Title:
DETERGENT INPUT QUANTITY GUIDING APPARATUS OF WASHING MACHINE AND METHOD FOR GUIDING INPUT QUANTITY OF DETERGENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine includes: a detergent box on which a detergent input quantity by levels for each virtual clothes amount that can be received in the washing machine is displayed; a clothes amount detecting unit that detects a clothes amount received in the washing machine; and a display unit that displays at least one of a clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit and a detergent quantity according to the detected clothes amount.



Inventors:
Kim, Hyo-jin (Changwon, KR)
Jang, Ho-sung (Changwon, KR)
Lyu, Jae-cheol (Changwon, KR)
Cho, Han-ki (Changwon, KR)
Son, Chang-woo (Changwon, KR)
Application Number:
12/105361
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
04/18/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
68/12.04
International Classes:
D06F39/02; D06F33/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
RIGGLEMAN, JASON PAUL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KED & ASSOCIATES, LLP (Reston, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine comprising: a detergent box on which a detergent input quantity by levels for each virtual clothes amount that can be received in the washing machine is displayed; a clothes amount detecting unit that detects a clothes amount received in the washing machine; a display unit that displays at least one of a clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit and a detergent quantity according to the detected clothes amount; and a controller that calculates a detergent quantity according to the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit, wherein the controller calculates a level to which the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit belongs, among the levels of the detergent input quantity according to each virtual clothes amount.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the display unit displays a detergent quantity corresponding to the level calculated by the controller.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the display unit displays the detected clothes amount and the detergent quantity according to the detected clothes amount together.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the indicators are protruded from positions corresponding to each level of the detergent input quantity according to each virtual clothes amount.

5. A method for guiding a detergent input quantity of a washing machine, comprising: detecting, by a clothes amount detecting unit, a clothes amount received in the washing machine; displaying, by a display unit, at least one of the detected clothes amount and a detergent quantity according to the detected clothes amount; and calculating, by a controller, a detergent quantity according to the clothes amount detected by the controller, wherein the calculating of the detergent quantity comprises: determining, by the controller, a level to which the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit belongs, among the predetermined levels of the detergent input quantity according to each virtual clothes amount.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein, in the displaying step, the detergent quantity corresponding to the level calculated by the controller is displayed on the display unit.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a washing machine and, more particularly, to a detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine and a method for guiding an input quantity of a detergent.

2. Description of the Related Art

A washing machine is a device for washing the laundry by performing washing, rinsing and draining by rotating a container within the laundry placed therein.

In the related art washing machine, a user opens a detergent box and arbitrarily inputs a liquid detergent or the like by guess to perform washing. According to this method, an excessive quantity of detergent may be inputted to the detergent box. The excessively inputted detergent may degrade durability of the washing machine or make a bad influence on the laundry.

Therefore, a device for informing a user about an input quantity of a detergent suitable for the laundry is required.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, in order to address the above matters the various features described herein have been conceived. One aspect of the exemplary embodiments is to provide a detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine and a method for guiding an input quantity of a detergent, capable of informing a user about an input quantity of a detergent suitable for the laundry.

This specification provides a detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine including: a detergent box on which a detergent input quantity by levels for each virtual clothes amount that can be received in the washing machine is displayed; a clothes amount detecting unit that detects a clothes amount received in the washing machine; a display unit that displays at least one of a clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit and a detergent quantity according to the detected clothes amount; and a controller that calculates a detergent quantity according to the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit, wherein the controller calculates a level to which the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit belongs, among the levels of the detergent input quantity according to each virtual clothes amount.

This specification also provides a detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine, including: a detergent box on which a detergent input quantity by stages for each virtual clothes amount that can be received in the washing machine is displayed; a clothes amount detecting unit that detects a clothes amount received in the washing machine; and a controller that calculates a detergent quantity according to the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit.

This specification also provides a method for guiding a detergent input quantity of a washing machine, including: detecting, by a clothes amount detecting unit, a clothes amount received in the washing machine; displaying, by a display unit, at least one of the detected clothes amount and a detergent quantity according to the detected clothes amount; and calculating, by a controller, a detergent quantity according to the clothes amount detected by the controller, wherein the calculating of the detergent quantity comprises: determining, by the controller, a level to which the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit belongs, among the predetermined levels of the detergent input quantity according to each virtual clothes amount.

The detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine and the method for guiding a detergent input quantity according to the present invention has many advantages.

That is, the protrusive indicators indicating each detergent quantity suitable for a virtual clothes amount is displayed within the detergent box and at least one of a clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit and a detergent quantity calculated by the controller according to the detected clothes amount is displayed, whereby a user can input the quantity of detergent suitable for the clothes amount and the detergent quantity based on the displayed information and the protrusive indicators. Thus, because the proper quantity of detergent can be input according to the clothes amount, the durability of the washing machine can be improved, and because the detergent cannot be excessively inputted, the laundry can be prevented from being damaged.

In addition, the controller calculates a level of the clothes amount directly detected by the clothes amount detecting unit, among the levels indicated by the protrusive indicators, and display information about the calculated level on the display unit. Thus, the user can input the detergent up to the calculated level of the protrusive indication in the detergent box according to the displayed information, whereby he can precisely input the detergent and thus the user convenience for inputting the detergent can be improved.

The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a washing machine employing a detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a detergent box employed in the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the detergent box employed in the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram showing the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating the processes of a method for guiding a detergent input quantity according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine and a method for guiding a detergent input quantity according to exemplary embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the following description, the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine and a method for guiding a detergent input quantity are applied to a drum type washing machine, but it is merely an example and the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine and a method for guiding a detergent input quantity can be also applicable to an automatic washing machine.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a washing machine employing a detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

As shown in FIG. 1, a drum (not shown) is rotatably inserted in a main body 101 of a washing machine according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. A front panel 102 and a top cover 104 are installed on front and upper surfaces of the main body 101. A control panel 103 is installed between the front panel 102 and the top cover 104 and includes various manipulation keys, a display unit, etc.

Reference numeral 106 is a door which is rotatably hinge-combined to the main body 101 and opens and closes the drum.

A detergent box installation part 107 is formed at one side of the control panel 103 of the main body 101 of the washing machine. A detergent box 110 is insertedly positioned in the detergent box installation part 107 such that it can be movable in an inward/outward direction.

In the washing machine 100 constructed as described above, washing may be performed on the laundry received in the drum as a motor (not shown) installed in the washing machine is rotated.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a detergent box employed in the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the detergent box employed in the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, a space 112 for receiving a detergent is formed in the detergent container 110 according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In the present embodiment, a liquid detergent is proposed to be received in the detergent box 110, and the detergent box 110 may have a single space without barriers.

Protrusive indicators 120 are formed on one side wall of the detergent box 110. The protrusive indicators 120 indicate the amount of detergent suitable for clothes amount. In detail, the protrusive indicators 120 are formed at positions corresponding to each level of a detergent input quantity suitable for each virtual clothes amount.

The protrusive indicators 120 may be divided into a plurality of levels. In the exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the protrusive indicators 120 may include first to fourth indicators 121 to 124.

The respective protrusive indicators 121 to 124 have different heights h1 to h4 each indicating different detergent input quantity.

Because the detergent box 110 has the protrusive indicators each indicating a proper detergent input quantity suitable for various clothes amount, the user can apply a precise quantity of detergent according to a corresponding indicator.

The apparatus and method for proposing a detergent quantity suitable for an actual clothes amount inputted in the drum will now be described.

FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram showing the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

With reference to FIG. 4, the detergent input quantity guiding apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention includes a clothes amount detecting unit 200, a controller 210 and a display unit 220.

The clothes amount detecting unit 200 detects a clothes amount of the laundry received in the drum. As the clothes amount detecting unit 200, a tilt detecting unit that detects the tilt of the drum according to the introduction of the laundry may be used, or a method for detecting the clothes amount of the laundry received in the drum based on an input voltage applied to a motor according to phase controlling until an RPM of the motor reaches a pre-set value may be used. In addition, various other methods can be also used.

The controller 210 may calculate a proper detergent quantity according to the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200, and transmit corresponding information to the display unit 220. The controller 210 may calculate a level of the clothes amount directly detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200, among the levels of the detergent input quantity according to a virtual clothes amount indicated by the respective protrusive indicators 120 formed on the detergent box 110.

The display unit 220 may display at least one of the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200 and a detergent quantity calculated by the controller 210 according to the detected clothes amount.

For user convenience, the display unit 220 may display the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200 and the detergent quantity calculated by the controller 210. The user may input a suitable quantity of detergent according to the clothes amount and detergent quantity by using the displayed information and the protrusive indicators 120 of the detergent box 110.

In addition, the display unit 220 may display the level to which the clothes amount directly detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200 belongs, among the levels indicated by the protrusive indicators 120. Then, the user can input the detergent into the detergent box 110 up to the level indicated by the protrusive indicator 1120 corresponding to the displayed level, so the user convenience can be further improved.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating the processes of a method for guiding a detergent input quantity according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

The method for guiding a detergent input quantity according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIG. 5.

First, the clothes amount detecting unit 200 detects a clothes amount (S300).

Next, the controller 210 calculates a proper detergent quantity according to the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200 (S310). In this case, if the display unit 220 displays only the detected clothes amount, the detergent quantity calculating step S310 may be omitted.

The information on the detected clothes amount and the calculated detergent quantity are transmitted to the display unit 220.

Thereafter, the display unit 220 displays at least one of the detected clothes amount and the calculated detergent quantity (S320). As mentioned above, the controller 210 may determine a level to which the clothes amount directly detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200 belongs, among the levels indicated by the protrusive indicators 120 formed on the detergent box 110, namely, the levels of the detergent input quantity according to each virtual clothes amount, and the display unit 220 may display the determined level to which the clothes amount directly detected by the clothes amount detecting unit 200 belongs among the levels according to the protrusive indicators 120.

The detergent input quantity guiding apparatus of a washing machine and the method for guiding a detergent input quantity according to the present invention have many advantages.

That is, the protrusive indicators each indicating a detergent quantity for virtual various clothes amounts are indicated at the interior of the detergent box, and at least of one of the clothes amount detected by the clothes amount detecting unit and the detergent quantity calculated by the controller according to the detected clothes amount is displayed. Thus, the user can input a proper quantity of detergent suitable for the clothes amount based on the displayed information. Accordingly, because the proper amount of detergent can be applied according to the clothes amount, the durability of the washing machine can be improved. In addition, a phenomenon that the laundry is damaged by an excessively applied detergent can be prevented.

In addition, the controller may calculate a level to which the clothes amount directly detected by the clothes amount detecting unit among the levels indicated by the protrusive indicators of the detergent box and display the information about the calculated level on the display unit. Thus, the user can input the detergent into the detergent box by up to the level of the protrusive indicator of the detergent box corresponding to the displayed level. Namely, the user can accurately input the detergent, and thus, the user convenience can be improved.

As the present invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the characteristics thereof, it should also be understood that the above-described embodiments are not limited by any of the details of the foregoing description, unless otherwise specified, but rather should be construed broadly within its scope as defined in the appended claims, and therefore all changes and modifications that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims, or equivalents of such metes and bounds are therefore intended to be embraced by the appended claims.