Title:
Chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Chair includes a base body, at least two upholstered support parts provided on the base body, and the at least two upholstered support parts being configured to support a person resting on the chair, in use. The support parts include a seat part. An electromechanical adjustment device is provided which includes at least one electric motor for adjusting at least one of the at least two upholstered support parts relative to one of the base body and to one of the at least two upholstered support parts, and being integrated into the seat part without projecting out, and in such a way that the electric motor does not project beyond an outer boundary surface of the seat part. In this manner, at least the electric motor is concealed and is no longer visible, so that the chair has a pleasing visual appearance.



Inventors:
Dewert, Eckhart (Zurich, CH)
Application Number:
11/826531
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/16/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/330
International Classes:
A47C7/62; A47C1/025
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ABRAHAM, TANIA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHLESINGER, ARKWRIGHT & GARVEY LLP (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Chair, comprising: a) a base body; b) at least two upholstered support parts provided on the base body, the at least two upholstered support parts being configured to support a person resting on the chair, in use; c) the support parts including a seat part; and d) an electromechanical adjustment device including at least one electric motor for adjusting at least one of the at least two upholstered support parts relative to one of the base body and to one of the at least two upholstered support parts, and being integrated into the seat part without projecting out, and in such a way that the electric motor does not project beyond an outer boundary surface of the seat part.

2. Chair according to claim 1, wherein: a) the seat part in which the electric motor is integrated is capable of moving in an adjustment motion.

3. Chair according to claim 1, wherein: a) the adjustment device has at least one linear drive including an output member; and b) the output member is in drive connection with the electric motor, and the at least one linear drive is integrated into the seat part without projecting out.

4. Chair according to claim 3, wherein: a) the linear drive includes a spindle drive.

5. Chair according to claim 4, wherein: a) an output member of the spindle drive includes a spindle nut, which is provided, fixed against rotation, and movable in an axial direction, on a threaded spindle which can be rotary actuated and is in drive connection with the electric motor.

6. Chair according to claim 1, wherein: a) the seat part is connected to one of the base body and to the seat part via at least one lever-type brace.

7. Chair according to claim 6, wherein: a) at least one lever-type brace is configured as flat perpendicular to its longitudinal extension.

8. Chair according to claim 1, wherein: a) the at least one electric motor includes at least two electric motors which are integrated into the seat part and without projecting out; and b) at least one of the at least two electric motors is allocated to the seat part for adjustment of the same, and at least one of the at least two electric motors is allocated to one of the at least two upholstered support parts for adjustment of the same.

9. Chair according to claim 1, wherein: a) the electromechanical adjustment device including the at least one electric motor is provided underneath an upholstered cushion of the seat part; and b) between the cushion and the electromechanical adjustment device, a device configured for relieving the pressure of the electromechanical adjustment device is provided.

10. Chair according to claim 9, wherein: a) the device for relieving the pressure of the electromechanical adjustment device includes a frame which encompasses the electromechanical adjustment device, which extends in the direction of the seat part up to at least an upper boundary plane of the electromechanical adjustment device, and upon which the cushion rests.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of application no. PCT/EP2005/012946, filed Dec. 2, 2005, which claims the priority of German application no. 10 2005 001 875.0, filed Jan. 14, 2005, and each of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a chair with a base body, and with at least two upholstered support parts provided on the base body for supporting a person resting on the chair, in use, and the support parts including a seat part.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Chairs of this type are known, for example, in the form of motor-driven adjustable chairs having parts that can be adjusted in relation to one another electromechanically, for example a calf part, designed to support the leg or calf region of a person resting in the chair, which can be adjusted relative to a seat part. For adjusting the parts of the piece of furniture relative to one another, an electromechanical adjustment device is provided, which has a drive unit with an electric motor.

From DE 101 23 380 C2, a chair of the relevant type is known, which has a base body and upholstered seat parts provided on the base body to support a person resting on the chair. With the known chair, the support parts are formed by a seat part, a foot support that can be pivoted outward, and a backrest that is capable of pivoting, wherein an electromechanical adjustment device, provided beneath the seat part, is provided for implementing the adjustment.

Motorized adjustable chairs are also known from DE 196 45 456 A1, DE 199 45 118 A1, DE 199 02 467, DE 102 07 360 B4, DE 20 2005 003 961 U1, DE 203 19 483 U1 and DE 198 44 240 C2.

To conceal the electromechanical adjustment device provided underneath the seat part, casing or some similar covering is provided in the known chairs.

One disadvantage of the known chairs is that they are relatively bulky and therefore unattractive.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the invention is to provide a chair of the type a chair with a base body, and with at least two upholstered support parts provided on the base body for supporting a person resting on the chair, in use, and the support parts including a seat part, and which chair does not have the disadvantages of known chairs and is therefore configured in a more visually advantageous manner.

This and other objects are achieved by the inventive chair which includes a base body, at least two upholstered support parts provided on the base body, and the at least two upholstered support parts being configured to support a person resting on the chair, in use. The support parts include a seat part. An electromechanical adjustment device is provided which includes at least one electric motor for adjusting at least one of the at least two upholstered support parts relative to one of the base body and to one of the at least two upholstered support parts, and being integrated into the seat part without projecting out, and in such a way that the electric motor does not project beyond an outer boundary surface of the seat part. In this manner, at least the electric motor is concealed and is no longer visible, so that the chair has a pleasing visual appearance.

The basic idea of the teaching of the invention includes integrating at least one electric motor of an electromechanical adjustment device for adjusting at least one of the seat parts relative to the base body and/or relative to another seat part, into the seat part without projecting out. In this manner, at least the electric motor is concealed and is no longer visible, so that the chair of the invention is configured to have an advantageous and pleasing visual appearance. Because the electromechanical adjustment device is not visible or is barely visible, the chair of the invention conveys the overall visual impression of a non-motorized adjustable chair. The invention represents a departure, for the first time, from the idea of adjusting the seat part of a chair by use of an adjustment device, such as a scissor mechanism, provided underneath the seat part. Thus for the first time, the invention provides a chair, in which at least one electric motor, but especially also the essential components of a complete electromechanical adjustment device, are integrated into the seat part.

A particular advantage of the chair of the invention is that, due to the integration of the electric motor into the seat part, costly casing on the seat part designed to cover the electric motor or the electromechanical adjustment device is not necessary. Because of this, the chair of the invention is substantially sleeker looking than known chairs. A further advantage of integrating the electric motor into the seat part is the substantial increase in design freedom this allows with the chair of the invention.

If the electromechanical adjustment device has only one electric motor, the motor is integrated into the seat part according to the invention without projecting out. However, it is also possible according to the invention for the electromechanical adjustment device to have at least two electric motors, which are integrated into the seat part according to the invention without projecting out. For example, and especially, it is possible according to the invention to integrate multiple electric motors into the seat part, one of which is allocated to the seat part for adjustment of the same, with at least one other being allocated to another seat part for adjustment of the same.

In principle, the electric motor can be integrated into a seat part that remains stationary during adjustment of the seat parts relative to one another or relative to a base body. However, one particularly advantageous further improvement on the teaching of the invention provides that the seat part in which the electric motor is integrated can be moved during adjustment. In this embodiment, the adjustment device, together with the electric motor, can be integrated essentially completely into the respective seat part that can be moved during adjustment. In this manner, mechanical parts of the adjustment device can be particularly simple in configuration. In particular, short levers can be used.

Another exceptionally advantageous further improvement of the teaching of the invention provides that the adjustment device has at least one linear drive, an output member of which is drivingly connected to the electric motor, and that the linear drive is integrated into the seat part without projecting out. In this embodiment, the integration of components of the adjustment device into the seat part is further increased.

One advantageous further improvement on the aforementioned embodiment provides that the linear drive has a spindle drive. Spindle drives of this type are available as simple and cost-effective standard components. They are robust and suited to applying large amounts of force.

One advantageous further improvement on the aforementioned embodiment provides that the output member of the spindle drive is a spindle nut, which is provided, fixed against rotation, and movable in an axial direction, on a rotary actuatable threaded spindle, which is in drive connection with the electric motor. In a kinematic inversion of the aforementioned embodiment, however, the output member of the spindle drive can also be a threaded spindle, which is mounted, fixed against rotation, and movable in its axial direction, and on which a stationary, rotary actuatable spindle nut is provided, which is in drive connection with the electric motor.

Another further improvement on the teaching of the invention provides that the seat part is connected to the base body or to an adjacent seat part, preferably exclusively, via at least one lever-type brace. In this embodiment, with the exception of the brace, which can especially form a part of the adjustment device, all the components of the adjustment device can be integrated into the seat part, so that a particularly pleasing overall visual impression is produced.

An advantageous further improvement on the aforementioned embodiment provides that the lever-type brace is configured to be flat, perpendicular to its longitudinal extension. This causes the brace to visually recede into the background.

Another advantageous further improvement on the teaching of the invention provides that at least two electric motors are integrated into the seat part, one of which is assigned to the seat part for adjustment of the same, while at least one other is assigned to a different seat part for adjustment of the same.

Another advantageous further improvement on the teaching of the invention provides that the electromechanical adjustment device, including at least one electric motor, is positioned beneath an upholstered cushion of the seat part, and that device for relieving the pressure on the electromechanical adjustment device are provided between the cushion and the electromechanical adjustment device. In this manner, it is reliably prevented that when a load is applied to the seat surface of the seat part, for example under the weight of a person seated on the chair, pressure is exerted on the components of the electromechanical adjustment device.

To simply and cost-effectively configure the device for relieving pressure, a further improvement on the aforementioned embodiment provides that the device for relieving pressure on the electromechanical adjustment device have a frame that encloses the electromechanical adjustment device and extends in the direction of the seat part up to or beyond an upper boundary plane of the electromechanical adjustment device, upon which the upholstered cushion rests. In this embodiment, the frame can completely or only partially encompass the electromechanical adjustment device in a circumferential direction, and can be made, for example, of wood.

Below, the invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the attached set of drawings, in which exemplary embodiments of a piece of furniture according to the invention are illustrated. In this, all characterizing features described or represented in the drawings, alone or in any combination, form the object of the invention, independent of their combination in the patent claims, and independent of dependencies in the patent claims, and independent of their formulation or representation in the description or in drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a chair according to the invention,

FIG. 2 is, in a perspective phantom representation, parts of an adjustment device for adjusting a lower leg part of the piece of furniture according to FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a side view of parts of the adjustment device according to FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a perspective representation of parts of the adjustment device according to FIG. 2,

FIG. 5 is a partially cross-sectional side view of the chair according to FIG. 1 at the start of a first kinematic phase of an adjustment movement,

FIG. 6 is in the same representation as in FIG. 5, the chair according to FIG. 5 during the first kinematic phase of the adjustment movement in an adjusted position,

FIG. 7 is in the same representation as in FIG. 5, the chair according to FIG. 5 during the first kinematic phase of the adjustment movement in a further position of adjustment,

FIG. 8 in the same representation as in FIG. 5, the chair according to FIG. 5 at the end of the first kinematic phase and at the start of the second kinematic phase of the adjustment movement,

FIG. 9 is in the same representation as in FIG. 5, the chair according to FIG. 5 during the second kinematic phase of the adjustment movement, and

FIG. 10 is in the same representation as in FIG. 5, the chair according to FIG. 5 at the end of the second kinematic phase of the adjustment movement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the figures of the drawings, the same or corresponding components are indicated using the same reference numerals.

In FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of a chair 2 according to the invention is shown, which has a base body 4 that has two armrests 6, 8 spaced laterally from one another. On the armrests 6, 8, a first support part in the form of an upholstered seat part 10 with a seat surface is provided, to one end of which another seat part in the form of a lower leg rest 12 is adjustably connected, which serves to support the calf or lower leg region of a person resting on the chair 2. Another support part in the form of an upper body part 14 is adjustably connected to the end of the seat part 10 that faces away from the lower leg part 12, and a seat part in the form of a head part 16 is adjustably connected to the end of the upper body part that faces away from the seat part 10. The upper body part 14 serves to support the upper body region of a person resting on the chair 2, while the head part 16 serves to support the head region of a person resting on the chair 2.

The lower leg part 12 is capable of pivoting relative to the seat part 10, as is described in greater detail below.

In FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, parts of an electromechanical adjustment device 17 are represented, and by use of which the calf or lower leg part 12 can pivot relative to the seat part 10. In this exemplary embodiment, two drive units 18, 20 are allocated to the calf part 12, wherein in a first kinematic phase of the adjustment movement, namely a pivoting motion, adjustment is implemented by use of the first drive unit 18, and in the second kinematic phase of the adjustment movement adjustment is implemented by means of the second drive unit 20, wherein the lower leg part 12 in the first kinematic phase and in the second kinematic phase executes essentially the same type of adjustment motion, namely a pivoting motion.

For pivoting the lower leg part 12 relative to the seat part 10 in the first kinematic phase, a first pivoting axis 22 is provided, which in this first exemplary embodiment is formed by a pivoting shaft that extends essentially horizontally and is pivotably mounted on the armrests 6, 8.

The first drive unit 18 has an electric motor 24, the output shaft 26 of which is configured as a worm of a worm gear system, and is engaged with a rotatably mounted worm wheel 28, which is, in a manner fixed against rotation, connected to a threaded spindle 30, which is rotatably mounted on the seat part 10 and is in a rotary drive connection with the electric motor 24 via the worm wheel 28 and the worm 26. The output member of the first drive unit is configured as a spindle nut 32, which is provided on the threaded spindle 30, fixed against rotation, and movable in the axial direction of the threaded spindle 30.

One end of a connecting element 34 configured as a connecting rod is connected to the spindle nut 32, with its other end being articulated in the manner of a crank mechanism and eccentrically connected to the first pivoting axis 22 via an articulated lever 36, which is, in a manner fixed against rotation, connected to the pivoting shaft 22.

To allow an introduction of force into the pivoting shaft 22 that is symmetrical with respect to the axial center plane of the threaded spindle 30, the first drive unit 18 has another articulated lever 36′ and another connecting element 34′ in the form of a connecting rod, spaced in the axial direction of the pivoting shaft 22 to the rod 34 and the articulated lever 36, respectively. As is shown in FIG. 2, the connecting elements 34, 34′ in the form of connecting rods have a fork-like arrangement, between which the free end of the threaded spindle 30 is held.

The second drive unit 20 has an electric motor 38, the output shaft 40 of which is configured as a worm and is in engagement with a rotatably mounted worm wheel 42, which is non-rotatably connected to a threaded spindle 44 that is rotatably mounted on the lower leg part 12. The electric motor 38 is mounted on an interior frame 46 of the lower leg part 12.

The output member of the second drive unit 20 is formed by a spindle nut 48, which is provided, in a manner fixed against rotation, and movable in an axial direction, on the threaded spindle 44.

The calf part 12 is mounted on a second pivoting axis 50 so as to pivot relative to the same. The second pivoting axis 50 is connected to the pivoting shaft that forms the first pivoting axis 22, via two lever-type braces in the form of essentially arched joints 52, 54, spaced from one another in the axial direction of the second pivoting axis 50. In addition, one end of the joint 52 is non-rotatably connected to the pivoting shaft that forms the first pivoting axis 22, while its other end is non-rotatably connected to the second pivoting axis 50. The connection of the joint 54 to the pivoting shaft 22 and the second pivoting axis 50 is configured in a corresponding manner.

The second drive unit 20 has a second connecting element 56 in the form of a connecting rod, one end of which is articulated to the spindle nut 58 in the manner of a crank mechanism, while its other end is connected in an articulated manner to the first pivoting axis 22, and the second pivoting axis 50 is eccentrically connected to the joint 54.

FIG. 3 illustrates the connection of the spindle nut 48 to the joint 54 via the rod 56.

According to the invention, the first drive unit 18 of the electromechanical adjustment device is integrated into the seat part 10 without projecting out. As is apparent from FIG. 5, especially the electric motor 24 and the linear drive, which in this exemplary embodiment is formed by the spindle drive, including the threaded spindle 30 and the spindle nut 32, is integrated into the seat part 10 without projecting out.

Furthermore, according to the invention, the second drive unit 20 of the electromechanical adjustment device is integrated into the lower leg part 12 without projecting out, as is also illustrated in FIG. 5. Specifically, the electric motor 38, together with the linear drive, which is configured as a spindle drive comprised of the threaded spindle 44 and the spindle nut 48, is integrated into the lower leg part 12 without projecting out. In this exemplary embodiment, the components 12 of the drive units 18, 20 that are integrated into the seat part 10 or the lower leg part are completely received in the seat part 10 or the lower leg part 12, respectively. As is apparent from FIG. 1, the drive units 18, 20 are therefore completely covered. As a result, the chair 2 of the invention conveys the overall visual impression of a non-motorized adjustable chair.

According to the invention, an electric motor 58 along with the allocated spindle drive 60 is furthermore integrated into the lower leg part 12 without projecting out (see FIG. 2). The electric motor 58 serves to compress or decompress the lower leg part 12 in a manner that is not of further interest here.

Further, according to the invention an electric motor 62 along with the allocated spindle drive 64 and an electric motor 66 along with the allocated spindle drive 68 are integrated into the seat part 10 without projecting out (see FIG. 4). The electric motors 62, 66 serve to adjust the inclination or elevation of the seat part 10 relative to the armrests 6, 8, in a manner that is not of further interest here. Furthermore, according to the invention, an electric motor 70 along with the allocated spindle drive 72 is integrated into the seat part 10 without projecting out, which spindle drive serves, in a manner that is not of further interest here, to adjust the backrest part 14 relative to the armrests 6, 8.

The adjustment of the lower leg part 12 relative to the seat part 10 is described in what follows with reference to FIGS. 5 through 10.

In a first kinematic phase represented in FIGS. 5 through 8, the lower leg part 12 is pivoted by means of the first drive unit 18 around the first pivoting axis 22 relative to the seat part 10, while the lower leg part 12 in the second kinematic phase is pivoted by means of the second drive unit 20 around the second pivoting axis 50 relative to the seat part 10. As is apparent from FIGS. 5 through 10, in this exemplary embodiment the first pivoting axis 22 and the second pivoting axis 50 are essentially parallel to one another.

FIG. 5 shows a first final adjustment position of the adjustment movement in which the seat part 10 and the lower leg part 12 span an essentially horizontal support plane. Starting from this final position of the adjustment movement, the electric motor 24 drives the threaded spindle 30 such that the spindle nut 32 moves toward the left in FIG. 5. In this, the spindle nut 32 presses via the connecting element 34 against the articulated lever 36, so that the lever pivots around the first pivoting axis 22 counterclockwise in FIG. 5.

As is apparent in FIG. 6, this causes the lower leg part 12 to pivot relative to the seat part 10 around the first pivoting axis 22. Because in the first kinematic phase, the second drive unit 20 is shut down, the kinematic conditions in this phase are determined exclusively by the first drive unit 18.

As is apparent from FIG. 7, in a further movement of the spindle nut 32 toward the left in FIG. 7, the lower leg portion 12 pivots further counterclockwise around the first pivoting axis 22. In order to prevent the free end of the lower leg part 12 from colliding with the floor 56, the lower leg part 12 in this exemplary embodiment is configured to be compressible in its longitudinal direction, wherein a compression or decompression is implemented by means of an electromechanical drive unit, however this is not of further interest here and will therefore not be described in greater detail.

FIG. 8 shows the end of the first kinematic phase, in which the lower leg part 12 is pivoted approximately 90° counterclockwise relative to the initial position shown in FIG. 5, as is apparent from a comparison of FIGS. 5 and 8.

FIG. 8 also represents the initial position at the start of the second kinematic phase. In this initial position, the electric motor 38 drives the threaded spindle 44 in such a way that the spindle nut 48 in FIG. 8 is moved downward. Due to the articulated connection of the spindle nut 48 to the joint 54 via the lever 56, the lower leg part 12 is further pivoted counterclockwise relative to the seat part 10, specifically around the second pivoting axis 50, as is apparent from FIG. 9.

Starting from the position of adjustment represented in FIG. 9, the electric motor 38 further drives the threaded spindle 44 such that the spindle nut 48 is screwed in toward the right in FIG. 9, so that the lower leg part 12 is pivoted further counterclockwise, until it reaches the second final position of the adjustment movement shown in FIG. 10. During the second kinematic phase, the first drive unit 18 is shut down, so that the kinematic conditions are determined exclusively by the second drive unit 20.

As is apparent from FIG. 10, the electromechanical adjustment device including the electric motors 62, 66 is provided beneath an upholstered cushion 74 of the seat part 10. It is not apparent from the drawing, therefore it will be explained here, that between the upholstered cushion 74 and the electromechanical adjustment device, a device for relieving the pressure on the electromechanical adjustment device is provided. This device prevents strain on the seat surface of the seat part 10, for example under the weight of a person seated on the seat surface, from being transferred to the components of the electromechanical adjustment device. The device for relieving the pressure on the electromechanical adjustment device can, for example, have a frame that encompasses the adjustment device, which extends in the direction of the seat part 10 up to an upper boundary plane of the electromechanical adjustment device, beyond which none of the components of the electromechanical adjustment device project in the direction of the seat part 10, or beyond, wherein the upholstered cushion 74 rests on the upper side of the frame. In this manner, a relieving of pressure on the components of the electromechanical adjustment device is achieved by a simple device.

With the exemplary embodiment represented in the set of drawings, all electric motors used to adjust the support parts of the chair 2 relative to one another or to the base body, along with each respective allocated spindle drive, are integrated into the seat part 10 or the lower leg part 12 without projecting out, and thus are not visible to the user. As a result, the chair 2 of the invention conveys an advantageous overall visual impression. Especially, the chair of the invention can have the design of a non-motorized adjustable chair.

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.