Title:
Adjustable armrest assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable armrest assembly comprises a supporting tube having a chamber and a plurality of positioning grooves formed within the chamber, and a height control member slidably engaged along the chamber of the supporting tube; the height control member is connected to a armrest and provided with a positioning block, wherein the positioning block can be selectively driven to disengage from or engage with any one of the positioning grooves such that the armrest can be adjusted and fixed to a desirable height.



Inventors:
Chan, Chun Hui (Wurih Township, TW)
Application Number:
11/193380
Publication Date:
02/01/2007
Filing Date:
08/01/2005
Assignee:
CHUN HUI CHAN (Wurih Township, TW)
AQUALINK ENTERPRISE CO., LTD. (Taipei City, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/54; A47C1/03
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BROWN, PETER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUPTMAN HAM, LLP (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable armrest assembly, comprising: a supporting tube defining a chamber and having a plurality of positioning grooves formed within the chamber; and a height control member slidably engaged along the chamber of the supporting tube, the height control member comprising: a first controlling part having a first end defining a fixing slot and a second end for being connected to an armrest; and a second controlling part coupled with the first controlling part and movable relative to the first controlling part between a first position and a second position, the second controlling part having a first end provided with a positioning block movably embedded in the fixing slot of the first controlling part; wherein the positioning block is driven to eject from the fixing slot and engage with one of the positioning grooves while the second controlling part is moved to the first position; and wherein the positioning block is driven to draw back into the fixing slot and disengage from each of the positioning grooves while the second controlling part is moved to the second position.

2. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the height control member further comprises a spring disposed between the first controlling part and the second controlling part.

3. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 2, wherein the spring applies an elastic force to the second controlling part such that the second controlling part is moved to the first position.

4. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 3, wherein the second controlling part further has a second end provided with an operating element, and the operating element is lifted by an external applying force opposing the elastic force such that the second controlling part is moved to the second position.

5. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 2, wherein the first controlling part and the second controlling part together define a spring chamber for accommodating the spring.

6. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the supporting tube further has a rack gear disposed along the chamber, and the first controlling part further has a guide gear rotatably installed thereof and engaged with the rack gear.

7. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 6, wherein the first controlling part further has a rotatable indicator coupled to the guide gear, and the rotatable indicator rotates in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear for indicating the height of the armrest relative to the supporting tube.

8. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 7, wherein the first controlling part further has a driving gear being coupled to the guide gear and rotating in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear, and the rotatable indicator is attached to the driving gear.

9. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 8, wherein the first controlling part further has at least one transmission gear engaged between the driving gear and the guide gear.

10. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 7, further comprising a housing for housing the supporting tube and the height control member, wherein the housing and the height control member are slidable together relative to the supporting tube.

11. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 10, wherein the housing has an opening defined thereon, and the rotatable indicator is disposed and rotates at the opening.

12. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first controlling part further defines a receiving slot across the fixing slot, and the second controlling part further has a bent portion movable within the receiving slot of the first controlling part for driving the positioning block.

13. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 11, wherein the positioning block defines an opening, and the bent portion passes through the opening of the positioning block.

14. An adjustable armrest assembly, comprising: a supporting tube defining a chamber and having a plurality of positioning grooves formed within the chamber; and a height control member slidably engaged along the chamber of the supporting tube, the height control member comprising: a first controlling part connected to an armrest; a second controlling part coupled with the first controlling part and movable relative to the first controlling part between a first position and a second position; a spring coupled between the first controlling part and the second controlling part for applying an elastic force, wherein the second controlling part is moved to the first position by the elastic force and moved to the second position by an external applying force opposing the elastic force; and a positioning block coupled to the second controlling part; wherein the positioning block is driven to engage with one of the positioning grooves while the second controlling part is moved to the first position; and wherein the positioning block is driven to disengage from each of the positioning grooves while the second controlling part is moved to the second position.

15. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 14, wherein the first controlling part and the second controlling part together define a spring chamber for accommodating the spring.

16. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 14, wherein the supporting tube further has a rack gear disposed along the chamber, and the first controlling part further has a guide gear rotatably installed thereof and engaged with the rack gear.

17. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 16, wherein the first controlling part further has a rotatable indicator coupled to the guide gear, and the rotatable indicator rotates in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear for indicating the height of the armrest relative to the supporting tube.

18. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 17, further comprising a housing for housing the supporting tube and the height control member, wherein the housing and the height control member are slidable together relative to the supporting tube.

19. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 18, wherein the housing has an opening defined thereon, and the rotatable indicator is disposed and rotates at the opening.

20. An adjustable armrest assembly, comprising: a supporting tube defining a chamber and having a rack gear disposed along the chamber; a height control member having a guide gear rotatably installed thereof and engaged with the rack gear such that the height control member is slidably engaged along the chamber; an armrest coupled to the height control member; and a rotatable indicator rotatably attached to the height control member, wherein the rotatable indicator is coupled to the guide gear and rotates in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear for indicating the height of the armrest relative to the supporting tube.

21. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 20, wherein the height control member further has a driving gear being coupled to the guide gear and rotating in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear, and the rotatable indicator is attached to the driving gear.

22. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 21, wherein the height control member further has at least one transmission gear engaged between the driving gear and the guide gear.

23. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 20, further comprising a housing for housing the supporting tube and the height control member, wherein the housing and the height control member are slidable together relative to the supporting tube.

24. The adjustable armrest assembly as claimed in claim 23, wherein the housing has an opening defined thereon, and the rotatable indicator is disposed and rotates at the opening.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention generally relates to an armrest assembly, and more particularly to an adjustable armrest assembly.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a conventional adjustable armrest assembly 10. The adjustable armrest assembly 10 comprises an L-shaped supporting member 12, a vertical sleeve 14, a lever body 16, and an armrest 18.

The L-shaped supporting member 12 has a horizontal part 20 fixed on a chair (not shown), and a vertical part 22 extending upward from the proximal end of the horizontal part 20 and having a plurality of positioning grooves 24 formed thereon. The vertical sleeve 14 is slidably sleeved on the vertical part 22 and defines a space 26 for receiving the vertical part 22. The vertical sleeve 14 has a plurality of limiting ribs 28 formed within the space 26, and the limiting ribs 28 slidably contact the vertical part 22 so as to prevent wobbling of the vertical sleeve 14 relative to the vertical part 22. The lever body 16 has an upper block portion 30 pivoted to the vertical sleeve 14, an engaging portion 32 extending downward from the upper block portion 30 into the space 26 to releasably engage one of the positioning grooves 24, and an operating portion 34 connected to the upper block portion 30 and exposed from the vertical sleeve 14. The armrest 18 is disposed on the vertical sleeve 14.

When the operating portion 34 is lifted upward as shown in FIG. 2, the engaging portion 32 disengages from the positioning groove 24 and then selectively engages with any other positioning groove 24 such that the armrest 18 can be adjusted to a suitable and desired height.

However, the engaging portion 32 may disengage from the selected positioning groove 24 due to an unexpected touch at the operating portion 34, such that the user needs to reset the armrest 18 to the suitable height. In addition, it is relatively inconvenient and laborious to operate and assemble the armrest assembly 10.

Accordingly, the present invention provides an adjustable armrest assembly to overcome the above-mentioned problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an adjustable armrest assembly, which can be conveniently operated and assembled.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an adjustable armrest assembly, in which an armrest can be easily and quickly adjusted to a suitable and desired height.

In order to achieve the above object, the present invention provides an adjustable armrest assembly, which comprises a supporting tube having a chamber and a plurality of positioning grooves formed within the chamber, and a height control member slidably engaged along the chamber of the supporting tube; wherein the height control member comprises a first controlling part having a first end defining a fixing slot and a second end for being connected to an armrest, and a second controlling part having a first end provided with a positioning block movably embedded in the fixing slot of the first controlling part.

According to the adjustable armrest assembly of the present invention, the second controlling part is coupled with the first controlling part and movable relative to the first controlling part between an engaging position and a disengaging position; wherein the positioning block is driven to eject from the fixing slot and engage with one of the positioning grooves while the second controlling part is moved to the engaging position, and the positioning block is driven to draw back into the fixing slot and disengage from each of the positioning grooves while the second controlling part is moved to the disengaging position.

The adjustable armrest assembly according to the present invention further comprises a rotatable indicator, which is attached to the height control member and rotatable according to the sliding position of the height control member relative to the supporting tube whereby showing the height of the armrest relative to the supporting tube.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects, advantages, and novel features of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a conventional adjustable armrest assembly.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of an adjustable armrest assembly according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the guiding frame of the supporting tube according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the adjustable armrest assembly according to the present invention, in which the second controlling part is moved to an engaging position.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the adjustable armrest assembly according to the present invention, in which the second controlling part is moved to a disengaging position.

FIG. 7 is another cross-sectional view of the adjustable armrest assembly according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of an adjustable armrest assembly 100 according to one embodiment of the present invention. The armrest assembly 100 comprises a supporting tube 102, a height control member 104 and a housing 106. The supporting tube 102 is fixed on one side of a chair (not shown) and defines a chamber 108 for receiving the height control member 104. The height control member 104 is slidably engaged along the chamber 108 of the supporting tube 102. The housing 106 houses the supporting tube 102 and the height control member 104, and has an opening 109a and an opening 109b respectively formed on two opposite sides. In addition, the housing 106 and the height control member 104 are slidable together relative to the supporting tube 102. The supporting tube 102 has a guiding frame 110 fixed on the inner wall 108a of the chamber 108 for guiding the height control member 104 into the chamber 108. The guiding frame 110 has a plurality of positioning grooves 112 arranged in a row along one of its inner surfaces and a rack gear 114 provided along another one of its inner surfaces as shown in FIG. 4. The guiding frame 110 further has a receiving slit 110a formed thereof.

The height control member 104 includes a first controlling part 116 and a second controlling part 118 coupled with the first controlling part 116. The first controlling part 116 has a guide gear 120, three transmission gears 122, 124, 126, and a driving gear 128, which are rotatably installed on the side 129a through four fixed pins 130a, 130b, 130c, 130d and a rotatable pin 132, respectively. The guide gear 120 is engaged with the rack gear 114 and rotatably travels along the rack gear 114 such that the height control member 104 is slidably engaged along the chamber 108 of the supporting tube 102. A fixing element 134 is coupled to the four fixed pins 130a, 130b, 130c, 130d and the rotatable pin 132 and fixed to the side 129a through two screws 136 such that the guide gear 120, the three transmission gears 122, 124, 126, and the driving gear 128 can be rotatably fixed between the fixing element 134 and the side 129a of the first controlling part 116.

The fixed pins 130a, 130b, 130c, 130d are integrally formed on the side 129a. The rotatable pin 132 is rotatably mounted on the side 129a and engaged with the driving gear 128, such that the rotatable pin 132 can rotate in accordance with the rotation of the driving gear 128. The rotatable pin 132 passes through a hole 138 formed on the fixing element 134 and connected to a rotatable indicator 140. The rotatable indicator 140 is disposed at the opening 109a of the housing 106 and has several different numerals 142 marked around the surface 140a. The supporting tube 102 further has a receiving slit 111 corresponding to the receiving slit 110a of the guiding frame 110 for receiving the rotatable pin 132.

In addition, the first controlling part 116 has one end 116a, which defines a fixing slot 144 and a receiving slot 146 across the fixing slot 144. The first controlling part 116 further has one end 116b, which is provided with a supporting plate 147 for being connected to an armrest (not shown). The supporting plate 147 has four fixing holes 147a formed thereof and respectively corresponding to four screw holes 106a formed on the housing 106. Four screws (not show) can pass through the four fixing holes 147a of the supporting plate 147 and screw into the four screw holes 106a of the housing 106, respectively, such that the first controlling part 116 can be firmly fixed to the housing 106. The second controlling part 118 has one end 118a, which includes a bent portion 148 and is provided with a positioning block 150 having an opening 150a defined thereon. The bent portion 148 includes an upper segment 148a, a lower segment 148b, and a shifting segment 148c therebetween, and passes through the opening 150a such that the positioning block 150 can slide along the segment 148a, 148b and 148c. The second controlling part 118 is coupled with the first controlling part 116 on the side 129b, such that the positioning block 150 is embedded and movable horizontally in the fixing slot 144 while the bent portion 148 is positioned and movable vertically within the receiving slot 146. The second controlling part 118 further has one end 118b provided with an operating element 152, and the operating element 152 is attached to the end 118b of the second controlling part 118 while passing through the opening 109b of the housing 106.

The first controlling part 116 has a groove 154 formed on the side 129b, and the second controlling part 118 has a groove 156 formed corresponding to the groove 154 of the first controlling part 116. The groove 154 of the first controlling part 116 and the groove 156 of the second controlling part 118 together define a spring chamber 158 for accommodating a spring 160.

Now referring to FIG. 5, the spring 160 applies an elastic force E to a side surface 156a of second controlling part 118 such that the second controlling part 118 is moved to an engaging position, in which the bottom surface 118d of the second controlling part 118 contacts and stops at the positioning block 150. When the second controlling part 118 is moved to the engaging position, the bent portion 148 is moved downward and drives the positioning block 150 to the upper segment 148a such that the positioning block 150 ejects from the fixing slot 144 and engages with one of the positioning grooves 112.

Now referring to FIG. 6, when the armrest (not shown) connected to the supporting plate 147 is required to be adjusted to a desired height relative to the supporting tube 102, the operating element 152 is lifted upward by the user with an applying force F opposing the elastic force E such that the second controlling part 118 is moved to a disengaging position, in which the top surface 118c of the second controlling part 118 contacts and stops at the bottom 147b of the supporting plate 147. When the second controlling part 118 is moved to the disengaging position, the bent portion 148 is moved upward and drives the positioning block 150 to the lower segment 148b such that the positioning block 150 draws back into the fixing slot 144 and disengages from the one of the positioning grooves 112. When the positioning block 150 disengages from the one of the positioning grooves 112, the guide gear 120 can rotatably travel along the rack gear 114 (as shown in FIG. 7) such that the height control member 104 is movable relative to the supporting tube 102; that is, the armrest (not shown) is movable relative to the supporting tube 102. When the armrest (not shown) is moved/adjusted to the desired height relative to the supporting tube 102, the applying force F can be released such that the second controlling part 118 is returned to the engaging position by the elastic force E; meanwhile, the positioning block 150 ejects from the fixing slot 144 again and engages with a selected positioning groove 112.

Now referring to FIGS. 1 and 7, the guide gear 120 is engaged with the first transmission gear 122, the first transmission gear 122 is engaged with the second transmission gear 124, and the second transmission gear 124 is engaged with the third transmission gear 126. The third transmission gear 126 has a concentric pinion gear 127 integrally formed thereon and engaged with the driving gear 128. When the positioning block 150 disengages from the one of the positioning grooves 112, the guide gear 120 can rotatably travel along the rack gear 114 and drive the transmission gears 122, 124, 126 and the driving gear 128 to rotate simultaneously. In another word, the transmission gears 122, 124, 126 and the driving gear 128 rotate in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear 120. As noted above, there are three transmission gears 122, 124, 126 in this embodiment. It should be appreciated that the number of the transmission gears mainly depends on the stroke of the adjustable height. The longer the stroke is, the more transmission gears are required.

According to the armrest assembly 100 of the present invention, the rotatable indicator 140 can rotate in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear 120 since it is connected to the rotatable pin 132 engaged with the driving gear 128. Further, the peripheral surface around the opening 109a of the housing 106 is marked with at least a sign, e.g. an arrow 162 as shown in FIG. 3. When the guide gear 120 travels along the rack gear 114, that is, the height control member 104 is moved relative to the supporting tube 102, the rotatable indicator 140 rotates at the opening 109a in accordance with the rotation of the guide gear 120 such that the numerals 142 is moved relative to the arrow 162. In this manner, the position of the height control member 104 relative to the supporting tube 102, i.e. the height of the armrest (not shown) relative to the supporting tube 102, can be presented/indicated while the numerals 142 is pointed by the arrow 162.

Although the invention has been explained in relation to its preferred embodiment, it is not used to limit the invention. It is to be understood that many other possible modifications and variations can be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.