The child seat prevents in this way that clothing or hands can touch the movable hooks and interfere with their functioning.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the device includes three or more hooks (11). In this way the hooks can exert forces on the child seat in all directions, so that longitudinal forces and sideway forces on the child seat can be transferred towards the car, so that the child seat is held against forces that result from longitudinal or sideways directed collisions.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the movable hooks (11) can move in three or more radial directions. In this way the child seat is centred more easily on the upper surface.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the movable hooks (11) can slide along a linear guide (33) between the first position and the second position. In this way the hooks can be wider so that they grip a larger arc length of the flange and fewer hooks are required for proper gripping the child seat. This improves the ease of operation of the device.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the slide (5) has at the locations of the hooks (11) one or more second flange parts (21) so that in the second position the hooks grip both the first circular flange (22) and the second flange part. In this way there is when the movable hooks are in the second position a strong coupling between the child seat and the device.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the movable hooks (11) having spring means (52) for moving it to the first position and holding means (26, 34, 39) for holding it in the second position. This ensures that the movable hooks are always in a determined position and that in the second position the hooks are positioned in a stable way without the risk that the movable hooks inadvertently loosen the child seat.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, a cam disc (26) rotatable around a first axis (27) and preferably placed in the centre (c) of the hooks (11) can move the movable hooks, the cam disc having cam surfaces, each of which presses against a side plane of the movable hook. In this way the moving of all the movable hooks towards the second position takes place in a single movement of the cam disc, which improves ease of use.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the cam surfaces are shaped such that the spring means (52) prevent rotation of the cam disc (26) when the movable hooks (11) are in the second position. In this way the cam disc is locked in a simple way in the second position.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the cam disc (26) is rotated by a handle (32) rotatable around a second axis and provided with means (29, 30) for coupling the rotation of the cam disc and the handle. In this way the handle can be located on the slide away from the movable hooks so that it can be used in all situations, also when the child seat is positioned on the device.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the slide (5) has a mounting position whereby it is located away from the attachment devices (2) and is provided with blocking means (17) for preventing the slide to move from the mounting position towards the attachment devices. This ensures that the slide can only be moved when the device is mounted in the car and the child seat is on the slide. This improves the safe use of the device as in this way the child seat is always placed on the device with the slide in the mounting position and away from the back of the seat. This is safer as in that position of the slide the child seat can be positioned and gripped by the movable hooks in a proper way so preventing errors in fastening the child seat.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the blocking means comprising pins (17) that can extend for each frame tube (8). This is a compact and simple way to block the movement of the slide.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, each pin (17) is connected to a first sensor (49) determining whether the attachment device (2) is connected to the car mounted anchorage (48). In this way the movement of the slide is blocked when the attachment devices are not connected to the car mounted brackets.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the frame tubes (8) are provided with notches (41) and the slide (5) with a catch (36) for preventing the slide to move in the direction away from the attachment devices (2). In this way the slide is easily movable to its position of use and can only be moved away when determined action is taken.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the catch (36) is connected to a second sensor (15) for determining whether a child seat (1) is placed on the support surface (20) and/or the circular flange (22) is fully positioned on the support surface. In this way the movement of the slide is blocked when there is no child seat on the device.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the frame tubes (8) each have a button (14) for disconnecting the attachment device (2) from the car mounted bracket (48), which button is covered and/or deactivated by the slide (5) when the slide is not in the mounting position. This makes sure that when the device is removed from the car the slide is in the mounting position and thereby in the proper position for future use.

The invention also includes a child seat for use with the device. The child seat includes a circular flange (22) that can rest on the support surface (20) and that can be gripped by the hooks (11) has the advantage that it can rotate when placed on the device. The child seat including the circular flange (22) has on its inner diameter a cylindrical surface that can rotate around the hooks (11) that prevents that the user can interfere with the movable hooks.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be elucidated with the help of a description of one or more embodiments using a drawing. In the drawing

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a child seat placed on a back seat of a car with the child seat facing sideways,

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the child seat of FIG. 1 with the child seat facing forward,

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a base for placing the child seat of FIG. 1 on the back seat of the car and coupling the child seat to the car,

FIG. 4 shows a top view of the base of FIG. 3,

FIG. 5 shows a longitudinal section of the base of FIGS. 3 and 4,

FIG. 6 shows a schematic top view of the base which shows movable hooks for coupling the child seat on the base in the position that the child seat can be placed over the movable hooks and parts for moving these hooks,

FIG. 7 shows a schematic top view of the base similar to the view in FIG. 6 whereby the movable hooks are in the position that the child seat is coupled to the base,

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of parts that prevent forward movement of a slide of the base in their blocking position,

FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of the parts that prevent forward movement of a slide of the base in their unblocked position,

FIG. 10 shows a perspective view of parts for reinforcing the base,

FIG. 11 shows a side view of an attachment device ready for connecting the base to the car mounted anchorage, and

FIG. 12 shows the side view of FIG. 11 whereby the attachment device is connected to the car mounted anchorage.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show a child seat 1 mounted in a car on a seat 4, which seat 4 has a seat back 3. For mounting the child seat 1 in the car the child seat 1 is coupled to a slide 5 that is connected with a frame 8 and that can slide along the frame 8. The frame 8, which is U-shaped, is connected with attachment devices 2 to car mounted anchorages 48 (see FIGS. 11 and 12) accessible through a slit between the seat 4 and the seat back 3 and which are connected to the car. The front side of the frame 8 is held with a leg 6 at an adjustable distance from the floor of the car. For ease of use the leg 6 is connected with a hinge 7 to the frame 8 so that it can be folded against the frame 8. The slide 5 narrowly encompasses the frame 8 and has a height that is more or less similar to the height of the frame 8.

The slide 5 and the frame 8 together form a base 53 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) that couples the child seat 1 to the car in such a way that a child in the child seat 1 is safely held in case of collision of the car. In case of collision the child seat 1 will be held against forward movement and for this the attachment devices 2 will exert a heavy load on the car and the frame 8 will be held against rotation around the car mounted anchorages 48 by the leg 6. This leg 6 can be as stiff as possible, in other embodiments the leg 6 can deform whereby energy is absorbed. For energy absorption the leg 6 can be made from parts that can slide in each other during deformation of special parts, which are for instance made of deformable metal (not shown).

For ease of use the child seat 1 is rotatable on the slide 5, so that the child can be placed in the child seat 1 when the child seat 1 is rotated towards the door of the car as shown in FIG. 1. After fastening the child in the child seat 1 within the known way with a five point harness or straps (not shown), the child seat 1 is rotated so that the child faces forward and after that the child seat 1 is locked in this position. For unlocking the child seat 1 so that it can be rotated towards the door a push button 54 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) on a control handle 9 is pushed, where after the child seat 1 can be rotated. The control handle 9 can be moved sideways for freeing the child seat 1 from the slide 5, so that it can be taken off.

FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 show the base 53 in the position as it is mounted in the car. The legs of the U-shaped frame 8 end in attachment devices 2, which are connectable to the car. As long as the attachment devices 2 are not connected to the car mounted anchorages 48 slide blocking pins 17 prevent sliding the slide 5 backwards in the direction of the attachment devices 2 and the seat back 3 (see FIGS. 1 and 2). In the top surface of the slide 5 there are seat detection knobs 15 which detect whether a child seat 1 is placed on the slide 5. Also as long as these seat detection knobs 15 are not activated the backwards sliding of the slide 5 is prevented, for instance by blocking catches 36, see FIGS. 8 and 9. In a different embodiment, the slide blocking pins 17 do not work directly on the slide 5, but extend sideways from the frame 8 and also block the catches 36.

The child seat 1 is placed around three coupling hooks 11 that are slidable in the plane of the base 53 to and from a rotation axis c of the child seat 1 with the coupling handle 9. In the FIGS. 3 and 4 the coupling hooks 11 are shown in the situation whereby the coupling hooks 11 grip the child seat 1 and the coupling hooks 11 are at their largest diameter. On the inside of the couplings hooks 11 there are openings 18 in which the couplings hooks 11 move towards a smaller diameter when moved by the coupling handle 9 to a position whereby the child seat 1 can be placed on the base 53. For guiding the child seat 1 to the position whereby the child seat 1 encloses the coupling hooks 11 there are guide notches 10 between the coupling hooks 11. The slide 5 has a safety hook 13 which grips a seat ridge 19 (see FIG. 5) of the child seat 1 when the child seat 1 is facing forward also to prevent tilting of the child seat 1 in a collision.

After the child seat 1 is placed on the slide 5 and the child is placed in the child seat 1, it can be rotated so that the child faces forward. A seat rotation lock 16 locks the rotation of the child seat 1 in that position. The child seat 1 can be rotated after the push button 54 in the coupling handle 9 has been pushed; this pushing moves the seat rotation lock 16 sideways so that the child seat 1 is free to rotate around the rotation axis c. In stead of the separate push button 54 the coupling handle 9 can be designed such that pushing the coupling handle 9 in radial direction or upwards or downwards has the same effect as activating the push button 54.

After the child seat 1 is placed on the slide 5, which is connected to the car mounted anchorage 48 and the seat detection knobs 15 are activated the slide 5 can be moved towards the seat back 3 so that the distance between the child seat 1 and the parts of the car in front of the child seat 1 are as large as possible. The slide 5 has openings 40 in the side of the slide 5. These openings 40 move backwards when the slide 5 moves backwards. When the slide 5 is in the forward position attachment device unlock buttons 14 can be reached through the openings 40. After the slide 5 is moved backwards it is not possible anymore to reach the attachment device unlock buttons 14, so that accidentally unlocking the attachment devices 2 is not possible. Unlocking the attachment devices 2 is only possible after the slide 5 has been moved forward which is only possible after on both sides of the slide 5 a rattle forward release button 12 has been pushed.

FIGS. 5-10 show the various parts in the slide 5. The legs of the U-shaped frame 8 are connected by a reinforcement bar 23 which can slide in longitudinal direction along the legs of frame 8. The ends of the reinforcement bar 23 have brackets 37 that enclose the legs of frame 8. The slide 5 has a bottom housing 25 and an upper housing 20 which are coupled with screws 28. The reinforcement bar 23 is positioned in the bottom housing 25 between ridges 44 and ridges 42. A reinforcement plate 21 is welded to the top of the reinforcement bar 23. The reinforcement plate 21 positions the safety hook 13 and has an inside circumference 45 that supports the coupling hooks 11 on back seat 3 side of the slide 5.

FIG. 5 shows a longitudinal section of the slide 5 with the frame 8, whereby the child seat 1 is placed with a seat flange 22 around the coupling hooks 11 and the guide notches 10 and is supported by the top side of the upper housing 20.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show the mechanism for moving the coupling hooks 11. The coupling hooks 11 have at their sides a linear guide 33 which linear guides 33 cooperate with notches in the bottom housing 25 (not shown) to guide the coupling hook 11 relative to the bottom housing 25 in radial direction to and from the rotation axis c. A cam disc 26 is rotatable around a cam disc bearing 27. The cam disc 26 has notches 34 that can rest in a slot 39 and the cam disc 26 has cams that slide along a side of a coupling hook 11 and by rotating the cam disc 26 the coupling hooks 11 are pushed outwards against the pressure of a spring 52. When pushed outwards the cam disc 26 rests with a flat surface against a flat surface of the coupling hook 11 so that by the shape of the cam disc 26 inadvertent rotation of the cam disc 26 is prevented. In FIG. 5 the spring 52 is located between a coupling hook 11 and the upper housing 20. The spring 52 can also be located between the coupling hook 11 and the bottom housing 25 or between two coupling hooks 11.

The cam disc 26 is rotated by rotating a handle 32 with the coupling handle 9 around a handle bearing 31. The handle 32 has a gear segment 30 with gear teeth 29 that engage with gear teeth on the cam disc 26. The radius of the gear teeth 30 on the handle 32 is larger than the radius of the gear teeth on the cam disc 26 so that the angle over which the handle 32 must be moved is smaller than the angle over which the cam disc 26 must rotate, which makes positioning and use of the coupling handle 9 easier. The handle 32 can additionally be locked in the position whereby the child seat 1 is fixed to the slide 5 with lock 38.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show how the forward movement of the slide 5 is locked and made possible. On the frame 8 near the reinforcement bar 23 a notched plate 35 is mounted, which notched plate 35 has notches 41 in which a lock 38 is pressed by a spring 43. The notches 41 are so that the lock 38 only allows movement of the slide 5 in the direction of the attachment devices 2, as shown in FIG. 8. By pushing the release buttons 12 downwards, as shown in FIG. 9, the lock 39 is pushed from the notches 41 and the slide 5 can move forward.

In the shown embodiment, three coupling hooks 11 can slide in radial direction. In other embodiments there can be two, four, or more coupling hooks of which one hook can be fixed. Also in stead of sliding the movable coupling hooks can pivot around a pin in order to grip around the seat flange 22.

FIGS. 11 and 12 show the coupling of the frame 8 to the car mounted anchorage 48. FIG. 11 shows the situation where the attachment device 2 is ready to be connected to the car mounted anchorage 48. In the attachment device 2 a toggle 49 is visible. Within the frame 8 a support 50 is coupled to the attachment device 2 by an actuator 47. The actuator 47 is connected to the slide blocking pin 17, which is pushed upwards through an opening in the frame by a spring 51. The actuator 47 is further coupled to a signal rod 46, which can be actuated by the attachment device unlock button 14. This attachment device unlock button 14 can be approached through an opening in the frame 8 and the opening 40 in the side of the slide 5. The actuator 47 further actuates via the signal rod 46 a signal (not shown) near the front of the frame 8, which signal indicates whether the car mounted anchorage 48 is connected to the attachment device 2.

When the attachment device 2 is moved around the car mounted anchorage 48 the toggle 49 rotates and locks the car mounted anchorage 48 in the attachment device 2, see FIG. 12. The rotating toggle 49 thereby moves the actuator 47 backwards in the direction of the attachment device 2 and the slide blocking pin 17 moves downwards so that it does not extend out of the frame 8. The signal rod 46 moves backwards as well, so that at the front of the base 53 becomes visible indicating that the attachment device 2 is connected to the car mounted anchorage 48. The toggle 49 is released to rotate and release the car mounted anchorage 48 by pressing the attachment device unlock button 14.

In the disclosed embodiment there are three coupling hooks 11 that are moved by cam disc 26, slide in radial direction and so couple the child seat 1 to the base 53. It will be clear that for coupling the child seat 1 to the base 53 a different number of hooks can be used, and that instead that the hooks slide inward and outward it is also possible to use hooks that tilt inwards/outwards. In the disclosed embodiment the mechanism for moving the hooks is more or less complete between the legs of the frame 8 and under the top level of the slide 5. A design whereby the mechanism for moving the hooks is inside the circumference of the movable hooks and extends there above the top level of the slide 5 to within and partly above the seat flange 22 is also possible.