Title:
Cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cleaning apparatus includes a top cover and a seat that together form a main body of the apparatus, and a wheel adjusting mechanism mounted between the top cover and the seat. The wheel adjusting mechanism includes a lifting gear, a braking gear, and a pair of wheels connected to two ends of an axle. When the lifting gear is downward pushed to press against the axle and a catch provided on the lifting gear is engaged with a hooking portion on the braking gear, the cleaning apparatus is lifted by a predetermined distance. When the braking gear is forward pushed and the hooking portion is disengaged from the catch on the lifting gear, the cleaning apparatus is lowered to an initial position thereof.



Inventors:
Chen, Chung Ming (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
10/365491
Publication Date:
12/16/2004
Filing Date:
02/13/2003
Assignee:
CHEN CHUNG MING
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L5/00; A47L9/00; A47L11/34; A47L11/40; (IPC1-7): A47L5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SNIDER, THERESA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism, said wheel adjusting mechanism comprising: a lifting gear having a catch provided therewith; a braking gear having a hooking portion provided therewith for engaging with said catch on said lifting gear, and an elastic element disposed thereon; and a pair of wheels connected to two ends of an axle; whereby when said lifting gear is downward pushed to press against said axle with said catch engaged with said hooking portion on said braking gear, said cleaning apparatus is lifted by a predetermined distance from a ground surface to be cleaned; and when said braking gear is forward pushed to disengage said hooking portion from said catch on said lifting gear, said cleaning apparatus is lowered to an initial position thereof.

2. The cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein said lifting gear includes a lifter and a pair of lifter supports, said lifter being provided at an end with a control arm, said lifter supports being fixedly mounted on said cleaning apparatus at predetermined positions, and said lifter being pivotally connected to said lifter supports.

3. The cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism as claimed in claim 2, wherein said control arm is provided at a free end with an end cap.

4. The cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein said braking gear includes a lifter switch and a sliding guide, and said sliding guide being provided with a sliding channel for said lifter switch to slide therein.

5. The cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein said cleaning apparatus is provided at a bottom with front wheels.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism. The cleaning apparatus includes a top cover and a seat that together form a main body of the apparatus, and a wheel adjusting mechanism mounted between the top cover-and the seat. The wheel adjusting mechanism includes a lifting gear, a braking gear, and a pair of wheels connected to two ends of an axle. When the lifting gear is downward pushed to press against the axle and a catch provided on the lifting gear is engaged with a hooking portion on the braking gear, the cleaning apparatus is lifted by a predetermined distance. When the braking gear is forward pushed and the hooking portion is disengaged from the catch on the lifting gear, the cleaning apparatus is lowered to an initial position thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A conventional mop does not provide effective cleaning and disinfecting functions. A cleaning apparatus using steam or water to achieve quick cleaning and disinfecting effect is therefore developed to effectively overcome drawbacks existed in the conventional mop.

[0003] A general cleaning apparatus usually includes wheels fixedly mounted to a bottom of the cleaning apparatus. Therefore, a distance between the bottom of the cleaning apparatus and a ground surface to be cleaned is fixed and could not be changed. When the cleaning apparatus is used to clean, for example, a long-hair carpet, the short distance between the bottom of the cleaning apparatus and the hairs of the carpet makes it difficult to move the cleaning apparatus smoothly and therefore results in ineffective cleaning of the area to be cleaned and incomplete function of the cleaning apparatus.

[0004] It is therefore tried by the inventor to develop a cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism to overcome the drawbacks existed in the conventional cleaning apparatus with fixed wheels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] A primary object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning apparatus that includes a quickly operable wheel adjusting mechanism to lift or lower a main body of the cleaning apparatus by a predetermined distance, depending on the type of a surface to be cleaned, so that the cleaning apparatus may be conveniently used to thoroughly clean different surfaces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The structure and the technical means adopted by the present invention to achieve the above and other objects can be best understood by referring to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings, wherein

[0007] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a cleaning apparatus with wheel adjusting mechanism according to the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 2 is a rear view of the cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1 in an assembled state;

[0009] FIG. 3 is an assembled perspective view of FIG. 1;

[0010] FIG. 4 is a sectioned side view of the present invention showing a lifting gear in a position disengaged from a braking gear;

[0011] FIG. 4A is an enlarged view of the circled area of FIG. 4 to show the braking gear;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a sectioned side view of the present invention showing the lifting gear in a position engaged with the braking gear;

[0013] FIG. 5A is an enlarged view of the circled area of FIG. 5;

[0014] FIG. 6 is a sectioned side view of the present invention showing the disengagement of the lifting gear from the braking gear; and

[0015] FIG. 6A is an enlarged view of the circled area of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] Please refer to FIGS. 1 and 2 that are exploded perspective view and assembled rear view, respectively, of a cleaning apparatus 2 with wheel adjusting mechanism 1 according to the present invention. As shown, the cleaning apparatus 2 mainly includes a top cover 21 and a seat 22 that together form a main body of the cleaning apparatus 2, and a wheel adjusting mechanism 1 mounted between the top cover 21 and the seat 22.

[0017] The wheel adjusting mechanism 1 mainly includes a lifting gear 3, a braking gear 4, and two wheels 15. The lifting gear 3 includes a transversely extended lifter 11 and a pair of lifter supports 12. The braking gear 4 includes a lifter switch 13, a sliding guide 14 for the lifter switch 13 to slide therein, and an elastic element 16 disposed on the sliding guide 14 to serve as a switch spring.

[0018] A control arm 111 is extended from one side of the lifter 11 toward a rear side of the top cover 21. A catch 112 is downward extended from a predetermined point of the control arm 111. Two hollow tubes 113 are axially spaced on the lifter 11 at another side thereof opposite to the control arm 111. Each of the two lifter supports 12 is provided on a top plate with vertically extended through holes 121, and includes two downward extended lugs 122, on each of which a horizontal through hole 122a is provided. The lifter switch 13 is provided at a rear end with a switch button 131, and at a front end opposite to the switch button 131 with a hooking portion 132. A stopper 133 is provided to an inner side of the switch button 131. The sliding guide 14 is provided at a top with two vertical through holes 141, at a front side with a stop wall portion 142 having a vertically extended middle slot, and at a lower side with a sliding channel 143 for the lifter switch 13 to slide therein. Each of the two wheels 15 is provided at an inner side with an internally threaded central hole 151.

[0019] The top cover 21 for the main body of the cleaning apparatus is formed at two lateral sides with two open-bottomed wheel wells 211, and at a rear side with a rectangular hole 212 and a round hole 213. The seat 22 for the main body of the cleaning apparatus has two front wheels 221 connected to a bottom thereof.

[0020] The lifter support 12 is fixedly mounted below the top cover 21 by screwing elements 121a upward extended through the vertical through holes 121 on the top of the lifter support 12 into the top cover 21. Two rivets 114 are separately extended through the two hollow tubes 113 on the lifter 11 and the horizontal through holes 122a on the lugs 122 below the lifter supports 12, so as to pivotally connect the lifter 11 to the lifter supports 12 for the lifter 11 to turn about the holes 122a. The control arm 111 of the lifter 11 is rearward projected from the rear side of the top cover 21 via the rectangular hole 212. An end cap 115 is connected to the rearward projected end of the control arm 111 to facilitate application of a force on the control arm 111 by a user.

[0021] The sliding guide 14 is fixedly mounted below the top cover 21 by screwing elements 141a upward extended through the vertical through holes 141 on the top of the sliding guide 14 into the top cover 21. The switch button 131 on the lifter switch 13 is rearward projected from the rear side of the top cover 21 via the round hole 213. The switch spring 16 is located between the stopper 133 of the lifter switch 13 and the stop wall portion 142 of the sliding guide 14.

[0022] The two wheels 15 are screwed to two ends of an axle 152 by engaging the internally threaded central holes 151 of the wheels 15 with external threads 152a provided on the two ends of the axle 152. Please refer to FIG. 3. The seat 22 is fixedly connected to a lower side of the top cover 21 after the wheels 15 are located in the two wheel wells 211 at two lateral sides of the top cover 21.

[0023] Please refer to FIGS. 4, 4A, 5, 5A, 6, and 6A. When the end cap 115 is downward pushed, the control arm 111 of the lifter 11 is brought to press against the axle 152. Since the lifter 11 is turnable about the horizontal through holes 122a on the lugs 122 of the lifter supports 12, the top cover 21 and the seat 22 of the main body of the cleaning apparatus 2 are lifted when the end cap 115 is depressed and the control arm 111 is lowered to press against the axle 152. And, when the control arm 111 is lowered with the catch 112 below the control arm 111 getting in contact with the hooking portion 132 of the lifter switch 13, a downward pressure applied by the catch 112 on the lifter switch 13 causes the lifter switch 13 to slide forward along the sliding channel 143 of the sliding guide 14. At this point, the switch spring 16 disposed between the lifter switch 13 and the sliding guide 14 is forward compressed against the stop wall portion 142 of the sliding guide 14 and deformed, allowing the hooking portion 132 to engage with the catch 112 to retain the control arm 111 to the lowered position. When the control arm 111 is held to the lowered position, an outer periphery of each wheel 15 is downward exposed from a lower side of the seat 22 to maintain the top cover 21 and the seat 22 at a lifted position.

[0024] When the switch button 131 is pushed forward, the lifter switch 13 is caused to slide forward in the sliding channel 143 of the sliding guide 14, bringing the hooking portion 132 to move forward at the same time and therefore disengages from the catch 112. After the catch 112 is disengaged from the hooking portion 132, the control arm 111 is allowed to freely turn about the horizontal through holes 122a on the lugs 122 of the lifter supports 12, and the top cover 21 and the seat 22 are lowered to their initial position due to their own weight and an effect of the force of gravity. That is, the outer peripheries of the two wheels 15 are now at the same level as the seat 22 again. Moreover, the stopper 133 of the lifter switch 13 compresses the switch spring 16 when the switch button 133 is pushed forward. When the switch button 131 is released, a restoring force of the switch spring 16 moves the lifter switch 13 rearward to an initial position thereof.

[0025] In brief, the present invention employs the principle of leverage to enable easy lifting of the top cover 21 and the seat 22 of the main body of the cleaning apparatus 2. When the cleaning apparatus 2 is used to clean a highly soft surface or a surface having longer hairs, such as a long-hair carpet, the end cap 115 may be depressed to lower the control arm 111 and engage the catch 112 with the hooking portion 132, so that the top cover 21 and the seat 22 are maintained at a lifted position to expose the outer peripheries of the wheels 15 from the lower side of the seat 22 and provide a higher cleaning space below the cleaning apparatus 2. The problem of uneasy movement of the cleaning apparatus 2 on the soft and long-hair carpet to be cleaned can therefore be overcome. When the cleaning apparatus 2 is used to clean a general surface, the catch 112 may be disengaged from the braking gear 4 for the top cover 21 and the seat 22 to lower under the force of gravity, and the wheels 15 to locate at the same level as the seat 22. At this point, the cleaning apparatus 2 uses a general cleaning space formed between the front wheels 221 below the seat 22 and the two wheels 15 to clean the general surface. That is, a height between the seat 22 of the cleaning apparatus 2 and the surface to be cleans may be quickly and easily changed through operation of the wheel adjusting mechanism 1 of the present invention to obtain an enhanced cleaning effect.

[0026] The present invention has been described with a preferred embodiment thereof and it is understood that many changes and modifications in the described embodiment can be carried out without departing from the scope and the spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.