Title:
SELF-STANDING WALKING STICK WITH LIGHT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-standing walking stick includes a base and a hollow tube or pole extending upwardly from the base. The pole may be detachably coupled to the base. A light is provided in the base, with a switch in the pole to control turning the light on or off. A battery is electrically coupled to the light and the switch to provide power to the light.



Inventors:
Gordon, Jerry E. (Frankfort, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/422375
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
06/06/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/910
International Classes:
A45B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCKEE, VOORHEES & SEASE, P.L.C. (DES MOINES, IA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A self-standing, lighted walking stick, comprising: a base; a hollow tube extending upwardly from the base and having opposite upper and lower ends; a light in the base; a switch on the tube and electrically coupled to the light to turn the light on and off; a battery in the base electrically coupled to the light and the switch; and the base having a flat bottom surface with an area greater than the diameter of the pole and sufficiently large such that the tube will remain upright while the walking stick is unattended.

2. The walking stick of claim 1 wherein the pole and base are detachably connected together.

3. The walking stick of claim 2 wherein the pole is threadably coupled to the base.

4. The walking stick of claim 2 wherein the base has an upper surface with a recess for receiving the lower end of the pole.

5. The walking stick of claim 2 wherein the base and lower end of the pole have mating electrical contacts to provide electrical communication between the switch and the light.

6. The walking stick of claim 1 wherein the pole has multiple sections.

7. The walking stick of claim 6 wherein the sections are telescoping.

8. The walking stick of claim 6 wherein the sections are collapsible.

9. The walking stick of claim 6 wherein the sections are foldable.

10. The walking stick of claim 1 wherein the base has a shape selected from a group comprising a foot, a ball, a star and an animal.

11. A self-standing, lighted walking stick, comprising: a base having a light recessed at least partially therein; an upright pole detachably mounted to the base; a switch to turn the light on and off; the base having a horizontal bottom surface to engage a floor and to maintain the pole in a substantially vertical orientation.

12. The walking stick of claim 11 further comprising a coupling to detachably connect the base and pole together.

13. The walking stick of claim 12 wherein the coupling includes threads.

14. The walking stick of claim 12 wherein the coupling is friction fit.

15. The walking stick of claim 12 wherein the coupling includes a stud.

16. The walking stick of claim 12 wherein the coupling includes electrical connections for the light and switch.

17. The walking stick of claim 11 further comprising a battery in the base to provide power to the light.

18. The walking stick of claim 11 wherein the pole is hollow, and the switch is adjacent an upper end of the pole, with electrical wires extending from the switch and through the pole.

19. The walking stick of claim 11 wherein the pole has multiple sections.

20. The walking stick of claim 11 wherein the base includes a cavity for housing a battery.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is common for people to get up at night for various reasons, such as to check on a child, to use the restroom, or go to the kitchen. In such instances, light is needed for safe walking. However, often times it is undesirable to turn on ceiling lights, table lamps, or other relatively bright lights which may wake someone else in the room, or be too glaring for the person who is getting up. Normally, only a small amount of light is needed for safe movement from one room to another.

Canes and walking sticks having various features are well-known, including lighted canes and walking sticks. However, canes and sticks normally are not self-standing or supporting, but rather must be leaned against a wall, laid on the ground, or placed in a container. Also, the prior art lighted canes generally have a light bulb spaced above the ground in the upright pole or body of the cane, thus failing to direct light efficiently along the ground for a person using the cane.

Accordingly, a primary objective of the present invention is the provision of a self-supported, lighted walking stick or cane to provide a low level light for safe walking in a dark room.

A further objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved walking stick or cane having a light in the base in close proximity to the floor.

A further objective of the present invention is the provision of a lighted walking stick or cane having a broad base so that the stick or cane will stand upright while unattended.

Still another objective of the present invention is the provision of a cane or walking stick having a detachable base.

Yet another objective of the present invention is the provision of a lighted cane or walking stick having a handle or pole which is segmented for breakdown into short sections.

Another objective of the present invention is the provision of a self-standing, lighted walking stick which is economical to manufacture, durable in use, and provides for safe walking in a darkened environment.

These and other objectives will become apparent from the following description of the invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A self-standing, lighted walking stick is provided with a base and a hollow tube extending upwardly from the base. A light is provided in the base adjacent the floor, and is electrically connected to a switch in the pole for activation by a user. The light is battery powered. The base has a flat bottom surface with an area substantially greater than the diameter of the pole, such that the pole will remain upright while the walking stick is unattended. The pole may be detachably coupled to the base for shipping, transportation, or storage. The pole may also be comprised of multiple sections which can be quickly and easily assembled. The multiple sections of the pole may be telescoping, collapsible, foldable, threadably coupled, or otherwise breakdown for compactness. The base may have various ornamental designs, such as a foot, a ball, a star, or an animal shape.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the self-standing lighted walking stick of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the walking stick.

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the walking stick.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the walking stick.

FIGS. 5-8 are side elevation views showing various embodiments for coupling the pole to the base of the walking stick.

FIGS. 9-13 are views showing alternative embodiments of the base.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The walking stick of the present invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 10 in the drawings. The walking stick 10 includes a base 12 and an upright hollow pole or tube 14. The pole or tube 14 may be fixed to the base 12, or detachably coupled thereto, as described below. The base has a flat bottom with a sufficiently large area, greater than the diameter of the pole 14, so that the stick 10 is self-standing. The base 12 also includes a light source 16, such as a small bulb, which is at least partially recessed in the base. A switch 18 is provided for activating the light source 16. Preferably, the switch 18 is on the top of the pole 14. It is understood that the switch 18 may also be located on the base 12, or at a different location on the pole 14. The switch 18 may be any type of switch, such as a push button switch, a slide switch, or a toggle switch. When the switch 18 is located on the pole 14, the switch can be turned on and off by a user's hand. When the switch 18 is mounted on the base 12, the switch can be operated with a user's foot. It is understood that the upper end of the pole 14 may include a handle of various shapes, for comfort and aesthetics.

A battery 20 provides power to the light source 16. Preferably, the battery 20 is mounted in the base 12. An access door (not shown) may be provided on the top or the bottom of the base 12 so that the battery 20 can be changed. The battery 20 is electrically connected via wires 22 to the light source 16 and the switch 18. The battery 20 may be any conventional type of battery, and may be disposable or rechargeable.

Preferably, the pole 14 is detachably coupled to the base 12. Various methods of coupling the base 12 and pole 14 are shown in FIGS. 5-8. More particularly, in FIG. 5, the base 12 includes a stud 24 over which the hollow lower end 26 of the pole 14 matingly fits. The stud 24 and the lower end 26 of the pole 14 may include threads 28. Alternatively, the stud 24 may be recessed into a cavity 30 in the top of the base 12, as shown in FIG. 6. In both FIGS. 5 and 6, the threads 28 are optional, but provide a more secure coupling, as compared to a press fit coupling without threads.

FIG. 7 shows another coupling technique, wherein the lower end 26 of the pole includes external threads 20 for threaded receipt into a cavity 32 in the upper surface of the base 12. Again, the threads 28 may be deleted in the cavity 32 and on the lower end 26 of the pole 14, which would simply press or friction fit together.

FIG. 8 shows a friction fit coupling between the lower end 26 of the pole and the cavity 30 in the base, with electrical contacts 34 completing the electrical circuitry between the light source 16, the switch 18 and the battery 20.

FIGS. 9-13 show various designs or configurations for the base 12.

In FIG. 1, the base 12 is shown to be in the shape of a foot. In FIG. 9, the base 12A is shown to be in the shape of a star. In FIG. 10, the base 12B is shown to be in the shape of a ball, such as a baseball. In FIG. 11, the base 12C is shown to be in the shape of a football. In FIG. 12, the base 12D is a hemisphere, thus depicting an object such as the sun or the moon. In FIG. 13, the base 12E is in the shape of a fish. It is understood that the base may take any other desired shape, including animals, geometric shapes, logos (such as a school mascot), and the like.

Preferably, the base 12 and pole 14 of the walking stick 10 are made of lightweight materials. For example, the base may be made of foam and the pole may be made of PVC plastic material. The recesses 30, 32 may include a plastic or metal liner for rigidity and durability.

FIG. 9 also shows an alternative pole with segments 14A, 14B, and 14C. The segments may be disassembled for shipping, storage or transportation. The segments 14A-14C may be connected in any convenient manner, such as threads, male and female couplers, detents, and the like. The segments 14A-14C may be telescoping, collapsible, foldable, or otherwise quickly and easily assembled and disassembled, as needed.

In use, the walking stick 10 stands next to a bed, chair, or other location where a user may need it in the night. The walking stick 10 is self-standing due to the large area of the base 12. The pole or handle 14 can be easily grasped by a person getting out of bed or getting up from a chair. Light is directed toward the floor and walking path by the light source 16, which has low wattage, to prevent excessive illumination of the room or hallway where the person is walking. Also, the position of the light source 16 close to the floor minimizes stray light projecting upwardly. The walking stick 10 can also be used when the person is walking from room to room in the event of a power outage.

The invention has been shown and described above with the preferred embodiments, and it is understood that many modifications, substitutions, and additions may be made which are within the intended spirit and scope of the invention. From the foregoing, it can be seen that the present invention accomplishes at least all of its stated objectives.





 
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