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Title:
PORTABLE SHELTER HAVING CANOPY WITH SKYLIGHT
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A portable shelter includes a frame assembly and a canopy that is supported by the frame assembly. The canopy includes a transparent skylight.


Inventors:
Lin, Tseng Hsiang (Kuala Lumpur, MY)
Adams, Craig B. (Portland, OR, US)
Application Number:
13/051721
Publication Date:
03/22/2012
Filing Date:
03/18/2011
Assignee:
YJIP, Inc. (Addison, TX, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/115
International Classes:
E04H15/54; E04H15/34; E04H15/58
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050236027Portable shelter for golfersOctober, 2005Goldwitz
20020078985MIST-PRODUCING UMBRELLA DEVICEJune, 2002Farr
20040200516Engaging structure of an auto-umbrellaOctober, 2004Ko
20090283121Umbrella structure capable of producing cool windNovember, 2009Chu
20070056615Umbrella having reinforced connecting structureMarch, 2007Lai
20080121259Systems And Methods For Assisting A Seated Person To A Standing PositionMay, 2008Weaver
20030094189Multi-functional umbrella holderMay, 2003Ko
20090032077Cane with attachmentsFebruary, 2009Hines
20070251559Walking stick having multiple functionsNovember, 2007Yu
20080105290Upper TentMay, 2008Ahn
20050056308Indoor canopyMarch, 2005Birchenough
Foreign References:
JP2000279035A2000-10-10
EP10928242001-04-18
FR2732387A11996-10-04
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable shelter comprising: a frame assembly; and a canopy that is supported by the frame assembly, the canopy including a transparent skylight.

2. The portable shelter of claim 1, wherein the canopy is supported by the frame assembly to define an apex portion of the canopy, and wherein the transparent skylight is at least partially disposed at the apex portion.

3. The portable shelter of claim 2, wherein the apex portion has an longitudinal length, and wherein the transparent skylight extends along an entirety of the longitudinal length of the apex portion of the canopy.

4. The portable shelter of claim 3, wherein the canopy includes a plurality of walls, wherein at least two of the walls are opposite each other and face each other, wherein the apex portion extends between the at least two walls, wherein the longitudinal length of the apex portion is defined by a distance between the at least two walls.

5. The portable shelter of claim 1, wherein the skylight is polarized.

6. The portable shelter of claim 1, wherein the canopy includes a plurality of walls and a roof portion that extends between the walls, wherein the skylight is included on the roof portion.

7. The portable shelter of claim 6, wherein the roof portion includes a first roof portion and a second roof portion that are joined together at an apex, wherein the first roof portion and the second roof portion each slope downward away from the apex, wherein the skylight is included on both the first roof portion and the second roof portion.

8. The portable shelter of claim 6, wherein at least one of the plurality of walls includes a doorway.

9. The portable shelter of claim 6, wherein at least one of the plurality of walls includes a window.

10. The portable shelter of claim 9, wherein the window is covered by a transparent sheet.

11. The portable shelter of claim 1, wherein the skylight is made of a flexible sheet of material.

12. The portable shelter of claim 11, wherein the skylight is made out of vinyl.

13. A canopy for a portable shelter, the canopy operable to be supported by a frame assembly of the portable shelter, the canopy comprising: a plurality of walls; and a roof portion that is operably coupled to the plurality of walls, the roof portion including a transparent skylight.

14. The canopy of claim 13, wherein the skylight is polarized.

15. The canopy of claim 13, wherein the skylight is made of a flexible sheet of material.

16. The canopy of claim 15, wherein the skylight is made out of vinyl.

17. A portable shelter comprising: a frame assembly; and a canopy that is supported by the frame assembly, the canopy including a plurality of walls, a first roof portion, and a second roof portion, the first and second roof portions joined together at an apex of the shelter and sloping generally downward from the apex, the apex having a longitudinal length defined between at least two opposing ones of the plurality of walls, the canopy further including a transparent skylight made of a flexible sheet of material, the skylight extending along an entirety of the longitudinal length of the apex, the skylight included on both the first and second roof portions.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/315,165, filed on Mar. 18, 2010. The entire disclosure of the above application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to a portable shelter and, more particularly, relates to a portable shelter having a canopy with a skylight.

BACKGROUND

Portable shelters have been proposed for conveniently providing shade from the sun, for providing shelter from inclement weather, and the like. These shelters can include a self-supporting frame and a tarp, canvas, or other foldable roof or canopy that is coupled to and supported by the frame. The frame can be assembled in an expanded state with the canopy unfolded, unfurled, or otherwise extended such that the canopy provides shelter. The frame can also be disassembled, collapsed, or otherwise retracted to make the shelter more compact and portable.

Although conventional portable shelters have been adequate for the intended purposes, they do suffer from certain disadvantages. For instance, the canopy is typically made of an opaque material, such as canvas, polymeric sheeting, etc. As such, areas inside the structure, and especially the upper interior portions of the structure, may be poorly lit, which can detrimentally affect the aesthetics of the structure and/or inhibit certain activities within the structure.

SUMMARY

A portable shelter is disclosed that includes a frame assembly and a canopy that is supported by the frame assembly. The canopy includes a transparent skylight.

A canopy for a portable shelter is also disclosed. The canopy is operable to be supported by a frame assembly of the portable shelter. The canopy includes a plurality of walls and a roof portion that is operably coupled to the plurality of walls. The roof portion includes a transparent skylight.

Moreover, a portable shelter is disclosed. The portable shelter includes a frame assembly and a canopy that is supported by the frame assembly. The canopy includes a plurality of walls, a first roof portion, and a second roof portion. The first and second roof portions are joined together at an apex of the shelter and slope generally downward from the apex. The apex has a longitudinal length defined between at least two opposing ones of the plurality of walls. The canopy further includes a transparent skylight made of a flexible sheet of material. The skylight extends along an entirety of the longitudinal length of the apex, and the skylight included on both the first and second roof portions.

This section provides a general summary of the disclosure, and is not a comprehensive disclosure of its full scope or all of its features. Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. The description and specific examples in this summary are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustrative purposes only of selected embodiments and not all possible implementations, and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a portable structure according to various exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of an interior of the portable structure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the portable structure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the portable structure of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is an end view of the portable structure of FIG. 1; and

Corresponding reference numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Example embodiments will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Referring to FIG. 1, a portable structure 10 is illustrated according to various exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure. The portable structure 10 generally includes a frame assembly 12 (FIG. 2) and a canopy 14. The frame assembly 12 can support the canopy 14. For instance, the frame assembly 12 can extend along inner surfaces of the canopy 14 to maintain the canopy 14 deployed and unfurled. Portions of the frame assembly 12 can also be received within pockets, loops, or other similar features of the canopy 14 such that the canopy 14 is secured to the frame assembly 12. The canopy 14 can extend about an exterior of the frame assembly 12, and the frame assembly 12 can support the canopy 14 above the ground to define an interior space 15 of the structure 10. Accordingly, the canopy 14 can provide shade, shelter from the elements, and the like.

As shown in FIG. 2, the frame assembly 12 can include a plurality of legs 16. The legs 16 can be generally elongate, hollow and tubular and can be made out of any suitable material, such as metal. In some embodiments, the legs 16 are made out of aluminum, steel, or the like. Each leg 16 can include multiple sections that are moveably and/or removably attached. Also, each leg 16 can include multiple portions that are telescopingly connected such that the length of the respective leg 16 can be changed. It will be appreciated that the structure 10 can include any number of legs 16.

Moreover, as shown in FIG. 2, the frame assembly 12 can include a plurality of joists 17, rafters 19, and a cross beam 21, each of which can be of a similar construction to the legs 16. The joists 17 extend across and are attached (e.g., fixedly attached) to top ends of respective legs 16 of the frame assembly 12. The joists 17 can extend generally parallel to the ground and can be supported above the ground by the legs 16. Also, the rafters 19 can be attached (e.g., fixedly attached) to and angled upward at an obtuse angle from respective legs 16. Pairs of rafters 19 are attached (e.g., fixedly attached) together at an apex 23 of the structure 10. The cross beam 21 can extend horizontally along the apex 23 of the structure and can be attached (e.g., fixedly attached) to each of the pairs of rafters 19.

In the embodiment shown, the frame assembly 12 is arranged such that the structure 10 has a generally rectangular footprint with a sloped roof (e.g., an A-frame type roof). However, it will be appreciated that the frame assembly 12 could be arranged in any other suitable manner (e.g., an octogonal shape, a hexagonal shape, ovate shape, and the like) without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

As mentioned above, the joists 17, rafters 19, and cross beam 21 can be substantially rigid. However, in other embodiments, the joists 17, rafters 19, and/or cross beam 21 can be resiliently flexible. For instance, in some embodiments, the joists 17, rafters 19, and/or cross beam 21 can be constructed according to U.S. Pat. No. 6,450,187, issued Sep. 17, 2002, to Lin et al. As such, the joists 17, rafters 19, and/or cross beam 21 can resiliently flex, for instance, due to gusts of wind, etc., and can resiliently recover to their neutral position (shown in the FIGS. 1-5).

Moreover, the frame assembly 12 can include fasteners, couplings, or other suitable members for assembling the frame assembly 12. For instance, the frame assembly 12 can include nuts and bolts, pins (e.g., quick-connect pins), detents, hinge joints, ball and socket joints, tubular couplings, or any other suitable components for this purpose. Thus, the frame assembly 12 can be quickly assembled and stood upright to support the canopy 14. Also, once the frame assembly 12 is upright, the frame assembly 12 can be relatively light to allow users to move the frame assembly 12 if necessary. Moreover, the frame assembly can be quickly and easily disassembled such that the structure 10 is even more portable and compact.

Furthermore, in some embodiments, the frame assembly 12 can be constructed according to co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/401,213, filed Mar. 10, 2009 and/or U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/158,921, filed Mar. 10, 2009, each of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety. Thus, the frame assembly 12 can include a plurality of hinges, pivot joints, or other rotational joints that rotatably or hingeably connect separate members of the frame assembly 12. Accordingly, the frame assembly 12 can be retractable (i.e., collapsible) to move between an extended and a retracted configuration easily. When in the extended configuration, the frame assembly 12 can appear as shown in FIGS. 1-5. In the retracted configuration, the frame assembly 12 can collapse such that the legs 16, joists 17, rafters 19, and/or cross beam 21 rotate, bend, fold, telecopingly collapse, or otherwise move toward each other such that the frame assembly 12 becomes substantially more compact than in the extended configuration. Accordingly, the structure 10 can be quickly and easily deployed for providing shelter and can be quickly and easily retracted for increased portability and/or storage.

The canopy 14 will now be discussed in detail. The canopy 14 can be made out of any suitable material, such as canvas, polymeric material (e.g., polyethylene), and the like. The canopy 14 can include a plurality of foldable, sheet-like portions that are attached together. For instance, the canopy 14 can include a roof portion 30 and a plurality of wall portions 32 that extend downward generally toward the ground from the roof portion 30. The wall portions 32 can include longer walls 70a, 70b and shorter walls 72a, 72b (see FIGS. 1 and 2). The longer walls 70a, 70b can be opposite each other and can face each other, and the shorter walls 72a, 72b can be opposite each other and can face each other. The shorter walls 72a, 72b can extend between the longer walls 70a, 70b. The shorter walls 72a, 72b can be substantially perpendicular to the ground, and the longer walls 70a, 70b can be disposed at an acute angle relative to the ground. The roof portion 30 can include a first roof portion 74a, and a second roof portion 74b. The first and second roof portions 74a, 74b can be disposed at any angle relative to each other. For instance, the first and second roof portions 74a, 74b can be joined together at an apex 23, and the roof portions 74a, 74b can slope generally downward from the apex 23. Also, the roof portions 74a, 74b can extend longitudinally between the shorter walls 72a, 72b. The roof portions 74a, 74b and the walls 70a, 70b, 72a, 72b can be attached in any suitable fashion, such as stitching, removable fasteners, and the like. Also, the canopy 14 can be constructed to continuously cover any suitable portion of the frame assembly 12.

As shown in FIG. 1, the canopy 14 can include one or more doorways 39. Each of the longer walls 70a, 70b can include a respective doorway 39, and the doorways 39 can be centered on the respective walls 70a, 70b. Also, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the wall portions 32 can include one or more windows 40. The windows 40 can be openings through the walls portions 32, or the windows 40 can be covered by a transparent sheet of material, such as clear vinyl sheeting. In some embodiments, each of the longer walls 70a, 70b can include two windows 40, which are spaced apart longitudinally.

The windows 40 can be selectively covered by shutter members 42 as shown in FIG. 2. The shutters 42 can be flaps of material that extend from an inner surface of the respective wall portion 32. Thus, the shutters 42 can be folded away from the respective window 40, as shown, to allow light to transmit through the window 40, and the window 40 can be selectively layered over the respective window 40 to block light through the window 40.

Still further, one or more of the wall portions 32 can include a selectively retractable flap 50a, 50b. More specifically, as shown in FIG. 1, the shorter wall 72b can include one or more flaps 50a, 50b. Although not shown, the opposing shorter wall 72a can similarly include retractable flaps 50a, 50b. As shown in FIG. 1, the flap 50a can be secured to the longer wall 70b. Also, as shown in FIG. 2, the shorter wall 72b can include a second flap 50b that is similarly secured to longer wall 70a. Both flaps 50a, 50b can hang vertically when retracted as shown in FIG. 1. Also, in the extended position, both flaps 50a, 50b can come together to fully deploy the shorter wall 72b. Thus, the flaps 50a, 50b can be selectively moved between the extended position to more fully enclose the interior space 15 (FIG. 2) and the retracted position to provide wider access into and out of the interior space 15 (FIG. 1). Accordingly, the structure 10 can be highly configurable according to the user's desires.

Additionally, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the structure 10 can include a skylight 60. The skylight 60 can be made out of a flexible, transparent material, such as sheeting of clear vinyl. The skylight 60 could also include a transparent, polarized material.

The skylight 60 can have any suitable shape and can have any suitable position on the roof portion 30 of the canopy 14. For instance, as shown in FIGS. 1-5, the skylight 60 can be an elongate strip of material with a substantially straight longitudinal axis. The skylight 60 can extend along the entire length of the structure 10, between the shorter walls 72a, 72b. The skylight 60 can be substantially centered on the cross beam 21 so as to define a portion of both the roof portions 74a, 74b.

The skylight 60 can be attached to the canopy 14 in any suitable fashion. For instance, the roof portions 74a, 74b and shorter walls 74a, 74b can define an elongate, four-sided opening 62, and the skylight 60 can extend across and cover the opening 62. The skylight 60 can be fixedly coupled to the roof portion 30, along the periphery of the skylight 60. For instance, the skylight 60 can be stitched, hot melted, or otherwise fixed to the roof portion 30 in this fashion.

The skylight 60 can extend over the cross beam 21 along substantially the entire longitudinal length of the apex 23 of the structure 10, between the shorter walls 72a, 72b. Thus, the skylight 60 can extend straight across the highest portion of the structure 10. At this position, it is very likely that sunlight will be able to enter the structure 10 regardless of the orientation of the sun relative to the structure 10, and the interior space 15 is likely to be illuminated. However, the skylight 60 could be located in any suitable location on the structure 10. For instance, the skylight 60 can be located anywhere on the roof portion 30 of the canopy 14.

Thus, the skylight 60 can provide a significant light into the interior space 15 of the structure 10. As such, the skylight 60 can greatly increase the aesthetics within the structure 10. Furthermore, activities within the structure 10 are more likely to be well lit because of the skylight 60, thereby increasing the usefulness of the structure 10.

The foregoing description of the embodiments has been provided for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure. Individual elements or features of a particular embodiment are generally not limited to that particular embodiment, but, where applicable, are interchangeable and can be used in a selected embodiment, even if not specifically shown or described. The same may also be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the disclosure, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the disclosure.