Title:
Portable Workstation for Exercise Machine
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A portable workstation for an exercise machine is described, the workstation comprising a desktop resting on a handlebar system of an exercise machine. The desktop comprises two or more pairs of support strap slots positioned over corresponding portions of the handlebar system. Each pair of the support strap slots are configured to receive a support strap which passes through each pair of support strap slots and around the corresponding portions of the handlebar system. The desktop comprises a support structure coupled underneath the desktop, wherein the support structure absorbs vibrations from the handlebar system and adjusts the height and angle of the desktop relative to the handlebar system. The portable workstation further comprises a pair of support brackets positioned at the back of the desktop, wherein the support brackets support a device above the desktop.


Inventors:
Mccabe, Laurie (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
14/027958
Publication Date:
03/20/2014
Filing Date:
09/16/2013
Assignee:
MCCABE LAURIE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/42, 108/6
International Classes:
A47B57/04; A47B13/00; A47B57/30
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable workstation for an exercise machine, comprising: a desktop configured to rest of top of a handlebar system of an exercise machine, the desktop comprising; a first pair of support strap slots positioned over a first portion of the handlebar system; a second pair of support strap slots positioned over a second portion of the handlebar system; a first support strap configured to pass through the first pair of support strap slots and couple the first portion of the handlebar system to the desktop; and a second support strap configured to pass through the second pair of support strap slots and couple the second portion of the handlebar system to the desktop.

2. The portable workstation of claim 1, wherein the desktop further comprises a support structure coupled underneath the desktop, the support structure configured to absorb vibrations from the handlebar system when the exercise machine is in use, wherein the support structure has a plurality of support strap slots positioned under the top of the first pair of support strap slots and the second pair of support strap slots.

3. The portable workstation of claim 2, wherein the support structure comprises one or more inflatable membranes configured to adjust the height and angle of the desktop relative to the handlebar system.

4. The portable workstation of claim 2, wherein the support structure comprises one or more removeable absorption layers configured to adjust the height and angle of the desktop relative to the handlebar system.

5. The portable workstation of claim 1, further comprising a first support bracket configured to couple to the back of the portable workstation, the first support bracket comprising: a vertical brace; a horizontal top brace coupled to the vertical brace, wherein the horizontal top brace is positioned on top of the portable workstation; a horizontal bottom brace coupled to the vertical brace, wherein the horizontal bottom brace is positioned underneath the portable workstation, wherein a vertical distance between the horizontal top brace and the horizontal bottom brace is substantially similar to the height of the portable workstation; and a support arm coupled to an upper portion of the vertical brace, wherein the support arm is positioned above the surface of the portable workstation.

6. The first support bracket of claim 5, wherein the support arm has a frictioned surface to prevent a device resting on the support arm from shifting.

7. The first support bracket of claim 5, wherein the support arm comprises a support lip coupled to the support arm, the support lip is configured to prevent a device from sliding off the support arm.

8. The first support bracket of claim 5, further comprising a hinge positioned between the vertical brace and the support arm, wherein the hinge is configured to provide angular adjustments to the support arm relative to the surface of the desktop.

9. The first support bracket of claim 5, wherein the vertical brace is configured with a rail system whereby the horizontal top brace and the horizontal bottom brace can vertically slide along the rail system to accept portable workstations of different heights.

10. The first support bracket of claim 5, wherein the horizontal top brace has a top locking screw, wherein the top locking screw presses the horizontal top brace against the vertical brace to prevent slippage, wherein the horizontal bottom brace has a bottom locking screw, wherein the bottom locking screw presses the horizontal bottom brace against the vertical brace to prevent slippage.

11. The portable workstation of claim 5, further comprising a second support bracket configured to couple to the back of the portable workstation, wherein the first support bracket and the second support bracket are configured to move along the rear edge of the desktop at varying distances whereby a device may rest on the surface of the first support bracket and the second support bracket.

12. The portable workstation of claim 1, wherein the desktop further comprises a collapsible hinge configured to couple a left half of the desktop to a right half of the desktop, wherein the collapsible hinge is configured so the desktop can fold in half along the collapsible hinge.

13. The portable workstation of claim 12, further comprising: a rail system having a left rail and a right rail, wherein the left rail couples underneath the desktop and parallel to the hinge, wherein the right rail couples underneath the desktop and parallel to the hinge; and wherein the rail system is further configured to receive a rail support bar positioned within the rail system.

14. The portable workstation of claim 1, further comprising a power hub coupled to the desktop, wherein the power hub provides electrical power to one or more devices.

15. The portable workstation of claim 1, wherein the desktop further comprises: a hinge configured to couple a first half of the desktop to a second half of the desktop, wherein the desktop folds in half along the hinge; a rail system positioned underneath the desktop and along the hinge; and and a rail support beam configured to fit within the rail system, wherein the rail support beam provides support to the desktop when weight is applied to the desktop.

16. A portable workstation for an exercise machine, comprising: a desktop configured to rest of top of a handlebar system of an exercise machine, the desktop comprising; a plurality of pairs of support strap slots positioned over a plurality of quadrants of the handlebar system, wherein the plurality of pairs of support strap slots are configured to receive a support strap which passes through one of the plurality of pairs of support strap slots and around one of the quadrants of the handlebar system, wherein the support strap couples the desktop to the handlebar system; a plurality of support leg slots configured to receive a plurality of support legs; and a tabletop positioned over the desktop, wherein the tabletop comprises a plurality of support legs coupled underneath the tabletop, wherein the plurality of support legs are configured to fit within the plurality of support leg slots.

17. The portable workstation of claim 16, wherein the desktop has a plurality of support rods configured to fit within a groove on each of the plurality support legs, wherein the plurality of support rods maintain the tabletop in a fixed vertical position.

18. The portable workstation of claim 16, wherein the tabletop further comprises: a kickstand configured to support media or a device at an angled position, wherein the kickstand's angle is adjustable by moving the kickstand across the surface of the tabletop.

19. The portable workstation of claim 16, further comprising an angled surface configured to couple to the desktop via a support hinge, wherein the angled surface further comprises a pair of angled support strap slots positioned over an angled handbar of the exercise machine, the pair of angled support strap slots configured to receive an angled support strap.

20. The portable workstation of claim 19, wherein the desktop further comprises a desktop support structure coupled underneath the desktop, the desktop support structure configured to absorb vibrations from the handlebar system when the exercise machine is in use, wherein the desktop the support structure comprises one or more removeable absorption layers configured to adjust the height and angle of the desktop relative to the handlebar system; and wherein the angled surface further comprises an angled support structure coupled behind the angled surface, the angled support structure configured to absorb vibrations from the angled handlebar when the exercise machine is in use, wherein the angled support structure comprises one or more inflatable membranes configured to adjust the position of the angled surface relative to the angled handlebar.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/701,586 filed 14 Sep. 2012, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/749,801 filed 7 Jan. 2013.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A portable workstation for an exercise machine, comprising a desktop configured to rest of top of a handlebar system of an exercise machine. The desktop comprises a first pair of support strap slots positioned over a first portion of the handlebar system. The desktop further comprises a second pair of support strap slots positioned over a second portion of the handlebar system. The desktop further comprises a first support strap configured to pass through the first pair of support strap slots and couple the first portion of the handlebar system to the desktop and a second support strap configured to pass through the second pair of support strap slots and couple the second portion of the handlebar system to the desktop.

In one embodiment, the portable workstation further comprises a first support bracket configured to couple to the back of the portable workstation. The first support bracket comprises a vertical brace and a horizontal top brace coupled to the vertical brace, wherein the horizontal top brace is positioned on top of the portable workstation. The first support bracket further comprises a horizontal bottom brace coupled to the vertical brace, wherein the horizontal bottom brace is positioned underneath the portable workstation, wherein a vertical distance between the horizontal top brace and the horizontal bottom brace is substantially similar to the height of the portable workstation. The first support bracket further comprises a support arm coupled to an upper portion of the vertical brace, wherein the support arm is positioned above the surface of the portable workstation.

In one embodiment, the portable workstation further comprises a support structure coupled underneath the desktop wherein the support structure is configured to absorb vibrations from the handlebar system when the exercise machine is in use. The support structure has a plurality of support strap slots positioned under the top of the first pair of support strap slots and the second pair of support strap slots.

In another embodiment is a portable workstation for an exercise machine, comprising a desktop configured to rest of top of a handlebar system of an exercise machine. The desktop comprises a plurality of pairs of support strap slots positioned over a plurality of quadrants of the handlebar system, wherein the plurality of pairs of support strap slots are configured to receive a support strap which passes through one of the plurality of pairs of support strap slots and around one of the quadrants of the handlebar system, wherein the support strap couples the desktop to the handlebar system. The desktop further comprises a plurality of support leg slots configured to receive a plurality of support legs.

The portable workstation further comprises a tabletop positioned over the desktop, wherein the tabletop comprises a plurality of support legs coupled underneath the tabletop, wherein the plurality of support legs are configured to fit within the plurality of support leg slots.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When using an exercise machine, such as a treadmill, stair climber, elliptical machine and others, it is beneficial if a user can multi-task by reading a book, using a laptop/tablet, or writing. Workspaces exist which allow a user to perform office tasks while using an exercise machine. However, current workspaces suffer from many limitations such as: cost, weight, limited footprint, problems with excessive vibrations and complexity, and the time required for installation. As such, a portable workspace is described that overcomes the limitations of existing devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following description, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without some of these specific details. For example, while various features are ascribed to particular implementations, it should be appreciated that the features described with respect to one implementation may be incorporated with other implementations as well. By the same token, however, no single feature or features of any described implementation should be considered essential to the invention, as other implementations of the invention may omit such features.

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a treadmill with handlebars.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation having a desktop and a tabletop.

FIG. 3 illustrates an overhead view of a portable workstation having a desktop and a tabletop.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a portable workstation having a desktop and a tabletop.

FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of a portable workstation having a desktop and a tabletop.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of a desktop platform.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a tabletop platform.

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation having a desktop and a tabletop.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation having a desktop and a tabletop.

FIG. 10 illustrates an underneath view of a tabletop.

FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of portable workstation having support brackets.

FIG. 12 illustrates a side view of portable workstation having support brackets.

FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of portable workstation having support brackets.

FIG. 14 illustrates an example of a stationary bike having a handlebar system.

FIG. 15 illustrates an example of a stationary bike having a portable desk coupled to a handlebar section.

FIG. 16 illustrates a perspective view of a portable desk configured for a stationary bike.

FIG. 17 illustrates a side view of a stationary bike having an angled portable desk system.

FIG. 18 illustrates a side view of a stationary bike having a linear portable desk system.

FIG. 19A illustrates a top view of a portable desk configured for a stationary bike.

FIG. 19B illustrates a front view of a portable desk configured for a stationary bike.

FIG. 19C illustrates a side view of a portable desk configured for a stationary bike.

FIG. 20A illustrates a top view of a portable desk configured for a stationary bike.

FIG. 20B illustrates a front view of a portable desk configured for a stationary bike.

FIG. 20C illustrates a side view of a portable desk configured for a stationary bike.

FIG. 21 illustrates an overhead view of a collapsible portable workstation having collapsing a hinge.

FIG. 22 illustrates a front view of a collapsible portable workstation having a collapsing hinge and a support beam.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a treadmill 100. In one embodiment, the treadmill 100 comprises a walking surface 110, base arms 120, treadmill controls 130, and handlebars 140. The base arms 120 support the treadmill's control panel and display 130 and the handlebars 140. A user may hold onto or lean against the handlebars 140 while walking or running on the walking surface 110. In one embodiment, a portable workstation (not shown) may affix to the handlebars 140 as a means of providing a surface for a user to work or read. In other words, a user may place a book, magazine, laptop, or tablet on the portable desk. Throughout the specification, the term “handlebars” refers to any type of arm, brace or bar of an exercise machine whereby a user holds onto, leans against, or receives support while using the exercise machine. The term “handlebar system” refers to all of the handlebars of an exercise machine. As such, a handlebar system may comprise one or more handlebars.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation 200 having a desktop 201 and a tabletop 202. The desktop 201 affixes to handlebars 210 of a treadmill via one or more attachment means. The portable workstation 200 is compatible with a variety of additional exercise devices with handlebars 210 such as an elliptical machine, a stair climber, and a stationary bike to name a few.

In one embodiment, the desktop 201 has a series of strap slots 209 for receiving support straps 207. In one embodiment, the strap slots 209 are cutouts in the desktop's surface positioned perpendicular to the front edge of the desktop 201. In one embodiment, there are four sections of strap slots 209. Two sections are placed towards the front and to the sides of the desktop surface. Two more sections are placed in the back and to the sides of the desktop surface as shown in FIG. 2. The strap slots 209 are positioned above the handlebars 210 of a treadmill. Multiple strap slots 209 may be used for each of the four sections to provide coverage for varying distances between a pair of handlebars 210 from different exercise machine types, models and manufacturers. In one embodiment, the distance between each section of the strap slots 209 may provide coverage for support arm distances between 20 and 36 inches. In other words, the distance between handlebars of a given exercise machine may vary dramatically.

Additionally, the length and width of the strap slots 209 may vary as well as the lateral or longitudinal distance between each strap slot 209. In one embodiment, the strap slots 209 may be 2.25″ long by 0.25″ wide. The longitudinal distance between each strap slot 209 may be 1″. The lateral distance between the front and back sections of strap slots 209 may be 4-5″. Additionally, each of the four sections may have six adjacent strap slots 209. One skilled in the art can appreciate that the exemplary dimensions and quantities of the strap slots 209 are merely examples and should not be construed as limiting. As such, other dimensions and quantities may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention.

In one embodiment, the desktop 201 is affixed to the handlebars 210 of a treadmill via four support straps 207. Each support strap 207 may be threaded through two adjacent strap slots 209 from each of the four strap slot sections. Each of the support straps 207 thread through two adjacent strap slots 209 and on each side of the accompanying handlebars 210 of a treadmill. Each end of the support strap 207 is fastened to each other from underneath or to the sides of the handlebars 210. Once the support straps 207 are fastened, the desktop 201 is non-permanently coupled to the handlebars 210 thus providing a stable desktop 201 for which a user may interact. In one embodiment, the support straps 207 are made from stretchable industrial strength cloth or fabric having VELCRO™ on each end. Other materials (rubber, silicon, leather, Para cord, wire, etc.) and connection means may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. In additional embodiments, buckles, ratchets, or snaps may be used to affix each end of a support strap 207 together.

In one embodiment, the desktop 201 may be wood, injection molded plastic, aluminum, steel, or other materials. Further, the desktop 201 may be solid or hollow. In one embodiment, the desktop 201 is 3/16″ thick, 36″ long and 12.5″ deep. However, other thicknesses and dimensions may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. In one embodiment, the top and/or bottom surfaces of the desktop 201 may be covered in a vibration dampening material such as foam (closed or open celled), rubber, lead, or silicon to name a few. The dampening material may be affixed to the desktop surfaces via glue, contact cement, caulking or other adhesives known by those skilled in the art. The thickness of the dampening material may vary depending on the desired amount of vibration dampening. Further, the coverage area of the dampening material may vary. In one embodiment, the dampening material may cover all surfaces of the desktop 201. In another embodiment, the dampening material may cover the desktop's top and bottom surfaces adjacent to the handlebars of the treadmill. One skilled in the art can appreciate that varying levels of coverage may be used, depending on desired amounts of vibration dampening.

In one embodiment, the tabletop 202 may couple to the desktop 201 via one or more support legs 208. In one embodiment, the tabletop 202 may be permanently coupled to the desktop 201. In another embodiment, the tabletop 202 may be temporarily coupled to the desktop 201 via one or more support slots (not shown) configured to receive the support legs 208. In one embodiment the height of the tabletop 202, relative to the desktop 201, may be fixed. For example, the support legs 208 may lock into support slots (not shown) via a latching mechanism. The tabletop 202 may have varying lengths of support legs. A user could select which support leg length they desire depending on the desired height of the tabletop 202 relative to the desktop 201.

In one embodiment the support legs 208 may be vertically adjusted to change the height of the tabletop 202 relative to the desktop 201. Each of the support legs 208 may slide up and down within a support slot (not shown.) An adjustment mechanism (not shown) may be used to hold each of the support legs 208 in place. A user may also adjust either the front or back support legs 208 to change the angle of the tabletop 202 relative to the desktop 201. For example, lowering the height of the front support legs 208 may angle the tabletop 202 forward, while increasing the height of the front support legs 208 may angle the tabletop 202 backward. Additionally, the rear support legs 208, may be adjusted to further manipulate the angle of the tabletop 202 relative to the desktop 201.

In another embodiment, an adjustable support ledge 204 may be positioned on the front of the tabletop 202 to prevent a book, laptop, tablet, etc. from sliding off the tabletop 202. For example, the support ledge 204 may raise above the surface of the desktop 101 to prevent a book or laptop from sliding off. When the support ledge 204 is not in use, it may retract below or flush with the surface of the tabletop 202. In one embodiment, ledge screws 206 may be tightened down to maintain the support ledge 204 at a desired position. Other mechanisms may be used to hold the support ledge 204 in place, such as VELCRO™, latches or brackets to name a few.

In another embodiment, the tabletop 202 may have an adjustable kickstand 205 configured for holding a book, magazine, or tablet at an angle above the tabletop's 202 surface. In other words, a book, magazine, or tablet may lean against the kickstand 205 for a desired viewing angle. The support ledge 204 further prevents the media from sliding off the tabletop 202. The kickstand 205 may be made from wood, aluminum, injection molded plastic or other materials. In one embodiment, a kickstand cutout 112 may be carved out of the tabletop's surface to allow the kickstand 205 to lay flush with the tabletop's surface when not in use. A user can lift the kickstand 205 out of the kickstand cutout 212 and position the kickstand 205 at a desired angle. The user can adjust the angle of the kickstand 205 by sliding it further or closer along the kickstand cutout 212. In other words, the further back the kickstand 205 is placed, the lower the angle relative to the tabletop's surface.

In one embodiment, the kickstand's position is maintained via the frictional characteristics of the bottom of the kickstand against the surface of the kickstand cutout 212. In other words, when a book, laptop or tablet is placed against the kickstand 205, the kickstand 205 will maintain its position due to the friction created between the kickstand 205 and the kickstand cutout 212. In another embodiment, a thumb screw or spring loaded downward pin may be used to hold the kickstand in place. For example, a pin or screw may protrude through the back of the kickstand. A user can tighten the pin or screw into the surface of the kickstand cutout 212 to maintain a desired angle.

In one embodiment, the tabletop 202 may be centered over the desktop 201. The tabletop 202 may have varying dimensions with respect to the desktop's dimensions. In one embodiment the tabletop's dimensions allow for a full-size laptop and external mouse to be placed on its surface. The tabletop 202 may be made from wood, injection molded plastic, aluminum, steel or other materials. In one embodiment, one or more of the tabletop's surfaces may be covered in a similar dampening material as used for the desktop 201. Such dampening materials are useful for absorbing and thus reducing vibrations generated from a user running on a treadmill, using a stair climber, riding a stationary bike, etc. Additionally, the surface of the dampening material may have frictional characteristics to grip a laptop, phone, book, mouse or other device placed on the tabletop 202.

FIG. 3 illustrates an overhead view of a portable workstation 300 having a desktop 301 and a tabletop 302. The portable workstation 300 rests on top of a pair of handlebars 310 as found on a treadmill or other exercise machines. In one embodiment, the desktop 301 is secured to the handlebars 310 via four support straps (not shown). Each support strap is threaded through a pair of adjacent strap slots 309, with the ends of each support strap affixed to each other from underneath or to the sides of the handlebars 310. The tabletop 302 includes support legs 308, support leg screws 315, a support ledge 304, support ledge screws 306, an adjustable kickstand 305, and a kickstand cutout 312. The vertical position of the tabletop 302 relative to the desktop 301 may be secured through support leg screws 315 that are tightened against the support legs (not shown). Additional mechanisms may be used to hold the support legs of the tabletop 302 in a desired vertical position. In one embodiment, the front edge of the desktop 301 and/or tabletop 302 may be inwardly curved to allow a user to stand closer to the portable workstation 300, than if the edge were straight.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a portable workstation 400 having a desktop 401 and a tabletop 402. The portable workstation 400 rests on a pair of handlebars 410 as found on a treadmill or other exercise machines. In one embodiment, the desktop 401 is secured to the handlebars 410 via four support straps 407. Each support strap is threaded through a pair of adjacent strap slots (not shown), with the ends of each support strap 407 affixable to each other. The tabletop 402 comprises support legs 408, support leg screws 415, ledge screws 406 and a support ledge 404. The support legs 408 can be seen protruding through the surface of the desktop 401. The support leg screws 415 may be tightened against the support legs 408 to maintain the support legs 408 at a desired vertical position.

FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of a tabletop 502. The tabletop 502 is shown with a support ledge 504, an adjustable kickstand 505, ledge screws 506, support legs 508, support leg screws 515, and a kickstand cutout 512. In one embodiment, the vertical position of the kickstand 505 is maintained by a kickstand screw 516 that may be tightened down against the surface of the kickstand cutout 512.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of a desktop 601 having support straps 607, strap slots 609, and four support slots 611 for receiving and securing support legs from a tabletop (not shown).

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a tabletop 702. The tabletop 702 is shown with a support ledge 704, an adjustable kickstand 705, ledge screws 706, support legs 708, and a kickstand cutout 712.

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation 800 having a desktop 801 and a tabletop 802. The portable workstation 800 further includes support brackets 808, and support slots 809. In this embodiment, the support legs described in FIGS. 2-7 are replaced with the support brackets 808. In one embodiment, a storage tray 813 is positioned underneath the tabletop 802, which may be accessible when the tabletop 802 is raised above the desktop 801. The storage tray 813 may slide out of or be completely removed from the desktop 802. In one embodiment, the underside of the tabletop 802 may be hollowed out, such that the storage tray 813 may fit within the tabletop 802 when the tabletop 802 is lowered onto the surface of the desktop 801.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation 900 having a desktop 901 and a tabletop 902. In this embodiment, the tabletop 902 lays flat on top of the surface of the desktop 901. Support brackets 908 are seen protruding through the desktop 901. In one embodiment, a storage tray (not shown) may be stored within a hollowed out portion of the tabletop 902.

FIG. 10 illustrates an underneath view of a portable workstation 1000 having a tabletop 1002 resting on top of a desktop. The tabletop 1002 includes support brackets 1008 insertable in support slots of a desktop. The hollow interior of the support brackets 1008 include grooved teeth 1014. A user can increase or decrease the height of a tabletop 1002 by moving the tabletop 1002 up and down until one of the grooved teeth 1014 rests on a support rod 1015 positioned perpendicular to the grooved teeth 1014. The angle of the tabletop 1002 adjusts by placing different grooved teeth 1014 on the support rod 1015.

FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation 1100 having support strap slots 1109. In contrast to the portable workstation described in FIGS. 2-10, portable workstation 1100 does not include a separate tabletop. In one embodiment, portable workstation 1100 includes one or more support brackets 1103 for supporting a laptop or other device above the workstation's surface. Throughout this application, the term “laptop” refers to any electronic device, book and magazine that may rest on support brackets. In one embodiment, two support brackets 1103 couple to the back of the portable workstation 1100. The support brackets 1103 are spaced apart to allow for a laptop to rest across the surface of each bracket. In another embodiment, a tabletop may be placed on top of the support brackets 1103.

FIG. 12 illustrates a side view of a portable workstation 1200 having one or more support brackets 1203. In one embodiment, support brackets 1203 comprise a vertical brace 1204, a top brace 1205, a bottom brace 1206, a support bracket arm 1207 and a support lip 1208. The vertical brace 1204 is substantially perpendicular to the surface of the portable workstation 1200. The top brace 1205 and bottom brace 1206 are coupled to and run perpendicular to the vertical brace 1204. In one embodiment, the distance between the top brace 1205 and the bottom brace 1206 is slightly larger than the height of the portable workstation 1200. This arrangement provides for the back of the portable workstation 1200 to slide into and fit snuggly between the top brace 1205 and bottom brace 1206.

In one embodiment, the distance between the top brace 1205 and the bottom brace 1206 is fixed, such that different sized support brackets are compatible with workstations of varying heights. In another embodiment, the bottom brace 1206 and/or the top brace 1205 may be adjustable to accommodate varying workstations. The support bracket arm 1207 couples to the top of the vertical brace 1204 at a predetermined angle relative to the surface of the portable workstation 1200. In one embodiment, the support bracket arm 1207 is angled slightly below horizontal. The support lip 1208 couples to the end of the support bracket arm 1207. In one embodiment, the support lip 1208 is oriented above the support bracket arm 1207 to provide support to a laptop 1210 resting on the support bracket arm 1207. In another embodiment, a hinge may be coupled between the support bracket arm 1207 and the vertical brace 1204 to allow for angular adjustments to the support bracket arm 1207.

In one embodiment, the support bracket 1203 is four inches tall. The distance between the top brace 1205 and the bottom brace 1206 is 7/16.″ The top brace 1205 and bottom brace 1206 are six inches long. The support bracket arm 1207 may be 11″ long and the support lip 1208 is one inch tall. These dimensions are merely exemplary of one embodiment. One or more parts of the support bracket 1203 may use different dimensions without changing the scope of the invention.

The support brackets 1203 may be constructed from aluminum, metal, wood, plastics, vinyl to name a few. Additionally, the support brackets 1203 may be modelled and printed from a 3D printer using various materials such as plastics, ceramics or other materials know by those skilled in the art.

FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation 1300 having support strap slots 1309 and two support brackets 1303. The support brackets 1303 slide between the top and bottom of the portable workstation 1300. The portable workstation 1300 may also have cutout handles 1304 for carrying the workstation 1300. Additionally, a user may use one or more of the support straps 1307 to carry the workstation 1300.

FIG. 14 illustrates an example of a stationary bike having a handlebar system 1400. In one embodiment, the handlebar system 1400 has three handlebar sections. The base handlebar 1422 may run perpendicular to the direction a user generally pedals on the bike. The base handlebar 1422 is generally positioned so a user can place their arms on top of the handlebar. A middle handlebar section 1423 may run perpendicular to the base handlebar 1422 and towards the front of the bike. An angled handlebar 1424 may also run perpendicular to the base handlebar 1422. The angled handlebar 1424 is often angled upward providing a place for a user to grip with their hands.

FIG. 15 illustrates an embodiment of a stationary bike and portable workstation 1500. Stationary bikes and other exercise machines come from a variety of manufacturers having numerous handlebar system configurations. Each machine's handlebar system may have a varying numer of handlebars, positions and dimensions. Different embodiments of portable workstations, as described in the specification, are configured to adapt to any number of handlebar system configurations. An exemplary handlebar system is shown in FIG. 14. A portable workstation 1510 couples to the stationary bike's 1501 handlebar system. In this embodiment, the handlebar system comprises three handlebar sections: a base handlebar, a middle handlebar, and an angled handlebar.

In this embodiment, the portable workstation 1510 comprises a base surface 1502, an angled surface 1503, a hinge 1504, support straps 1505A-1505C, and a support structure 1506. The base surface 1502 and the angled surface 1503 couple to each other via the hinge 1504. In one embodiment, the hinge 1504 is made from a flexible material such as plastic, acrylic, vinyl, silicon, elastic polymer, and other materials know by those skilled in the art of flexible hinge design. The base surface 1502 and angled surface 1503 may be permanently or semi-permanently attached to opposite ends of the hinge 1504. Such an arrangement allows for the base surface 1502 and angled surface 1503 to pivot, along the hinge 1504, at angles of 180 degrees or more. This arrangement further provides for a desired angle for the portable desk 1510 when attached to the bike's 1501 handlebar system. In other words, different stationary bikes may have varying angles between a base handlebar and a middle handlebar. Thus, the portable workstation 1510 is adaptable to multiple handlebar systems.

The support structure 1506 provides vibration dampening for the portable workstation 1510. In one embodiment, the support structure 1506 is placed between the bike's 1501 handlebar system and the base surface 1502 and/or the angled surface 1503. In one embodiment, the support structure 1506 may be permanently or semi-permanently coupled to the underside of the surfaces 1502 and 1503. In another embodiment, the support structure 1506 may merely rest against the underside of the surfaces 1502 and 1503. In such an embodiment, the support straps 1505A-1505C may be used to maintain the support structure 1506 against the underside of the surfaces 1502 and 1503.

In one embodiment, the support structure 1506 is comprised of cork board, semi-rigid foam board, memory foam, inflatable membranes and the semi-rigid materials capable of providing vibration dampening between the portable workstation 1510 and the bike's 1501 handlebar system. Another feature of the support structure 1506 may be to increase the height of the portable workstation 1510 with respect to the handlebar system. As such, varying thicknesses may be used to both increase dampening characteristics and increase the height and/or angle of the portable workstation 1510. In one embodiment, the support structure 106 may comprise two pieces in which a first piece fits between the base surface 1502 and the base and middle handlebars. A second piece may fit between the angled surface 1503 and the angled handlebar. In this configuration, there may be a small gap between the two support structure pieces 1506 located at the hinge 1504.

Many handlebar systems have non-linear bars. In other words, the bars may have contours, bends or curves, thus providing an uneven surface in which the support structure 1506 rests upon. In one embodiment, the support structure 1506 may be made of a pliable material (e.g., memory foam, etc.) such that the support structure 1506 may indent or fill in gaps where the handlebar system introduces contours, curves or bends. In another embodiment, the support structure 1506 may have slits or cuts in the material positioned where handlebar contours, curves or bends exist.

In another embodiment the support structure 1506 may comprise one or more inflatable pockets, thus allowing the portable workstation 1510 to move up and down depending on the amount of inflation in the pockets.

In one embodiment, the portable workstation 1510 couples to the handlebar system via fastening straps 1505A-1505C. In one embodiment, the fastening straps go through the base surface 1502 and angled surface 1503, through slits in the support structure 1506 and attach underneath the handlebar system. In another embodiment, the support straps 1505A-1505C may pass through the base surface 1502 and angled surface 1503 without passing through the support structure 1506. In other words, the support straps 1505A-1505C may run across the support surface 1506 and around it's ends. In one embodiment, the ends of the support straps attach to each other with VELCRO™, buckles, buttons or other attachment means. In one embodiment, the straps are made from elastic, pliable or flexible material such as, but not limited to: silicon, rubber, vinyl, etc. Other materials may be used for the straps such as: chain, rope, etc.

FIG. 16 illustrates a perspective view of a portable workstation 1600 having a base surface 1602, an angled surface 1603, a hinge 1604, and a support structure 1605. A handlebar system having a base handlebar 1601, a middle handlebar 1611, and an angled handlebar 1612 is also shown. The base surface 1602 and the angled surface 1603 are coupled to each other via the hinge 1604. Each end of the hinge 1604 is permanently or semi-permanently attached to one end of both the base surface 1602 and the angled surface 1603. The flexibility of the hinge 1604 provides for adjustments to the angle between the base and angled surface 1602 and 1603.

The base surface 1602 comprises a pair base strap slots 1608A and a pair of middle strap slots 1608B. The angled surface 1603 comprises a pair of angled support slots 1608C. The strap slots may be thin slits passing through the base and angled surfaces 1602 and 1603. A pair of base straps 1606A pass through the pair of base strap slots 1608A, through or around the support structure 1605 and attach underneath the base handlebar 1610. A pair of middle straps 1606B pass through the pair of middle strap slots 1608B, through or around the support structure 1605 and attach underneath each end of the middle handlebar 1611. A pair of angled straps 1606C pass through the pair of angled strap slots 1608C, through or around the support structure 1605 and attach underneath the base handlebar 1612.

FIG. 17 illustrates a side view of an angled portable workstation 1700 attached to a stationary bike 1701. The portable workstation 1700 comprises a base surface 1702, an angled surface 1703, a hinge 1704, and a support structure 1705. The base surface 1702 and the angled surface 1703 are coupled to each other via the hinge 1704. Each end of the hinge 1704 is permanently or semi-permanently attached to one end of both the base surface 1702 and the angled surface 1703. The flexibility of the hinge 1704 provide for adjustments to the angle between the base and angled surface 1702 and 1703.

A pair of middle straps 1706B pass through a pair of middle strap slots (not shown) cut through the base surface 1702, pass through the support structure 1705 and attach underneath a middle handlebar 1707B. A pair of angled straps 1706A pass through a pair of angled strap slots (not shown) cut through the angled surface 1703, and attach underneath an angled handlebar 1707A. In this illustration, the angled surface 1703 rest directly against the angled handlebar 1707A without the support structure 1705 placed in between. In another embodiment, a second piece of the support structure 1705 may be placed between the angled surface 1703 and the angled handlebar 1707A.

In another embodiment, support brackets (not shown), as illustrated in FIGS. 11-13, may coupled to the back of the portable workstation 1700 to provide for a laptop being raised off the surface 1702.

It is noted that the hinged characteristics of the portable workstation 1700 allow the workstation to attach to many stationary bikes having differing handlebar dimensions and angles. Additionally, the portable workstation 1700 is configured to attach to additional exercise machines such as treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical machines and others.

FIG. 18 illustrates a side view of a portable desk system attached to a stationary bike 1800. The portable workstation 1800 is coupled to the stationary bike 1801 via one or more support straps. The portable workstation 1800 comprises a surface 1802 and a support structure 1805. In this illustration, an angled surface and a hinge are not included. As such, portable workstation 1800 comprises a single surface piece attached to handlebars of the stationary bike 1801. A support structure 1805 is positioned between the surface 1802 and a handlebar system comprising a middle handlebar 1807B and an angled handlebar 1807A. In this configuration, the support structure rests across the top of both the middle handlebar 1807B and the angled handlebar 1807A. In one embodiment, the thickness of the support structure 1805 may taper from one end to the other such that the front portion of the support structure 1805 may be thicker than the back portion, or vise versa. Additionally, the support structure 1805 may include one or more inflatable pockets for further adjusting the height and angle of the portable workstation 1800 relative to the handlebar system.

A pair of middle straps 1806B pass through a pair of middle strap slots (not shown) cut through the surface 1802, pass through the support structure 1805 and attach underneath a middle handlebar 1807B. A pair of angled straps 1806A pass through a pair of angled strap slots (not shown) cut through the surface 1802, and attach underneath an angled handlebar 1807A.

In a second embodiment, the portable workstation 1800 may further comprise a hinge and an angled surface (as illustrated in FIG. 17), with the angled surface positioned adjacent to and 180 degrees from a base surface. In this configuration the support structure 1805 may run the length of an angled surface and a base surface, thus providing a single surface without angles.

In another embodiment, support brackets (not shown), as illustrated in FIGS. 11-13, may coupled to the back of the portable workstation 1800 to provide for a laptop being raised off the surface 1802.

FIG. 19A illustrates a top view of a portable workstation 1900A configured for an exercise machine. The portable workstation 1900A comprises a surface 1902 further comprising a pair of base strap slots 1906A positioned towards the front and to the sides of the surface 1902. The surface 1902 further comprises a pair of middle strap slots 1906B positioned near the middle of and to the sides of the surface 1902. The surface 1902 further comprises a pair of angled strap slots 1906C positioned near the top of and to the sides of the surface 1902. Each pair of strap slots further comprises two slots wherein each end of a support strap (not shown) may pass through each of the two strap slots. In one embodiment, each strap slot may be 2¼″ long and ¼″ wide. Each of the two strap slots may run parallel to each other and spaced approximately 1½″-1¾″ apart. In one embodiment, each pair of strap slots may be positioned above a handlebar of a stationary bike thus allowing each end of a support strap to pass through the strap slots and rest on each side of the handlebar.

In one embodiment, the surface 1902 is made from laminate wood approximately ¼″ thick. Other materials such as plastic, metal, raw woods, etc. may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. In one embodiment, the surface's 1902 dimensions may be 30″ wide and 22″ deep allowing for placement on a number of stationary bike handlebar dimensions. One skilled in the art can appreciate that other dimensions may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. As such, the exemplary dimensions should not be construed as limiting in any way.

In many scenarios, the surface 1902 may be angled forward, due to the nature of stationary bike's handlebar systems, thus causing devices to slide forward and off the surface 1902. In one embodiment, the surface 1902 may be coated in a non-skid material thus providing frictioned contact with a tablet, laptop, book, etc. In another embodiment, a raised lip (not shown) may be placed on the front edge of the surface 1902 as a means of preventing a device or book from sliding off.

A support structure 1905, is placed underneath the surface 1902 and between the surface 1902 and handlebars. In one embodiment, the support structure 1905 is u-shaped with bottom, left side, and right side borders defining the perimeter of the structure. In one embodiment, the borders may be 3″ wide, however other widths may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. The support structure 1905 may be positioned above the handlebars of a stationary bike. As such, the width and/or depth of the surface 1902 may be greater than the perimeter of the support structure 1905. In one embodiment, the center of the left and right borders of the support structure 1905 may be 22″ apart. However, other dimensions may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. In another embodiment, the support structure 1905 may be a single solid piece instead of borders in a u shaped configuration. The support structure 1905 may be corkboard, soft foam, semi-rigid foam, inflatable membranes and any other materials having beneficial dampening characteristics for absorbing vibrations caused by a user using an exercise machine.

FIG. 19B illustrates a front view of a portable workstation 1900B configured for use on an exercise machine. The portable workstation 1900B comprises a surface 1912 resting on top of a support structure 1915.

FIG. 19C illustrates a side view of a portable workstation 1900C configured for use on an exercise machine. The portable workstation 1900C comprises a surface 1922 in contact with a support structure 1925. In one embodiment, the width of the support structure 1925 tapers from the front to the back. In other words, when the support structure 1925 is placed on a handlebar system, the front of the structure may be thicker than the back of the structure. Alternatively, the back of the support structure 1925 may be thicker than the front. In one embodiment, the front of the support structure 1925 may be 3.5″ thick, with the back of the structure being 3.0″ thick.

FIG. 20A illustrates a top view of a portable workstation 2000A configured for an exercise machine. The portable workstation 2000A comprises a base surface 2002, an angled surface 2003 and a hinge 2004. The hinge 2004 allows the angled surface 2003 to pivot relative to the base surface 2002.

A support structure 2005, is placed underneath the base surface 2002 and between the base surface 2002 and a handlebar system. In one embodiment, the support structure 2005 is u-shaped with a bottom, left side, and right side borders defining the perimeter of the structure. In one embodiment, the borders may be 3″ wide, however other widths may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. The support structure 2005 may be positioned above the handlebars of a stationary bike. In one embodiment, the center points of the left and right borders of the support structure 2005 may be 22″ apart. However, other widths may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. In another embodiment, the support structure 2005 may be a single solid piece instead of borders in a u shape. The support structure may be corkboard, soft foam, semi-rigid foam, or other materials having beneficial dampening characteristics for absorbing vibrations caused by a user pedaling the stationary bike.

In one embodiment, a second piece of support structure 2005 may be placed under the angled surface 2003 and between the angled surface 2003 and a handlebar. Increased vibration dampening and angles may be achieved with the second piece of support structure 2005.

FIG. 20B illustrates a front view of a portable workstation 2000B configured for use on an exercise machine. The portable workstation 2000B comprises a surface 2012 resting on top of a support structure 2015.

FIG. 20C illustrates a side view of a portable workstation 2000C configured for use on an exercise machine. The portable workstation 2000C comprises a base surface 2022 coupled to an angled surface 2023 via a hinge 2024. The base surface 2022 makes contact with a support structure 2025. In one embodiment, the width of the support structure 2025 tapers from the front to the back. In other words, when the support structure 2025 is placed on a handlebar system, the front of the structure may be thicker than the back of the structure. Alternatively, the back of the structure may be thicker than the front. In one embodiment, the front of the support structure 2025 may be 3.0″ thick, with the back of the structure being 2.5″ thick.

FIG. 21 illustrates a collapsible portable workstation 2100 with a collapsing hinge 2101. In one embodiment, the collapsing hinge 2101 run across the center of the workstation 2100 from front to back. The hinge 2101 allows the workstation 2100 to fold in half along the hinge in order to reduce the workstation's 2100 footprint during transport or storage.

FIG. 22 illustrates a collapsible portable workstation 2200 with a collapsing hinge 2201 and a support beam 2203. The workstation 2200 has a collapsing hinge 2201 running along the workstation's center from front to back. In one embodiment, a rail system 2204 runs underneath the center of the workstation 2200 from front to back. The rail system 2204 is configured to accept a rail support beam 2203 to support the workstation 2200 when weight is placed on top of the workstation 2200 during use.

In another embodiment, a portable workstation may be implemented with connection hub having one or more electrical sockets for providing electrical power to one or more devices. For example, a laptop, tablet, radio, television, MP3 player, DVD player, smart phone, etc. may be charged while being used. Further, USB, APPLE LIGHTENING or other plugs may be provided for charging low voltage devices such as smart phones and tablets. In one embodiment, a power hub is defined as one or more electrical sockets and/or one or more USB/APPLE LIGHTENING sockets or plugs. A power hub may be permanently installed on a portable workstation such as fitting flush on its surface. In another embodiment, a power hub is a portable unit that may be semi-permanently affixed to a portable workstation. A power hub may have either a permanent or detachable power cable which provides power to the hub via a wall socket.

The above specification, examples, and data provide a complete description of the structure and use of exemplary embodiments of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, no one embodiment shall be construed as limiting. Furthermore, structural features of the different embodiments may be combined in yet another embodiment without departing from the scope of the invention.