Title:
Wheelchair shelter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An accessory wheelchair shelter adapted to universally install onto the framework of an electric wheelchair. The wheelchair shelter of the present invention comprises: a frame structure having: a chair-attaching portion, a pair of vertical struts, and a canopy frame, a sheltering cover having: a canopy, a front-side curtain, and a rear curtain. The sheltering cover is adapted with strategic portions thereof made of a clear and resilient material thus allow satisfactory viewing area to the outside of said cover. Once assembled—by means of zippers along all mating edges—the wheelchair shelter of the present invention thereby provides protection against sun, snow, rain and the like thus allowing greater freedom, protection and comfort to persons utilizing said wheelchairs.



Inventors:
Mohns, Donna (Sudbury, CA)
Application Number:
11/486017
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H15/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070251560Orthopedic knee crutchNovember, 2007Moore
20090077717Reflective safety sleeveMarch, 2009Luginbuhl
20020088484Wind pressure releasable umbrella/parasolJuly, 2002Liu et al.
20100071739PIN TYPE ONE POLE CRUTCHESMarch, 2010Cho
20050121060Miniature shadeJune, 2005Lucero
20070017563Tent having improved windproof and ventilation abilitiesJanuary, 2007Lah
20080066793HUBS FOR SHADE STRUCTURESMarch, 2008Ma
20030010371Portable rain seat enclosureJanuary, 2003Langley
20070006907Tent structure with solar energy panelsJanuary, 2007Yueh
20030192579Beach umbrella with an incorporated radio setOctober, 2003Llamas Garijo
20100006129Two-headed walking stickJanuary, 2010Falit



Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MIKE M. GAUTHIER-DEVIAT (GARSON, ON, CA)
Claims:
1. A wheelchair shelter comprising: i. a wheelchair-attaching portion having a plurality of attaching points to said wheelchair for greater stability, ii. a frame structure having a generally rectangular form when viewed from above, iii. a sheltering cover having a canopy, a front-side curtain and a rear curtain, and iv. fastening means to said frame structure.

2. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein plurality of attaching points of said wheelchair-attaching portion provides greater stability to the frame structure by means of secure attachments to at least four points onto the wheelchair frame work.

3. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the frame structure further comprises: a pair of vertical struts extending upwardly from the wheelchair-attaching portion at the rear of said wheelchair and up to a height comfortably greater than the top of a wheelchair users head thus providing clearance during entry and exit of the wheelchair, a canopy frame, and a pair of diagonal braces firmly attached to each side member of the canopy frame near the rear portion thereof and each upper portion of the vertical struts thus forming a triangular structurally rigid combination.

4. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the shelter cover is removably attached to the canopy frame's underside by means of a flap integrally attached to the inner underside of said canopy and adapted with a plurality of mating snaps.

5. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the shelter cover is also adapted with a zipper fastener at its lower perimeter so as to provide attachment of both a front-side curtain and a rear curtain.

6. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the shelter cover is adapted with a perimeter skirt integrally attached to said canopy to the outside of the zipper fastener.

7. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the covering shelter is fabricated using impermeable materials and joinery methods.

8. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the front-side curtain of the sheltering cover has a clear and resilient front-side window across a substantially panoramic area thereby allowing optimal viewing area to the outside through said front-side curtain.

9. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the rear curtain of the sheltering cover is adapted with two corner windows so as to provide substantial rear-viewing area therethrough.

10. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the rear curtain of the sheltering cover is adapted with a ventilation screen at the rear upper portion of said rear curtain thereby allowing air passage therethrough.

11. The wheelchair shelter of claim 1 wherein the rear curtain of the sheltering cover is adapted with zipper fasteners both at its very top edge to mate with a similar zipper fastener at the rear portion of the canopy, and two vertical zipper fasteners at each vertical extremity of said rear curtain to mate with zipper fasteners of the vertical extremities of the front-side curtain.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an accessory wheelchair shelter adapted to universally install onto the framework of an electric wheelchair. The wheelchair shelter of the present invention comprises: a frame structure having: a chair-attaching portion, a pair of vertical struts, and a canopy frame, a sheltering cover having: a canopy, a front-side curtain, and a rear curtain. The sheltering cover is adapted with strategic portions thereof made of a clear and resilient material thus allow satisfactory viewing area to the outside of said cover. Once assembled—by means of zippers along all mating edges—the wheelchair shelter of the present invention thereby provides protection against sun, snow, rain and the like thus allowing greater freedom, protection and comfort to persons utilizing said wheelchairs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Unlike conventional road vehicles, wheelchairs are and have been to date bare to the elements. The lack of such shelter has long prevented persons utilizing wheelchairs from the freedom to travel outdoors when conditions are less than desirable.

The inventor—also a wheelchair user—sought to provide the significant mass of like users, with a wheelchair shelter that is non-obtrusive, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and especially protectively functional against the elements.

Thus the inventor presents your commissioner with a wheelchair shelter that is indeed non-obtrusive, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and that functionally protects users against the sun, snow, rain and the like.

One attempt in prior art—in particular U.S. Pat. No. 3,709,553—teaches of a golf cart rain coat wherein the invention depicts a combination golf cart AND a rain coat for same. The invention fails to enable users to adapt a similar arrangement to any existing electric wheelchair thus again failing to satisfy the mandate of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is thus the object of the present invention to provide wheelchair users with a wheelchair shelter that is non-obtrusive, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and especially protectively functional against the elements.

In one aspect of the invention, the shelter of the present invention is fabricated using materials protected against UV rays.

In another aspect of the invention, the canopy portion may incorporate a removable cover over a clear roof window.

In a further aspect, the chair-attaching portion of the shelter of the present invention may be adapted to engage to a manual wheelchair.

In yet another aspect of the invention, an attached trailing wagon—also sheltered—may be provided to further enhance the freedom benefits.

Accordingly, the shelter of the present invention therefore provides wheelchair users with a shelter that is non-obtrusive, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and protectively functional against the elements.

Although the preferred embodiment illustrates the use of the present shelter in conjunction with wheelchairs, the utility of the present invention includes but is not limited to such wheelchairs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following brief description and upon referring to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view from above of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention as installed onto a conventional electric wheelchair.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view from above of the frame structure of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1 of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the front/side curtain portion of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevation view of the rear curtain of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of the rear curtain of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view from above of the sheltered trailing wagon of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a partial perspective view of the canopy of the trailing wagon of the present invention.

While the invention is described in conjunction with preferred illustrated embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention to such embodiments. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the following description, similar features in the drawings have been given similar reference numerals.

Turning to FIG. 1, a perspective view from above of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention comprising; a frame structure having a chair-attaching portion, a pair of vertical struts 4, and a canopy frame, a sheltering cover having: a canopy 6, a front-side curtain 8, and a rear curtain 10. The front-side curtain 8 is adapted with a dear and resilient front window 12 across a substantially panoramic area thereof allowing optimal viewing area to the outside through said front-side curtain 8. The base portion 14 of the front-side curtain 8 is made of a durable flexible opaque material extending only near ground level. Both left and right termination panels 16 and 17 of the front-side curtain 8 are adapted with zippers 20 at each vertical extremity, which mate with zippers 20 at the vertical extremities of the rear curtain 10 thus securing the front-side curtain 8 and the rear curtain 10 into a full perimeter shelter. For added viewing area, smaller flexible windows 21 are added to the left and right termination panels 16 and 17 of the front-side curtain 8. Similarly, corner windows 22 are provided in the upper portion of the rear curtain 10. Furthermore, a ventilation screen 23—having a flip-up cover 27 on the outside of the shelter—is provided to enable proper air passage through the shelter. Still referring to FIG. 1, the canopy portion 6, which is securely yet removably attached to the canopy frame, is also adapted with a zippered lower perimeter where said zipper mates with a zipper 24 at the very top edge of both the front-side curtain 8 and the rear curtain 10 thus effectively suspending both now-combined curtains 8 and 10 from the lower edge of the canopy portion 6.

Turning now to FIG. 2, a perspective view from above of the frame structure of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention wherein the structure comprises; two vertical struts 4 joined together at the bottom by a horizontal member 3, a chair-attaching portion 2 having two horizontal members near the lower-mid portion of each vertical strut 4 extending frontwardly to engage with the wheelchair's structure for rigid securement thereto, a canopy frame 5 having two side members 9 with a length substantially long enough to extend the canopy further than the rearmost and frontmost usable areas a wheelchair and occupant may occupy, and front and rear joiner members 11 and 13 attached to the side members 9 thereby forming a rectangular canopy frame 5 by which a canopy will be supported. Two diagonal struts 7 are provided to further rigidify the canopy frame 5 to the vertical struts 4.

FIG. 3, illustrates a cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1 of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention wherein the perimeter framework 9 of the canopy frame 5 is adapted with a plurality of male snap fasteners 25a fixedly attached to the lower surface of said framework 9 so as to align with mating female snap fasteners 25b attached to a continuous tab 26 within the inner upper portion of the canopy 6. A short perimeter skirt 15 is also fixedly attached to the perimeter of the canopy 6, while a zipper 24, also fixedly attached to a mid portion inside said skirt 15, provides means to suspend the curtains 8-10. The lower portion of the skirt 15 extends below the zipper 24 thus forming a rain/snow shield 19 therewith.

Turning now to FIG. 4, a front elevation view of the front/side curtain portion of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention wherein a general pattern arrangement is depicted to include: a clear and resilient front window 12 across a substantially panoramic area thereof allowing optimal viewing area to the outside, a base portion 14 made of a durable flexible opaque material, left and right termination panels 16 and 17, smaller flexible windows 21, zippers 20 at each vertical extremity, and a top zipper 24.

Referring now to FIG. 5, a rear elevation view of the rear curtain 10 of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention wherein again a general pattern arrangement is depicted to include: corner windows 22, a ventilation screen 23—having a flip-up cover 27, zippers 20 at each vertical extremity, and also a top zipper 24.

Turning now to FIG. 6, a partial perspective view of the rear curtain 10 of the wheelchair shelter of the present invention, further illustrating the rear ventilation screen 23—having a flip-up cover 27 located between the two corner windows 22. The perimeter of the ventilation screen 23 is adapted with hook and pile fastener 28 so as to enable positive closure of said flip-up cover 27. Additionally, said cover 27 can be held in the opened position by simply joining the hook and pile fastener at any level along the height of said screen 23.

Turning to FIGS. 7 and 8, FIG. 7 a perspective view from above of the sheltered trailing wagon, and FIG. 8 a partial perspective view of the canopy of the trailing wagon of the present invention comprising; a common wagon 30 adapted with leg supports 31 supporting a wagon canopy structure on which a wagon canopy 32 rests. The leg supports are collapsible to various heights so as to allow the flexibility of choosing between high or low canopy heights. When the canopy 32 is arranged in a low height, and array of lower female snaps 36 can be fastened to mating male snaps 37 thereby generally enclosing the contents of the trailing wagon 30. Furthermore, a zippered access door 33 is provided at the very top portion of said canopy 32. The zipper 34 generally only travels in a U pattern, leaving the un-zipped portion to act as a hinge for the access door 33. Conversely, when the canopy 32 is arranged in higher position, the canopy's flaps 38 can be tucked upwardly and held in such fashion by means of upper and lower male and female snaps 35 and 36.

Upon referring to the drawing figures and the above specification, it can be understood that the present invention provides wheelchair users with a shelter that is non-obtrusive, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and protectively functional against the elements. And with the addition of the trailing wagon, the user can also transport an impressive amount of content, and perhaps even take a child for a stroll!