Title:
Seating and/or reclining furniture for use outdoors or in wet areas, especially lounger or the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Seating and/or reclining furniture for use outdoors or in wet areas, especially a lounger or the like, includes moisture-resistant base having at least two relatively adjustable supporting elements. Seating/reclining furniture supports a person resting on the furniture, and increases user comfort. At least one electromechanical drive device is provided for adjusting the supporting elements relative to each other. Thus, the adjustment of the supporting elements can be performed by motor-driven device, thus eliminating need for manual adjustment, and increasing user comfort. A special advantage of the seating and/or reclining furniture is that adjustment can be performed while a person is resting on the item of furniture, and in terms of its electromechanical adjustment, furniture has a functionality that has so far been known only for electromechanically adjustable slatted frames (which owing to their configuration, however, are unsuitable for use outdoors or in wet areas).



Inventors:
Schneider, Johannes (Kirchlengern, DE)
Dewert, Eckhart (Zurich, CH)
Application Number:
11/653437
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/02; A47C1/024; A47C1/034; A47C1/037; A47C1/14; A47C20/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHLESINGER, ARKWRIGHT & GARVEY LLP (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Seating and/or reclining furniture for use outdoors or in wet areas, comprising: a) a moisture-resistant base; b) the moisture-resistant base including at least two supporting elements, the at least two supporting elements being adjustable relative to each other, and being configured for supporting a person resting on the item of furniture, in use; and c) at least one electromechanical drive device for adjusting the at least two supporting elements relative to each other.

2. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 1, wherein: a) the base is substantially plastic.

3. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 1, wherein: a) a housing that is sealed against the penetration of moisture is provided; and b) one of the drive device and a control device of the drive device is accommodated in the housing.

4. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 1, wherein: a) the base includes at least one member, and at least one of the at least one member is configured as a hollow profile.

5. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 3, wherein: a) the housing is at least partially formed by a hollow member of the base.

6. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 4, wherein: a) the electromechanical drive device is at least partially accommodated in a hollow member.

7. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 1, wherein: a) the base includes a frame configured for placing the furniture on the ground, in use.

8. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 1, wherein: a) the base includes a stationary center supporting element, one end of which stationary center supporting element is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to a leg supporting element, and the other end of which stationary center supporting element is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to an upper body supporting element.

9. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 8, wherein: a) a head supporting element is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to the end of the upper body supporting element opposite the center supporting element.

10. Seating and/or reclining furniture according claim 8, wherein: a) a calf supporting element is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to the end of the leg supporting element opposite the center supporting element.

11. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 8, wherein: a) a common electromechanical drive device is assigned to the leg supporting element and the upper body supporting element for adjusting the same.

12. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 8, wherein: a) one electromechanical drive device each is assigned to each of the leg supporting element and to the upper body supporting element for adjusting same.

13. Seating and/or reclining furniture according to claim 1, wherein: a) the seating and/or reclining furniture includes a lounger.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of application no. PCT/EP2005/005467, filed May 20, 2005, which claims the priority of German application no. 20 2004 011 096.2, filed 14 Jul. 2004, and each of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to seating and/or reclining furniture Seating and/or reclining furniture for use outdoors or in wet areas, especially a lounger or the like. More particularly, the invention relates to such seating and/or reclining furniture including a moisture-resistant base which includes at least two supporting elements, which can be adjusted in relation to each other and support a person resting on the item of furniture.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

These types of seating and/or reclining furniture are generally known, in the form of loungers and garden chairs, for example, or in the form of loungers that can be used in wet areas, such as swimming pools or wellness areas. In accordance with their use outdoors or in wet areas, known seating and/or reclining furniture include a moisture-resistant base, which generally predominantly includes plastic, and at least two supporting elements, which can be adjusted in relation to each other and support a person resting on the item of furniture.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to specify a seating and/or reclining furniture of the type for use outdoors or in wet areas, especially a lounger or the like, such seating and/or reclining furniture including a moisture-resistant base which includes at least two supporting elements, which can be adjusted in relation to each other, which support a person resting on the item of furniture, and which increase the comfort of the user.

This object is achieved by the teachings set forth below, and in the claims.

According to the invention, at least one electromechanical drive device is provided for adjusting the supporting elements in relation to each other. In this manner, the adjustment of the supporting elements can be performed by a motor-driven device, so that manual adjustment is no longer required, and comfort for the user is thereby substantially increased. A special advantage of the seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention includes the fact that the adjustment can be performed while a person is resting on the item of furniture. It is therefore no longer necessary to stand up from the item of furniture to adjust the supporting elements. Comfort for the user is substantially increased in this manner also.

The seating and/or reclining furniture, in terms of its electromechanical adjustment, has a functionality that has so far been known only for electromechanically adjustable slatted frames which, due to their design however, are not suitable for use outdoors or in wet areas.

The seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention can be embodied in any suitable manner, such as a garden chair for example. Preferably, the seating and/or reclining furniture is embodied as a lounger, however.

In principle, the base can include any desired moisture-resistant material. An advantageous further development of the teaching according to the invention provides for the base to substantially include plastic. In this embodiment, the base includes a particularly moisture-resistant and weather-resistant material, and is furthermore particularly inexpensive to manufacture. Within the meaning of the invention, the base then is substantially plastic if the main components of the body include plastic while the adjusting armatures, for example, may include metal.

An exceptionally advantageous further embodiment of the teaching according to the invention provides that the drive device and/or a control device of the drive device are accommodated in a housing that is sealed against the penetration of moisture. In this embodiment, the drive device and/or control device are protected from moisture and from weathering effects in a particularly reliable fashion.

Another advantageous further development of the teaching according to the invention provides that at least one member of the base is embodied as a hollow profile. In this embodiment, the base features particularly low weight.

One particularly advantageous further development of the two abovementioned embodiments provides that the housing is at least partially formed by a hollow member of the base. In this embodiment, the drive device and/or the control device are accommodated in a hollow member of the base, so that a separate housing for accommodating the drive device and/or control device is not required.

Another advantageous further development of the teaching according to the invention provides that the electromechanical drive device is at least partially accommodated in a hollow member. In this embodiment, the entire electromechanical drive device can be accommodated in the hollow member in the manner known from DE 199 62 541 A1 for adjustable slatted frames of beds. But it is also possible to accommodate only one part of the drive device, such as a spindle drive device as a linear drive device as well as a gear, in the hollow member, while arranging the electric motor outside the hollow member and drivably connecting it to the parts accommodated in the hollow member.

The base advantageously includes a frame for placing the furniture on the ground.

The base of the seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention can be embodied in any desired suitable manner. An advantageous further development provides that the base includes a stationary center supporting element, one end of which is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to a leg supporting element, and the other end of which is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to an upper body supporting element.

A further development of the abovementioned embodiment provides that a head supporting element is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to the end of the upper body supporting element opposite the center supporting element.

Another further development provides that a calf supporting element is connected, pivotably attached around a substantially horizontal pivot axis, to the end of the leg supporting element opposite the center supporting element.

Corresponding to the respective requirements, it is possible according to the invention, that a common electromechanical drive device is assigned to the leg supporting element and the upper body supporting element for adjusting the same or that one electromechanical drive device each is assigned to the leg supporting element and to the upper body supporting element for adjusting the same.

The invention will be explained in more detail below based on the enclosed strongly schematized drawing, which illustrates exemplary embodiments according to the invention of a seating and/or reclining furniture in the form of a lounger.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first exemplary embodiment of a seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention in the form of a lounger in a first adjustment position of the leg supporting element and of the upper body supporting element;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the lounger according to FIG. 1 in a second adjustment position of the leg supporting element;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the lounger according to FIG. 1 in a second adjustment position of the upper body supporting element;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a second exemplary embodiment of a seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention, shown in a manner similar to FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a third exemplary embodiment of a seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention, shown in a manner similar to FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a fourth exemplary embodiment of a seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention, shown in a manner similar to FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a fifth exemplary embodiment of a seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention, shown in a manner similar to FIG. 1; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a sixth exemplary embodiment of a seating and/or reclining furniture according to the invention shown in a manner similar to FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the figures of the drawing, the same or corresponding components have been provided with the same reference numerals.

FIG. 1 depicts a first exemplary embodiment according to the invention of a seating and/or reclining furniture that can be used outdoors or in wet areas in the form of a lounger 2, which includes a moisture-resistant base 4, which in this exemplary embodiment substantially includes plastic. The base includes a frame for placing the base 4 on the ground, wherein in this exemplary embodiment the frame 6 includes legs, only one of which has been provided with a reference numeral in FIG. 1.

In this exemplary embodiment, the base includes a stationary center supporting element 10, which is connected to the legs 8 and one end of which is connected, pivotably attached around a horizontal pivot axis 12, to a leg supporting element 14, said end lying in the longitudinal direction of the lounger 2. An upper body supporting element 18 is connected, pivotably attached around a horizontal pivot axis 16, to the end of the center supporting element 10 opposite the leg supporting element 14. A calf supporting element 22 is connected, pivotably attached around a horizontal pivot axis 20, to the end of the leg supporting element 14 opposite the center supporting element 10, while a head supporting element 26 is connected, pivotably attached around a horizontal pivot axis 24, to the end of the upper body supporting element 18 opposite the center supporting element 10.

An electromechanical drive device, which is not illustrated in detail in the drawing, is provided to adjust the supporting elements 14, 18, 22, 26 in relation to the center supporting element 10. In this exemplary embodiment the electromechanical drive device is accommodated together with a control device within a longitudinal member 28 embodied as a hollow profile and is drive device-connected to the supporting elements 14, 18, 22, 26 via a suitable adjustment mechanism. The adjustment mechanism and the accommodation of the electromechanical drive device in the hollow longitudinal member 28 can be embodied in the manner known from DE 199 62 541 A1, whose content is hereby incorporated into the present application by means of reference.

The electromechanical drive device is operated using a manual operating device, which is connected to the control device and is not illustrated in the drawing.

Because of the electromechanical drive device, the lounger 2 according to the invention, in terms of the adjustability of the supporting elements 14, 18, 22, 26 in relation to the center supporting element 10, has a functionality that has so far been known only for adjustable slatted frames. In particular, the supporting elements 14, 18, 22, 26 can be adjusted under the load of a person resting on the lounger 2. The adjustment of the supporting elements 14, 18, 22, 26 thus does not require that the person rise from the lounger 2. In addition, the adjustment is achieved in a comfortable and energy-saving manner.

In principle, it suffices to provide a single electromechanical drive device for adjustment of the supporting elements 14, 18, 22, 26. But it is however also possible to assign a first electromechanical drive device to the leg supporting element 14 and the calf supporting element 22, for example, while assigning a second electromechanical drive device to the upper body supporting element 18 and the head supporting element 26.

Due to the complete fitting arrangement of the electromechanical drive device within the hollow longitudinal member 28, the electromechanical drive device does not require a separate housing. Rather, the hollow longitudinal member 28 forms the housing. But it is also possible according to the invention to arrange the electromechanical drive device completely or at least partially outside of the base 4. In particular, a spindle drive device of the electromechanical drive device can be accommodated in the longitudinal member 28, for example, while the electric motor is arranged outside the longitudinal member 28 and drive device-connected to the spindle drive device via a gear.

FIG. 2 shows the lounger according to FIG. 1 in an adjustment position in which the upper leg supporting element 14 and the calf supporting element 22 are lowered in relation to the center supporting member 10.

FIG. 3 shows the lounger according to FIG. 1 in an adjustment position in which the upper body supporting element 16 and the head supporting element 26 are lowered in relation to the center supporting member 10.

FIG. 4 represents a second exemplary embodiment of a lounger 2 according to the invention which substantially differs from the exemplary embodiment according to FIG. 1 in that the end of the frame 6 lying in the longitudinal direction is provided with rollers 30 to facilitate displacement of the lounger 2.

FIG. 5 represents a third exemplary embodiment of a lounger 2 according to the invention which substantially differs from the exemplary embodiment according to FIG. 3 in that armrests 23 are provided. Operational controls for operating the electromechanical drive device or electromechanical drive devices can be integrated into the armrest in the form of push buttons 34 for example.

FIG. 6 depicts a fourth exemplary embodiment of a lounger according to the invention which substantially differs from the exemplary embodiment according to FIG. 3 in that armrests 36 are provided which, in the longitudinal direction of the lounger 2, substantially extend across the entire length of the center supporting member 10.

FIG. 7 depicts a fifth exemplary embodiment of a lounger 2 according to the invention which substantially differs from the exemplary embodiment according to FIG. 3 in that armrests 32 are provided.

FIG. 8 depicts a sixth exemplary embodiment of a lounger according to the invention which substantially differs from the exemplary embodiment according to FIG. 6 in that the frame includes two rockers 38, 40, which are substantially U-shaped in side view.

While this invention has been described as having a preferred design, it is understood that it is capable of further modifications, and uses and/or adaptations of the invention and following in general the principle of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within the known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains, and as may be applied to the central features hereinbefore set forth, and fall within the scope of the invention or limits of the claims appended hereto.