Title:
Adjustable cushioning apparatus for a treadmill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to an adjustable cushioning apparatus for a treadmill. A height-adjustable device is mounted on a base portion to work with a transmission assembly of a motor and two lifting elements for adjusting the inclination of the frame portion. Meanwhile, the frame portion has a connecting rods rotatably connected by an axle of the lifting element at each of both outer sides thereof. The other end of the connecting rod is pivotably coupled with an adjustable cushioning apparatus. Thereafter, the application axle of the adjustable cushioning apparatus is pivoted at both sides of the front end of the frame portion, respectively. When weight is placed onto the frame portion, the adjustable cushioning elements are able to provide proper cushioning effect. Moreover, two adjustable cushioning elements are driven by an adjustment motor set. So the operator can preset the cushioning force via the console. A displacement detector is installed at both sides of the base portion, respectively, for detecting the displacement amount of the frame portion being forced. Thereafter, the detection data are transmitted back to the console for giving orders to the respective adjustment motor set to make corresponding reaction. Thus, the cushioning forces of the adjustable cushioning elements are constantly adjusted to the value predetermined by the operator.



Inventors:
Wang, Leao (Taiping, TW)
Wu, Peter (Taiping, TW)
Application Number:
10/351988
Publication Date:
07/29/2004
Filing Date:
01/28/2003
Assignee:
WANG LEAO
WU PETER
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B22/02; A63B24/00; (IPC1-7): A63B22/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kuo-Hsiung Chiu (Taichung, TW)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A adjustable cushioning apparatus for a treadmill having a base portion and a frame portion, the base portion further having a handrail fixed at both sides of the base portion and extending upwardly therebetween, a console being mounted on the handrail, the frame portion including a first motor for working with a drive belt and a belt wheel to rotate a front roller, a running belt extending around the front roller and a rear roller so that the running belt makes an in-place continuous rotation about the frame portion, a supporting board being disposed under the running belt, a pivoting rod being interposed between the frame portion and the base portion for pivotably connecting to the both portions, the adjustable cushioning apparatus comprising: a) a connecting rod rotatably connected by an axle to the outer side of each of the supporting bars at both sides of the frame portion, respectively; and b) an adjustable cushioning apparatus pivotably connected to the other end of the connecting rod while the application axle of the adjustable cushioning apparatus is pivoted at both sides of the front end of the frame portion, whereby, when weight is placed onto the frame portion, the adjustable cushioning elements are able to provide proper cushioning effect.

2. The adjustable cushioning apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a) an adjustment motor set for driving two adjustable cushioning elements such that the operator can preset the cushioning force via the console; and b) a displacement detector installed at both sides of the base portion, respectively, for detecting the displacement amount of the frame portion being forced whereby the detection data are transmitted back to the console for giving orders to the respective adjustment motor set to make corresponding reaction such that the cushioning force of the adjustable cushioning elements is constantly adjusted to the value predetermined by the operator.

3. A adjustable cushioning apparatus for a treadmill having a base portion and a frame portion, the base portion further having a handrail fixed at both sides of the base portion and extending upwardly therebetween, a console being mounted on the handrail, the frame portion including a first motor for working with a drive belt and a belt wheel to rotate a front roller, a running belt extending around the front roller and a rear roller so that the running belt makes an in-place continuous rotation about the frame portion, a supporting board being disposed under the running belt, a pivoting rod being interposed between the frame portion and the base portion for pivotably connecting to the both portions, the base portion of the treadmill further including a second motor such that a transmission assembly works with two lifting elements to adjust the inclination of the frame portion, the adjustable cushioning apparatus comprising: a) a connecting rod rotatably connected by an axle of the lifting element to the outer side of each of the supporting bars at both sides of the frame portion, respectively; and b) an adjustable cushioning apparatus pivotably connected to the other end of the connecting rod while the application axle of the adjustable cushioning apparatus is pivoted at both sides of the front end of the frame portion, whereby, when weight is placed onto the frame portion, the adjustable cushioning elements are able to provide proper cushioning effect.

4. The adjustable cushioning apparatus of claim 3 further comprising: a) an adjustment motor set for driving two adjustable cushioning elements such that the operator can preset the cushioning force via the console; b) a displacement detector installed at both sides of the base portion, respectively, for detecting the displacement amount of the frame portion being forced whereby the detection data are transmitted back to the console for giving orders to the respective adjustment motor set to make corresponding reaction such that the cushioning force of the adjustable cushioning elements is constantly adjusted to the value predetermined by the operator.

5. The adjustable cushioning apparatus of claims 1 and 3 wherein the adjustable cushioning element is operated in such a way that the cushioning force is manually adjusted.

6. The adjustable cushioning apparatus of claims 1 and 3 wherein the front end of the frame portion can be provided with a pivoting piece and the application axle of the adjustable cushioning apparatus is fixed on the pivoting piece.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a new and improved design of an adjustable cushioning apparatus for a treadmill, and more particularly, to an apparatus which utilizes adjustable cushioning elements, an adjustment motor set and a displacement detector. Therefore, the operator is able to use the console to choose a desired cushioning level according to his own preference or the physician's instructions, thereby increasing the comfort in use of the treadmill.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] In general, the treadmill is provided with cushioning apparatuses at suitable places for achieving a proper cushioning effect and enhancing the comfort of the operator during a workout session. Meanwhile, a protection mechanism has been developed for preventing both feet of the operator from being injured due to the too large reactive force of the platform of the treadmill. It will be particularly beneficial to the operator if hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders are used to provide more excellent cushioning effect. A few prior arts such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,591,147, U.S. Pat. No. 5,184,988, U.S. Pat. No. 4,974,831, U.S. Pat. No. 4,984,810, U.S. Pat. No. 5,072,928, U.S. Pat. No. 5,372,559, etc. have disclosed the application of hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders to the treadmill.

[0005] Although the above-mentioned prior arts have advantages of more excellent protection effect and greater comfort, they all don't have any automatic mechanism for adjusting the cushioning force by operators themselves to meet their own different requirements. In brief, a operator with heavier weight would feel that the cushioning force is too slight while a operator with lighter weight could feel that it is too strong if the cushioning force is fixed at a certain extent. Besides, different operators are their own subjective feeling about the cushioning strength no matter how strong or light the cushioning force is. In addition, some operators have special rehabilitation requirements thereto. Accordingly, the prior arts are required for improvement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] It is a primary object of the present invention to remove the above-mentioned drawbacks and to provide an adjustable cushioning apparatus for a treadmill that employs hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders as cushioning source. The difference between the prior art and the present invention lies in that the cushioning element of the present invention is adjustable. Meanwhile, the present invention further utilizes an adjustment motor set and a displacement detector such that the operator can use the console connected with the adjustment motor set and the displacement detector. Therefore, the desired cushioning level can be predetermined according to the preference of the user or the physician's instructions via special control keys. During the exercise session, the data regarding the exceeding or lacking amount of displacement of the frame portion measured by the displacement detectors at either side will be independently transmitted back to the console. After the processing of the microprocessor (not shown), the adjustment motor set commands the adjustable cushioning element to make proper adjustment, thereby achieving expected object.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The accomplishment of this and other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following description and its accompanying drawings of which:

[0008] FIG. 1 is a side view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a perspective partial view of the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1; and

[0010] FIG. 3 is a side view of FIG. 1 after adjustment of the inclination of the frame portion.

[0011] FIG. 4 is another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0012] First of all, referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown.

[0013] The treadmill 10 includes a base portion 20 and a frame portion 30. A handrail 21 is fixed at both sides of the base portion 20 and extends upwardly therebetween. A console 22 is mounted on the handrail 21. The frame portion 30 includes a first motor 31 for working with a drive belt 32 and a belt wheel 33 to rotate a front roller 34. A running belt 36 extends around the front roller 34 and a rear roller 35 so that the running belt 36 makes an in-place continuous rotation about the frame portion 30. A supporting board 37 is disposed under the running belt 36 such that the operator can stand thereon to take the walking, jogging or running exercise. Moreover, a pivoting rod 23 is interposed between the frame portion 30 and the base portion 20 for pivotably connecting to the both portions.

[0014] Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the base portion 20 of the treadmill 10 includes a second motor 40. A transmission assembly 41 works with two lifting elements 42 to adjust the inclination of the frame portion 30. Meanwhile, the frame portion 30 has a connecting rod 303 rotatably connected by an axle 302 of the lifting element 42 at each of both outer sides thereof. The other end of the connecting rod 303 is pivotably coupled with an adjustable cushioning apparatus 50. Thereafter, the application axle 51 of the adjustable cushioning apparatus is pivoted at both sides of the front end of the frame portion 30, respectively. When weight is placed onto the frame portion 30, the adjustable cushioning elements 50 are able to provide proper cushioning effect.

[0015] Moreover, two adjustable cushioning elements 50 are driven by an adjustment motor set 52 such that the operator can preset the cushioning force via the console 22. A displacement detector 53 is installed at both sides of the base portion 20, respectively, for detecting the displacement amount of the frame portion 30 being forced. Thereafter, the detection data are transmitted back to the console 22 for giving orders to the respective adjustment motor set 52 to make corresponding reaction. Thus, the cushioning forces of the adjustable cushioning elements 50 are constantly adjusted to the value predetermined by the operator.

[0016] The first motor 31, the second motor 40, the adjustment motor set 52 and the displacement detector 53 mentioned above are connected to the console 22 via an electronic circuit (not shown) and controlled by a microprocessor (not shown) within the console 22. Accordingly, the operator can determine all parameters, such as exercise duration, speed, inclination of the frame portion and the cushioning force, via the control keys (not shown) on the console 22.

[0017] During the exercise session, the forces applied by both feet of the operator to the frame portion 30 could be different. Therefore, the data measured by the displacement detector 53 will be different as well. The displacement detectors 53 of the adjustable cushioning elements 50 independently send the respective detection signal back to the console 22. According to the real data measured by the displacement detectors 53 together with the preset value of the operator, the adjustment motor sets 52 are independently controlled to make a timely reaction. Therefore, the adjustable cushioning elements 50 can be duly adjusted to provide the same cushioning forces for meeting different requirement of operators.

[0018] In fact, the adjustment motor set 52 further includes a motor and a gearbox. Due to the rotation of the output shaft of the motor and the deceleration by the gearbox, the adjusting knob can be conveniently used for a smooth adjustment. This is a common technique so that no further descriptions thereto are given hereinafter.

[0019] Of course, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the front end of the frame portion can be provided with a pivoting piece 38 for facilitating the movement of the adjustable cushioning apparatus 50. Meanwhile, the application axle 51 of the adjustable cushioning apparatus 50 is mounted on the pivoting piece 38.

[0020] Many changes and modifications in the above-described embodiment of the invention can, of course, be carried out without departing from the scope thereof. Accordingly, to promote the progress in science and the useful arts, the invention is disclosed and is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.