Title:
Dual exercise device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The disclosed stationary exercise bicycle apparatus is coupled to drive a substantially free-wheeling endless treadmill. The treadmill is adapted for containing a dog, pet or human such that the bicycle rider can provide exercise for himself and the pet simultaneously.



Inventors:
Sherman, Edward S. (Santa Rosa, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/794509
Publication Date:
09/09/2004
Filing Date:
03/05/2004
Assignee:
SHERMAN EDWARD S.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B22/02; A63B22/08; (IPC1-7): A63B22/06; A63B69/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EDWARD S. SHERMAN, ESQ. (SANTA ROSA, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A stationary exercising apparatus comprising; a) a human powered rotary drive, b) a moving belt supported by at least one rotating cylinder, c) a transmission for coupling the human powered rotary drive to the at least one rotating cylinder.

2. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a protective frame surrounding two or more sides of said moving belt.

3. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said human powered rotary drive is driven by a movement selected from the group consisting of stepper exercise motion, bicycling, reciprocal arm movement and rowing.

4. A stationary exercising apparatus comprising; a) a human powered rotary drive, b) a first rotating cylinder c) a second rotating cylinder d) a moving belt supported by said first rotating cylinder and said second rotating cylinder e) wherein the human powered rotary drive is mechanically coupled to drive at least one of the first or second rotating cylinder.

5. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 4 and further comprising an auxiliary motor operative to drive at least one of the first and second rotating cylinder.

6. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said human powered rotary drive is driven by a movement selected from the group consisting of stepper exercise motion, bicycling, reciprocal arm movement and rowing.

7. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 4 further comprising a supporting platen disposed between the upper and lower sections of said moving belt.

8. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 4 wherein the human powered rotary drive further comprises a flywheel, and said flywheel is coupled to drive at least one of the first and first second rotating cylinder.

9. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 4 wherein the human powered rotary drive further comprises a transmission to vary the speed of said moving belt.

10. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 8 further comprising a transmission to couple the rotary motion of said flywheel to at least one of said first and second rotating cylinder, wherein said transmission is operative to vary the speed of said moving belt.

11. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 10 wherein said transmission is operative to limit the maximum speed of said moving belt.

12. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said flywheel is capable of being quickly disengaged from said rotating cylinder.

13. A stationary exercising apparatus according to claim 12 further comprising position-detecting sensors operative to activate the quick release of said flywheel.

14. A method of exercise, the method comprising: a) providing an exercise apparatus having a first exercise station wherein a person exercises by driving a rotary member, and a second exercise station wherein the exercise of the person drives a treadmill so that a creature can exercise thereon. b) driving a rotary member by a person exercising in the first exercise station, c) walking or running to oppose the movement of the treadmill as exercise on the second exercise station.

15. A method according to claim 14 wherein the rotary motion in the first exercise station is driven by the movement of the person's feet.

16. A method according to claim 14 wherein the rotary motion in the first exercise station is driven by the movement of the person's arms.

17. A method according to claim 14 wherein said creature is an animal or pet.

18. A method according to claim 14 wherein said creature is a human.

19. A method according to claim 14 wherein the apparatus further comprises an auxiliary motor to drive the treadmill.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to provisional patent application having serial # 60/453,080, filed Mar. 6, 2003, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to stationary equipment before obtaining aerobic exercise that may be used by humans or animals.

[0003] Heretofore, bicycle type exercising apparatus have been constructed to operate as stationary bicycles, with either with the wheels off the ground, or in contact with a continuously moving surface such that the bicycle remains stationary. Continuously moving treadmills utilizing motor drives are well known and used for humans and pets alike. Many people obtain exercise by walking, jogging, running or riding bicycle outside with the pet dogs. However, at times of the years inclement weather, lack of sunlight or merely time and space constraints prevent humans from exercising, as well as walking or exercising their pets.

[0004] Accordingly, a first objective of the invention is to provide a means for providing exercise to a pet indoors, or another protected environments.

[0005] You are further objective is to provide a means for the pet so that the simultaneously exercise indoors, particularly in a relatively small space.

[0006] A further objective of the invention is to provide a means for two persons simultaneously exercise device in a relatively small space.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0007] The invention relates to a stationary exercising apparatus for dual use by a man and a walking or four legged pet wherein the human's movement in exercise is transformed into rotary motion that drives a treadmill for supporting the animal, pet or human exercise companion.

[0008] Thus in the present invention a human exercise device, such as the rotary motion produced by conventional bicycle pedal mechanism bike unit is coupled to an exercise treadmill via a transmission such that the rotary motion from the human's exercise enables the to simultaneously “walk the dog” indoors, and vigorously exercise at the same time.

[0009] As such, the instant invention provides for simultaneously obtaining aerobic exercise (1) to provide a novel and improved indoor apparatus to be used with a bicycle type or other aerobic type of physical device that might be used indoors, and simultaneously provide a safe and effective exercise for a companion pet, simulating outdoor exercise for the pet in a manner that is enjoyable and restful for the mind; (2) to provide an ideal all weather exercising device, as a realistic alternative for pet owners that cannot take an animal outdoors, due to either inclement weather; time constraints or other limitations.

[0010] The inventive devices also permit another person to exercise together that does not enjoy walking, running or jogging.

[0011] The above and other objects, effects, features, and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following description of the embodiments thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is an elevation of a first embodiment of the exercise treadmill

[0013] FIG. 2 is an elevation of orthogonal section A-A′ of FIG. 1

[0014] FIG. 3A is an elevation of another embodiment of the exercise treadmill

[0015] FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional elevation of orthogonal section B-B′ of FIG. 3A

[0016] FIG. 3C is a cross-sectional elevation of orthogonal section C-C′ of FIG. 3A

[0017] FIG. 3D is a cross-sectional elevation of orthogonal section D-D′ of FIG. 3A

[0018] FIG. 4A is an elevation of a portion of another embodiment of the exercise treadmill showing primarily a conventional bicycle that forms the drive mechanism.

[0019] FIG. 4B is an elevation of another portion showing the treadmill belt mechanism and coupling to the conventional bicycle portion in FIG. 4A

[0020] FIG. 4C is an elevation of the support frame in FIG. 4B

[0021] FIG. 4D is a cross-sectional elevation of orthogonal section D-D′ in FIG. 4C

[0022] FIG. 5A is an elevation of another embodiment of the exercise treadmill wherein either a motor or a conventional bicycle forms the drive mechanism

[0023] FIG. 5B is a plan view showing primary the moving parts in FIG. 5A.

[0024] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] In accordance with the present invention FIG. 1 illustrates a first embodiment of the exercise device 100 wherein the human user sits on seat 90 and the dog, pet or even another person walks or runs on moving belt surface 10. Belt surface 10 forms a continuous drive belt secured around front drive cylinder 21 and rear drive cylinder 22. Chain ring 16 is axial connected to bearing support and coupling 23 via cranks 17 and 17′ having associated foot pedals 16 and 16′. Belt surface 10 is driven by the human users exercise activity in rotating chain ring 15 via movement of pedals 16 and 16′ that rotate chain ring 15 about axis 1 via cranks 17 and 17′. Accordingly, rotation of chain ring 15 displaces chain 18 causing rotation of attached sprocket 19 about axis 2. A person or animal walking or running to oppose the movement of drive belt 10 is preferably supported by a platen 11, located underneath belt 10, and having a low coefficient of friction therewith. Such platens typically have an outer surface of fluorinated polymer resin to reduce friction, and are known in the art of treadmills.

[0026] FIG. 2 is a cross sectional elevation at A-A′ in FIG. 1 at axis 2 showing the connection of sprocket 19 to axle 21. Axle 21 is configured in co-axial connection to a front drive cylinder 20 that is supported at opposing ends via bearing supporting couplings 23 and 23′ formed at the junction of frame segments 30a and 30a′. Rear cylinder 25 is similarly supported by a central axle 31 such that it freely rotates within bearing coupling 27 supported by frame segment 30f (shown in FIG. 1) and an additional frame segment 30f′ (not shown) being substantially the same as frame segment 30a′. Various segments of frame 30 connect to footings 41, 42, and 43. That is, segment 30f is supported by connection to footing 43, 30c and 30g to footing 42 and 30a to footing 41. Thus the rotation of sprocket 19 (driven by the human users normal mode of exercise that would drive a bicycle in the direction of arrow A) rotates axle 21 clockwise causing cylinder 20 to rotate clockwise driving the linear movement of continuous belt 10 in the direction of arrow A. Thus a dog, pet or human would obtain exercise by walking, jogging or running in the direction of arrow B, and would thus face the human user sitting on seat 90, facing the direction of arrow A.

[0027] Bearings couplings, as the term is used in these applications, means any structure or method that permits a circular shaft or axle to freely rotate when inserted therein, thus providing lateral support without substantially impairing the rotation motion of the shaft or axle.

[0028] It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the linear speed of drive belt 10 is readily modified by changing the size and ratio of one or both of chain ring 15 and sprocket 19, such as in conventional multi-speed bikes wherein chain 18 is displaced to alternative chain rings and/or selecting from a series of varying diameter sprockets (with a differing tooth count) by a conventional bicycle derailleur mechanism, which includes a corresponding pulley belt and tension pulley for taking up the resulting slack in the chain.

[0029] Alternatively, by connecting chain 18 to an intermediate drive sprocket that connects via a gear linkage, belt or other drive or series of rotary connections the human users normal mode of exercise (that would drive a bicycle in the direction of arrow A) can be made to drive the linear movement of continuous belt 10 in the direction of arrow B. Such alternative embodiments permit the dog, pet or human to exercise by walking, jogging or running in the direction of arrow A, and thus would be looking in the same direction as the human user sitting on seat 90.

[0030] Other alternative embodiments for a transmission of human motion to the linear movement of the treadmill belt will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art, and include various forms of gear boxes, or drive train mechanisms that transfer rotary motion from one shaft, axle, cylinder or rod to another; including those that ultimately modify the rate of rotation of drive cylinders that support the treadmill belt so as to vary the linear speed and/or direction thereof, and the like.

[0031] Further, the use of such alternative embodiments, as in combination or alone as variously described in the specification, can be deployed disposing the treadmill belt along side, in front, behind, above or below the human user, and any combination thereof.

[0032] Although the bicycles drive mechanism shown in FIG. 1 is preferred from the standpoint that it can be constructed largely from conventional bicycle components, numerous alternative embodiments are possible. For example as shown in FIG. 3, chain ring 315, chain 318 and sprocket 319 need not be disposed in substantially the same vertical plane as seat 90, but may be located under or between the top and bottom surface of belt 10, thus avoiding the need for gear safety guards. As will be further disclosed this configuration provides the option of tilting the treadmill out of the horizontal plane to vary or increase the effort required by the pet or human running, walking or jogging thereon.

[0033] Thus, FIG. 3A is a the elevation showing that frame 30 comprising seat 90 is substantially independent of the bearing supports 323, 327 for front cylinder numeral 21 and rear cylinder 25. Thus the human users reciprocal motion of the feet to drive pedals 16, 16′ causes rotation of axle 301 via crankshaft 17, 17′.

[0034] Turning to FIG. 3B, a cross-sectional elevation at reference line B-B′ in FIG. 1A the juxtaposition of a front chain ring 315 disposed in axial alignment with axle 301 is apparent, front chain ring 315 is now displaced between the top and bottom of belt 10. Chain 318 couples the rotary motion of axle 301 to axle 302 by connection with sprocket 3215 disposed in axial alignment with axle 302, as shown in FIG. 3C. Further, also disposed in axial alignment with axle 302 is a second chain ring 319 for receiving second chain 3218. Chain 3218 couples the rotary motion of axle 302 to axle 303 shown in FIG. 3D via its connection with sprocket 3219, sprocket 3219 being axially aligned and mounted onto axle 302. It should be noted that rear cylinder 21 is in axial alignment and mounted to surround selected portion of axle 302, having two sub-portions to provide a space or gap for sprocket 3219 and attached chain 3218. Thus, as the human user exercises by reciprocally moving their feet to rotate bicycle pedals 16, 16′, they ultimately cause the rotary motion of drive cylinder 21 causing a linear motion of belt 10.

[0035] It shall be noted that axle 303 associated with rear drive cylinder is supported at opposing ends by bearing coupling 327R, 327R′. The bearing coupling has a stable mechanical connection with the ground as they are formed or attached to brackets 328R, 328R. These brackets securely attached to vertically disposed mounting plates 329R, 329R′ that have horizontal footings that rest on the ground. The brackets may be attached to the mounting plates and footings with pins, screws, locks or bayonet fittings and the like. Vertically disposed mounting plates 329R, 329R′ and 329F, 329F′ preferably have a dual wall construction such that the brackets 328 and the corresponding support bearings 327 can be repositioned by sliding motion between the parallel walls.

[0036] As bearing supports are now independent of seat holding frame segment 30 belt drive 10 can be tilted away from the horizontal plan by the coordinated rotation of bearing supports in the direction of arrows C and D and repositioned as shown in FIG. 3E. Accordingly the mounting brackets and vertical mounting plates provided with additional mating features corresponding to multiple positions for attachment along the arc subtenant by the aforementioned rotational motion of the belt mechanism about axle 302. Thus by tilting the exercise belt upward, the pet or human walking, running or jogging thereon has the opportunity for a varied or more vigorous exercise regime.

[0037] FIGS. 4A-D illustrates the working principles of yet another embodiment, wherein the exercise device is adopted for receiving a conventional bicycle as the drive mechanism. FIG. 4 a is an elevation showing the connection of a standard bicycle front wheel supported off the ground by front stand 480 that holds front wheel 440 off the ground or otherwise provides lateral support to the now stationary bicycle. Front stand 480 further comprises a recessed u-shaped section 481 for receiving the front wheel support hub 420 of a conventional bicycle.

[0038] Thus, the rear wheel 431 of the bicycle makes frictional contact with a stationary axial drive wheel 440 to eventually drive the moving belt 10. Axial drive wheel 440 preferably has a concave shape for receiving the context surface of the rear wheel or tire.

[0039] This embodiment also illustrates one of numerous alternative constructions of the supporting structure for bearing couplings associated with front and rear belt drive cylinder. FIG. 4B is an elevation showing the additional components of the exercise device coupling to the conventional icicle via frictional wheel 440 as illustrated FIG. 4a.

[0040] As an alternative to forming the apparatus from tubular frame shown in preceding figures, support Frame 490 is optionally constructed as shown from sheets or rigid plates, and is thus easily fabricated to include circular portals for receiving and supporting various drive cylinders and axles, and thus serving as a bearing coupling or functional element thereof.

[0041] FIG. 4B is an elevation of another portion showing the treadmill belt mechanism 10 and one embodiment of a transmission for coupling the conventional bicycle rear wheel in FIG. 4A

[0042] FIG. 4C is an elevation of the support frame in FIG. 4B in which the moving parts have been omitted to emphasize the salient features therein. Support Frame 490 is optionally a plate or a sheet with circular portal in the sides for receiving cylinders 20 and 25 as well as the corresponding bearing supports and optional bearing couplings. Bearing coupling or bearing support surfaces may include part of frame, axles or belt drive cylinders, such as when the circular portals have substantially the same diameter as the corresponding axle or cylinder.

[0043] A lower portion 495 of the support Frame extends past belt drive cylinders 20 and 25 to support a drive axial 401 that couples to rotary motion of bicycle, or other human powered device, or optionally engineering motor as further described below with reference to FIG. 5.

[0044] FIG. 4D is a cross-sectional elevation of orthogonal section D-D′ in FIG. 4C, further illustrating the lower plate frame portion 495 for receiving and supporting one end of axle of 401, the opposing end of axial of 401 being supported by segment 490a of plate frame 490, as well as by segment 490d of plate frame 490, which also supports front drive cylinder 20 and rear drive cylinder 25 at bearing support protests 491 and 492 respectively as illustrated FIG. 4C. Thus the rotation of axle 401 is coupled to the rotary motion of front drive cylinder 20 via a belt or direct chain drive 418. However, will be obvious to what ordinary skill of the art that either a gear box or other transmission mechanism may be effectively to plate to transfer rotary motion directly from rear tire 431 of the conventional bicycle, as well as it directly such as the axle 401.

[0045] Further, optional side railings, or padding 494 and 494′ can be mounted to portions of support frame 490d and 490a so as to confine an animal within the moving belt area. Optional front and rear railings have been omitted from these figures for simplicity and we thus provide a convenient method of confining the pet within the rectangle circumscribed by the upper surface of belt 10. it will be obvious to one of ordinary skill of the art that such railing strip having maybe substituted by fabric mash, clear plastic sheeting, as well as rigid plastic that is either clear, translucent or opaque.

[0046] FIGS. 5A and B are elevation and plan views respectively of yet another alternative embodiment. FIG. 5A is an elevation of another embodiment of the exercise treadmill wherein either a motor or a conventional bicycle forms the drive mechanism

[0047] FIG. 5B is a plan view showing primary the moving parts in FIG. 5A wherein an alternative rotary drive mechanism is connected to transfer at rotary motion to axle 512, as shown, in order to preserve the ability to tilt the moving belt 10 out of the horizontal plane to vary were increased the difficulty of the exercise retained for the human or animal on the moving belt.

[0048] Thus, in FIG. 5A is a the elevation showing that tubular frame 591 for supporting, among other, axle 511 associated with rotation axis 501, is substantially independent of the bearing supports, such as 323, 327 in FIG. 3A, as well as front cylinder numeral 21 and rear cylinder 25. Thus the human users bicycle exercise rotary motion of the bicycle rear wheel, not shown, is transmitted via rear wheel drive 540 into rotation of axle 511, which intern couples its rotary motion into axle 512. Further, the rotary motion of axle 512 drive axle 514 and connected belt drive cylinder 25.

[0049] Thus, as in FIG. 3B, the juxtaposition of a front chain ring 515 disposed an axial alignment with axle 511 is now displaced between the top and bottom of belt 10. Chain 518 couples the rotary motion of axle 511 to axle 512 by connection with sprocket 5215 disposed an axial alignment with axle 502, as shown in FIG. 5B. Further, also disposed an axial alignment with axle 512 is a second chain ring 519 for receiving second chain 5218. Chain 5218 couples the rotary motion of axle 512 to axle 513 shown in FIG. 5B via its connection with sprocket 5219 axially aligned with axle 502. It should be noted that rear cylinder 25 is in axial alignment with axle 512 via two sub-portions (not shown) to provide a space or gap for sprocket 5219 and attached chain 5218. Thus, as the human user exercises by reciprocal moving of the feet to rotate a bicycle or other wheel, they ultimately cause the rotary motion of drive cylinder 25 causing a linear motion of belt 10.

[0050] It shall be noted that axle 503 associated with rear drive cylinder is supported at opposing ends by bearing couplings in a stable mechanical connection with the ground as they are formed or attached to brackets securely attached to vertically disposed mounting plates 329R, 329R′ that have horizontal footings that rest on the ground. The brackets may be attached to the mounting plates and footings with pins, screws, locks or bayonet fittings and the like. Vertically disposed mounting plates 329R, 329R and 329F, 329F′ preferably have a dual wall construction such that the brackets and corresponding support bearings can be repositioned by sliding motion between the parallel walls.

[0051] As bearing supports are now independent of the bicycle or auxiliary drive the belt drive 10 can be tilted away from the horizontal plane as described with reference to FIG. 3A. Accordingly the mounting brackets and vertical mounting plates can be provided with additional mating features corresponding to multiple positions for attachment along the arc subtended by the aforementioned rotational motion of the belt mechanism about axle 512.

[0052] The auxiliary rotary drive mechanism 570 may include for example a motor drive, another standard bicycle, or indeed any other exercise mechanism capable of producing rotary motion either directly or indirectly. Other exercise devices or mechanism include rowing machines, stair steppers and the like. By connecting the alternative or auxiliary rotary drive to axle the tilting feature is preserved.

[0053] Alternatively, the secondary or alternative rotary drive mechanism can also coupled to any of the axles or cylinders that rotate about reference axes 501, 502, 503 and 504.

[0054] FIG. 6 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention in which exercise apparatus 600 includes treadmill type exercise station having a moving belt 610, which is driven by a human seated on seat 690 using a bicycle type exercise station. The human seated at 690 has the option of using their feet to crank pedals 616 and/or moving their arms back and forth to drive a pair of arm cranks 635, both of which couple their linear or rotary motion to rotate flywheel 650. Flywheel 650 is coupled to drive the rotation of the front drive cylinder contained within treadmill type exercise station housing 605, preferably by an intervening transmission 617. As the front and rear drive cylinders are obscured by belt 610 and housing 605, they are designated by a dashed line co-extensive with the axis of rotation 621, for the front cylinder and 622, for the rear cylinder. In the preferred embodiments, housing 605 also includes a support platen under belt 610, which has a low coefficient of friction surface.

[0055] A pet exercising on moving belt 610 is surrounded by a protective frame 606 with cross bar 604 disposed toward the rear of the moving belt. The cross bar stabilizes the other portions of the frame, but prevent the animal from being driven rearward by the belt, if the stop moving or move to slowly.

[0056] The flywheel 650 stores energy generated by the human in the bicycle exercise station, providing, a smoother more consistent belt speed on the treadmill section. Flywheel 650 can be disengaged by movement of lever arm 660 on arm 635, which connects with transmission 617 via control cable 661.

[0057] The Treadmill in housing 605 can be tilted to increase the difficulty of the animal or pet keeping up with the speed of moving belt 605 by lowering the rear drive cylinder height by releasing lever 602 on stand 608, causing the overlapping of telescoping extension rods located in support stand 608, which continue into frame 606. The front axle region of the treadmill portion of the apparatus is supported by stand 607.

[0058] The Bicycle exercise section has support stand 675 in contact the ground or floor, and includes a safety housing 651 protecting the user from contacting the transmission 617, cable 661, gears and/or other mechanism as well as portions of flywheel 650.

[0059] A control panel 630 is included in a preferred embodiment to display the “speed” of bicycle movement as well as linear speed of belt 610. The control panel also optionally includes data loggers to calculate the user's energy output, such as by accumulate mileage or like parameters, talking into account time, speed and selected level of resistance to pedaling.

[0060] Another feature in a more preferred embodiment of the device of FIG. 6 is safety sensors 640, which are attached to frame 606 below cross bar 604. The safety sensors can be a safety cord that extends in front of cross bar 604, which when contacted by the pet or animal pulls and disengages cable 661, or a similar release cable. However, the safety sensors are preferably an optical transmitter and receiver that detect the animal approaching cross bar 604, and hence provide an optical stimulus to activate the mechanical disconnection of flywheel 650 via the transmission so that the belt 610 is stopped by inherent friction, or an optional break.

[0061] While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.





 
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