Title:
Hammock with automated swinging apparatus and system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An automated hammock device and system is disclosed. This automated hammock device and system is designed and configured for supporting a hammock bed frame in a suspended configuration above the ground while allowing the accommodation of at least one motor and a plurality of arms for effectuating a continuous hands free swinging or rocking motion to the user lying in the hammock bed. An automated swinging device and a method of using this automated swinging device are also disclosed. This automated swinging device is designed and configured for coupling with an object in a suspended configuration above the ground and providing a driving force to allow the object for effectuating a continuous hands free swinging or rocking motion without effort by the user.



Inventors:
Hug, Deborah D. (Dallas, TX, US)
Holt, Rick R. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/287498
Publication Date:
05/24/2007
Filing Date:
11/23/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/109
International Classes:
A45F3/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LIU, JONATHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WINSTEAD P.C. (DALLAS, TX, US)
Claims:
1. (canceled)

2. (canceled)

3. (canceled)

4. (canceled)

5. (canceled)

6. (canceled)

7. (canceled)

8. (canceled)

9. (canceled)

10. (canceled)

11. (canceled)

12. (canceled)

13. (canceled)

14. (canceled)

15. (canceled)

16. (canceled)

17. (canceled)

18. (canceled)

19. (canceled)

20. (canceled)

21. (canceled)

22. (canceled)

23. An automated swinging hammock system comprising: a hammock frame; two hanging assemblies, each of the hanging assemblies connected to a distal end of the hammock frame, forming a swinging structure, wherein each of the two hanging assemblies further comprises a hanging rod; a support frame structure, wherein each of the hanging rods is removably connected to the support frame structure; an automated swinging device integrally connected to at least one of the hanging rods, the swinging device comprising a plurality of linkages to convert swinging device rotational forces into a pendulum movement of the hanging rods; and thereby making the swinging structure rock laterally while the support frame structure remains stable.

24. An automated swinging hammock system as in claim 23, wherein the automated swinging device comprises: a motor; a crank hingebly connected to the motor; a crank arm hingebly connected to the crank; a rocker arm hingebly connected to the crank arm; a hanging rod integrally secured to the rocker arm; and wherein due to specific ratios of lengths of the crank, the crank arm, the rocker arm, and height of the support frame, the motor effectively drives the crank to rotate in a 360 degree motion, which drives one end of the crank arm to rotate with the crank in a 360 degree motion and the other end of the crank arm to swing laterally, which in turn causes the rocker arm drive the hanging rod to swing in a pendulum motion.

25. The automated swinging device in claim 24, wherein the motor is an AC motor comprising a speed controller wherein the power of the AC motor ranges from ⅙ hp to 1 hp.

26. The automated swinging device in claim 24, wherein the motor is a DC motor comprising a speed controller wherein the power of the DC motor ranges from ⅙ hp to 1 hp.

27. The automated swinging device in claim 24, wherein the crank is about 2 to 6 inches long, the crank arm is about 12 to 48 inches long, and the rocker arm is about 23 inches long.

28. The automated swinging hammock system in claim 23, wherein the hanging assemblies comprises a back arm and a front arm integrally connected as a triangular shaped structure, both hanging assemblies being integrally connected to the support frame.

29. An automated swinging hammock system comprising: a hammock frame; two hanging assemblies, each of the hanging assemblies connected to a distal end of the hammock frame, forming a swinging structure, wherein each of the two hanging assemblies further comprise a plurality of hanging rods; a support frame structure, wherein the hanging rods are removably connected to the support frame structure; an automated swinging device integrally connecting to a hanging rod, the automated swinging device comprising a plurality of linkages to convert swinging device rotational forces into a lateral pendulum movement about the hanging rods; a motor connected to the swinging device; and whereby the motor drives the swinging device which in turn causes the hanging rod to swing in a pendulum type swinging motion, thereby causing the swinging structure to rock laterally while the support frame structure remains stable.

30. The automated swinging hammock system in claim 29, wherein the motor is an AC motor with a speed controller wherein the power of the AC motor ranges from ⅙ hp to 1 hp.

31. The automated swinging hammock system in claim 29, wherein the motor is a DC motor with a speed controller, wherein the power of the DC motor ranges from ⅙ hp to 1 hp.

32. The automated swinging hammock system in claim 29, wherein the crank predetermined length is about 2 to 6 inches long, the crank arm predetermined length is about 12 to 48 inches long, and the rocker arm predetermined length is about 23 inches long.

33. The automated swinging hammock system in claim 29, wherein the automatic swinging device comprises: a crank hingebly connected to the motor; a crank arm hingebly connected to the crank; a rocker arm hingebly connected to the crank arm; a hanging rod integrally secured to the rocker arm; and wherein due to specific ratios of lengths of the crank, the crank arm, the rocker arm, and height of the support frame, the motor effectively drives the crank to rotate in a 360 degree motion, which drives one end of the crank arm to rotate with the crank in a 360 degree motion and the other end of the crank arm to swing laterally, which in turn causes the rocker arm drive the hanging rod to swing in a pendulum motion.

34. An automated swinging hammock system comprising: a hammock frame; two hanging assemblies, each of the hanging assemblies connected to a distal end of the hammock frame, forming a swinging structure, wherein each of the two hanging assemblies further comprise a plurality of hanging rods; a support frame structure, wherein the hanging rods are removably connected to the support frame structure; an automated swinging device integrally connecting to a hanging rod, wherein the automated swinging device comprises a crank hingebly connected to the motor; a crank arm hingebly connected to the crank; a rocker arm hingebly connected to the crank arm; and the either one of the hanging rod secured to the rocker arm; a motor connected to the swinging device; and a speed controller connected to the motor for controlling the power output of the motor to control the swinging motion of the swinging device; wherein due to specific ratios of lengths of the crank, the crank arm, the rocker arm, and height of the support frame, the motor effectively drives the crank to rotate in a 360 degree motion, which drives one end of the crank arm to rotate with the crank in a 360 degree motion and the other end of the crank arm to swing laterally, which in turn causes the rocker arm drive the hanging rod to swing in a pendulum motion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to hammocks and particularly to hammocks comprising automated swingable hammock bed portions and the automated swinging device providing the driving force for a hammock or the like.

Hammocks are one of the least expensive, oldest, and most convenient devices for accommodating individuals in a reclining position. Traditionally, hammocks have been strung between trees, upright poles, and other convenient, relatively stable structures. Various hammock devices have been proposed that provide the necessary structure for suspending a hammock from its two ends so that it is maintained in a configuration where it swings freely above the ground. Of necessity such structures must be quite large since they must not only accommodate between their ends the fully extended hammock itself but also a reasonable length at either end of rope or chain to permit the hammock to assume a comfortable position and swing freely.

Hammock swings are built so that one or more people can enjoy their comfort and style. Hammock swings, are beds or benches that are typically suspended from ropes. Traditional hammock designs allow people to manually rock back and forth and enjoy the relaxation provided. However, once an individual is situated in a lying position within a suspended hammock, it is almost impossible to cause the hammock to swing without the assistance of another person.

Therefore a need exists for a hammock apparatus and frame that is sturdy enough to accommodate a person and the necessary components that facilitate a continuous hands free automated swinging or rocking motion to the hammock bed containing an individual lying therein without the need for another person to cause the hammock bed to swing.

The present invention achieves its intended purposes, objectives and advantages by accomplishing the needs as identified above, through a new, useful and unobvious combination of component elements, which is simple to use, with the utilization of a minimum number of functioning parts, at a low cost to manufacture and assemble, and by employing readily available material.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In summation, this invention is directed to an automated hammock device and system for supporting a hammock bed frame in a suspended configuration above the ground while allowing the accommodation of at least one motor and a plurality of arms for effectuating a continuous hands free swinging or rocking motion to the user lying in the hammock bed. The base frame and the support frames for supporting the bed frame is provided to maintain the bed frame in a generally horizontal configuration during use.

The hammock system comprises a hammock driving or swinging mechanism that is operationally and removably connected to a hammock bed frame for moving the hammock in a swinging motion.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel, useful and unobvious hammock system that can operate via a pendulum swing motion without effort by the user. Another object of the present invention is to provide a hammock system with simple construction, easy to use, easy to assemble, economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an automated swing device, which can be couple to any conventional article, including a hammock or the like.

A further object of the present invention is to design and configure a swing device that can produce a constant swing while providing an overall unit having minimal electrical components so as to provide for a device that will inherently reduce costly repairs.

It will become apparent to one skilled in the art that the claimed subject matter as a whole, including the structure of the apparatus, and the cooperation of the elements of the apparatus, combine to result in the unexpected advantages and utilities of the present invention. The advantages and objects of the present invention and features of such a cold air induction system, apparatus and method will become apparent to those skilled in the art when read in conjunction with the accompanying description, drawing figures, and appended claims.

The foregoing has outlined broadly features of the invention to better understand the detailed description that follows, and to better understand the contribution of the present invention to the art. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, the conception on which this disclosure is based readily may be used as a basis for designing other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the purposes of the present invention. The claims, therefore, include such equivalent constructions to the extent the equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Further, the abstract associated with this disclosure is neither intended to define the invention, which is measured by the claims, nor intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

It should be understood that any one of the features of the invention may be used separately or in combination with other features. It should be understood that features which have not been mentioned herein may be used in combination with one or more of the features mentioned herein. Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the present invention will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present invention, and be protected by the accompanying claims.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more readily apparent when considered in connection with the following, detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, which description is presented in conjunction with annexed drawings below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary as well as the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown herein. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangement of parts. For a more complete understanding of the present invention, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the automated hammock system according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is an end view of an automated swing device connected to a swing hammock according to a embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following description is presented to enable a person skilled in the art to make and use the invention. The general principles described herein may be applied to embodiments and applications other than those detailed below without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims. The present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims. The following description and the annexed drawings set forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention. These embodiments are indicative of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed. Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the drawings.

There have thus been outlined features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

With reference to the drawings, specifically FIG. 1, an automated swinging hammock system 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention, is shown. The automated swing hammock system 10 of the present invention comprises a bed frame 20, two hanging assemblies 40 comprising a left hanging assembly 41 and a right hanging assembly 45 integrally connected to the bed frame 20, a base frame 100, two support frames 130 comprising a left support frame 131 and a right support frame 135 integrally connected to the base frame 100, wherein two hanging rods 50, 52 integrally extend from the left hanging assembly 41 and the right hanging assembly respectively 45 and are securely and removably inserted into longitudinal cavities defined in the two holding members 150, 152 integrally extending from a top portion of each of the support frames 130. With this design and configuration, the base frame 100 and the two support frames 130 provide support while the bed frame 20 and the hanging assemblies 40 are in suspended position and the connection between the hanging rods 50, 52 and the holding members 150, 152 provides the capability for the bed frame 20 to swing in a pendulum motion when a swinging force is applied.

As another embodiment shown in FIG. 1, an automated swing device 200 driven by a motor 210 is secured on the base frame 100 and connected via a plurality of rods to one of the hanging assemblies 40, thereby providing a driving force to swing the bed frame 20 without effort by a user.

In further reference to FIG. 1, the bed frame 20 substantially forms a rectangle structure comprising a back bar 22, a front bar 24, a left bar 26, and a right bar 28. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the length of the back bar 22 and the front bar 24 is preferably about 84 inches and the length of the left bar 26 and the right bar 28 is preferably between 36 and 72 inches. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that the length of bars 22, 24, 26, and 28 can vary according to the design size desired by the user without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Alternatively, the bed frame 20 can be a structure of any shape as a user desires, which includes, but is not limited to, a square, an oval, a circle, or a trapezoid structure.

As shown in FIG. 1, the two hanging assemblies 40 are integrally connected to the bed frame 20. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, one end of a back arm 42 of the left hanging assembly 41 is integrally connected to the back left corner of the bed frame 20, one end of the front arm 44 of the left hanging assembly 41 is integrally connected to the front left corner of the bed frame 20, and the back arm 42 and the front arm 44 extended upward in a gradually narrowing angle toward each other and conjointly connect to form a triangular structure, which defines the left hanging assembly 41. Similarly, the right hanging assembly 45 is configured to be connected to the right side of the bed frame 20.

The angle between the bed frame 20 and the hanging assemblies 40 can be any angle between about 90 to about 180 degrees. As a person of the ordinary in the art will understand, the angles between each hanging assembly 41, 45 and the bed frame 20 can be substantially the same as to form a symmetry configuration between the hanging assemblies 41, 45 and the bed frame 20. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the preferred angle is about 60 degrees.

Also shown in FIG. 1, the left hanging rod 50 is integrally connected to the top of the triangular shaped structure of the left hanging assembly 41. Desirably, the left hanging rod 50 is substantially parallel to the bed frame 20. The length of the left hanging rod 50 is preferably of a length to fit within the longitudinal cavity of the holding members 150. The right hanging rod 52 is similarly connected to the top portion of the triangular shaped structure of the right hanging assembly 45. The length of the left hanging rod 52 is preferably of a length to fit within the longitudinal cavity of the holding members 152. As a person of the ordinary in the art will understand, the configuration of these connections allow for symmetry between the left and right side of the hammock apparatus.

Now directing attention to the base frame 100. The base frame 100 is substantially a rectangle structure comprising a back member 102, a front member 104, a left 20 member 110, and a right member 112. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the length of the back member 102 and the front member 104 is preferably about 114 inches and the length of the left member 110 and the right member 112 is preferably between 48 and 108 inches. The base frame 100 can also be a structure of any shape a user desires, which includes, but is not limited to, a square, an oval, a circle, or a trapezoid structure.

Preferably, the base frame 100 has a left inner member 120 integrally connected to the side of the back member 102 and side of the front member 104 of the base frame 100, and the length of the left inner member 120 is substantially the same as the left member 110 of the base frame 100. Similarly, the right inner member 122 is integrally connected to the side of the back member 102 and the side of the front member 104 of the base frame 100. The length of the right inner member 122 is substantially the same as the right member 112 of the base frame 100. The purpose of the left inner member 120 and the right inner member 122 is to reinforce the structure of the base frame 100 in this embodiment.

Now directing attention to the support frames 130. The left support frame 131 comprises a back arm 132 and a front arm 134. One end of the back arm 132 is integrally connected to the back left corner of the base frame 100. The back arm 132 and the front arm 134 extend upward in a gradually narrowing angle from the base frame 100 and each form a narrow angle with the left member 110 of the base frame 100 to form a triangular shaped structure defining the left support frame 131. Similarly, the right support frame 135 is configured to be connected to the right side of the base frame 100. The height of the left support frame 131 and the right support frame 135 is substantially the same and is determined at the choice of the user.

Also shown in FIG. 1, the left holding member 150 is integrally connected to the top of the arc shape structure of the left support frame 131. Desirably the left holding member 150 is parallel to the base frame 100 and perpendicular to the left support frame 131. The length of the left holding member 150 is preferably comparable to the length of the left extended hanging rod 50. The left holding member 150 forms a cylindrical structure having a plurality of bearings within the cavity of the structure. The diameter of the cavity of the left holding member 150 is such that the left extended hanging rod 50 can be easily inserted and freely rotated or pivoted. Similarly, the right holding member 152 is connected to the top of the triangular shaped structure of the right support frame 135. The length and diameter of the right holding member 152 are configured as described in relation to the left holding member 150, that is to allow the right extended hanging rod 52 to freely rotate or pivot inside the cavity of the right holding member 152 in a pendulum motion.

In the embodiment as shown in FIG. 1, reinforcing rods 140, 142, 144, and 146 are preferably configured to be integrally connected to the corners between the back member 102 and the front member 104 of the base frame 100 and the left support frame 131 between the back member 102 and the front member 104 and the right support frame 135.

According to FIG. 1, the automated swinging device 200 is integrated into the swing system 10 to provide a driving force to swing the bed frame 20 in a desired pendulum motion without effort by a user. The automated swinging device 200 can be integrated into the swing system 10 on either side of the swing system 10 without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention.

Now turning to FIG. 2, a side view is shown of the automated swing device 200 as connected to the left support frame 131 of the present invention to form the automated swinging hammock system 10. As shown in FIG. 2, the motor 210 is situated and secured to a motor stand 250, which is secured to the left inner member 120 and the left member 110 of the base frame 100. However, the motor stand 250 can also be secured to the right inner member 122 and the right member 112 of the base frame 100 as desired by the user. The motor stand 250 can be any kind of structure to secure the motor 210. The motor 210 can be a DC motor with power range in between ⅙ hp and 1 hp or an AC motor with power range in between ⅙ hp and 1 hp. When a DC motor is used, a variable controller is preferably coupled with the motor so that the speed of the motor can be desirably controlled. The DC or AC motor can be any conventional motor available on the market.

As shown in FIG. 2, one end of a crank 220 is removably connected to the motor 210, and the opposite end of the crank 220 is hingebly connected to one end of a crank arm 230. the opposite end of the crank arm 230 is hingebly connected to one end of a rocker arm 240, and the opposite end of the rocker arm 240 is integrally connected to the left hanging rod 50 provided the device 200 is assembled on the left side of the swing system 10. However, the right hanging rod 52 is utilized to connect the rocker arm 240 if the device 200 is assembled on the right side of the swing system 10 shown in FIG. 1.

In one embodiment as shown in FIG. 2, the crank 220 is about 2 to 6 inches long, the crank arm 230 is about 12 to 48 inches long, and the rocker am 240 is about 23 inches long.

In the configuration as shown in FIG. 2, when the motor 210 is on, the motor 210 provides a driving force to rotate the crank 220 in a 360 degree clockwise motion, which drives the crank arm 230, which in turn drives the rocker arm 240, which eventually drives the bed frame 20 (shown in FIG. 1) in a pendulum motion. Therefore, when the motor 210 is on, the automated swing device 200 drives the bed frame 20 in the pendulum swing motion without the effort of a user.

In the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the material for constructing the hammock system and the automated swing device can be any kind of conventional material including but limited to steel, aluminum, plastic, or the like.

Specifically in the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the term “integrally connected” refers to any conventional connection means including but limited to welding, natural extension, nailing, or hinging. The term “hingebly connected”refers to any conventional connection means utilizing pivotal connection to couple two objects and allow each object movement along the plane of the conjunction of the two objects.

Although the invention has been shown and described with respect to a certain preferred embodiment or embodiments, it is obvious that equivalent alterations and modifications will occur to others skilled in the art upon the reading and understanding of this specification and the annexed drawings. In particular regard to the various functions performed by the above described components (assemblies, devices, circuits, etc.), the terms (including a reference to a “means”) used to describe such components are intended to correspond, unless otherwise indicated, to any component which performs the specified function of the described component (i.e., that is functionally equivalent), even though not structurally equivalent to the disclosed structure which performs the function in the herein illustrated exemplary embodiments of the invention. In addition, while a particular feature of the invention may have been disclosed with respect to only one of several embodiments, such feature may be combined with one or more other features of the other embodiments as may be desired.

Various modifications of the disclosed embodiments, as well as alternative embodiments of the invention will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to the description of the invention. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and the specific embodiment disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. It is therefore, contemplated that the claims will cover any such modifications or embodiments that fall within the true scope of the invention