Title:
PERSONAL SANITARY DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A personal sanitary device with an oblong bathtub with a head end and a foot end and an opening on the top. A cover is affixed to the bathtub by means of a coupling. The coupling has a pivot and the cover can be turned between a closed position and an opened position. and when the cover is closed an opening for the head is formed between the bathtub and the cover. The cover completely covers the bathtub opening up to the foot end and from the top view the projection of the pivot is at the distance L1 from the foot end between the foot end and the head end of the bathtub wherein the projection of the pivot is at the distance L2 from the foot end of the cover and when the cover is opened the foot end of the cover slides into the bathtub.



Inventors:
Ader, Sten (Tallinn, EE)
Sinka, Andri (Rapla Maakond, EE)
Vann, Mati (Tallinn, EE)
Application Number:
11/914791
Publication Date:
05/28/2009
Filing Date:
05/17/2006
Assignee:
NEOQI AS (Harju Maakond, EE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/584
International Classes:
A47K3/02; A47K3/00; A61H33/00; A61H35/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, DINH Q
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Maine Cernota & Rardin (547 Amherst Street 3rd Floor, Nashua, NH, 03063, US)
Claims:
1. 1-11. (canceled)

12. Personal sanitary device, comprising: an oblong bathtub with a head end and a foot end and an opening on the top; a cover, having a head end and a foot end, said cover attached to the bathtub by means of a coupling, the coupling has a pivot around which the cover can be turned from a closed position to an opened position, wherein the cover in the closed position completely covers the opening of the bathtub up to the foot end of the bathtub and the pivot is attached to the bathtub between the head end and the foot end of the bathtub so that the foot end of the cover in the opened position turns into a cavity in the foot end of the bathtub; and an opening between the head end of the bathtub and the head end of the cover for user's head when the cover is in the closed position.

13. The device as in claim 12, wherein the shape of the cavity corresponds to a shape of the end of the cover.

14. The device as in claim 12, wherein the cavity is separated from the rest of the bathtub by a wall and the cavity has a drainer to dispose of the water running into the cavity when the cover is in the opened position.

15. The device as in claim 12, wherein the coupling comprises a rod attached to the cover and the ends of the rod are attached to hinge seats affixed to a frame of the bathtub.

16. The device as in claim 15, wherein the rod is a tube.

17. The device as in claim 16, wherein at least one end of the tube is opened and the tube has a hole on its side to route wires and hoses from a space below the bathtub into the cover.

18. The device as in claim 17, wherein a shock absorber is attached to the rod by means of a linkage and a casing of the shock absorber is attached to the frame.

19. The device as in claim 18, wherein the linkage comprises two levers, one of which is transversely attached to the end of the rod and one end of the other lever is connected to the free end of the first lever and the other end is connected to the end of a movable part of the shock absorber.

20. The device as in claims 19, wherein the cover comprises longitudinal rods, extending for substantially all length of the cover and matching the shape of the cover, and substantially parallel rods connected between the longitudinal rods, said structure is rigidly connected with the tube.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to the field of personal sanitary and health care devices, specifically to the devices adapted for various water and heat therapy procedures, such devices having an openable cover.

BACKGROUND ART

Using various bathtubs and shower devices for hygiene, therapeutic and relaxation purposes is known. For example, Estonian utility model No. EE 00298U1 describes a Multifunctional physiotherapy device (registration application filing date 25 Oct. 2001, inventors Andri Sinka, Mairi Leppmets and Mati Vann, owner Neoqi AS) meant for water, heat, steam and vibration therapy procedures; in general terms the device consists of a bathtub, a vibromassage table placed on the bathtub, and a movable arch-shaped cover attached to the bathtub, which in closed position forms a space above the vibromassage table for engaging in steam, water and heat therapy procedures (the cover has a built-in shower with spray heads). The cover can be opened from one side of the device so that the person using the device can enter the bathtub from this side only.

Physiotherapy device Mediq (the design of which is protected as Estonian industrial design No. 950 and 951, filing date 30 Mar. 2004, designers Andri Sinka and Sten Ader, owner Neoqi AS) also includes a bathtub and a cover attached to it by means of a coupling and the cover opens towards an end of the bathtub (up to 90°). The advantage of the latter device compared to the abovementioned device is that it enables to enter the bathtub from both sides. However, the cover of the latter device does not cover the entire length of the bathtub reaching approximately the axis of the coupling. To form a closed space necessary for heat therapy procedures, there is a special domed element in the foot end of the bathtub. Construction and installation of the described domed element requires extra use of material and special technological procedures, which makes production of the type of device more complicated compared to the above described device.

The closest known solution is described in Estonian utility model no. EE 00469U1 Device for water therapy procedures (registration application filing date 19 Jul. 2004, inventors Andri Sinka, Sten Ader and Mati Vann, owner Neoqi AS); the device comprises a bathtub and a cover attached to the bathtub at its shorter end, which can be opened to upright position; there are shower nozzles in the cover. This means that the shower can be used with the cover either in the opened (upright) or closed position. The user can enter the bathtub from both sides and the cover opens 90° or more compared to the horizontal position. However, at least some of the water collecting inside the cover runs down the sides of the bathtub and the shock absorber inside the coupling between the bathtub and the cover is visible.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is a personal sanitary device having a coupling system between the cover and the bathtub, which enables complete, easy, safe and smooth opening (i.e., approximately to the upright position) of the bathtub cover so that when the cover is in the opened position it stays exactly above the bathtub and the water collecting inside the cover runs back into the bathtub. Furthermore, the coupling between the cover and the bathtub is designed so that the shock absorber inside it remains hidden.

A personal sanitary device according to the invention comprises an oblong bathtub with a head end and a foot end and an opening on the top. The bathtub is supported by a frame. A cover is affixed over the bathtub by means of a coupling. The coupling has a pivot around which the cover can be turned into the opened or closed position and when the cover is closed an opening for the head is formed between the bathtub and the cover. The cover of a device according to the invention covers completely the opening above the foot end of the bathtub and the pivot is so located that, in top view, its projection is at the distance L1 from the foot end of the bathtub between the foot end and the head end of the bathtub.

Preferably, the pivot of the coupling is also affixed to the cover at the distance L2 from the foot part of the bathtub and L2 is smaller than L1. When turning the cover from the closed position to the opened position, the foot end of the cover slides inside the bathtub, preferably into a bowl-shaped cavity inside it with a shape that matches the shape of the cover end. Preferably the cross section of the cavity projects into a section of a circle with a radius bigger than L2.

A coupling according to the device preferably comprises a rod or a tube, whose ends reach the hinges in the hinge seats attached to a frame. In at least one end of the tube there is a linkage, through which the rod is connected to the shock absorber and through which the rotary movement of the rod is converted into linear movement of the moving part of the shock absorber. The linkage may comprise two levers of which the first one is rigidly connected to one end of the rod; one end of the second lever is rotatably connected to the free end of the first lever and the other end is connected to the end of the movable part of the shock absorber. The casing of the shock absorber is affixed to the frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of a device according to the invention, wherein the cover is shown in the closed position;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1, wherein the cover is shown in the closed position;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1, wherein the cover is shown in the opened position;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 (with the cover in the closed position) with support structures (frame, cover structure, coupling system between the cover and the bathtub) of the bathtub and the cover shown with dotted lines;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 (with the cover in the closed position) with support structures of the bathtub and the cover shown with dotted lines as in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 (with the cover in the opened position) with support structures of the bathtub and the cover shown with dotted lines as in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 with the cover removed from the device, and the support structures of the bathtub and the cover are shown with dotted lines as in FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is an axonometric view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 from the head end of the device with the cover in the opened position.

MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

One mode for carrying out the invention is shown in FIG. 1 to FIG. 8. The device 1 comprises a bathtub 2 and a cover 3 attached to the bathtub by means of a coupling 4. The bathtub 2 has an opening on the top, which opens to the body chamber 21 of the bathtub. The device has a head end 23 and a foot end 24 (the head end of the device is also the head end of the bathtub and the foot end of the device is also the foot end of the bathtub, and the total length of the device L is measured from the head end 23 to the foot end 24). The bathtub and its accessories are supported by a frame 25. The frame 25 and accessories under the bathtub 26 are hidden behind cover panels 27 made of a suitable material and giving shape to the bathtub.

The cover 3 is attached to the bathtub by means of the coupling 4 near the foot end of the device 24. The coupling has a pivot around which the cover can be turned into the opened (upright) and closed position. The cover can be secured in the upright position.

With the cover 3 in the closed position, the body chamber of the bathtub 21 and the cover 3 form a space below the cover—a closed space 6. The closed space 6 can be used to conduct various water, steam and heat therapy procedures. With the cover 3 in the closed position, an opening for the head 7 is formed between the cover 3 and the head end of the device 23 so that the user's head is outside the closed space 6 during the use of the device. The cover 3 covers completely the body chamber of the device 21 and the foot end of the device 24. Bottom of the bathtub is shown as 80, drainer in the bottom of the bathtub is shown as 81 and the control handle of the drainer cap is shown as 82. The cover 3 has sides 10 and a middle part 11.

The connection between the cover 3 and bathtub 2 according to the invention on the one hand depends on the shape of the cover 3 and bathtub 2 and on the other hand on the design of the coupling 4. Compared to the known solutions, the pivot of the coupling (see rod 41 on FIG. 7) has been moved from the foot end of the device towards the centre of the bath to the distance L1 from the foot end (typically 5-80 cm and preferably by 15-40 cm). The pivot of the coupling is at the distance L2 from the foot end of the cover 31 and L2 is not bigger than L1. The total external length of the device is marked with L in the figure.

The bathtub has a cavity (bowl) 14 where the foot end of the cover 31 slides when the cover is opened. In the bottom of the cavity there is a drainer 16 for the water running into the bowl from the cover when the cover is opened (if there is a shower inside the cover, the shower water is also drained through the cavity and the drainer). The front wall 15 of the cavity, which is basically vertical, may also serve as a stopper preventing movement of the cover further from the upright position when the cover is opened. Limits can be set to the movement of the cover in the upright position by selecting a suitable inclination of the front wall 15 of the cavity. The cavity 14 can be produced in single part with the body chamber 21 of the bathtub; in this case, the front wall 15 does not exist or is only partly there between the cavity 14 and the body chamber 21 of the bathtub.

According to one embodiment, the side view of the cavity in cross section projects as part of a circle wherein the radius of the circle is bigger than L2.

The cover 3 can be turned to the closed or opened position around the pivot of the coupling 4, which in this embodiment consists of a rod 41. The ends 42 and 43 of the rod run into hinges 44 and 45. The hinges are inside the hinge seats attached to the frame 25 and there are holes 28 and 29 for them in the cover panels 27 of the bathtub. The rod 41 preferably consists of a tube with at least one hole 46 in its side (see FIG. 4) facing the inside 32 of the cover. Wires 17 or hoses can be routed through the holes on top of the tube (one of which is number 47) and hole 46 from the bathtub to the cover.

In at least one end of the tube there is a linkage, through which the rod 41 is connected to the shock absorber 5 and through which the rotary movement of the rod is converted into linear movement of the moving part 53 of the shock absorber. The linkage may comprise two levers of which the first one 51 is rigidly connected to one end of the rod; one end of the second lever is rotatably connected to the free end of the first lever 51 and the other end is connected to the end of the movable part 53 of the shock absorber 5. The casing 54 of the shock absorber is affixed to the frame 25.

According to one embodiment a lever similar to the lever 51 can be attached to the other end to which a lever 35 similar to the lever 52 can be attached and the latter can be attached to a shock absorber similar to the shock absorber 5.

The shock absorber 5, typically a gas shock absorber, is attached to the frame 25 preferably in the horizontal or an approximately horizontal position.

In the inside 32 of the cover 3 there is a chassis 33 made of a suitable material (e.g., metal) comprising two longitudinal rods 34 and 35 of a suitable shape (i.e., matching the shape of the cover 3) rigidly attached to the rod, and between them there are two parallel rods 36 and 37 transverse to the longitudinal rods (it is obvious that a single metal strip can replace the rods 34 and 35 or there can be more rods than two. Similarly, instead of the rods 36 and 37 there can be more or fewer rods than two). The devices inside the cover are attached to the chassis 33 (see figure FIG. 8); such devices may include infrared heaters 60, lighting fixtures 68 (including for chromatherapy in which case the fixture comprises colourful light emitting diodes placed behind glass or plastic, for example, or of other colourful light sources. The device depicted in figure FIG. 8 also has a lighting fixture inside the side wall of the bathtub), shower equipment (similarly to above mentioned Neoqi AS utility model No. EE 00469, including nozzles, tubes, hoses and flaps), acoustic equipment, etc. and their power lines and hoses (obviously the device may be equipped with other equipment for heat, water, steam, aroma and vibration therapy similarly with the device described in the international patent application no. PCT/EE02/00008). The sides 10 of the cover 3 can be made of transparent polycarbonate, for example. The inside fittings of the cover are hidden behind a cover made of a suitable material such as acrylic. There is a handle 38 on the inside of the cover so that the user can open and close the cover from the bathtub.

An outlet of a steamer (steam nozzle) 63 can be directed to the closed space 6 (see FIG. 8). To ensure even distribution of steam in the chamber 6 and to avoid injuring the person inside the chamber by hot steam, the diameters of the steam nozzles are regulated so that the speed of the steam in the nozzles is accelerated significantly compared to the speed of the steam in the steam pipeline; upon outflow of the steam from the nozzles to the chamber 6 the speed of the steam drops instantly, the volume of the steam increases and the temperature drops to a level suitable for steam therapy.

The device can also be equipped with an aroma therapy device (the device may comprise an aroma cup 62, which is located above the steam nozzle 63 in figure FIG. 8). The device may also include an ionization device. The bathtub may have a lighting fixture 68. To ensure comfort, the device has a fixed or removable head rest 69.

The bathtub may be equipped with hydro and pneumatic massage equipment. For that purpose, water and air nozzles may be in the bottom and walls of the bathtub (64 and 65 accordingly). The amount of air flowing through the air nozzles is regulated by means of an air regulator 73. The device may include a hand-held shower 66. The device has a mixer 72 and a water switch 74, through which water can be directed to the bathtub or hand-held shower. The device may have a water pump to ensure water pressure required for water therapy and quick filling the bathtub with water. Water is taken from the bathtub by means of a water abstractor 71 in the water pump, which has a screen, and is directed through the pipeline, water pump and nozzles back to the tub. If there is a shower device inside the cover of the device, the shower can be integrated with a special cleaning and disinfection system (the kind of system is described in the above referred patent application no. PCT/EE02/00008) which enables automatic cleaning of the interior of the bathtub with its cover closed.

The device may be equipped with control devices to operate the parameters and functions of the device, including according to a pre-determined programme. The control device is equipped with a control panel 67 so that the user or the service person can operate the device.

The opened position of the cover is used to enter or exit the bathtub, or to use the bathtub for ordinary bath-taking procedures. When the bath is not used, the cover of the device can be kept in the closed position for compact, aesthetic appearance.

It is obvious for the person skilled in the art that the scope of protection of the invention described in the claim is not limited to the above specified embodiments, but also extends to solutions which differ from the specifications by features unessential to the nature of the invention. For example, the coupling device may be a rod perpendicular (at right angles to) to the covering of the electronic device and accessory, around which the accessory can be turned into closed or open position. The accessory can be attached to an electronic device by means of parallel rails so that the accessory can be shifted between the open and closed position in the direction of the longitudinal or transversal axis of the device.





 
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