Title:
Multiple head sweeping device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An efficient sweeping device has a handle with a gripping end and a sweeping end. The sweeping end has at least a first brush head and a second brush head. The two brush heads are disposed so that a) when the sweeping end is pressed firmly against a ground surface ends of bristles of each of the at least two brush heads contact the ground surface; and b) ends of the bristles on each broom head contact the ground surface, with ends of bristles on the first broom head being more distal from the gripping end than ends of bristles of the second broom head. The first broom head may be able to pivot away from the second broom head when the device is held relatively horizontally over the ground surface.



Inventors:
Foss, Jonathan G. (Shorewood, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/294289
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
12/05/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/172
International Classes:
A46B9/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080092314Scraper assembly for paintbrushApril, 2008Griffin
20090158547WIPER BLADE ASSEMBLY HAVING MULTI-BEAMJune, 2009Kim
20100043164Disposable toothbrushFebruary, 2010Holowecky
20040040575Brush for cleaning/scrubbing a substrateMarch, 2004Alexander II et al.
20090255073Lint removing stickOctober, 2009Emmons et al.
20090007355Plural sided cleaning implementJanuary, 2009Policicchio et al.
20060230559Nubby mitt for debris removalOctober, 2006Knopow et al.
20040250362Electric fruit and vegetable surface cleaner/removerDecember, 2004Wright
20060107481Scrubbing padMay, 2006Chen
20080083084MODULAR HOOD FOR MECHANIZED SWEEPERApril, 2008Schwarze
20090265876FLOOR CLEANING ATTACHMENTOctober, 2009Gardner et al.



Primary Examiner:
SPISICH, MARK
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark A. Litman & Associates (Edina, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A sweeping device comprising a handle having a gripping end and a sweeping end, the sweeping end comprising at least two brush heads of a first brush head independently attached to the handle and a second brush head independently from the first brush head attached to the handle, the two brush heads disposed so that: a) when the sweeping end is pressed firmly against a ground surface, bristles of each of the at least two brush heads contact the ground surface; and b) ends of the bristles of each of the two brush heads contact the ground surface, with the ends of bristles on the second brush head being more distal from the gripping end than the ends of bristles of the first brush head.

2. The sweeping device of claim 1 wherein a direction between an end of the gripping end and an end of the sweeping end is considered a length of the device and there is an average separation between closest ends of bristles on the first brush head and ends of bristles on the second brush head of between 3 and 50 cm and the first and second brush heads do not pivot with respect to the handle.

3. The sweeping device of claim 1 wherein a direction between an end of the gripping end and an end of the sweeping end is considered a length of the device and the bristles of the first brush head are closest to the gripping end of the device, the first brush head being relatively closer to the ground surface when the device is in a sweeping position, and the first brush head is able to pivot away from the second brush head when the device is held relatively horizontally over the ground surface with the first brush head closest to the ground surface in comparison with the second brush head.

4. The sweeping device of claim 1 wherein the handle comprising the gripping end and at least the second brush head is physically secured proximally at the sweeping end of the device.

5. The sweeping device of claim 4 wherein the second brush head may be removed and reattached to the elongate handle without damage to the elongate handle or the second brush head.

6. The sweeping device of claim 4 wherein the first brush head may be removed and reattached to the elongate handle without damage to the elongate handle or the first brush head.

7. The sweeping device of claim 6 wherein the second brush head may be removed and reattached to the elongate handle without damage to the elongate handle or the second brush head.

8. The sweeping device of claim 1 wherein a locus of ends of bristles on the first brush head and a locus of bristles on the second brush head are each defined by an approximately straight line.

9. (canceled)

10. The sweeping device of claim 1 wherein the handle comprising the gripping end and the second brush head is at an angle with respect to the elongate handle that is closer to parallellity with the handle than an angle between the first brush head and the elongate handle.

11. The sweeping device of claim 2 wherein the handle comprising the gripping end and the second brush head is at an angle with respect to the elongate handle that is closer to parallellity with the handle than an angle between the first brush head and the elongate handle.

12. The sweeping device of claim 3 wherein there is an elongate handle element comprising the gripping end and the second brush head is at an angle with respect to the elongate handle that is closer to parallellity with the handle than an angle between the first brush head and the elongate handle.

13. The sweeping device of claim 4 wherein there is an elongate handle element comprising the gripping end and the second brush head is at an angle with respect to the elongate handle that is closer to parallellity with the handle than an angle between the first brush head and the elongate handle.

14. The sweeping device of claim 3 wherein a locking system is present that prevents pivoting of the first brush head until the locking device is positioned into an unlocked position.

15. The sweeping device of claim 12 wherein a locking system is present that prevents pivoting of the first brush head until the locking device is positioned into an unlocked position.

Description:

FIG. 2 shows a side view of a multiple broom head sweeping device 100. The sweeping device 100 comprises a handle 102, an upper broom head 104 and a first lower broom head 106 and a second lower broom head 108. As can be readily seen, bristles 110 on the various broom heads 104, 106 and 108 extend in the same general direction, within that about 30° orientation of each other, but this about 30° limitation is less important as between brush heads, where the orientation may be more different, yet still facing towards a surface to be swept. It cannot be seen that the bristles 110 (and to some degree the broom head) are flexible and that each bristle 110 has its end conforms to the surface being swept.

In operation, the sweeping device 100 will have the broom heads 104, 106 and 108 pushed along the ground away from the person holding the handle 102 such that the second lower broom head 108 grabs at material on the ground and starts to collect them after the first broom has allowed any detritus to pass by the first broom head set of bristles. The brush 110 is on the second lower broom head 108 and under the elongated section 112 of the times 110 on the second lower broom head 108. As the upper broom head 104 fills, waste passes under the tines 110 of the upper broom head 104 to contact the brush 110 of the first lower broom head 106. A similar process occurs between the first lower broom head 106 and the second lower broom head 108. An interesting point to note is that the function and benefits of the multiple broom heads is different from the function and benefit of the use of multiple shaving heads or blades. As well advertised, the first of two multiple shaving heads cuts and extends a hair, and the second head or blade catches the extended hair and cuts the hair lower along the follicle. That functional mechanism has no relevance to the performance of the broom sweeping system described herein. The swept material is moveable not fixed, the swept material is not cut by the moving broom head action, and the following broom head contacts waste that has completely passed by a more forward broom head. Instead, the broom system described herein provides a backup catch system for passed waste, and allows higher sweeping efficiency with each stroke. The broom sweeping system enables higher efficiency sweeping and leaves fewer waste solids in the path of the sweeping, which reduces the need for multiple strokes over the same area to be swept.

FIG. 3 shows a side view of a broom system 200 in which only two broom heads 206 and 208 are shown for convenience. The two broom heads 206 and 208 have a separation D between the forward locus line of bristles on brush 206 and the rearward locus line of bristles on brush head 208 from the second broom head 206 to the first broom head 208. Where the broom head 206 attaches to the handle 202 there is a connection 214 that allows the broom head 206 to pivot and brace itself against either or both of the handle 202 and/or a block 212 that restricts movement. By bracing itself in the upward rotation direction, the broom head 206 can provide force against the ground during sweeping. If the upper broom head 208 were allowed to pivot, the upper broom head 202 would bounce or float over the ground with little force. There is an arm 216 that supports the broom head 206. It is also shown in this figure that the handle 202 is at an angle other than 180° with respect to the support 204 for the two brush heads 206 and 208. This facilitates sweeping and handling by a user.

One benefit of the pivoting lower broom head 204 is the ability, once the broom system 200 is lifted, the lower broom head 206 can pivot (with or without clearing any locking mechanism) so that the lower head 206 can pivot freely, expanding the space between the two broom heads 208 and 206, which will allow larger solid material that collects between the two broom heads 208 and 206 to freely fall from between those broom heads. The pivoting broom head(s) such as the lower broom head 206 can be free swinging or may lock into a fixed relationship with the adjacent head and then be unlocked to release any entrapped larger solid material, as by a pin (not shown) or levered locking system (not shown). The lower broom head 206 flexes when pressed against the ground, and this tends to close or restrict the spacing between adjacent broom heads, which limits entry of larger material between broom heads, and reduces the need for repeated material removal. However, some entrapment does occur and the ability to freely pivot the lower broom head 206 assists in reducing the annoying time delays when larger accumulation of material must be removed.

Another way of describing the technology of the presently disclosed sweeping device is a structure comprising a handle having a gripping end and a sweeping end. The sweeping end comprises at least two broom heads as a first broom head and a second broom head. The two broom heads are disposed so that:

    • when the sweeping end is pressed firmly against a ground surface, ends of the brushes (e.g., the bristles) of each of the at least two broom heads contact the ground surface; and
    • ends of the brushes are the ends of the bristles that contact the ground surface, with ends of the bristles on the first broom head being more distal from the gripping end than ends of bristles of the second broom head.
      By “ends” it is not required that the ends of the bristles that contact the ground be actually sharply pointed, but means only the ends of the bristles that are intended to contact the ground surface, which may be pointed, flat, rounded, beveled or any other functional shape. The actual ends of the bristles [ines]], as known in the art, may be flat, curved, beveled, rounded, pointed or otherwise shaped in a working end as known in the art.

The sweeping device has an approximate general direction or length lying along a direction between a hand-held end of the gripping end and the sweeping end that shall be considered a length of the device. There is an average separation between closest set ends of [-hshes]] brushes (usually as measured along a line or arc formed by one side of the width of the first broom head and bristles on a similar (but not necessarily identical) second broom head of between 3 and 50 cm, preferably between 3 and 30 ctn. By closest brush or closest bristle is meant (for example) looking along a line of [[te])) sight down a bristle [[tine]] on a first ([fake]] broom head, a bristle [[fe]] on the second [[rake]) broom head can be seen that in closest in distance (considering three dimensions) to the end of that bristle [[te]]. When considering the locus of bristles [(n]] within each [[fae]] broom head (as later descnbed), this distance can actually be better considered as the average distance between the loci of bristles [[ti]] on the first ([Fake]] broom head as compared to the loci of bristles [[tes]] on the second [[fake]] broomn head.

The term “rake head” does not necessarily mean that such a structure (the component that supports a row of bristles [[tes]]) needs to be a separate element attached at its own distinct location along the elongate handle element. Although the structure may have distinct [[tae]) broom heads separately attached to the handle, a single support structure attached to the handle may have the bristles [[Gus]] and their supports spread long the length of the support structure.

The length of the [[flit-]) swieeping device and orientation of elements thereon is such that bristles [ties]] of the first [[Fake]] broom head are closest to the gripping end of the device, the first [[fake]] broom head being relatively closer to the ground surface when the device is in a ([fling]] sweeping position. The first [[ae]] broom head is preferably able to pivot away from the second [[Fake]] broom head when the device is held relatively horizontally over the ground surface with the first [[rake]] broom head closest to the ground surface in comparison with the second [[rake]] broom head. Any pivoting or swiveling component can enable this motion, such as a pinned hinge, ball hinge, living hinge (less preferred because of structural weakness), and the like.

The [[raking]) sweepin device may have elongate handle element comprising the gripping end and at least the second [[rake]] broom head is physically secured proximally at the [[raking]] sweeping end of the device. The physical securement may be relatively permanent (e.g., bolt, staples, nails, adhesive, etc.) or such that the second [[rake]] broom head may be removed and reattached to the elongate handle without damage to the elongate handle or the second [(Fake]] broom head, as by a screwing handle/head relationship with the hand as either a male coupling or preferably a female coupling, toggled clip, snap clips, levered clips, pinned attachments and the like. The same type of engagement between the handle and the first [Fake)] broom head may be provided.

As noted earlier, the [[in] sweening device may have a locus of ends of bristles [ines)] on the first [[fake]] broom head and a locus of brstles [[*es]] on the second [[]] broom head are each defined by an approximately straight line, curve (arc) or other finctional shape or design. There may be an elongate handle element comprising the gripping end wherein the second ffw]] broom head is at an angle with respect to the elongate handle that is closer to parallellity with the handle than an angle between the first ([Tia]) broom and the elongate handle. The handle does not have to be straight, but may be more ergonomically shaped so that less bending is required by the user. This may be accomplished by having a significant bend or arc along the handle. It is preferred that there is a locking system present that prevents pivoting of the first [[%e]] broom head until the locking device is positioned into an unlocked position, although the free swinging (without locking mechanism) action is finctionally sufficient.

The locus of the ends of the bristles [[ties]] may be a straight line or as curve, and the spacing between tines is large enough for the individual bristles [[tines]] to flex and yet not easily overlap, one another. The end points of the bristles [[sies]] may be in a straight line, in an arc, in a combination of these, show a stepped orientation, and the like. It is preferred, but not essentially, that the end bristles [(nes]] of the multiple [[rke]] broom heads be relatively parallel to each other, but this again is not essential.

Although specific terms and structures have been provided to enable those skilled in the art, these specifics are merely representative descriptions within the generic concepts disclosed herein. The materials used in the construction are well within the design choices of the ordinary skilled artisan and include natural materials (e.g., wood, cane, etc.) and synthetic materials (e.g., metals, plastics, composites, etc.).