Title:
BACKPACK OR OTHER WEARABLE OBJECT WITH DEPLOYABLE APPENDAGES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A backpack or other wearable object is comprised of a body, shoulder straps attached in a conventional manner to the rear of the body, deployable/stowable appendages or wings, and deploy/stow mechanism. In operation, the wings may be deployed and stowed via the user operated deploy/stow mechanism.



Inventors:
Kennedy, Colleen T. (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/626235
Publication Date:
07/24/2008
Filing Date:
01/23/2007
Assignee:
CRANIUM, INC. (Seattle, WA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/26
International Classes:
A45F3/00; A63H33/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090020574Mower toteJanuary, 2009Sloan et al.
20030121943Interior automobile securing accessory with several holding positionsJuly, 2003Chou
20060213940CARRYING STRUCTURE FOR PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICESSeptember, 2006Chen et al.
20080179359Top Lock Security HolsterJuly, 2008Aberle et al.
20080240897TILTABLE HAULING DEVICEOctober, 2008Miro et al.
20080179370ELECTRICIAN'S BAGJuly, 2008Williams
20080093404VEHICLE MOUNTED BICYCLE RACKApril, 2008Clausen et al.
20080047994HOLDING SYSTEM FOR TRANSPORTING TWO WHEELED VEHICLESFebruary, 2008Beamer et al.
20070039987Spare tire stowage apparatusFebruary, 2007Osenkowski
20070090135Single and dual disposable hydration systemApril, 2007Benham
20090114689Removable storage tub apparatus for a marine vesselMay, 2009Hord et al.



Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTENSEN O'CONNOR JOHNSON KINDNESS PLLC (Seattle, WA, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. An apparatus, comprising: an apparatus body having a front and a back; at least one strap mounted to the back of the apparatus body; first and second movable appendages, wherein the first and second appendages are movable between a stowed position wherein the appendages are located inside or along side the apparatus body and a deployed position wherein the appendages extend outwardly of the apparatus body; and a deploy/stow mechanism including an actuating device mounted to the strap and a transmission member interfaced with the movable appendages and the actuating device, wherein the appendages are automatically moved from the stowed position to the deployed position upon actuation of the actuating device.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the transmission member is a flexible tension transmission member.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the flexible tension transmission member is selected from a group consisting of a cord, a chain, a cable, and a string.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the appendages are wings.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the appendages include primary and secondary appendage members and a wing panel disposed therebetween.

6. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the actuating device includes a depressible button that is movable between a depressed position wherein the flexible tension transmission member is permitted to translate in a first direction and a non-depressed position, wherein the flexible tension transmission member is prohibited from moving in the first direction.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising a frame plate to which the first and second movable appendages are pivotably mounted, an appendage actuator that is operatively mounted to the frame plate and movable along a path of travel and connected to the flexible tension transmission member, wherein movement of the appendage actuator along the path of travel causes the appendages to move from the stowed position to the deployed position.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the appendages are biased to the deployed position.

9. A backpack, comprising: a backpack body having a front and a back; at least one shoulder strap mounted to the back of the apparatus body; a pair of wings operatively associated with the backpack body, wherein the pair of wings are movable between stowed and deployed positions; a tension transmission member that interfaces with the pair of wings for effecting movement of the wings between the stowed and deployed positions; and a deploy/stow device mounted on the shoulder strap, the actuation of which automatically moves the wings from the stowed position to the deployed position.

10. The backpack of claim 9, wherein the wings are biased to the deployed position.

11. The backpack of claim 9, wherein the tension transmission member is selected from a group consisting of a cord, a chain, a cable, and a string.

12. The backpack of claim 9, wherein the wings are moved from the deployed position to the stowed position by translation of the tension transmission member.

13. The backpack of claim 9, further comprising a frame member to which the wings are hingedly mounted.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Play is an integral part of child development. One genre of play includes the use of the child's imagination. There are many types of items created to aid a child's imagination, including costumes that allow children to fantasize or imagine they are something other than human, such as insects, birds, planes, etc. One popular costume includes decorative wing assemblies that may be attached to a user so as to extend away from the wearer's back in order to resemble a butterfly or other insect wings, bat or bird wings, fanciful wings such a fairy wings, angel wings, etc.

SUMMARY

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

In accordance with aspects of the present invention, an apparatus is provided, which comprises an apparatus body having a front and a back, at least one strap mounted to the back of the apparatus body, and first and second movable appendages. The first and second appendages are movable between a stowed position wherein the appendages are located inside or along side the apparatus body and a deployed position wherein the appendages extend outwardly of the apparatus body. The apparatus further includes a deploy/stow mechanism that includes an actuating device mounted to the strap and a transmission member interfaced with the movable appendages and the actuating device. The appendages are automatically moved from the stowed position to the deployed position upon actuation of the actuating device.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a backpack is provided. The backpack a backpack body having a front and a back, at least one shoulder strap mounted to the back of the apparatus body, and a pair of wings operatively associated with the backpack body. The pair of wings are movable between stowed and deployed positions. The backpack further comprises a tension transmission member that interfaces with the pair of wings for effecting movement of the wings between the stowed and deployed positions and a deploy/stow device mounted on the shoulder strap, the actuation of which automatically moves the wings from the stowed position to the deployed position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a rear plan view of the backpack with deployable wings constructed in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial side plan view of a backpack having deployable wings illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear plan view of the backpack of FIG. 1 illustrating one exemplary embodiment of a frame assembly constructed in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the frame assembly of FIG. 3 with the wings in the deployed position;

FIG. 5 is a rear plan view of the frame assembly shown in FIG. 4 with the wings in the stowed position;

FIG. 6 is a front plan view of the frame assembly illustrated in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a rear plan view of the frame assembly shown in FIG. 4 with the wings in the deployed position;

FIG. 8 is a front plan view of the frame assembly illustrated in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a partial rear plan view of the backpack of FIG. 1 illustrating one exemplary embodiment of a deploy/stow mechanism constructed in accordance with aspects of the present invention; and

FIGS. 10A-10D are cross-section views of the deploy/stow mechanism of FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the figures where like numerals represent like elements. The following description provides examples of backpacks with deployable wings that may be carried on the back of a child. However, it should be readily apparent that aspects of the present invention may be utilized with other wearable objects, garments, etc., as well as utilizing deployable appendages other than wings. It should therefore be apparent that the examples described below are only illustrative in nature and, therefore, such examples should not be considered as limiting the scope of the present invention, as claimed.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is a rear plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a backpack, generally designated 20, having deployable appendages, such as wings, constructed in accordance with aspects of the present invention. The backpack 20 is comprised of a backpack body 24, shoulder straps 28 attached in a conventional manner to the rear of the backpack body 24, a pair of deployable/stowable wings 26, and a deploy/stow mechanism 32. As will be described in more detail below, the wings 26 may be deployed and stowed via the operation of the deploy/stow mechanism 32 by the user.

As best shown in FIG. 1, the backpack body 24 may be constructed in the form of a pouch, sack, pack, bag, or other conventional construction that defines an interior cavity (not shown) for housing suitably dimensioned articles of the user and/or a wing assembly 40 (see FIG. 3), as will be discussed in more detail below. The backpack body 24 may be constructed of any suitable material, or combinations thereof, known in the art, including natural or synthetic fabrics and other materials such as nylon, canvas, Mylar, plastic, LYCRA®, micro mesh, etc. In several embodiments of the present invention, the backpack body 24 may define a top flap (not shown) that is selectively connected to the remaining portion of the backpack body via a zipper, clasps, one or more hook and loop fasteners, or other conventional means. The top flap may be opened for providing selective access to the inner cavity of the backpack.

In several embodiments, the inner cavity may be partitioned or compartmentalized to include smaller areas for storing articles of the user separate from the wing assembly 40. Further, in several embodiments, the backpack may include a hydration section similar to those sold under the trademark Camelbak®.

The backpack 20 also includes a pair of shoulder straps 28. The pair of shoulder straps 28 are symmetrically spaced apart and extend from the upper section of the back of the backpack body 24 to the lower section of the backpack body 24. Each shoulder strap 28 is additionally provided with a buckle 34 or other known adjustment means.

The backpack 20 further includes a pair of deployable/stowable wings 26. Turning now to FIG. 3, there is shown a rear plan view of one exemplary embodiment of a wing assembly 40 constructed in accordance with aspects of the present invention. As best shown in FIG. 3, the wing assembly 40 is mounted within the backpack body 24, such as within the inner cavity or separate pouch section or compartment, in a suitable orientation for the wings 26 to be stowed within or along the sides of the backpack 20 and deployed outwardly of the sides of the backpack 20. The wing assembly 40 comprises a frame plate 44, end frame members 48, wings 26, and a wing deploy/stow actuator 52. Each component of the wing assembly 40 will now be described in more detail.

As best shown in FIGS. 4-8, the frame plate 44 is the main structural component of the frame assembly 40 and may be constructed from any suitable material, such as plastic. The end frame members 48 are secured to the opposite sides of the frame plate 44 in any suitable manner, such as press fit connectors, screws, adhesive, heat bonding, etc. Each end frame member 48 defines a longitudinally extending elongated slot 60 opening outwardly from the side of the frame assembly 40. The frame plate 44 includes many other structural features that will be described in detail with regard to the components of the assembly 40. When assembled within the backpack body 24, the slots 60 of the end frame members 48 open to the exterior of the backpack 20, as best shown in FIG. 2, so that the wings 26 are deployable, as will be described in detail below.

Returning to FIGS. 4-8, the assembly 40 also includes a pair of wings 26 that deploy and stow from the sides of the assembly 40. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the wings 26 are composed of primary and secondary appendage members 64 and 68, respectively. Spanning the appendage members 64 and 68 are wing panels 70 constructed of any suitable material, such as fabric, Mylar, nylon weave, etc. The primary appendage members 64 are generally L-shaped members that are hingedly mounted to the rear, upper section of the frame plate 44 at pivots 72 and 74, as best shown in FIG. 8. When mounted to the frame plate 44, the primary appendage members 64 are aligned within the slots 60 (see FIGS. 2 and 4) of the end frame members 48 so that the primary appendage members 64 may be deployable/stowable through the slots 60. The primary appendage members 64 define lever arms 78 extending inwardly from the pivots 72 and 74.

The ends 80 of the lever arms 78 are securely linked to the secondary appendage members 68 via linkage members 84. The secondary appendage members 68 are also aligned with the slots 60 when secured to the primary appendage members 64 so that the secondary appendage members 68 deploy/stow through the slots 60 upon movement of the primary appendage members 64 (See FIGS. 2 and 4). The ends 80 of the lever arms 78 further define pins 88 that are contained within actuate slots 92 defined by the frame plate 44 and track therealong as the primary appendage members 64 travel between a wing stowed position shown in FIG. 7 and a wing deployed position shown best in FIG. 8. As such, the slots 92 provide a guiding mechanism that defines the path of travel of the appendage members 64 and 68. As will be described in more detail below, the pins 88 further extend through slots defined in the deploy/stow actuator 52.

The assembly 40 further includes the deploy/stow actuator 52. Turning now to FIGS. 5 and 7, there is shown one embodiment of an exemplary deploy/retract actuator 52 constructed in accordance with aspects of the present invention. As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, the deploy/retract actuator 52 is operatively mounted to the back of the frame plate 44. In the embodiment shown, the actuator 52 is in the form of an actuation plate that defines a pair of elongated, parallel slots 100 and a pair of slightly arcuate slots 104. The slots 100 and 104 are symmetrically disposed on either side of the actuator centerline. The slots 100 are oriented and sized to receive bosses 110 integrally formed by the frame plate 44. As such, the actuator is slideably mounted to the frame plate 44 via the slots 100 and bosses 110. The ends of the bosses may be formed with outwardly extending flanges (not shown) for containing the actuator on the frame plate. Alternatively, the bosses 110 may include internally threaded bores for providing attachment points for an outer protective plate (not shown) via threaded fasteners. In operation, the slots 100 and bosses 110 cooperate to define a guide mechanism that defines the path of travel of the actuator 52 between a stowed position shown in FIG. 5 and a deployed position shown in FIG. 7.

As was described briefly above, the pins 88 of the primary appendage member lever arms 78 (See FIGS. 6 and 8) are contained within the slots 104. As such, the movement of the actuator 52 between the stowed and deployed position contacts the pins 88 and forces the pins to travel within the slots 92 and 104. Movement of the pins 92 within the slots 92 and 104 causes the primary appendages 64 to rotate about the pivots 72 and 74, as best shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, resulting in the wings 26 moving between deployed and stowed positions. As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, the actuator 52 is further connected to the frame plate 44 via a spring 112 or other biasing mechanism that biases the actuator 52 into the deployed position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.

Referring now to FIG. 9, the backpack 20 further includes a deploy/stow mechanism 32 for effecting movement of the actuator 52 (see FIGS. 5 and 7), which in turn, causes the wings 26 to move between the deployed and stowed positions. In the embodiment shown, the deploy/stow mechanism 32 includes a transmission member 116 in the form of a chord and a push button device 118. While the transmission member 116 is shown as a chord, other transmission members, including flexible transmission members that transmit force in tension, such as wires, cables, chains, and strings, may be practiced with aspects of the present invention. The first end of the transmission member 116 is securely connected to the top of the actuator 52 (see FIGS. 5 and 7), and the second end is routed through the push button device 118 and terminates at a pull 120.

Turning now to FIGS. 10A-10D, the push button device 118 includes a housing 122, a push button 124, a slide 126, and a lever 128. The housing 122 includes top and bottom sections 134 and 136 that house the other components of the device 118. The push button 124 is slideably mounted within a cavity 140 formed in the exterior surface of the top housing section 134. The push button 124 includes a downward projection 144 that freely protrudes through a bore 148 formed at the bottom center of the cavity 140. The slide 126 is slideably mounted on tracks (not shown) within the housing 120. The slide 126 is capable of reciprocal movement between the slide position shown in FIG. 10A and the slide position shown in FIG. 10C. The slide 126 defines a shoulder 152 on its top surface. A portion of the transmission member 116 is fixedly secured to the bottom 154 of the slide 126.

The lever 128 is pivotably mounted on pivot structure 158 integrally formed by the housing 122. The lever 128 includes a forward section 162 that tilts upwardly toward the top housing section 134 and engages the lower portion of the push button protrusion 144. The lever 128 further includes a rearward section 166 that defines a bore on its top surface and a latch 170 on its bottom surface. The latch 170 interacts with the shoulder 152 of the slide 126 during use. A spring 178 is contained between the bore of the rearward lever section 166 and spring retaining structure 180 integrally formed in the inner surface of the top housing section 134. The spring 178 biases the rearward portion 166 downward against the slide 126, which in turn, forces the forward section 162 against the push button 124.

The operation of the backpack 20 will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 3-10D. FIGS. 7 and 8 show the wings 26 of the backpack 20 in the deployed position. In this position, the actuator 52 is in its deployed position, the spring 112 is in a non-biased or slightly biased state, and the slide 126 of the deploy/stow mechanism 32 is in the forward position, as best shown in FIG. 10C.

To move the wings 26 from the deployed position to the stowed position, the user pulls the pull 120 in a downward motion, away from the deploy/stow device housing 122, as shown best by the arrows in FIG. 10D. By pulling the pull 120 of the transmission member 116, the following occurs: 1) the slide 126 translates from the slide position shown in FIG. 10C, past the slide position shown in FIG. 10D to the slide position shown in FIG. 10A, and the lever latch 170 is biased against the shoulder 152 of the slide 126 to prevent movement of the slide 126 in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 10C; 2) the transmission member 116 transmits the tension force generated by the pulling action of the pull 120 to the actuator 52; 3) as a result of the force applied by the transmission member 116, the actuator 52 translates from the deployed position shown in FIG. 7 to the stowed positioned shown in FIG. 5 against the biasing force of the spring 112; 4) the movement of the actuator 52 causes the actuator 52 to contact the pins 88 of the lever arms 78 and to push the pins 88 as it moves from the deployed position to the stowed position; and 5) movement of the pins 88 through slots 92 causes the primary appendage members 64 to rotate about pivots 72 and 74 to the stowed position shown in FIG. 6, which in turn, causes the secondary appendage members 68 to simultaneously move to the stowed position.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show the wings 26 of the backpack 20 in the stowed position. In this position, the actuator 52 is in the its stowed position, the spring 112 is in a biased or loaded state, the slide 126 of the deploy/stow mechanism 32 is in the rearward position, as best shown in FIG. 10C and the latch 170 is in engagement with the shoulder 152, as best shown in FIG. 10A.

To return the wings 26 to the deployed position, the following actions occur: 1) the push button 124 of the deploy/stow mechanism 32 is depressed by the user, which in turn, removes the latch 170 from engagement with the shoulder 152 of the slide 12, as best shown in FIG. 10B; 2) upon removal of the latch 170 from engagement with the shoulder 152, the slide 126 and the transmission member 116 automatically translate to the position shown in FIG. 10C by the biasing force of the spring 112; 3) the biasing force of the spring 112 simultaneously translates the actuator 52 from the stowed position shown in FIG. 5 to the deployed position shown in FIG. 7; and 4) the actuator 52 contacts of the pins 88 of the lever arms 78 and causes the primary appendage members 64 to rotate about pivots 72 and 74, which in turn, causes the wings 26 to move to the deployed position shown in FIG. 8.

While examples of a backpack having deployable wings with the appearance of a lady bug were described above and illustrated herein, embodiments of the present invention should not be so limited. For example, backpacks or other wearable garments within the scope of the present invention may have may different appearances or themes, such as a rocket or airplane with deployable wings, flower buds with deployable petals, appendages that deploy into a cape, butterflies or other insects with deployable wings, arachnids with deployable arms, fanciful characters such as angels or fairy with deployable wings, etc.

While illustrative embodiments have been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.