Title:
Leg rest device for a wheelchair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A leg rest device for a wheel chair includes a coupling base, a rotary frame unit, a positioning unit, and a footrest. The coupling base is to be fixed to one side of a chair frame of the wheelchair, and defines a rod hole that extends along a hole axis. The rotary frame unit includes a coupling rod that is extended rotatably into the rod hole of the coupling base, and a leg frame member that is connected to and that extends forwardly from the coupling rod. The rotary frame unit is rotatable relative to the coupling base between a first position, where the leg frame member is disposed frontward relative to the coupling base, and a second position, where the leg frame member is disposed sideward relative to the coupling base. The positioning unit retains releasably the rotary frame unit at one of the first and second positions on the coupling base. The footrest is coupled to the leg frame member.



Inventors:
Liao, Feng-huei (Chia Yi City, TW)
Application Number:
11/228567
Publication Date:
03/15/2007
Filing Date:
09/15/2005
Assignee:
SUNPEX TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. (Chia Yi City, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/50
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERCHANT & GOULD P.C. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A leg rest device for a wheelchair that includes a chair frame, said leg rest device comprising: a coupling base adapted to be fixed to one side of the chair frame and defining a rod hole that extends along a hole axis; a rotary frame unit including a coupling rod that is extended rotatably into said rod hole of said coupling base, and a leg frame member that is connected to and that extends forwardly from said coupling rod, said rotary frame unit being rotatable relative to said coupling base between a first position, where said leg frame member is disposed frontward relative to said coupling base, and a second position, where said leg frame member is disposed sideward relative to said coupling base; a positioning unit for retaining releasably said rotary frame unit at one of the first and second positions on said coupling base; and a footrest coupled to said leg frame member.

2. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 1, wherein: said coupling base is formed with a coupling flange that extends in radial outward directions relative to the hole axis and that is formed with a first locating hole; said rotary frame unit further includes a coupling plate that is connected to said coupling rod and that is disposed adjacent to said coupling flange; and said positioning unit is mounted to said coupling plate and is capable of removable engagement with said first locating hole to retain releasably said rotary frame unit at the first position.

3. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 2, wherein said positioning unit includes a spring-loaded pin.

4. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 2, wherein said coupling flange is further formed with a second locating hole, and said positioning unit is further capable of removable engagement with said second locating hole to retain releasably said rotary frame unit at the second position.

5. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 4, wherein said positioning unit includes: a retaining sleeve mounted on said coupling plate; a pin having an engaging end that extends through said retaining sleeve and said coupling plate for engaging a selected one of said first and second locating holes; a spring for biasing said engaging end of said pin to engage the selected one of said first and second locating holes; and a pull cap disposed outwardly of said retaining sleeve, connected to said pin opposite to said engaging end, and operable so as to pull said pin away from said coupling plate.

6. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 5, wherein said spring is a coil spring that is disposed in said retaining sleeve around said pin and that abuts against said engaging end.

7. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 6, wherein said retaining sleeve is mounted threadedly on said coupling plate, and said pin includes a shank disposed in said retaining sleeve, an enlarged head formed on one end of said shank and serving as said engaging end of said pin, and an externally threaded tip formed on said shank opposite to said enlarged head, extending out of said retaining sleeve, and coupled to said pull cap.

8. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 2, wherein said rotary frame unit further includes a pivot shaft for coupling pivotally said leg frame member to said coupling rod.

9. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 8, wherein said rotary frame unit further includes: a screw nut fixed on said leg frame member and disposed between said leg frame member and said coupling plate; and an externally threaded adjustment rod extending through said leg frame member in a direction transverse to said pivot shaft, threadedly engaging said screw nut, and having a tip that abuts against said coupling plate.

10. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said leg frame member includes: a tubular first frame part connected to said coupling rod; a second frame part extending into said first frame part and connected to said footrest; and a first positioning component for retaining said second frame part at a desired extended length relative to said first frame part.

11. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 10, wherein said leg frame member further includes: a sleeve part having said second frame part extending therethrough; a leg cushion connected to said sleeve part; and a second positioning component for retaining said sleeve part at a desired position on said second frame part.

12. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 11, wherein: said first frame part is formed with a set of first button holes along a length thereof; said sleeve part is formed with a set of second button holes along a length thereof; said second frame part is tubular and has said first and second positioning components disposed therein; and each of said first and second positioning components includes a U-shaped resilient arm and a coupling button that is mounted on one end of said resilient arm and that extends through said second frame part and into a selected one of said first and second button holes in the corresponding one of said first frame part and said sleeve part.

13. The leg rest device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said leg frame member further includes a leg cushion spaced apart from said footrest.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a wheelchair, more particularly to a leg rest device for a wheelchair.

2. Description of the Related Art

Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional wheelchair 1 is shown to include a chair frame 11 and a pair of leg rests 12 provided at left and right sides of the chair frame 11. Each leg rest 12 includes a leg frame 121 having an upper end connected fixedly to the chair frame 11, and a footrest 122 connected pivotally to a lower end of the leg frame 121. The footrests 122 of the leg rests 12 permit the feet of the user to be positioned thereon when the wheelchair 1 is in use.

However, because the leg rests 12 project forwardly from the chair frame 11, the leg rests 12 can interfere with the transfer of the user into and out of the wheelchair 1, and impose limitations on the proximity of the wheelchair 1 from a bed or vehicle from which or to which the user is to be transferred.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a leg rest device for a wheelchair that can overcome the aforesaid drawbacks of the prior art.

According to this invention, a leg rest device for a wheelchair includes a coupling base, a rotary frame unit, a positioning unit, and a footrest. The coupling base is adapted to be fixed to one side of a chair frame of the wheelchair, and defines a rod hole that extends along a hole axis. The rotary frame unit includes a coupling rod that is extended rotatably into the rod hole of the coupling base, and a leg frame member that is connected to and that extends forwardly from the coupling rod. The rotary frame unit is rotatable relative to the coupling base between a first position, where the leg frame member is disposed frontward relative to the coupling base, and a second position, where the leg frame member is disposed sideward relative to the coupling base. The positioning unit retains releasably the rotary frame unit at one of the first and second positions on the coupling base. The footrest is coupled to the leg frame member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wheelchair with conventional leg rests;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a wheelchair that incorporates the preferred embodiment of a leg rest device according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view to illustrate a coupling base, a rotary frame unit, and a positioning unit of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary schematic sectional view to illustrate connection among the coupling base, the rotary frame unit, and the positioning unit of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary schematic top view to illustrate the rotary frame unit when retained by the positioning unit at a first position;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, but illustrating the rotary frame unit when retained by the positioning unit at a second position;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary schematic side view of the preferred embodiment to illustrate tilt adjustment of the leg frame member;

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view to illustrate the leg frame member of the rotary frame unit in greater detail; and

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary schematic sectional view of the leg frame member of the rotary frame unit.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 2 illustrates a wheelchair 2 that is installed with a pair of the preferred embodiment of a leg rest device 32 according to the present invention. The wheelchair 2 includes a chair frame 21, and the leg rest devices 32 are installed at left and right sides of the chair frame 21. The chair frame 21 has a mounting strut 210 fixed to a bottom side thereof, and the leg rest devices 32 are mounted to left and right ends of the mounting strut 210, respectively. Since the leg rest devices 32 are identical in construction, only one of them will be described in detail hereinafter.

With further reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, each leg rest device 32 includes a coupling base 4, a rotary frame unit 5, a positioning unit 6, and a footrest 7.

The coupling base 4 includes a tubular wall 42 that is welded to the corresponding end of the mounting strut 210 and that defines a rod hole 420 extending along a hole axis 41. Annular caps 43 are mounted fittingly and respectively to top and bottom end parts of the tubular wall 42. The coupling base 4 is formed with a coupling flange 44 that extends in radial outward directions relative to the hole axis 41 from the top end part of the tubular wall 42. The coupling flange 44 is formed with first and second locating holes 45, 46 that are spaced apart at equal distances from the hole axis 41 and that form an angle therebetween. The second locating hole 46 is located behind the first locating hole 45.

The rotary frame unit 5 includes a horizontal coupling plate 51, an upright coupling rod 52 connected to and passing through the coupling plate 51, a leg frame member 53, a pivot shaft 54 for coupling pivotally the leg frame member 53 to the coupling rod 52, a screw nut 55 fixed on the leg frame member 53, and an externally threaded adjustment rod 56 extending through the leg frame member 53 and threadedly engaging the screw nut 55.

The coupling rod 52 has a lower rod part 521 that is disposed below the coupling plate 51 and that is inserted downwardly into the tubular wall 42 of the coupling base 4 such that the lower rod part 521 extends rotatably into the rod hole 420 and such that the coupling plate 51 is disposed adjacent to and is seated on top of the coupling flange 44. The coupling rod 52 further has an upper rod part 522 that is disposed above the coupling plate 51. The pivot shaft 54 extends horizontally, and couples pivotally one end of the leg frame member 53 to the upper rod part 522 of the coupling rod 52. The screw nut 55, which is fixed to the leg frame member 53, is disposed between the leg frame member 53 and the coupling plate 51. The adjustment rod 56 extends through the leg frame member 53 in a direction transverse to the pivot shaft 54, and has a tip that abuts against the coupling plate 51 (best shown in FIG. 7).

The rotary frame unit 5 is rotatable relative to the coupling base 4 between a first position (see FIG. 5), where the leg frame member 53 is disposed frontward relative to the coupling base 4, and a second position (see FIG. 6), where the leg frame member 53 is disposed sideward relative to the coupling base 4.

The positioning unit 6 retains releasably the rotary frame unit 5 at one of the first and second positions on the coupling base 4. In this embodiment, the positioning unit 6 is mounted to the coupling plate 51 of the rotary frame unit 5, and is capable of releasable engagement with the first and second locating holes 45, 46 to retain releasably the rotary frame unit 5 at the first or second position. The positioning unit 6 includes a retaining sleeve 61 that extends in an upright direction and that is formed with an externally threaded segment 610 for mounting threadedly on the coupling plate 51, a coil spring 62 disposed in the retaining sleeve 61, a pin 63 having an engaging end that extends through the retaining sleeve 61 and the coupling plate 51 and that is biased by the coil spring 62 to engage a selected one of the first and second locating holes 45, 46, and a pull cap 64 that is disposed outwardly of the retaining sleeve 61 and that is connected to the pin 63.

The retaining sleeve 61 defines a spring compartment 611 that opens downwardly. The pin 63 includes a shank 631, an enlarged head 632 formed on a lower end of the shank 631, and an externally threaded tip 633 formed on an upper end of the shank 631. The shank 631 is disposed in the spring compartment 611, and has the coil spring 62 sleeved thereon. The enlarged head 632 serves as the engaging end of the pin 63 for engaging the selected one of the first and second locating holes 45, 46, and is biased by the coil spring 62. The tip 633 extends upwardly and outwardly of the retaining sleeve 61, and is coupled threadedly to the pull cap 64. The pull cap 64 is operable so as to pull the pin 63 away from the coupling plate 51.

The footrest 7 is coupled pivotally to a lower end of the leg frame member 53, and permits placing of a foot of the user thereon when the wheelchair 2 is in use. Since the feature of this invention does not reside in the particular pivot connection between the footrest 7 and the leg frame member 53, further details thereof are omitted herein for the sake of brevity.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, when the pin 63 of the positioning unit 6 engages the first locating hole 45 in the coupling flange 44 of the coupling base 4, the leg frame member 53 extends forwardly relative to the chair frame 21 (see FIG. 2), and a foot of the user can be placed on the footrest 7 at this time.

Referring to FIG. 7, when it is desired to adjust the tilt of the leg frame member 53, the adjustment rod 56 is operated to adjust the length thereof that extends through the screw nut 55, thereby resulting in pivoting of the leg frame member 53 about the pivot shaft 54.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 6, when transferring the user into or out of the wheelchair 2, the pull cap 64 is operated to release the rotary frame unit 5 from the first position, and the rotary frame unit 5 is rotated to the second position, during which time the positioning unit 6 is able to engage the second locating hole 46. In the second position, the leg frame member 53 extends sideward relative to the chair frame 21 so as not to interfere with the transfer of the user.

It is noted herein that the coupling rod 52 of the rotary frame unit 5 is detachable from the coupling base 4 to facilitate storage of the wheelchair 2.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the construction of the leg frame member 53 in greater detail. The leg frame member 53 includes a tubular first frame part 531 connected pivotally by the pivot shaft 54 to the coupling rod 52, a sleeve part 532 disposed below the first frame part 531, a leg cushion 533 connected to the sleeve part 532, a tubular second frame part 534 extending through the sleeve part 532 and into the first frame part 531 and connected to the footrest 7, and first and second positioning components 535, 535′ disposed in the second frame part 534. The first positioning component 535 retains the second frame part 534 at a desired extended length relative to the first frame part 531. The second positioning component 535′ retains the sleeve part 532 at a desired position on the second frame part 534.

The first frame part 531 is formed with a set of first button holes 536 along its length. The sleeve part 532 is formed with a set of second button holes 537 along its length. The second frame part 534 is formed with a pair of through holes 538. Each positioning component 535, 535′ includes a U-shaped resilient arm 530 and a coupling button 539 that is mounted on one end of the resilient arm 530 and that extends through a corresponding one of the through holes 538 and into a selected one of the first and second button holes 536, 537 in the corresponding one of the first frame part 531 and the sleeve part 532.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.