Title:
Auxiliary escalation unit for bed escalators
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In a bed escalator for carrying a wheel chair or an electromotive bed provided with a supporting board, a pedestal for supporting the supporting board, a main escalation unit and an auxiliary escalation unit affixed to the pedestal, a hydraulic cylinder of the auxiliary escalation unit pivoted at the proximal end to the pedestal supports an escalating roller via an L-lever and, when escalation is in a descending position, the escalating roller is in contact with an abutment affixed to the supporting board



Inventors:
Mizuno, Jiro (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/301406
Publication Date:
12/14/2006
Filing Date:
12/13/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LIU, JONATHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GIBBONS P.C. (NEWARK, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. In a bed escalators provided with a supporting board, a pedestal for supporting said supporting board via legs, a main escalation unit affixed to said supporting board and an auxiliary escalation unit affixed to said pedestal, an auxiliary escalation unit characterized in that a hydraulic cylinder pivoted at its proximal end to said pedestal supports an escalating roller via an L-lever, and that said escalating roller is kept in contact with an abutment affixed to said supporting board when said supporting board is in a descending position.

2. An auxiliary escalation unit as claimed in claim 1 characterized in that said supporting board is provided with at least one detachable element selected from a group consisting of a head board, a foot board and a pair of side rails.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an auxiliary escalation unit for bed escalators, and more particularly relates to an improvement for smooth initial escalation of a supporting board of an escalation unit suited for supporting wheel chair and electromotive beds used for aged people and care patients.

Patients always using beds in home cure, in particular aged people, prefer use of mattresses or bedding placed directly on floor to use of beds which make them associate hospital cure.

When a patient is in the state in need of care assistance, the patient tends to fall to fracture due to the high position of his or her bed from a floor.

When a mattress or a bedding is placed directly on a floor, however, low position of a patient lying on it causes difficulty in care assistance. Indispensable loin bending forces a care assistant to incur a great deal of load.

As a consequence, it is highly wanted in the field of care activity to keep the low position of a mattress or bedding when the patient lies on it and to keep the high position of the mattress or bedding when the patient is attended by the care assistant.

In an attempt to meet this requirement, the inventor of the present invention proposed an escalation device using a pantograph mechanism for a main escalation unit in his Japanese patent application 2002-343270.

In an escalation device using any type of main escalation unit, a supporting board is required to perform escalation whilst carrying a considerably heavy load such as a user thereon. Due to this basic mechanism, it is highly difficult to assure smooth initial escalation.

In order to overcome this difficulty in initial escalation, the escalation device of the above-descried prior proposal utilizes a movable opener and, during the original escalation stage, the opener comes in contact with an abutment incorporated in its pantograph mechanism to assist initial opening of the pantograph mechanism for smooth escalation of the supporting board

This solution, however, is usable for a main escalation unit based on pantograph mechanism and, when used for a different type of main escalation unit, no effective operation is expectable. Stated otherwise, the proposed prior art system lack in universality.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is thus the main object of the present invention to provide a universal auxiliary escalation unit usable in combination with an escalation device utilizing various types of main escalation unit.

In accordance with the basic aspect of the present invention, an auxiliary escalation unit includes a pedestal a supporting board and a hydraulic cylinder. The hydraulic cylinder is pivoted at the lower end to the pedestal and carries an escalating roller via an L-lever. In the descending position of the supporting board, the escalating roller is in contact with an abutment associated with the supporting board

During the initial stage of escalation process, concurrently with or slightly prior to actuation of the main escalation unit, the auxiliary escalation unit is actuated for operation to make the L-lever escalate the supporting board to some extent via the escalating roller and the abutment so that cooperation of the main and auxiliary escalation units enables smooth initial escalation of the supporting board.

Since the auxiliary escalation unit of the present invention is not in mechanical engagement of the main escalation unit, the auxiliary escalation unit is suited for combination with any type of main escalation unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of an escalation device incorporating a preferable embodiment of the auxiliary escalation unit in accordance with the present invention in a descending position,

FIG. 2 is a side view of the auxiliary escalation unit in FIG. 1 in a descending position, and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the auxiliary escalation unit in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A preferred embodiment of the auxiliary escalation unit in accordance with the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

First, the construction and the operation of the main escalation unit are explained. A supporting board 5 is supported on a pedestal 1 via legs 3. Although only two legs 3 are shown in the illustration, four legs 3 are provided usually.

Each leg 3 is pivoted at the lower end to the pedestal 1 and pivoted at the upper end to the supporting board 5. The pivoted lower end of one leg 3, the right side end in the illustration, is movable in the longitudinal direction of the pedestal 1 along a horizontal rail (not shown) affixed to the pedestal 1. The pivoted upper end of the other leg 3, the left side end in the illustration, is movable in the longitudinal direction of the supporting board 5 along a horizontal rail (not shown) affixed to the supporting board 5.

An auxiliary leg 7 is pivoted at the lower end to the midway of one leg 3, the left side leg 3 in the illustration, and pivoted at the upper end to the supporting board 5.

On the side of one leg 3, the left side leg in the illustration, a drive motor 9 is pivoted at the proximal end to the supporting board 5 and its piston rod 11 is pivoted at the distal end to the lower end of a link 13.

The upper end of the link 13 is pivoted to the first stationary shaft 15 supported by the supporting board 5 and extending horizontally in a direction normal to the longitudinal direction of the supporting board 5. An arm 17 integral with the link 13 is pivoted at the upper end to the stationary shaft 15. A connecting rod 19 is pivoted at one end, a left side end in the illustration, to the lower end of the arm 17 and at the other end, a right side end in the illustration, to the lower end of an arm 21.

On the side of the left side foot 3, the arm 21 is pivoted at the upper end to the second stationary shaft 23 fixed on the leg 3, the right side leg in the illustration. The stationary shaft 23 extends horizontally in a direction parallel to the first stationary shaft 15.

The main escalation unit of the above-described construction operates as follows;

The drive motor 9 is switched on at starting of ascent of the supporting board 5. Its piston rod 11 advances to rotate the link 13 and the arm 17 chemise in the illustration. Then the connecting rod 19 is pulled leftwards in the illustration to force the arm 21 rotate chemise in the illustration. This rotation causes standing rotation of the leg 3, the right side leg 3 in the illustration, thereby pushing up the supporting board 5.

The drive motor 9 is switched off at starting of descent of supporting board 5. In this state, all the related parts perform movements opposite to the ascending stage so that the right side leg 3 performs anti-standing rotation to pull down the supporting board 5.

Next, the construction and operation of the auxiliary escalation unit will be explained. Although the auxiliary escalation unit is associated with the right side leg 3 only in the case of the illustrated embodiment, all the legs should preferably associated with the auxiliary escalation unit in accordance with the present invention.

A hydraulic cylinder 25 having a piston rod 27 is pivoted at the proximal end to the pedestal 1. Though not limited, a pneumatic cylinder is generally used for the hydraulic cylinder.

An upright stand 29 on the pedestal 1 pivotally supports the apex of an L-lever 31 whose lower branch is pivotally connected at the lower end to the tip of the piston rod 27 of the hydraulic cylinder 25. The upper end of its upper branch carries an escalating roller 33. When the supporting board 5 is in its descending position shown in FIG. 2, an abutment 35 fixed to the supporting board 5 is kept in contact with the escalating roller 33.

Prior to starting of ascent of the supporting board 5, the hydraulic cylinder 25 is actuated and its piston rod advances to rotate the L-lever 31 about its pivotal apex-clockwise in the illustration. As a result, the escalating roller 33 at the upper end of the upper branch of the L-lever 31 pushes up the abutment 35 with its associated supporting board 5. Soon after the hydraulic cylinder is stopped in operation and its piston rod 27 recedes to the initial position. Just prior to this stage or concurrently with this timing, the main escalation unit is driven for the above-described operation.

In the above-described process, the main escalation unit may be driven for concurrent operation with the auxiliary escalation unit or, as in the above-described embodiment, may be driven for operation with some delay from that of the auxiliary escalation unit. In either case, cooperation of the main and auxiliary escalation units assure smooth starting escalation of the entire system.

The auxiliary escalation unit in accordance with the present invention is widely employable in the industrial field such as hospitals and care business for aged and bodily cripples people wherein beds are used.

A variant of the above-described auxiliary escalation unit is shown in FIG. 3, in the supporting board 5 is provided with a detachable head board 121, a detachable foot board 125 and a pair of detachable side rails 123. When the supporting board 5 is used as a home bedding, these additional parts may be detached from the supporting board 5.