Title:
Control mechanism for an adjustable position furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a safety arrangement for an electrically adjustable piece of furniture for sitting, reclining and/or lying down, the piece of furniture including a stationary supporting structure, a movable framework composed of articulated metallic members, and an electric motor for moving the framework, the safety arrangement including at least one electrically conductive strip conductively attached to at least those portions of the metallic members exposed to human touch, and a control unit including a touch sensor/switch electrically connected to the framework, for overridingly stopping the operation of the motor when the strip is touched during the movement of the framework.



Inventors:
Barcesat, Isaac (Ashdod, IL)
Application Number:
10/189667
Publication Date:
01/16/2003
Filing Date:
07/03/2002
Assignee:
Hollandia The Sleep Engineering Center-Investments (1992) Ltd. (Sderot, IL)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/024; A47C20/04; (IPC1-7): A47C7/62
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MITCHELL, KATHERINE W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - West Coast (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A safety arrangement for an electrically adjustable piece of furniture for sitting, reclining and/or lying down, said piece of furniture including a stationary supporting structure, a movable framework composed of articulated metallic members, and an electric motor for moving said framework, said safety arrangement comprising: at least one electrically conductive strip conductively attached to at least those portions of said metallic members exposed to human touch, and a control unit including a touch sensor/switch electrically connected to said framework, for overridingly stopping the operation of said motor when said strip is touched during the movement of said framework.

2. The safety arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control unit includes a relay connectable to the power supply line of said motor, and wherein said relay is activated by said touch sensor/switch for disconnecting the power from said motor.

3. The safety arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said touch sensor/switch is a capacitive touch switch.

4. The safety arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control unit further comprises an acoustic alarm activated by said touch sensor/switch.

5. The safety arrangement as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a reset switch for reactivating the motor by resetting said relay.

6. The safety arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said conductive strip is an aluminum strip attached to said members by means of adhesive.

7. The arrangement as claimed in claim 2, wherein said control unit further comprises a latch module for activating said relay.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a piece of furniture for sitting, reclining and/or lying down, hereinafter referred to as “adjustable position furniture.”

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Adjustable position furniture is known, composed essentially of a stationary supporting chassis to which there is linked an adjustable configuration framework consisting of articulated members. Some of these frameworks are mechanically or pneumatically adjustable; however, more and more of them are operated and adjusted electrically. Electrical adjustment is effected by a powerful motor which moves the members of the framework with respect to each other and with the stationary chassis in scissors-like fashion. Usually, at least the lateral sides of the, framework are exposed, presenting a real danger to the limbs of nearby persons, including the user.

[0003] It is therefore a broad object of the present invention to ameliorate the danger of injury from electrically adjustable furniture.

[0004] It is a further object of the present invention to provide an arrangement for governing the operation of an electric motor which adjusts the position of the framework of an electrically adjustable piece of furniture.

[0005] Accordingly, the present invention provides a safety arrangement for an electrically adjustable piece of furniture for sitting, reclining and/or lying down, said piece of furniture including a stationary supporting structure, a movable framework composed of articulated metallic members, and an electric motor for moving said framework, said safety arrangement comprising at least one electrically conductive strip conductively attached to at least those portions of said metallic members exposed to human touch, and a control unit including a touch sensor/switch electrically connected to said framework for overridingly stopping the operation of said motor when said strip is touched during the movement of said framework.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The invention will now be described in connection with a certain preferred embodiment with reference to the following illustrative figure, so that it may be more fully understood.

[0007] With specific reference now to the figure in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiment of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention, the description taken with the drawing making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice.

[0008] In the drawing:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a safety arrangement for electrically adjustable furniture, according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010] There is shown in FIG. 1 an adjustable piece of furniture 2, e.g., a bed, having a stationary supporting chassis 4, a movable framework 6 composed of a plurality of per se known articulated metallic members 8, a mattress 10, a separate head support 12 and an electric motor 14. Further shown is control unit 16 for controlling the operation of motor 14. The metallic members 8 of framework 6, and possibly also the chassis, are made of painted metal or any other material and are at least partly covered with a strip of conductive material, e.g., aluminum strip 18, attached to members 8 by any suitable means, such as adhesive.

[0011] Control unit 16 consists of a touch sensor/switch 20, e.g., a capacitive switch, connected to and adapted to activate a latch module 22 which, in turn, is adapted to actuate a relay 24. Relay 24 is connected to the power line of motor 14 so as to connect and disconnect the motor therefrom. Advantageously, control unit 16 also includes a voice module 28, so as to provide an audible alarm when the motor is deactivated upon receiving a signal from the touch sensor/switch. Control unit 16 may be powered from an AC or DC power supply 30.

[0012] As can be understood, sensor/switch 20 detects when someone touches the framework 6 when the motor is in operation, and activates latch module 22, which immediately activates relay 24, causing the instant cessation of the motor's operation. Hence, a person's limb, carelessly or inadvertently located in or on movable framework 6, will automatically cause the interruption of the motor's operation until the user will press reset switch 26. The relay 24 remains in the disconnecting state as long as it does not receive a reset signal from latch module 22, activated by reset switch 26, thereby causing the return of power to motor 14.

[0013] It will be evident to those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the details of the foregoing illustrated embodiments and that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.