Title:
Blower
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A blower having a housing and a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan upon receipt of power from a power supply. The blower further having a timer coupled to the motor, wherein the timer is configured to monitor the time during which the motor is operational. The blower also includes a plurality of louvers to prevent backflow of air into the blower. A method for using the described blower is also disclosed.



Inventors:
Demirdjian, Eddie (Pasadena, CA, US)
Gourchounian, Rouben (La Canada Flintridge, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/872296
Publication Date:
10/20/2005
Filing Date:
06/18/2004
Assignee:
Intertex, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04D27/02; F24D1/00; (IPC1-7): F24D1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BAYOU, AMENE SETEGNE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JEFFER, MANGELS, BUTLER & MITCHELL, LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A blower comprising: a housing; a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan upon receipt of power from a power supply; and, a timer coupled to the motor; wherein the timer is configured to monitor the time during which the motor is operational.

2. The blower of claim 1, further comprising a time metering display coupled to the timer.

3. The blower of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of counters.

4. The blower of claim 1, wherein the timer operates when the motor receives power.

5. The blower of claim 1, further comprising a switch coupled to the motor to control a supply of power to the motor.

6. A method for using a time metering system on a blower comprising the steps of: activating the time metering system to record a timed usage of the blower when the blower is operational; and, displaying the recorded timed usage.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the timed usage is cumulative of the time the blower has been operational since a predetermined time.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the predetermined time is a time of manufacturing.

9. The method of claim 6, further comprising the step of determining a malfunctioning of the blower based on the recorded time usage.

10. The method of claim 6, further comprising the step of resetting the timed usage.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising the step of verifying a password before the timed usage is reset.

12. The method of claim 10, further comprising the step of unlocking a reset switch before the timed usage is reset.

13. The method of claim 6, further comprising the step of resetting the timed usage before activating the time metering system.

14. The method of claim 6, further comprising the step of adding the timed usage to a cumulative timed usage counter.

15. The method of claim 6, further comprising the step of determining a charge for the use of the blower based on the timed usage.

16. The method of claim 6, further comprising the steps of: comparing the timed usage to a predetermined timed usage limit; and, rendering the blower to be inoperable if the timed usage reaches the predetermined timed usage limit.

17. A blower, the blower configured to attach to a sleeve of another device, the blower comprising: a housing; a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan; and, a nozzle configured to connect to the sleeve, wherein the nozzle comprises a lip over which the sleeve is secured.

18. The blower of claim 17, wherein the device is an inflatable attraction.

19. The blower of claim 17, wherein the nozzle includes an opening that has a square cross section.

20. The blower of claim 17, wherein the lip surrounds a portion of the nozzle.

21. A blower comprising: a housing having a top; a bottom support defining a footprint of the housing; and a center located vertically midway between the top and the bottom support; and, a motor mounted in the housing, the motor having a center of gravity; wherein the center of gravity of the motor is below the center of the housing.

22. The blower of claim 21, wherein the housing has a generally pyramidal shape.

23. The blower of claim 21, wherein the housing has a generally trapezoidal cross-section.

24. The blower of claim 21, wherein the footprint defined by the bottom support is larger than a cross section of the top of the housing.

25. A blower, the blower configured to attach to a sleeve of another device, the blower comprising: a housing; a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan; and, a nozzle configured to connect to the sleeve, wherein the nozzle comprises a plurality of louvers.

26. The blower of claim 25, wherein the plurality of louvers are normally closed when no air pressure is being generated by the motor.

27. The blower of claim 25, wherein each louver in the plurality of louvers is hingedly attached to the nozzle such that a bottom portion of at least one louver overlaps with a top portion of another louver.

28. The blower of claim 25, wherein each louver in the plurality of louvers is hingedly attached to the nozzle at the top portion of the louver.

29. The blower of claim 25, further comprising a support configured to prevent each louver from swinging into the.

30. The blower of claim 25, further comprising a screen located in the nozzle.

31. The blower of claim 30, wherein the nozzle comprises an opening, and the screen is located in the opening.

32. The blower of claim 31, wherein the plurality of louvers is located near the opening of the nozzle, and the screen is located behind the plurality of louvers.

33. The blower of claim 31, wherein the screen is located between the opening and the plurality of louvers.

34. The blower of claim 25, wherein the plurality of louvers is configured to reduce back flow from the inflatable attraction when the motor is not operational.

35. The blower of claim 34, wherein the plurality of louvers are configured to overlap to reduce back flow from the inflatable attraction when the motor is not operational.

36. A method for preventing back-flow in a blower having a nozzle comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of louvers in the nozzle; opening the plurality of louvers when the blower is operational to allow a passage of air out of the nozzle; closing the plurality of louvers when the blower is not in operation to restrict the passage of air into the nozzle.

37. The method of claim 36, wherein each louver in the plurality of louvers includes a top portion hingedly coupled to the nozzle.

38. The method of claim 36, wherein each louver in the plurality of louvers are configured to overlap another louver.

39. The method of claim 36′, further comprising the step of providing a support behind the plurality of louvers to prevent each louver from swinging back into the nozzle.

40. The method of claim 39, wherein the support comprises a screen.

41. A blower, the blower configured to attach to a sleeve of another device, the blower comprising: a housing, the housing comprising: a first portion configured to resemble a front portion of a fanciful shape; and a plurality of supports, each configured to resemble a bottom portion of the fanciful shape; a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan; and, a nozzle configured to connect to the sleeve.

42. The blower of claim 41, wherein the fanciful shape is an animal.

43. The blower of claim 41, wherein the fanciful shape is a cartoon character.

44. The blower of claim 41, wherein the fanciful shape is an insect.

45. The blower of claim 41, wherein the fanciful shape is a robot.

46. The blower of claim 41, wherein the fanciful shape is a vehicle.

47. The blower of claim 41, wherein the blower comprises an air inlet portion configured to resemble a back portion of the fanciful shape.

48. The blower of claim 41, wherein the nozzle comprises a plurality of louvers that are normally closed when no air pressure is being generated by the motor.

49. The blower of claim 48, wherein the plurality of louvers reduce back flow from the inflatable attraction when the motor is not operational.

50. The blower of claim 41, further comprising a screen located in the nozzle.

51. The blower of claim 50, wherein the nozzle comprises an opening and the screen is located in the opening of the nozzle.

52. The blower of claim 41, further comprising a timer coupled to the motor, wherein the timer is configured to monitor the time during which the motor is operational.

53. A blower, the blower configured to attach to a sleeve of another device and further configured to be powered by an electrical outlet, the blower comprising: a housing; a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan; and, a ground fault circuit interrupter in electrical communication between the electrical outlet and the motor.

54. The blower of claim 53, wherein the ground fault circuit interrupter comprises a test button configured to simulate a ground fault when the test button is activated.

55. The blower of claim 53, wherein the ground fault circuit interrupter comprises a reset button configured to reset the ground fault circuit interrupter after the ground fault circuit interrupter has been tripped.

56. The blower of claim 53, wherein the ground fault circuit interrupter comprises an alarm.

57. The blower of claim 53, wherein the blower further comprises a power cord, and the ground fault circuit interrupter is located at an end of the power cord.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims priority to U.S. design patent application no. 29/201,642, entitled “Blower Motor,” and filed Mar. 17, 2004, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to blowers and fans, and more particularly, to a blower for inflating an inflatable attraction.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Inflatable attractions such as bouncers (also known as “moon bouncers”) and jumpers that provide jumping surfaces, slides, or crawl spaces have become popular for gatherings planned for children or where children are present. For example, these attractions are often found at birthday parties, carnivals, picnics, festivals and fairs. Some reasons for the popularity of these attractions with event planners are the low cost of rental, portability, and ease of operation and setup. Other inflatable attractions and advertisement devices such as inflatable domes, inflatable games, inflatable tents, air puppets, cold air advertisement balloons, blimps, and animals have also seen more widespread use for the same reasons listed above, as well as because of the fanciful shapes, colors and sizes that can be created to attract and appeal to a wide variety of audiences.

One typical concern that is common to the use of all inflatable attractions is the operation of the blower, or fan, that is used to inflate the attraction. Often, once the blower is connected to the inflatable attraction, the blower is usually left unattended. Thus, in one common scenario, children playing around the blower may tip the blower over, thereby causing obstruction to the intake or the outlet of the blower or causing the blower to become detached from the inflatable attraction.

Another problem encountered by unattended blowers is where a blower loses power because the power cord of the blower becomes disconnected from the outlet or there is a power outage, such as where a fuse breaks or a circuit breaker trips. The loss of power will cause the blower to shut down and for the air in the attraction to deflate, creating back flow. Typically, during normal operations the jumper does not have any open vents because unwanted leakage already occurs from the incomplete seals in the seams of the jumper. Thus, where there is an unexpected loss of power, whereby the blower is unable to provide positive pressure, the connection between the blower and the jumper is the only location where air can escape. As this back flow occurs, air will be pushed through the blower, carrying debris and other foreign matter into the blower. Once power is restored, the debris and foreign matter can cause jams and other malfunctioning of the blower.

Often, the inflatable attractions as well as the necessary blowers are only rented, and, once the attraction is set up, the rental company will leave and not monitor the attraction. If there is a malfunction to the blower, the renter will not want to pay for the rental, as the rental company will not be able to fix the problem in a timely manner. However, some unscrupulous individuals will use this as an excuse to not pay for the rental even if the blower functioned properly. Thus, upon return to pickup the attraction and blower, if the renter submits that the blower did not operate, the rental company will want to confirm that the blower did indeed malfunction and not operate. Further, it is also useful for the rental company and/or manufacturer to know how long a blower has operated for any maintenance purposes. Franchise owners may also wish to monitor the number of hours their blower has been used.

Accordingly, there is a need to overcome the issues noted above.

SUMMARY OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

It is an object of the present invention to provide a blower having a housing and a motor mounted in the housing; the motor driving a fan upon receipt of power from a power supply. A timer is coupled to the motor and configured to monitor the time during which the motor is operational.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a method for using a time metering system on a blower. The method including the steps of activating the time metering system to record a timed usage of the blower when the blower is operational; and, displaying the recorded timed usage.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a blower having a housing and a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan. The blower further having a nozzle configured to connect to a sleeve from an inflatable attraction, wherein the nozzle comprises a lip over which the sleeve is secured.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a blower having a housing having a top, and a bottom support defining a footprint of the housing; and a center located vertically midway between the top and the bottom support. The blower further having a motor mounted in the housing, the motor having a center of gravity; wherein the center of gravity of the motor is below the center of the housing.

It is still yet a further object of the present invention to provide a blower having a housing and a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan. The blower further having a nozzle configured to connect to a sleeve from an inflatable attraction, wherein the nozzle includes a plurality of louvers normally closed when no air pressure is being generated by the motor.

It is still yet a further object of the present invention to provide a blower having a housing, the housing including a face configured to resemble a face of an animal; and a plurality of supports, each configured to resemble a leg of the animal. The blower also includes a motor mounted in the housing, the motor driving a fan; and, a nozzle configured to connect to a sleeve from an inflatable attraction.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description. It is to be understood, however, that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the present invention, are given by way of illustration and not limitation. Many changes and modifications within the scope of the present invention may be made without departing from the spirit thereof, and the invention includes all such modifications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may be more readily understood by referring to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a left plan view of a blower configured in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a right plan view of the blower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the blower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the blower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a front plan view of the blower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a back plan view of the blower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the blower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a back perspective view of the blower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a cross-section view of a blower nozzle from the blower configured in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, taken along line 9-9, when no air flows through the blower nozzle;

FIG. 10 is a cross-section view of the blower nozzle of FIG. 9 when air flows through the blower nozzle; and,

FIG. 11 is a front plan view of the blower nozzle of FIG. 10, taken along line 4-4.

FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a metering system for the blower of FIG. 1.

FIG. 13 is a wiring diagram of the metering system of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is perspective view of a stylized blower configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15A-15D illustrate a ground fault circuit interrupter used with the blower of FIG. 1.

Like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 are left and right plan views, respectively, of a blower 100 configured in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. Blower 100 includes a bottom portion 112 with a width wb and a top portion 114 with a width wt. Mounted to top portion 114 is a blower outlet portion 102, including a nozzle 104 extending on a neck 106 from a body, or housing, 116 of blower 100. In one embodiment, the cross-section of the opening of nozzle 104 is of a square shape. In another embodiment, the cross-section of the opening of nozzle 104 is of a circular shape. Other cross sections of the opening of nozzle 104 are contemplated to be usable with the present invention.

As seen in FIG. 1, blower 110 also includes an air intake grill 110. A plurality of fan blades mounted on a motor (not shown) in blower 100 draws the air in from air intake grill 110 and pushes it out nozzle 104 of blower outlet portion 102. The openings of air intake grill 110 are large enough to allow sufficient air flow for the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) rating of the blower, but small enough to prevent debris that can damage the motor or other internals from entering blower 100. Preferably, the smaller the openings, the more the number of openings is provided in air intake grill 110. Thus, the size of the openings is inversely proportional to the number of openings in air intake grill 110.

In one embodiment, as most clearly seen in FIG. 1, blower 100 has a cross section that is of a trapezoidal shape, which provides for a wider bottom portion 112 than top portion 114. Specifically, wb is larger than wt. In another embodiment, blower 100 has a cross-section that is triangular in shape. These shapes provides blower 100 with a more stable configuration, which will minimize tip-over. Preferably, the components in blower 100 that are the heaviest are also mounted such that the center of gravity of blower 100 will be lower than middle of height (h), which is mid-way between top portion 114 and bottom portion 112. For example, in FIG. 2, the center of mass (CM) of the motor, which is one of the heavier components in blower 100, is located below the midpoint of h. Thus, most preferably, the CM of blower 100 is configured to be lower than the midpoint of h.

A lip 108 surrounds nozzle 104. Lip 108 provides a location for the inlet of inflatable attraction to be attached to blower 100. The inlet sleeve of inflatable attraction (not shown) is placed over nozzle 104 and tied with a suitable tie, such as a tie-wrap or a strap. In one embodiment, lip 108 completely surrounds nozzle 104. In another embodiment, lip 108 is only placed on the corners of nozzle 104. In yet another embodiment, lip 108 is placed on the edge portions of nozzle 104 that is between the corners of nozzle 104. In yet still another embodiment, lip 108 is curled towards blower 100 to grip the inlet sleeve of the inflatable attraction.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are top and bottom plan views, respectively, of blower 100. As seen in FIG. 3, top portion 114 of blower 100 includes a handle 302 to allow easy transportation of blower 100. Blower 100 also includes a switch 304 for switching off and on blower 100.

FIG. 5 is a front plan view of blower 100, showing handle 302 and switch 304. Blower 100 also has a time metering display 306 that displays the time that blower 100 has been operating. Time metering display 306 may be implemented using an electrical display such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), or a mechanical counter. In one embodiment, time metering display 306 displays the amount of time that the motor of blower 100 has been operating by monitoring the power that is provided to the motor. In another embodiment, the amount of time that switch 304 has been turned on is monitored, as well as whether electricity is being provided to blower 100. The operation of the timing device coupled to time meter display 306 is further described herein in connection with FIG. 12. Through the use of time metering display 306, the amount of time that blower 100 has been operated may be determined by the rental company to prove that blower 100 has been operated by a renter. A manufacturer of blower 100 can also determine the amount of time that the motor of blower 100 has operated when blower 100 is returned for service or repair. Further, a franchisor or an employer may determine the amount of operation of blower 100 by a franchisee or an employee, respectively, by recording the value displayed by time metering display 306. Additional uses of the measured usage of blower 100 are described further below.

Also shown in FIG. 5 is a plurality of louvers 502 in nozzle 104. A top portion of each louver of plurality of louvers 502 is hingedly attached to nozzle 104. When the motor of blower 100 is operating and rotating the fan attached to the motor, the air flow being generated lifts louvers 502, as illustrated in FIG. 10. However, louvers 502 are closed when no air is being blown by the motor of blower 100, as they are weighed down by the weight of each louver. In addition, when the motor of blower 100 is off, no back flow will occur as louvers 502 blocks the passage of air into the blower, as illustrated in FIG. 9. Thus, louvers 502 will stop back flow and thereby delay deflation of the inflatable attraction if blower 100 loses power or ceases operation. In one embodiment, louvers 502 are of a sufficient length so the bottom of each louver overlaps with the top of another louver, which is also where the hinge for each louver is located. In another embodiment, a rigid mesh screen 902 provides the necessary structure for stopping louvers 502 from swinging back into. Rigid mesh screen 902 not only provides support for louvers 502, it also provides protection from large debris entering nozzle 104. Preferably louvers 502 and rigid mesh screen 902 are made of a light but rigid material, such as plastic or aluminum. However, if rigid mesh screen 902 is used and placed behind louvers 502, louvers 502 may be made of a rubberized or flexible material. Other rust-resistant materials may also be used.

FIGS. 6-8 are back plan, front perspective, and back perspective views of blower 100 that further illustrate the configuration of blower 100.

FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a time metering system configured in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, with a time meter/timer 1202 coupled to a motor 1204 contained within blower 100. Time metering display 306 is coupled to receive signals from timer 1202. Switch 304 is coupled to motor 1204 to control a supply of power to motor 1204.

Timer 1202 monitors the output of blower 100 by monitoring the operation of motor 1204. In one embodiment, timer 1202 is an electronic timing device including a keypad interface (not shown) and is configured to monitor the time during which motor 1204 is operational, such as detecting whether the airflow is sufficient for the normal operating parameters of motor 1204; or the time during which motor 1204 receives electricity from a power supply 1206. In another embodiment, timer 1202 will record the time during which it receives electricity from a power supply 1206, and no direct monitoring of motor 1204 is performed. In yet another embodiment, timer 1202 includes a plurality of counters that can store different timed usage sessions as well as a cumulative, lifetime, timed usage. Timer 1202 may be protected from inadvertent or purposeful resetting through the use of either a lock on a reset switch, unlockable using a key; or a password protection scheme.

When switch 304 is turned to the on position, power from power supply 1206 will be supplied to motor 1204 and to activate the time metering system to record a timed usage of blower 100. As timer 1202 records the usage time of blower 100, the elapsed time—i.e., the timed usage, is displayed on time metering display 306. In one embodiment, the timed usage is reset upon the activation of switch 304, but a cumulative amount of timed usage may be calculated and stored in a separate counter. By comparing the timed usage to a predetermined timed usage limit, blower 100 may be rendered inoperable if the timed usage reaches the predetermined timed usage limit. For example, if the predetermined timed usage limit is set by the rental company using the keypad of timer 1202 to be four hours, then timer 1202 can either count up to, or down from, four hours. The amount of time remaining can be displayed in a similar fashion to how the timed usage is displayed. Once this predetermined timed usage limit is reached, timer 1202 can turn off switch 304 to prevent power from reaching motor 1204, thereby rendering motor 1204 inoperable. Although timer 1202 is shown to be wired in parallel with respect to motor 1204 in FIG. 12, in another configuration timer 1202 may be wired in series between motor 1204 and power supply 1206 to directly control the power going to motor 1204.

An unintentional electric path between a source of current and a grounded surface is referred to as a “ground-fault.” Ground faults occur when current is leaking somewhere, in effect, electricity is escaping to the ground. How it leaks is very important. For example, if the body of a person provides a path to the ground for this leakage, that person could be injured, burned, severely shocked, or electrocuted as electricity flows through the body or a part of the body of the person from the power outlet into the ground. Power supply 1206 includes a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) 1208.

GFCI 1208 constantly monitors electricity flowing in a circuit, such as the circuit in blower 100, to sense any loss of current. In one embodiment, if the current flowing through the circuit differs by a small amount from that returning, GFCI 1208 quickly switches off power to that circuit. GFCI 1208 interrupts power almost immediately to attempt to prevent a lethal dose of electricity to be suffered by a person. In another embodiment, GFCI 1208, in addition to detecting ground faults, can also sense if there is a current drop or power drop going to blower 100 due to a brown-out or a black-out condition. In yet another embodiment, GFCI 1208 is used only to detect a brown-out or a black-out condition.

In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 15A-D, GFCI 1208 is implemented on a plug 1502 at the end of a power cord 1512 for blower 100 and includes a reset button 1504, a test button 1506 as well as a power indicator light 1510. GFCI 1208 may also be integrated with blower 100, such as where power cord 1512 attaches to blower 100. In yet another embodiment, the circuitry that implement the functionality of GFCI 1208 are integrated along the length of power cord 1512.

Reset button 1504 and test button 1506 are used to test the functioning of GFCI 1208. To test GFCI 1208, blower 100 is first plugged into an electrical outlet using pins 1508. Power indicator light 1510 should be lit. Then, test button 1506 on GFCI 1208 is pressed. Reset button 1504 should pop out, and power indicator light 1510 should go out. If reset button 1504 pops out but power indicator light 1510 does not go out, GFCI 1208 has been improperly wired and an electrician should be contacted to correct the wiring errors. If reset button 1504 does not pop out, GFCI 1208 is defective and should be replaced. If GFCI 1208 is functioning properly, and power indicator light 1510 goes out, reset button 1504 may be pressed to restore power to blower 100. In other embodiments, power indicator light 1510 can indicate that there is electricity flowing to blower 100 instead of simply indicating that the electrical outlet is live. Further, GFCI 1208 may contain an alarm system such that an alarm will be triggered when GFCI 1208 detects any of the anomalies described herein, such as a ground fault, a black-out, a brown-out, or a combination thereof. The alarm may be an audible alarm, a visual alarm, or an alarm that sends out a page, phone message, or wireless data message to a designated recipient. The choice of the particular form of the alarm is an implementation specific decision that may be decided by one of ordinary skill in the art.

FIG. 13 illustrates a wiring diagram of blower 100 configured in accordance of with one embodiment of the present invention, where time meter 1202 and time metering display 306 is wired to motor 1204 using a pair of wires 1308. As illustrated in FIG. 13, switch 304 is connected to motor 1204 as well as power supply 1206 to control the completion of a circuit from power supply 1206 through a pair of wires 1302 and 1304. A ground wire 1306 is provided to provide proper grounding to power supply 1206. Time meter 1202 measures the amount of time that motor 1204 operates. Thus, once the operator turns switch 304 on, motor 1204 will begin to run and time meter 1202 will begin to track the time of operation of motor 1204.

FIG. 14 illustrates a stylized blower 1400 configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, where stylized blower 1400 is shaped to resemble an animal. For example, stylized blower 1400 as shown in FIG. 14 is shaped to resemble a panda bear. A main body portion 1416 includes a plurality of supports 1414, located on a bottom portion 1420, shaped like the legs of the panda bear, while a face portion 1412 is shaped resemble the face of the panda bear. In all other respects, stylized blower 1400 is similar to blower 100, and includes a handle 1410 on a top portion 1422 of stylized blower 1400, a blower outlet portion 1402 that includes a nozzle 1404 at the end of a neck 1406, a lip 1408 on nozzle 1404 and a switch 1418. Stylized blower 1400 also includes an air inlet portion (not shown) that includes a rear portion of the panda bear.

In one embodiment, plurality of supports 1414 are configured to extend outward such that the points of contact of supports 1414 are effectively the same as if stylized blower 1400 has a base the same “foot print” as the span of supports 1414. In another embodiment, supports 1414 are the same height as bottom portion 1420. In yet another embodiment, supports 1414 are shaped to provide a larger bottom portion than the top portion.

Although stylized blower 1400 is shaped like an animal in FIG. 14, it may be shaped in other fanciful blower shapes such as an insect, a robot, a vehicle, a cartoon character, or other fanciful creatures or objects.

The embodiments described above are exemplary embodiments of a blower of the present invention. Those skilled in the art may now make numerous uses of, and departures from, the above-described embodiments without departing from the inventive concepts disclosed herein. Accordingly, the present invention is to be defined solely by the scope of the following claims.