Title:
Man-computer interfacing device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A man-computer interfacing device comprises a truncated seat and a thoracolumbar rest that enforce an ergonomic and erect posture of a computer operator operating a computer. An anti-slouching strut connect both seat and rest. A stem, a base with or with casters support and give mobility to the device. The device further comprises platforms for keyboard, mouse, touch pad and accessories. These platforms are maintained and positioned at a level below the surface whereon the display screen and monitor of the computer and the like are. These platforms cause the muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper extremities of the operator to be in relaxed position.



Inventors:
Benja-athon, Anuthep (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/794996
Publication Date:
08/29/2002
Filing Date:
02/28/2001
Assignee:
BENJA-ATHON ANUTHEP
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/68; (IPC1-7): A47C7/62
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VU, STEPHEN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANUTHEP BENJA-ATHON, M.D. (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A man-computer interfacing device means for eliminating the incompatibility between the biomechanical design of a computer operator and the design of a computer and a computer workstation wherein said operator functions comprises: means for preventing a slouchy posture of said operator; antigravity means for preventing said slouchy posture of said operator; means for implementing an erect posture of said operator; means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are; means for preventing object from falling off said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels; means for modifying the workstation domain; and means for supporting said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are.

2. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for preventing a slouchy posture of said operator is a truncated seat comprising: a platform shell means for supporting only the buttocks and the adjacent posterior thighs of said operator; a stem means for supporting said platform shell means; and a base means for supporting said stem means for supporting said platform shel.

3. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said antigravity means for preventing said slouchy posture of said operator comprises: a thoracolumbar rest comprising a means for supporting the posterior thoracic region; means for propping for propping forward the lumbar region; and means for rearward positioning of the sacral region of said operator.

4. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator is a truncated seat comprising: a platform shell means for supporting only the buttocks and the adjacent posterior thighs of said operator; and a cushion means for positioning said buttocks and said posterior thighs in a position on said platform shell.

5. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator is a thoracolumbar rest comprising: component means for supporting the posterior thoracic region; component means for propping forward the lumbar region; means for rearward positioning of the sacral region of said operator; a cushion means for positioning said posterior thoracic and lumbar regions in a position; and a strut means.

6. The means for rearward positioning of the sacral region of said operator in claim 5 is a sacral window in said thoracolumbar rest.

7. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen of said computer is comprises a platform pad means for maneuvering and attaching a computer mouse adaptable to versatilely attach to, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

8. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are comprises a platform means for mounting said computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, click buttons and scroll wheels adaptable to versatilely attach, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

9. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are comprises a computer touch pad, click buttons and scroll wheels adaptable to versatilely attach to, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

10. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are comprises a platform means for holding a computer keyboard adaptable to attach to, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

11. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are comprises a computer keyboard adaptable to hold and attach a computer mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels and versatilely attach to, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

12. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are comprises a hook-and-loop means for reversibly binding a first surface of a first object to a second surface of said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are.

13. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim I wherein said means for modifying the workstation domain is a platform pad means for maneuvering a computer mouse adaptable to versatilely attach to, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

14. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for modifying the workstation domain is a platform means for holding a computer touch pad, click buttons and scroll wheels adaptable to versatilely attach, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

15. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for modifying the workstation domain is a platform means for holding a computer keyboard adaptable to attach, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

16. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said means for modifying the workstation domain is a computer keyboard adaptable to hold and attach a computer mouse, touch pad, click buttons and scroll wheels and versatilely attach to, move and swivel about said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

17. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim I wherein said means for supporting said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are comprises bracket, hinge, bar, rod, screw, bolt means for attaching, moving and swiveling said means for positioning about and around said means for implementing an erect posture of said operator.

18. The man-computer interfacing device means according to claim 1 wherein said aid means for supporting said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are comprises a stem and a base.

19. A device means for separating and distancing component members of a computer to accommodate the biomechanical design of a computer operator to reduce stress and strain on the bones and soft tissues of said operator comprises: means for preventing a slouchy posture of said operator; antigravity means for preventing said slouchy posture of said operator; means for implementing an erect posture of said operator; means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are; means for preventing object from falling off said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels; means for modifying the workstation domain; and means for supporting said means for positioning computer keyboard, mouse, touch pad, buttons and wheels below a surface whereon a display screen and monitor of said computer are.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] A man-computer interfacing device means for eliminating the incompatibility between the biomechanical design of a computer operator and the design of the computers and workstation.

OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention is a device for narrowing difference between biomechanical design of man and mechanical design of computers.

[0003] Specifically, the present invention is to reduce or eliminate injuries to a computer operator using a computer and the like due to said difference in designs.

[0004] The present invention provides a scientific solution to a perplexing dilemma being faced by all American corporations as a result of new Federal rules and regulations affecting computer workstation and workplace.

[0005] The present invention further provides a scientific solution to solve the economic burden being faced by all American corporations in order to fix the computer workstation to comply with said rules and regulations.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Since man invented machine to serve mankind, the dilemma has always been to invent the friendly machine which will perform its duty but at the same time not injuring its human operator. For example, for obvious reasons, improvement is continually being made to vehicles such as automobile. However, said improvement has not been achieved in the design of the computer, laptop configuration and the like and the workstation in which man uses said machines.

[0007] On of the obvious reason is that evolution has not designed man with machines in mind. Therefore, there is an immense incompatibility between man and computer. In the case with car, this incompatibility was obvious and immense research and stride to reduce this incompatibility have been made. There are better and safer cars.

[0008] On the contrary, the man-machine incompatibility between man and computer, laptop and the like and the workplace are less understood. Comparatively, there is much less research in this area. There is a lack of scientific information leading to an improvement of the interaction between man and computer and the like.

[0009] Without the above data, it is virtually impossible to identify the faulty design and features of a computer workstation. Even with identification, the cost for modification and improvement of the existing workstation can be prohibitively expensive and a daunting physical undertaking. In America, there are more people operating and spending more hours with computers, laptop configurations, machines and the like than those driving cars. The injury and cost are staggering and dwarf those caused by car accidents.

[0010] The present invention provides a solution to the above dilemmas facing the computer workstation and the like. It is a result of extensive research performed by this applicant based on science and medicine. A brief description can be found in applicant's earlier U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/473,039, filed Dec. 28, 1999, entitled Free-Standing Computer Monitor Copy Holder for Preventing Repetitive Strain Injury and in application Ser. No. 09/243,731, filed Feb. 1, 1999, entitled Thumb-Little-Finger Controlled Computer Mouse. The subject matters in both applications were allowed by the Patent Office at the time of the filing of this application. It is also described in patent application Ser. No. 09/722,864, filed Nov. 25, 2000 entitled Optical Device For Preventing Repetitive Strain Injuries.

[0011] Essentially, the information may be summarized as follows:

[0012] Poor posture and movement such as slouching posture in which the neck jutting forward towards the computer monitor and rounding of the shoulders and body and incorrectly designed workstation cause stress and strain on the muscle, joint, nerve, ligament, intervertebral disk, vertebrae of the neck and low back. Acute, chronic or insidious injuries such as those associate with poor posture and movement superimposed on aging process causing the intervertebral disk, ligament, muscle, joint to deteriorate faster. These structures become less able to absorb shock, stress and strain, less supportive and protective of the vital spinal nerves and cord. Ultimately, they resulted in the distortion of the soft tissues of the spine, pinching of the spinal nerves and spinal cord.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The present computer design and workstation can cause computer-related injuries to a computer operator. The present invention eliminates many aspect of the incompatibility between biomechanical design of a computer operator and the design of a computer and the workstation. Said device modifies the workstation to make it more friendly to the human body.

[0014] A man-computer interfacing device comprises a truncated seat and a thoracolumbar rest that enforce an ergonomic and erect posture of a computer operator operating a computer. Said device further comprises an anti-slouching strut connecting both said seat and rest. A stem, a base with or with casters support and give mobility to said device. The device further comprises a plurality of platforms for keyboard, mouse, touch pad, accessories and the like which are maintained at a level below the surface whereon the computer monitor and display screen are. These platforms in said setting cause the muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper extremities of the operator to be in relaxed, minimally or inactive state.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0015] Perspective view of the present invention

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] The diagram is a perspective view of the present invention, a man-computer interfacing device 1.

[0017] Man-computer interfacing device 1 optimize the interaction between man and machine such as, but not limited to, computer, laptop configuration, television, video terminal and various other machines. Device 1 narrows the gap between the difference in the biomechanical design of a human operator of a computer, laptop configuration and the like and the mechanical design of said machines, their accessories and the workstation wherein said operator and machines are located. Generally, said machines require the use of at least two sensory organ systems, i.e. the vision and proprioception and the motor function of the hand or hands of said operator. Device 1 makes the design of said machines and workstation more compatible with the biomechanical design of a human operator. Device 1 makes computer and its accessories more friendly to said operator. Therefore, the discomfort and injuries to said machine operator are reduced or eliminated.

[0018] Device 1 comprises means for preventing said operator from assuming a slouchy posture. Means for preventing said slouchy posture is a truncated seat 2. Seat 2 comprises a truncated shell 3 which is a platform shell means for supporting only the buttocks and the adjacent tendomuscular junction of the muscles of the posterior thighs of said operator. Therefore, the fore-and-aft dimension 4 of truncated shell 3 only accommodates the part of the buttocks and adjacent proximal portion of the posterior thighs of said operator sitting on shell 3. Truncated shell 3 causes said operator to assume an ergonomic posture when sitting on seat 2 of device 1. In said posture, an imaginary plumb line passes and remains within the cervicothoracolumbosacral arcs of the spine of said operator. This is a non-slouchy posture that minimally stresses and strains the spines of the body.

[0019] Device 1 further comprises a thoracolumbar rest 5 which also enforces said erect posture and prevents the slouchy posture of said operator. Rest 5 comprises a posterior thoracic supporting component 6 whereon the posterior thoracic region of said operator rests. Rest 5 also comprises a posterior lumbar propping component 7 to prop the lumbar region of said operator. Rest 5 comprises a sacral window 8 through which the sacrum and a portion of the buttocks of said operator protrude.

[0020] Rest 5 further comprises an anti-slouching strut 9 means for supporting and engaging rest 5 with the thoracolumbar region of said operator. In addition, strut 9 also transmits the resultant force of said engagement between said operator and rest 5 to remaining part of device 1. The shape of strut 9 can be straight or curve although the latter is a preferred embodiment.

[0021] Together with truncated seat 3, thoracolumbar rest 5 and sacral window 8 cause an operator sitting on device 1 to assume an erect posture thence the implementation of the ergonomic posture of said operator. This is the nonslouchy posture that minimally stresses and strains the spine of said operator.

[0022] During the manufacturing and transporting processes, any and all said component members device 1 may be manufactured as a combined unit or as separate component members. For example, shell 3 and rest 5 may be made as one unit from a single mold or die. However, it is obvious to one skill in the art that shell 3 and rest 5 should be manufactured as two separate components. Therefore, fabrication of device 1 from shell 3 and rest 5 can be finely tuned at the workstation and adjustably compounded to fit different operators sharing same device 1 to fulfill the objectives so stated in this application. For example, strut 9 can have a range of lengths each of which can be deployed to accommodate different sizes including heights and habitus of different operators using same device 1. Said variable lengths are represented by single bidirection-arrow 10. Several design of shell 3 can be had to accommodate the length of strut 9 including, but not limited to, a wedge 11 in shell 3. A screw 12, or a plurality of screws, is used to fix a length of strut 9 and to absorb and transmit the resultant force of said engagement between said operator and rest 5 to the remaining portion of device 1.

[0023] In another preferred embodiment, strut 9 may be a single narrow strut member. However, strut 9 with sacral window 8 is the preferred embodiment. The latter preferred embodiment is due to the need to accommodate various curves of the spine and different body habitus of said operator.

[0024] Various types of cushion 13 such as, but not limited to, foam and inflatable with a flow-regulating valves 14 and 15 may be used. Not only said cushions are intended for comfort but also to provide frictional force acting as a traction to affix said bodily parts of said operator to seat 2 and rest 5.

[0025] Device 1 also comprises a stem 16 and base 17 either without caster or with a plurality of casters 18. Stem 16 may be able to swivel above base 17. Base 17 may be fitted with casters 18 that allow the movement of device 1 in the workplace.

[0026] Device 1 further comprises means for maintaining several muscles attaching to and in the neck, shoulders and upper extremities of said operator in relaxed, minimally active or nonactive state. This is defined as a position wherein said operator's upper arms are close to or in an almost-perfect anatomical position, the operating hands being below the surface whereon said machine is employed. In this position, the forearms are prone by the rotation about the ulnoradial joint and the operating hands engages instruments such as, but not limited to, keyboard, mouse, touch pad, click buttons, scroll wheels, toggle rod and the like. Said instruments and said hands are repositioned to be next, adjacent or as close as possible to the thighs of said operator. In other words, said hands and said instruments are removed from the surface or workstation on which other components of said machine such as, but not limited to, computer monitor and CPU are. Said hands and instruments in this setting are below said surface and workstation.

[0027] The following description depict other component members of device 1 operating in said settings and circumstances.

[0028] Device 1 further comprises a platform pad 19 for maneuvering and attaching a computer mouse, touch pad and accessories and the like (not shown in the figure). Platform pad 19 and said mouse, touch pad and accessories and the like have means for attaching to the surfaces of platform pad 19. Said means for attaching is such as, but not limited to, loops-and-hooks means 20 including VELCRO. Moreover, said means for attaching allow said mouse, touch pad and accessories and the like to be held by and prevented from falling off platform pad 19 during use or as platform pad 19 is versatilely moved, swiveled and positioned about device 1.

[0029] In another preferred embodiment, without platform pad 19, a computer touch pad 22 and all said accessories such as, but not limited to, click and scroll buttons and wheels and the like are attached directly to any and all said component members of device 1. Said touch pad and accessories are adaptable to be versatilely moved, swiveled and positioned about said component members of device 1.

[0030] Similarly, device 1 further comprises a platform means for holding a computer keyboard 21 and touch pad 22 and means for attaching and holding said keyboard (not shown in the figure). Said keyboard has means for attaching to said platform means. Said means for attaching is such as, but not limited to, adhesive or binding glues and loops-and-hooks means including VELCRO. Said platform is versatilely moved, swiveled and positioned about any and all other components of device 1.

[0031] Platform pad 19 may be incorporated into platform means for holding a computer keyboard 21 so that pad 19 can be reversibly retracted into said platform means 21 as represents by straight bidirection-arrow 24.

[0032] Another preferred embodiment is, without said platform means for holding a computer keyboard 21, said computer keyboard is held and attached to any and all other components of device 1.

[0033] Means for moving, swiveling and positioning of said pad 19, keyboard 21 and touch pad 22 and said accessories are such as, but not limited to, bracket, hinge, bar, rod 23, screw, nut, bolt means for attaching and moving, swiveling and positioning. These movement, swiveling and positions are represented by bidirection-arrows 25 and 26.

[0034] Alteratively, using a stem and a base (not shown in the figure), platform pad 19, touch pad, keyboard and all said accessories may stand independent of said components of device 1 without departing from the spirit and claims of the present invention.

[0035] Device 1 further comprises a camera means for visualizing said hands, keyboard, touch pad and mouse, accessories and the like (not demonstrated in the figure). The compact camera unit transmits information of a position of said hands and fingers relative to the keys, touch pad, scroll buttons and wheels and the like to a display screen at said operator's eye level. Therefore, said operator does not have to flex and extend the neck to look between various components and said instruments of said machine.

[0036] Device 1 including any and all of its components can be manufactured from various materials such as, but not limited to, metals, alloys, plastics and various other man-made substances which are light, durable, strong and able to support the weight of said operator and equipment and to maintain said posture.

[0037] Having described the preferred embodiments of the present invention, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to said precise embodiments. Various changes, adaptations, modifications, configurations and geometrical designs of device 1 and any and all of its component members may be effected by individual skills in the art without departing from the spirit of the present invention and the scope of the claims.

[0038] Finally, it is obvious that the present invention may be adapted, used and applied in other settings and circumstances and with other objects and machines without departing from the spirit of the present invention and the scope of the claims.





 
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