Title:
Body sensing switch and warning system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Body sensing switch and warning system with a resilient cushion and right and left vertical supports rising above the top of the cushion on either side of the cushion. An inwardly facing light beam transmitter is located on the top portion of one vertical support and an inwardly facing light beam sensor is located on the top portion of the other vertical support. When a person sits on the cushion, the light beam is broken, telling a microprocessor that a person is sitting on the cushion. When the person gets up from the cushion, the light beam is unbroken, thereby triggering a pre-recorded message telling the person to sit down. Also an alert is transmitted to a remote receiver carried by a care giver, telling the care giver that the person has gotten up from the chair.



Inventors:
Tingley, Gloria J. (Camino, CA, US)
Secondo, Arlyne A. (Camino, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/231264
Publication Date:
03/04/2010
Filing Date:
09/02/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GLORIA J. TINGLEY (1718 COPPERTON RD., CAMINO, CA, 95709, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Body sensing switch and warning system comprising: a resilient cushion; a resilient over-cushion a fabric cushion cover; a rigid cushion bottom tray; a right vertical structural arm; a left vertical structural arm; a horizontal structural support bar; a left vertical housing; a right vertical housing; a light beam transmitter; a light beam sensor sensor; an RF transmitter device a printed circuit board and associated standard electronic components; an electronics housing; a portable power supply; a power supply input jack; a wall pack transformer and attached power cord; a digital audio recorder and playback circuit; a speaker; a micro-processor for processing said transmitting, audio and infra-red signals; a piezo beeper; a power on-off switch; a receiver on off switch; a receiver reset switch; an RF receiver circuit; a micro-processor and standard electronics for processing said RF receiver signal a power supply for said receiver circuit; a power indicating LED for said receiver circuit; and a portable receiver housing; said right structural arm perpendicularly attached to the said right end of said horizontal support bar and covered by said right vertical housing; said left structural arm perpendicularly attached to the said left end of said horizontal support member and covered by said left vertical housing; said light beam transmitter attached to the upper portion of said left structural arm so that it faces said light beam sensor; said light beam sensor attached to the upper portion of said right structural arm so that it faces said light beam transmitter; said horizontal structural bar residing under said cushion; said horizontal structural bar residing on top of said cushion bottom tray; said cushion residing on top of said horizontal structural bar; said right and left structural arms rising above the level of the top of said cushion; said RF transmitter circuit, said portable power supply, said printed circuit board and associated electronics all residing in said electronics housing located within a centrally located within a hollowed out portion of said cushion and fastened to said horizontal structural member; said electronics housing covered by said over-cushion; said power on-off switch and said power supply jack fastened to one said vertical support arm; said speaker attached to one said vertical support arm; said fabric cushion cover surrounding said cushion and said over-cushion; said RF receiving electronics, said piezo beeper, said on-off switch, said receiver reset switch and power supply residing in said portable receiver housing; so that when a person sits on said cushion and the present invention is turned on by said power switch, a beam created by said light beam transmitter is broken by the body of said person thereby telling said light beam sensor and associated said micro-processor that a person is sitting on said cushion; and when said person gets up from said cushion, said light beam is unbroken, telling the said micro-processor that the user is no longer sitting on said cushion at which time said RF transmitter sends a signal to said RF receiver which is being carried remotely by a care giver and said peizo beeper within said RF receiver housing is activated thereby signaling the said care giver that said person has gotten up from said cushion; said care giver can then turn off said beeper by pressing said reset switch located on said receiver housing; and a pre-recorded digital message stored in said audio circuit is sent to said speaker audibly asking said person who has just gotten up from said cushion to sit back down.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of Alzheimer patient care devices and more specifically to a body sensing switch and warning system.

The prior art includes the following patents:

  • Silver U.S. Pat. No. 2,359,254, Gault U.S. Pat. No. 4,242,672, Hamilton U.S. Pat. No. 4,538,142, Tingley U.S. Pat. No. 6,255,956, All the prior art patents require the use of a switch that is either mechanically activated or air activated. Both of these methods provide certain deficiencies. If a person does not sit squarely on a seat, a mechanical switch may not activate. If a switch is an air sensor type, any leak in the cushion or tubing leading to the cushion can cause the unit to fail.

There is therefore, a need for a more reliable method of switch activation for a seat cushion designed to alert a care giver when a person has gotten up from his or her seat.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is to provide a body sensing cushion system that detects whether on not a person is seated on a cushion.

Another object of the invention is to provide a body sensing cushion system that sends a signal to a care giver when a person gets up from the body sensing cushion.

Another object of the invention is to provide a body sensing cushion system that automatically plays a pre-recorded message when a person gets up from the body sensing cushion.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed a body sensing switch and warning system comprising: a resilient cushion, a resilient over-cushion a fabric cushion cover, a rigid cushion bottom tray, a right vertical structural arm, a left vertical structural arm, a horizontal structural support bar, a left vertical housing, a right vertical housing, an infra-red transmitter, an infra-red sensor, an RF transmitter device a printed circuit board and associated standard electronic components, an electronics housing, a portable power supply, a power supply input jack, a wall pack transformer and attached power cord, a digital audio recorder and playback circuit, a speaker, a micro-processor for processing said transmitting, audio and infra-red signals, a piezo beeper, a power on-off switch, a receiver on off switch, a receiver reset switch, an RF receiver circuit, a micro-processor and standard electronics for processing said RF receiver signal a power supply for said receiver circuit, a power indicating LED for said receiver circuit, and a portable receiver housing, said right structural arm perpendicularly attached to the said right end of said horizontal support bar and covered by said right vertical housing, said left structural arm perpendicularly attached to the said left end of said horizontal support bar and covered by said left vertical housing, said infra-red transmitter attached to the upper portion of said left structural arm so that it faces said infra-red receiver, said infra-red receiver attached to the upper portion of said right structural arm so that it faces said infra-red transmitter, said horizontal structural bar residing under said cushion, said horizontal structural bar residing on top of said cushion bottom tray, said cushion residing on top of said horizontal structural bar, said right and left structural arms rising above the level of the top of said cushion, said RF transmitter circuit, said portable power supply, said printed circuit board and associated electronics all residing in said electronics housing centrally located within a hollowed out portion of said cushion and fastened to said horizontal structural member, said electronics housing covered by said over-cushion, said power on-off switch and said power supply jack fastened to one said vertical support arm, said speaker attached to one said vertical support arm, said fabric cushion cover surrounding said resilient cushion and said over-cushion, said RF receiving electronics, said piezo beeper, said on-off switch, said receiver reset switch and said power supply residing in said portable receiver housing, so that when a person sits on said cushion and the present invention is turned on by said power switch, a beam created by said infra-red transmitter is broken by the body of said person thereby telling said infra-red receiver and associated said micro-processor that a person is sitting on said cushion, and when said person gets up from said cushion, said infra-red beam is unbroken, telling the said micro-processor that the user is no longer sitting on said cushion at which time said RF transmitter sends a signal to said RF receiver which is being carried by a care giver and said peizo beeper within said receiver housing is activated thereby signaling to said care giver that said person has gotten up from said cushion, said care giver can then turn off said beeper by pressing said reset switch located on said receiver housing, and a pre-recorded digital message stored in said audio circuit is sent to said speaker audibly asking said person who has just gotten up from said cushion to sit back down.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention with a person sitting on the seat cushion.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the invention with a person getting up from the seat cushion.

FIG. 3 is a front section view of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the structural frame of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the invention in place on a chair.

FIG. 6 is a left side view of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a right side view of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a top view of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the portable RF receiver of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram of the electronic circuit of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

Referring now to FIG. 1 we see a perspective view of a person 2 sitting on the body detecting seat cushion 100 of the present invention which is in turn placed on a standard chair 4. Raised housings 6, 8 shown in FIG. 2 contain an an infra-red transmitter and receiver. The infra-red beam 12 is broken when a person 2 is sitting on the cushion and unbroken when the person 2 gets up from the chair 4. An infra-red light source was chosen in the preferred embodiment because if another light source was used that is in the visible spectrum, the beam receiving device may be triggered accidentally when an ambient light of a similar frequency strikes the beam receiver. However, it should be noted that other types of light beams may be used. Electronics, including a microprocessor and other standard components, within a housing 24 shown in FIG. 3 process the information regarding the status of the infra-red beam and do two things. First, a prerecorded audio message 26B stored within the housing 24 plays and tells the person 2 to sit back down in the chair. Second, an RF transmitter 26A also located within housing 24 sends a signal to an RF receiver 91 located in a portable housing 90 as shown in FIG. 9. A piezo beeper 93 located in the housing 90 alerts a care giver who is wearing the housing 90 that the person 2 has gotten up from his or her chair.

FIG. 3 shows a section view of the invention 100 as defined by section line 60 shown in FIG. 8. A rigid molded plastic base tray 14 supports a horizontal structural bar 16. The structural bar 16 terminates at each end in vertical support arms 18, 20. An infra-red transmitter 42 is located on one vertical support arm 18 and a, infra-red receiver 44 is located on the other vertical support arm 20. The infra-red transmitter sends out a beam 12 that is located approximately four inches above the height of the top of the seat cushion cover 52. Each vertical support arm 18, 20 is covered by a rigid support arm cover 8, 6. Support cover 8 has an aperture 46 that allows beam 12 to exit the housing 8. Support cover 6 has an aperture 48 that allows the beam 12 to enter the housing 6 and strike the receiver 44. The electronics described above are located in housing 24. The housing also encloses a battery power supply 28. The user can choose to power the device 100 by a wall pack transformer, not shown, that can by plugged into input jack 34. The user turns on the power 28 by pressing on-off switch 36. When the power is on an LED indicator 38 becomes illuminated letting the care giver know that the unit is on. When a person gets up from the device 100, the infra-red beam 12 becomes unbroken. This action causes a prerecorded message 26B to be broadcast from speaker 32. The sound passes through apertures 50 located in the side wall of support cover 8. Resilient foam cushion 22 includes a hollow area that allows electronic housing 24 to centrally reside. A gel type cushion 40 is located just above housing 24 so that a person sitting on the cushion cover 52 will not feel the hardness of the top of the housing 24.

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of the base tray 14 with horizontal support bar 16 fixed in place and electronic housing 24 fixed in place centrally on top of support bar 16. infra-red transmitter 42 and receiver 44 can be clearly seen, as can speaker 32.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the invention 100 with cushion cover 52 in place.

FIG. 6 shows a side view of the invention 100 where vertical support cover 8 can be clearly seen as well as speaker apertures 50.

FIG. 7 shows an opposite side view of the invention where vertical support cover 6 can be clearly seen, as well as LED indictor 38, on off switch 36 and wall pack adaptor jack 34.

FIG. 8 shows a top view of the invention 100

FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of the receiver housing 90. A belt clip 98 helps hold the housing 90 onto a care giver's belt. The receiving unit is turned on by on off switch 96. When a person 2 gets up from the body detecting seat cushion 100 an LED 94 flashes and a piezo beeper 93 located within the housing 90 sounds a warning to the care giver that the person 2 has gotten up from his or her chair. After the care giver hears the alarm generated by beeper 93, he or she can turn off the alarm by pressing the reset button 92.

FIG. 10 shows a block diagram of the invention. Infra-red transmitter 42 emits beam 12 which is received by detector 44. The condition of the beam 12, either broken or unbroken is sent by electrical wires to the electronics that process the beam condition 26. These electronics 26, located within housing 24, include a standard microprocessor and other standard electronics mounted on a printed circuit board as well as a portable power supply. When the beam 12 becomes unbroken the alert transmitter 26A sends a signal to the alert receiver 91 and piezo beeper 93 located in remote housing 90. The piezo beeper 93 tells the care giver wearing housing 24 that the person who was sitting on the seat cushion surface 52 has gotten up. Simultaneously, a digital recordable message 26B, also located within housing 24 sends a signal by wire to speaker 32 which talks to the person who has just gotten up from the chair and asks him or her to please sit back down.

Obviously, the present invention 100 can be used for other purposes other than keeping track of Alzheimer patients, such as when a child needs to take a time out and is told to sit on the invention 100 so that a parent or other care giver can go on with their activity and still know that the child is sitting on the invention 100.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.





 
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