Title:
Cane Holders and Canes With Extension Elements
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cane holder comprising a post and a weighted platform is provided. The weighted platform supports the post such that post extends upward in an angled direction, whereby the cane holder is suited for a user to retrieve a cane held by the cane holder while the user is sitting. In another embodiment, a cane holder comprising upper and lower holding devices is provided. The upper and lower holding devices may be secured independently to a fixture and support or receive a portion of a cane. In yet another embodiment, a cane is provided that comprises a base portion and an extension element that are configured to support a resting cane. The extension element may retract and extend with actuation of a switch of the cane operatively connected to the extension element.



Inventors:
Stricevic, Kirsten E. (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/104560
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
04/17/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G25/12
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080053501Magnetic cane mountMarch, 2008Wilson et al.
20020108647Tent with awningAugust, 2002Chen et al.
20040035456Portable lounge chair awningFebruary, 2004Feese
20060174926Umbrella coverAugust, 2006Mcguigan
20030178052Three-piece umbrella cover structureSeptember, 2003Chen
20090229646Tent Rafter End Cap and Tent Incorporating SameSeptember, 2009Whitlow
20020104558Two-folded automatic opened umbrellaAugust, 2002Kuo
20050081903Foldable tentApril, 2005Wang
20100012164ASSEMBLY OF A SPINDLE AND GUIDE THEREFORJanuary, 2010Stoelinga



Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cane holder comprising a post and a weighted platform, wherein: the weighted platform is configured to rest on a surface and supports the post such that the post extends upward from the weighted platform in an angled direction; the post extends along a longitudinal axis of the cane holder and comprises a channeled portion and a handle portion; the channeled portion terminates near a first end proximal the weighted platform and opens near a second end proximal to the handle portion to receive at least a portion of a cane; and the handle portion is configured to support at least a portion of the cane and to permit gripping of the handle portion by a user of the cane holder for movement of the cane holder.

2. The cane holder of claim 1, wherein the weighted platform comprises one or more wheels such that the cane holder may be rolled on the wheels along the surface.

3. The cane holder of claim 1, wherein a weight of the weighted platform is sufficient to substantially maintain a balance of the cane holder and the upward extension of the post and any cane held thereby.

4. The cane holder of claim 1, wherein the channeled portion comprises a channel for receiving at least a portion of the cane.

5. The cane holder of claim 1, wherein a height of the cane holder and the upward extension and angled direction of the post are suitable for the user of the cane holder to retrieve a cane held by the cane holder while the user is sitting.

6. A cane comprising a base portion, a body portion, a handle portion, a switch, and at least one extension element, wherein: the base portion is configured to engage a surface and to support the cane and a user using the cane on the surface; the handle portion is configured to permit gripping of the handle portion by the user of the cane; the body portion extends along a longitudinal axis of the cane and couples the base portion and the handle portion; the extension element comprises a stabilizing foot and is positioned about the body portion; the extension element is configured to retract to and to extend from a point of connection between the extension element and the body portion such that: when retracted, the extension element is substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of the cane, when extended, the extension element is non-parallel with the longitudinal axis of the cane, and when fully extended, the extension element is non-parallel with the longitudinal axis of the cane, while the stabilizing foot is both substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the cane and substantially coplanar with the base portion such that the stabilizing foot and the base portion may engage the surface and support the cane on the surface without the use of additional supportive devices; and the switch is positioned about the handle portion and is operatively connected within an interior channel of the cane to the extension element such that an actuation of the switch retracts or extends the extension element to or from the point of connection between the extension element and the body portion.

7. The cane of claim 6, wherein the operative connection between the switch and the extension element is provided through a spring-loaded mechanism housed within the interior channel of the cane.

8. The cane of claim 7, wherein the actuation of the switch controls retraction and extension of one or more springs of the spring-loaded mechanism in communication with one or more rods of the spring-loaded mechanism so as to permit or control ascent and descent of the rods within the interior channel of the cane and the retraction and the extension of the extension element to and from the point of connection between the extension element and the body portion.

9. The cane of claim 6, wherein the operative connection between the switch and the extension element comprises a motor-driven mechanism housed within the interior channel of the cane.

10. The cane of claim 9, wherein actuating the switch controls activation and deactivation of the motor-driven mechanism in communication with the extension element so as to control the retraction and the extension of the extension element to and from the point of connection between the extension element and the body portion.

11. The cane of claim 6, wherein the switch is positioned about the handle portion such that the user of the cane may actuate the switch to control remotely the retraction and the extension of the extension element with a hand that is simultaneously gripping the handle portion.

12. The cane of claim 6, wherein the extension element folds to the point of connection between the extension element and the body portion when retracted.

13. The cane of claim 6, wherein the extension element unfolds from the point of connection between the extension element and the body portion when extended.

14. The cane of claim 6, wherein the cane comprises three extension elements.

15. A cane holder comprising an upper holding device and a lower holding device, wherein: the upper holding device extends along a longitudinal axis and comprises a series of upper slots independently configured to support a handle portion of a cane; the lower holding device extends along a longitudinal axis and comprises a series of lower slots independently configured to receive a base portion of a cane; and the upper and lower holding devices are configured to be secured independently to a fixture such that the respective longitudinal axis of the upper and lower holding devices extend substantially horizontally along the fixture.

16. The cane holder of claim 15, wherein the cane holder is configured such that, when the upper and lower holding devices are secured to the fixture, the respective longitudinal axis of the upper and lower holding devices are substantially parallel and the upper slots of the upper holding device and the lower slots of the lower holding device are substantially aligned.

17. The cane holder of claim 15, wherein the cane holder is configured such that, when the upper and lower holding devices are secured to the fixture, the respective longitudinal axis of the upper and lower holding devices are substantially parallel and the upper slots of the upper holding device and the lower slots of the lower holding device are offset.

18. The cane holder of claim 15, wherein the upper holding device comprises openings such that the handle portions of the canes may pass through the openings when being placed into or retrieved from the upper slots.

19. The cane holder of claim 15, wherein the lower slots of the lower holding device are configured to permit passage of the base portions of the canes therethrough.

20. The cane holder of claim 15, wherein the lower slots of the lower holding device are configured to support the base portions of the canes thereon.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/923,920, filed Apr. 17, 2007, the entire disclosure of which is considered as part of the disclosure of the present application and is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention relates generally to walking canes and cane holders. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention relate to canes comprising extension elements to support resting canes in upright positions and cane holders configured to hold canes in upright positions.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention shown and described herein, a cane holder includes a post and a weighted platform. The weighted platform may be configured to rest on a surface and supports the post such that the post extends upward from the weighted platform in an angled direction, while the post may extend along a longitudinal axis of the cane holder and includes a channeled portion and a handle portion. The channeled portion may terminate near a first end proximal to the weighted platform and opens near a second end proximal to the handle portion to receive at least a portion of a cane. The handle portion may be configured to support at least a portion of the cane and to permit gripping of the handle portion by a user of the cane holder for movement of the cane holder.

In accordance with another embodiment shown and described herein, a cane may include a base portion, a body portion, a handle portion, a switch, and at least one extension element. The base portion may be configured to engage a surface and to support the cane and a user using the cane on the surface, while the handle portion may be configured to permit gripping of the hand portion by the user of the cane. The body portion may extend along a longitudinal axis of the cane and couples the base portion and the handle portion, while the extension element includes a stabilizing foot and is positioned about the body portion. The extension element may be configured to retract to and to extend from a point of connection between the extension element and the body portion such that, when retracted, the extension element may be substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis of the cane; when extended, the extension element may be non-parallel with the longitudinal axis of the cane; and, when fully extended, the extension element is non-parallel with the longitudinal axis of the cane, while the stabilizing foot may be both substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the cane and substantially coplanar with the base portion such that the stabilizing foot and the base portion may engage the surface and support the cane on the surface without the use of additional supportive devices. The switch may be positioned about the handle portion and operatively connected to the extension element such that an actuation of the switch retracts or extends the extension element to or from the point of connection between the extension element and the body portion.

In accordance with yet another embodiment, a cane holder may include an upper holding device and a lower holding device. The upper holding device extends along a longitudinal axis and comprises a series of upper slots independently configured to support a handle portion of a cane, while the lower holding device extends along a longitudinal axis and comprises a series of lower slots independently configured to receive a base portion of a cane. The upper and lower holding devices are configured to be secured independently to a fixture such that the respective longitudinal axis of the upper and lower holding devices extend substantially horizontally along the fixture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The following detailed description of specific embodiments of the present invention can be understood when read in conjunction with the following drawings, where like structure is indicated with like reference numerals and in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a cane holder according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of another cane holder according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a cane according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are illustrations of a cane according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are illustrations of a cane according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5C is a magnified illustration of a motor-driven operable connection between a switch and extension elements of a cane according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 6A and 6B are illustrations of a motor-driven operable connection between a switch and extension elements of a cane according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a magnified illustration of a motor-driven operable connection between a switch and extension elements of a cane according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 8A and 8B are illustrations of a spring-loaded operable connection between a switch and extension elements of a cane according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIGS. 9A and 9B are magnified illustrations of a spring-loaded operable connection between a switch and extension elements of a cane according to one embodiment of the present invention.

The embodiments set forth in the drawings are illustrative in nature and are not intended to be limiting of the invention defined by the claims. Moreover, individual aspects of the drawings and the invention will be more fully apparent and understood in view of the detailed description.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of cane holders of the present invention generally are provided as devices for supporting walking canes while they are not in use. These embodiments offer convenient support to canes when they are not in use so that they do not fall over onto a ground or floor surface, which can make it difficult, if not impossible, for an elderly or disabled individual to pick up a fallen cane. These embodiments support the resting canes in an easily accessible position for the benefit of their users in retrieving their canes.

Referring initially to FIG. 1, a cane holder 10 may comprise a post 12 and a weighted platform 14. The weighted platform 14 may be configured to rest on a surface, such as, but not limited to, a ground surface or floor surface. As shown in FIG. 1, the weighted platform 14 may support the post 12 such that the post 12 extends upward from the weighted platform 14 in an angled direction. Generally, a weight of the weighted platform 14 is sufficient to substantially maintain the balance of the cane holder 10 and the upward extension of the post 12 and any cane held thereby. It is also contemplated, however, that, generally, the weight of the weighted platform 14 is insufficient to prevent or significantly inhibit movement of the cane holder 10 by a user. Further, the weighted platform 14 may comprise one or more wheels (not shown) such that the cane holder 10 may be rolled on the wheels along the surface. The wheels may be distributed on a bottom surface of the weighted platform 14 such that the cane holder 10 maintains its balance and upright position over the wheels. Alternatively, the wheels may be provided substantially on one or more sides of the weighted platform 14 so that a user may tilt the cane holder 10 onto the wheels and pull the cane holder 10 to a new location.

The post 12 may extend along a longitudinal axis 16 of the cane holder 10 and comprises a channeled portion 18 and a handle portion 20. The channeled portion 18 may terminate near a first end 18A proximal to the weighted platform 14 and opens near a second end 18B proximal to the handle portion 20 to receive at least a portion of a cane. In addition, the channeled portion 18 may comprise a channel 22. This channel 22 may generally comprise a width sufficient to receive at least a portion of the cane.

The handle portion 20 may also configured to support at least a portion of the cane. Generally, the handle portion 20 may substantially support at least a portion of the cane that is not received by the channeled portion 18 such that the portion of the cane supported by the handle portion 20 is generally accessible to the user of the cane holder 10. Further, the handle portion 20 may be configured to permit gripping of the handle portion 20 by a user of the cane holder 10 for movement of the cane holder 10, whether by pulling on the handle portion 20 to roll the cane holder 10 on the wheels of the weighted platform 14 or by lifting and carrying the cane holder 10 by the handle portion 20.

Generally, a height of the cane holder 10 and the upward extension and angled direction of the post 12 may be suitable for the user of the cane holder 10 to retrieve a cane held by the cane holder 10 while the user is sitting in a chair. It is also contemplated that the configuration of the cane holder 10 may be suitable for the user to retrieve a cane held by the cane holder 10 while the user is standing or, alternatively, while the user is laying down such that the user may retrieve the cane held in the cane holder 10 without bending over to pick up a resting cane. Such configurations of the cane holder 10 may permit the cane holder 10 to be used in locations such as, but not limited to, restaurants, where the cane holder 10 may slide partially or entirely under a table, and in lobbies or waiting areas, where the cane holder 10 may be placed along side a seat. It is also contemplated that the cane holder 10 may be substantially configured of a wood, a metal, a polymer, or other suitable material and may comprise one or more of any variety of decorative or promotional designs.

FIG. 2 presents another embodiment of a cane holder 30 of the present invention. This cane holder 30 may comprise an upper holding device 32 and a lower holding device 38. The upper holding device 32 may extend along a longitudinal axis 34 and comprises a series of upper slots 36 independently configured to support a handle portion 46 of a cane 44. As shown in FIG. 3, the upper holding device 32 may also comprise openings 52 such that at least a portion of the canes 44, such as the handle portions 46, may pass through the openings 52 when being placed into or retrieved from the upper slots 36. The upper slots 36 of the upper holding device 32 may generally comprise a dimension sufficient to permit passage of at least a portion of a cane 44 therethrough so that the handle portion 46 of the cane 44 may be supported thereby. It is contemplated that the cane holder 30, in one embodiment, may comprise only the upper holding device 32, and not the lower holding device 38, to support one or more canes 44. In this embodiment, the canes 44 may hang from the upper holding device 32 by the handle portions 46 or may be supported by the upper holding device 32 near the handle portions 46 while the base portions 48 rest on a ground or floor surface.

Meanwhile, the lower holding device 38 may extend along a longitudinal axis 40 and comprises a series of lower slots 42 configured to receive a base portion 48 of a cane 44. The lower slots 42 of the lower holding device 38 may generally comprise a dimension sufficient to permit passage of at least a portion of a cane 44 therethrough so that the base portion 48 of the cane 44 may be received thereby. As such, the lower slots 42 of the lower holding device 38 may be configured to permit passage of the base portions 48 of the canes 44 therethrough, as shown in FIG. 2. It is contemplated, however, that the lower slots 42 of the lower holding device 38 may be configured to support the base portions 48 of the canes 44 thereon, rather than to permit passage therethrough.

The upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 may be configured to be secured independently to a fixture 50 such that the respective longitudinal axes 34, 40 of the upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 extend substantially horizontally along the fixture 50. According to one embodiment, the cane holder 30 may be configured such that, when the upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 are secured to the fixture 50, the respective longitudinal axes 34, 40 of the upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 are substantially parallel and the upper slots 36 of the upper holding device 32 and the lower slots 42 of the lower holding device 38 are substantially aligned such that a cane 44 supported by the cane holder 30 is in a substantially upright position. According to another embodiment, the cane holder 30 may be configured such that, when the upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 are secured to the fixture 50, the respective longitudinal axis 34, 40 of the upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 are substantially parallel and the upper slots 36 of the upper holding device 32 and the lower slots 42 of the lower holding device 38 are offset such that a cane 44 supported by the cane holder 30 is substantially in a tilted position.

The fixture 50 to which the upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 are configured to be secured to may be a wall, a counter, or other supportive device. It is also contemplated that the fixture may be a rail support that couples the upper holding device 32 and the lower holding device 38 and is configured to support the cane holder 30 without the need for support from a wall, counter, or other supportive device. Generally, the upper holding device 32 may be secured to the fixture at a height suitable for a user to place or retrieve a cane 44 in or from the upper holding device 32 while the user is standing or sitting. Further, it is contemplated that the upper and lower holding devices 32, 38 of the cane holder 30 may comprise any number of upper and lower slots 36, 42 so as to hold any number of canes 44 therein. Embodiments of the cane holder 30 may be used at locations where a user may need to free a hand of a cane 44 so as to perform other tasks. Such locations may be, but are not limited to counter spaces at one of any number of facilities or offices, such as but not limited to, service counters, retail counters, medical office counters, post office counters, or airport counters.

Referring to FIGS. 3-9B, a cane 60 may comprise a base portion 62, a body portion 64, a handle portion 66, a switch 68, and at least one extension element 70. The base portion 62 may be configured to engage a surface, whether that be a ground surface, a floor surface, or other surface. In addition, the base portion 62 is configured to support the cane 60 and a user using the cane 60 on the surface. The handle portion 66 may be configured to permit gripping by the user of the cane 60. The body portion 64 may extend along a longitudinal axis 72 of the cane 60 and couples the base portion 62 and the handle portion 66.

The extension element 70 comprises a stabilizing foot 74 and may be positioned about the body portion 64. The extension element 70 may be configured to retract to and to extend from a point of connection 76 between the extension element 70 and the body portion 64. It is contemplated that the extension element 70 may retract and extend in one of any number of ways. For example, in one embodiment, the extension element 70 folds to the point of connection 76 between the extension element 70 and the body portion 64 when retracted and, conversely, the extension element 70 unfolds from the point of connection 76 between the extension element 70 and the body portion 64 when extended. By way of another example, the extension element 70 may retract and extend in a collapsing and elongating telescopic fashion. It is further contemplated that the cane 60 may comprise one or more guide rails that guide a path of retraction and extension of the extension element 70 to and from the point of connection 76 between the extension element 70 and the body portion 64.

When retracted, the extension element 70 and the stabilizing foot 74 are substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis 72 of the cane 60. Further, when extended, the extension element 70 is non-parallel with the longitudinal axis 72 of the body portion 64. In addition, when fully extended, the extension element 70 is non-parallel with the longitudinal axis 72 of the cane 60, while the stabilizing foot 74 is both substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis 72 of the cane 60 and substantially coplanar with the base portion 62 such that the stabilizing foot 74 and the base portion 62 may engage the surface and support the cane 60 on the surface without the use of additional supportive devices. It is also contemplated that the extension element 70 and the stabilizing foot 74 may extend beyond a plane of the base portion 62 so as to support the cane 60 independent of the base portion 62, as is shown in FIGS. 5C, 6A, 7, 8A, and 9A. Generally, the cane 60 comprises three extension elements 70, however, the cane 60 may comprise any number of extension elements 70 that may be utilized to support the cane 60 on the surface, as described herein.

The switch 68 may be positioned about the handle portion 66 and is operatively connected within an interior channel 78 of the cane 60 to the extension element 70. Generally, the switch 68 may be positioned about the handle portion 66 such that the user of the cane 60 may actuate the switch 68 to control remotely the retraction and the extension of the extension element 70 with a hand that is simultaneously gripping the handle portion 66.

Actuation of the switch 68 retracts or extends the extension element 70 to or from the point of connection 76 between the extension element 70 and the body portion 64. In one embodiment, shown in FIGS. 8A-9B, the operative connection between the switch 68 and the extension element 70 may be provided through a spring-loaded mechanism 90 housed within the interior channel 78 of the cane 60. According to this embodiment, the actuation of the switch 68 controls retraction and extension of one or more springs or spring assemblies 92 of the spring-loaded mechanism 90 in communication with one or more rods 94 of the spring-loaded mechanism 90 so as to permit or control ascent and descent of the rods 94 within the interior channel 78 of the cane 60 and the retraction and the extension of the extension element 70 to and from the point of connection 76 between the extension element 70 and the body portion 64. In one embodiment, actuating the switch 68 causes the spring-loaded mechanism 90 to be compressed as it traverses the rod 94. The motion of the spring-loaded mechanism 90 causes the extension element 70 to extend from the body portion 64. Specifically, the extension element 70 may be pivotally attached with respect to the spring-loaded mechanism 90 such that, as the spring-loaded mechanism 90 is compressed, the angle between the extension element 70 and the longitudinal axis 72 of the cane 60 increases, thereby extending the extension element 70 from the body portion 64 of the cane 60. The compression of the spring-loaded mechanism 90 retains the extension element 70 in the extended position. Actuating the switch 68 a second time may release the compressed spring-loaded mechanism 90 causing the mechanism 90 to traverse upwards, along the rod 94 thereby causing the extension element 70 to retract to the body portion 64 of the cane 60. Alternatively, a second switch may be operatively connected to the spring-loaded mechanism 90 to release the spring-loaded mechanism 90 from the compressed state. It is contemplated that a threaded rod 94 may be utilized to provide significant control and offer a smooth transition during the ascent and descent of the rod 94 within the interior channel 78 of the cane 60. The operative connection provided through the spring-loaded mechanism 90 may resemble the operative connection utilized in raising and collapsing an umbrella.

In another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 5C-7, the operative connection between the switch 68 and the extension element 70 may be provided through a motor-driven mechanism 80 housed with the interior channel 78 of the cane 60. According to this embodiment, the actuation of the switch 68 controls activation and deactivation of the motor-driven mechanism 80 in communication with the extension element 70 so as to control the retraction and the extension of the extension element 70 to and from the point of connection 76 between the extension element 70 and the body portion 64. It is contemplated that the motor-driven mechanism 80 may comprise a motor, batteries, wiring, circuitry, gears, rods, springs, and/or any other devices or hardware necessary to control the retraction and the extension of the extension element 70. Generally, the motor-driven mechanism 80, or portions thereof, move bi-directionally within the interior channel 78 of the cane 60 to control the retraction and the extension of the extension element 70. It is contemplated that a threaded rod may be utilized to provide significant control and offer a smooth transition during an ascent and descent of a motor of a motor-driven mechanism 80 along the threaded rod within the interior channel 78 of the cane 60 to retract and extend the extension element 70. For example, a motor may be operatively connected to the threaded rod, which is, in turn, operatively connected to the extensions element 70. More specifically, in one embodiment, the extension element 70 may be rotationally coupled to the threaded rod. Rotation of the motor is imparted to the threaded rod which, in turn, causes the extension or retraction of the of the extension element 70 from the cane 60. More specifically, rotation of the threaded rod causes the extension element 70 to traverse up or down the threaded rod. When the extension element 70 moves down the threaded rod, the extension element 70 may expand outwardly from the cane 60. When the extension element 70 moves up the threaded rod, the extension element 70 is retracted to the cane 60. To facilitate expansion and retraction, the extension element 70 may be pivotally joined to the threaded rod such that, as the rod is rotated, the angle between the extension element 70 and the longitudinal axis 72 of the cane 60 either increases or decreases as the extension element 70 either expands or retracts such as when the extension element 70 is spring-loaded with respect to the threaded rod. It is further contemplated that the motor-driven mechanism 80 may be electrically-powered, battery-powered, or otherwise powered by a portable or rechargeable power source. As such, canes 60 so powered may be configured with appropriate seals, o-rings, and waterproof materials to substantially safeguard the motor-driven mechanism 80 and the operation thereof in wet environmental conditions.

In one embodiment, it is contemplated that, while the extension element 70, when fully extended, has strength and stability sufficient to support the cane 60 on a surface, to maintain a lightweight and easily maneuverable cane 60, the extension element 70 generally does not have the strength and/or stability sufficient to support the weight of the user of the cane 60. Therefore, the extension element 70 is generally extended only when the cane 60 is in use to support the resting cane 60 in an upright position for easy access and retrieval of the cane 60 by the user and is not extended when the cane is being used to support the weight of the user. However, it is contemplated that the extension element 70 may be configured of a strong, stable, and resilient material that is sufficiently lightweight and configurable to maintain light and maneuverable characteristics of the cane 60 while permitting the user to rely on the base portion 62 and the extension element 70 for support when needed. Further, it is contemplated that the cane 60 may be substantially configured of a wood, a metal, a polymer, or other suitable material and may comprise one or more of any variety of decorative or promotional designs.

It is noted that recitations herein of a component of the present invention being “configured” in a particular way or to embody a particular property, or function in a particular manner, are structural recitations as opposed to recitations of intended use. More specifically, the references herein to the manner in which a component is “configured” denotes an existing physical condition of the component and, as such, is to be taken as a definite recitation of the structural characteristics of the component.

It is noted that terms like “generally” and “typically,” when utilized herein, are not utilized to limit the scope of the claimed invention or to imply that certain features are critical, essential, or even important to the structure or function of the claimed invention. Rather, these terms are merely intended to identify particular aspects of an embodiment of the present invention or to emphasize alternative or additional features that may or may not be utilized in a particular embodiment of the present invention.

For the purposes of describing and defining the present invention it is noted that the terms “substantially” and “approximately” are utilized herein to represent the inherent degree of uncertainty that may be attributed to any quantitative comparison, value, measurement, or other representation. The terms “substantially” and “approximately” are also utilized herein to represent the degree by which a quantitative representation may vary from a stated reference without resulting in a change in the basic function of the subject matter at issue.

Having described the invention in detail and by reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims. More specifically, although some aspects of the present invention are identified herein as preferred or particularly advantageous, it is contemplated that the present invention is not necessarily limited to these preferred aspects of the invention.