Title:
PEDALING APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is pedaling apparatus (PA) for a watery environment. The PA may comprise a supporting body connected to at least one pedal. At least part of the supporting body supports the carrying of a user's weight. Part of the body and the position of the pedal in relation to said body may be designed to support the user's weight and to maintain the pedals' rotation movement inside the water throughout the span of the rotation movement, once the user applies his/her weight upon the PA.



Inventors:
Debby, Yael (Mevashert Tzion, IL)
Application Number:
11/775267
Publication Date:
12/18/2008
Filing Date:
07/10/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63H16/20; B63B34/56
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
The Law Office of Michael E. Kondoudis (Dumfries, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A pedaling apparatus for travel in water, comprising: a supporting body operatively connected to at least one pedal, wherein at least part of the supporting_body and a position of the at least one pedal in relation to the supporting body are designed to support a user's weight and to permit rotational movement of each pedal in the water throughout a span of the rotational movement, when the apparatus bears the user's weight, wherein the apparatus travels in the water when the at least one pedal is pedaled, and wherein each pedal has a scoop shaped portion that scoops water and pushes the scooped water in a direction opposite to a direction of travel of the apparatus when the at least one pedal is pedaled.

2. (canceled)

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the supporting body is an integration of several parts connected together.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the supporting body includes a supporting section that supports the user's weight when user leans over the supporting.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one pedal is connected to the supporting body by a connector that is inserted into an opening in the supporting body and which is inserted into opening in each pedal.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the at least one pedal is two pedals, and wherein the connector enables rotation of the pedals in a chasing manner.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the at least one pedal is two pedals, and wherein the connector enables simultaneous rotation of the pedals in the same direction.

8. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the at least one pedal is two pedals, and wherein each pedal is connected to said body by a separate connector enabling independent rotation of each pedal.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one pedal is two pedals, and wherein the pedals are arranged in relation to the supporting body so as to permit the user to use the user's hands to rotate the pedals.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one pedal is two pedals, and wherein the pedals are arranged in relation to the supporting body so as to permit the to use the user's legs to rotate the pedals.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the supporting body is made from buoyant materials to facilitate the user in floating.

12. (canceled)

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each pedal selectively removable and attachable to different sides of the supporting body.

14. (canceled)

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least part of the supporting body is designed to support the user's weight and at least part of the supporting body is seated at a non-flat angle to the rest of said body, compelling each pedal to move under the water substantially throughout the span of each pedal's rotation movement.

16. (canceled)

17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one pedal is one pedal.

18. A pedaling apparatus for travelling in water, comprising: a supporting body including a supporting section at first end and a pedal connection section at a second opposing the first end; a pair of pedals each connected to the pedal connection section by a connection unit that permits travel of each pedal about a circular path, each pedal having a water-scooping shape, wherein the supporting body, the supporting section, and the pedal connection section are configured to support a user, wherein, when the pedals travel about the circular paths, the pedals scoop water, and push the water in a first direction, and wherein the pushing of water in the first direction causes the apparatus to travel in a second direction opposite to the first direction.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/929,069 filed on Jun. 12, 2007, the content of which is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to the field of water-apparatuses. More particularly, the present invention relates to the field of pedaling apparatuses for a watery environment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Performing physical activities in watery environments such as swimming pools, the sea etc may be quite enjoyable for many people and especially for young children. The problem is that children, usually at young ages such as 2-4 years old, do not yet know how to swim and teaching them these skills can be a real burden for their parents and tutors. Additionally the task of learning how to swim can be really dangerous and the tutors or parents may be required to watch over each child with extra percussion, when teaching them how to swim.

The most common aid-accessory used for teaching swimming—is a buoyant piece that facilitates in supporting the user's weight by helping the user's body to float. Unfortunately, this is usally uncomfortable since it is hard to keep the user on the piece and the tutor may constantly be required to physically hold the user (child) in a substantial horizontal position to allow him/her to use his/her hands and feet to progress in the water.

A patent application number U.S. Pat. No. 3,874,319 by Martin Gerald, Baccus James and Gurman Marvin discloses a surfboard-like buoyant support member at one end with a manually operable crank mechanism comprising a transverse axle rod having, at each end, a crank handle and a paddle wheel for hand actuation by an operator lying prone upon the support member. The underside of the support member is formed with a central, longitudinal channel, bifurcated at the front, which substantially improves lateral stability and directional control at high speeds. Vertically swing-able flap members extend rearward of the rear end of the support member for actuation by the legs of the operator in propelling and steering the craft.

In Gerald's application the pedals' rotation movement is partially in and partially outside of the water—where the pedal gets in and out throughout a single rotation span of the pedal.

In Gerald's application, the buoyant surfboard carries the user's body completely where the user can comfortably use the apparatus like a raft. This may be inefficient for learning how to swim where the part of the apparatus that supports most of the user's body does not allow the user to make a physical effort to support his/her own weight.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a novel pedaling apparatus (PA) for a watery environment. The PA may comprise a supporting body connected to at least one pedal. At least part of the body and the position of the pedal in relation to said body may be designed to support the user's weight and to maintain the pedals' rotation movement inside the water throughout the span of the rotation movement, once the user applies his/her weight upon the PA.

According to embodiments of the invention, the supporting body of the PA may be buoyant—composed, for example, of floating substances. Alternatively, the pedaling apparatus may be used for diving where the body of the apparatus may not be designed to float or may enable floating according to the user's desire by, for example, automatically inflating when the user pulls a string or pushes a button.

The pedals may be designed to facilitate the user's hands or feet grab in the pedals or the pedals' connecting parts. The pedals may also be hydro-dynamically designed to facilitate the progressing of the PA in a watery environment in a more efficient way. For example, the pedals may comprise attached fin-shaped flat pieces that may enable pushing the water in the opposite direction to the progressing direction of the pedals to facilitate the progressing of the PA.

The PA may be especially but not exclusively suitable for children and toddlers and may be used as a swimming teaching tool. The PA may facilitate in teaching children and toddlers a variety of fun and healthy physical activities in water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

The subject matter regarded as the invention will become more clearly understood in light of the ensuing description of embodiments herein, given by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the present invention only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a front view of a pedaling apparatus, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of a back view of a pedaling apparatus, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of an exploded view of a pedaling apparatus, according to some embodiments of the present invention.

The drawings together with the description make apparent to those skilled in the art how the invention may be embodied in practice.

An embodiment is an example or implementation of the inventions. The various appearances of “one embodiment,” “an embodiment” or “some embodiments” do not necessarily all refer to the same embodiments. Although various features of the invention may be described in the context of a single embodiment, the features may also be provided separately or in any suitable combination. Conversely, although the invention may be described herein in the context of separate embodiments for clarity, the invention may also be implemented in a single embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF SOME EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a novel pedaling apparatus (PA) 100 for a watery environment. PA 100 that may comprise a supporting body 112 connected to at least one pedal 130. At least part of body 112 may be designed to support the carrying of a user's weight and part of body 112 may be seated at a non-flat angel to the rest of said body 112—compelling pedals 130 to move inside the water substantially throughout the span of the pedals' rotation movement.

Depending on embodiments of the present invention, PA 100 may be designated for hand pedaling, feet pedaling or both, where pedals 130 may be designed accordingly.

Depending on embodiments of the present invention, PA 100 may be designed as a floating apparatus—where at least part of body 112 may have a floating specific-weight. According to alternative embodiments, PA 100 may be designed as a diving apparatus—where body 112 may not have a floating part of have at least one part that can automatically inflate to allow transforming the diving apparatus to a floating one.

The pedaling activity is herein defined as the rotating of pedals 130 around a central axle. The span of pedals' 130 rotation may be the circumference of the substantially circular movement of pedals 130.

While the description below contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as exemplifications of the preferred embodiments. Those skilled in the art will envision other possible variations that are within its scope. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiment illustrated, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.

Reference in the specification to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, “some embodiments” or “other embodiments” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiments is included in at least one embodiments, but not necessarily all embodiments, of the inventions. It is understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is not to be construed as limiting and are for descriptive purpose only.

The principles and uses of the teachings of the present invention may be better understood with reference to the accompanying description, figures and examples. It is to be understood that the details set forth herein do not construe a limitation to an application of the invention. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the invention can be carried out or practiced in various ways and that the invention can be implemented in embodiments other than the ones outlined in the description below.

It is to be understood that the terms “including”, “comprising”, “consisting” and grammatical variants thereof do not preclude the addition of one or more components, features, steps, or integers or groups thereof and that the terms are to be construed as specifying components, features, steps or integers. The phrase “consisting essentially of”, and grammatical variants thereof, when used herein is not to be construed as excluding additional components, steps, features, integers or groups thereof but rather that the additional features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed composition, device or method.

If the specification or claims refer to “an additional” element, that does not preclude there being more than one of the additional element. It is to be understood that where the claims or specification refer to “a” or “an” element, such reference is not be construed that there is only one of that element. It is to be understood that where the specification states that a component, feature, structure, or characteristic “may”, “might”, “can” or “could” be included, that particular component, feature, structure, or characteristic is not required to be included.

Where applicable, although state diagrams, flow diagrams or both may be used to describe embodiments, the invention is not limited to those diagrams or to the corresponding descriptions. For example, flow need not move through each illustrated box or state, or in exactly the same order as illustrated and described.

Methods of the present invention may be implemented by performing or completing manually, automatically, or a combination thereof selected steps or tasks. The term “method” refers to manners, means, techniques and procedures for accomplishing a given task including, but not limited to, those manners, means, techniques and procedures either known to, or readily developed from known manners, means, techniques and procedures by practitioners of the art to which the invention belongs. The descriptions, examples, methods and materials presented in the claims and the specification are not to be construed as limiting but rather as illustrative only.

Meanings of technical and scientific terms used herein are to be commonly understood as by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention belongs, unless otherwise defined. The present invention can be implemented in the testing or practice with methods and materials equivalent or similar to those described herein.

Any publications, including patents, patent applications and articles, referenced or mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated in their entirety into the specification, to the same extent as if each individual publication was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated herein. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in the description of some embodiments of the invention shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention.

FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 are schematic illustrations of a front and a back view of pedaling apparatus (PA) 100, according to some embodiments of the present invention. PA 100 may comprise a body 112 that may include a supporting section (SS) 110 that may be curved to facilitate in ergonomically supporting the user's chest area when the user leans on SS 110 and pedals with his hands in a watery environment. PA 100 may further comprise at least one pedal 130 connected to PA 100 by at least one pedal-connector 137.

According to some embodiments of the present invention, body 112 may be an angular body 112. SS 110 may create a non-flat angle “α” with the bottom section of body 112, where the angle “α” may be less than a hundred and eighty degrees, as illustrated in FIG. 3.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of an exploded view of PA 100, according to some embodiments of the present invention. According to the embodiments illustrated in FIG. 3, PA 100 as well as body 112 may be composed of several parts that may be assembled together to compose PA 100. According to the example of FIG. 3, body 112 may be composed of a top section 114 attaching a bottom section 113 in any technique known in the art. The separation into the top and bottom section 114, 113 may facilitate in inserting pedals' 130 connector 137 designed as a bent rod that may be inserted through the bottom section of body 112. According to the embodiments illustrated in FIG. 3, two holding tubes 135 may envelope at least parts of the edges of connector 137. The user may grab tubes 135 to allow a secure and comfortable holding and moving of pedals 130. Tubes 135 may be made of a softer material than the material of connector 137—to allow the user a better holding of the edges of connector 137 while pedaling. Tubes 135 may be inserted into a suitable body-openings 123 in pedals 130. Connector 137 may be inserted through a threaded opening 121 in body 112.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the angle “α” of body 112 along with the weight of the user using PA 100 may compel pedals 130 to move inside the water substantially throughout the span of the pedaling movement. Since pedals 130 are seated at the bottom of PA 100, according to embodiments illustrated in FIG. 1-3, once the user applies his weight when using PA 100 the entire circumference of pedals' 130 rotation movement may be compelled to be seated inside the water.

According to some embodiments of the present invention, PA 100 may be used as a feet pedaling apparatus, where the feet of the user may pedal pedals 130. Some design changes may be required to adjust PA 100 to feet pedaling such as, for example, the structure and the size of SS 110, pedals 130 etc, according to the user's size and convenience.

Body 112 of PA 100 as well as other parts of PA 100 may be buoyant to facilitate in supporting the weight of the user in the water.

According to embodiments of the present invention, PA 100 may comprise more than one connector 137 to allow separate movement of pedals 130 meaning that the first pedal 130 can be rotated separately from the second pedal 130. Alternatively PA 100 may comprise one connector 137, where connector 137 may allow pedaling of both pedals 130 in the same rotation direction or an opposite rotation direction.

Alternatively, in embodiments where only one pedal may be connected 130, connector 137 may connect only to one pedal 130 allowing users to use one hand or one foot to rotate the pedal 130. Additionally, connector 137 may be removable and may enable reconnecting to both sides allowing users to work on a single hand, for example, reconnect the pedal 130 to the other side and practice pedaling of single sides at each pedaling session.

Body 112 may be composed as a single molded piece, according to some embodiments of the present invention. According to alternative embodiments of the present invention, body 112 may be comprised of several integrated parts as illustrated in FIG. 3.

According to some embodiments of the invention pedals 130 may be removable. The pedals 130 may enable reconnecting to different sides of said body according to desired organ (if the user wishes to pedal by hand or by foot or leg) and side (left or right). Additionally, body 112 may enable the users to connect pedals 130 in various positions according to the user's size, physical abilities etc.

While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as exemplifications of some of the preferred embodiments. Those skilled in the art will envision other possible variations, modifications, and applications that are also within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should not be limited by what has thus far been described, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.