Title:
BIN
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising a container, a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted. A lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions. The lid actuating device including an actuator mechanism and a lever mechanism including at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism to cause movement of the lid towards the open position.



Inventors:
Cheung, Chung Fai (Aberdeen, HK)
Application Number:
11/857780
Publication Date:
03/19/2009
Filing Date:
09/19/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D43/26
View Patent Images:
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20040173620Bottle standSeptember, 2004Trevino
20090223981SANITARY BARRIER FOR BEVERAGE CONTAINER LIDSeptember, 2009Levey
20050194391Medical device and information containerSeptember, 2005Domke et al.
20050211708Thomas aluminum swivel-topSeptember, 2005Thomas
20050127077Method of manufacturing an aluminum receptacle with threaded outsertJune, 2005Chupak
20070262078Spice dispensing closure with positive sealNovember, 2007Sheffler et al.
20080314902PLUG FOR CONCRETE FLOOR PENETRATIONSDecember, 2008Dayton et al.



Primary Examiner:
ALLEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OSTROLENK FABER LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising: a container; a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted; a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including an actuator mechanism and a lever mechanism including at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism to cause movement of the lid towards the open position.

2. A bin comprising a damping device adapted for damping movement of a bin having a container, a pivoting member comprising: at least one stationary member disposed in a manner stationary relative to the housing; a moveable member moveably engageable relative to the stationary member; and a damper mechanism for creating friction between the stationary member and the moveable member when they are in motion relative to each other.

3. A bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising: a container; a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted; a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including an actuator mechanism for actuating the movement of the lid, said actuator mechanism comprising: a first foot pedal operable by a user's foot, said first foot pedal being arranged on operation to cause the movement of the lid to move towards the open position; a latch which is adapted to latch the lid in an open position once it is moved towards the open position; and a second foot pedal operable by a user's foot, said second foot pedal being arranged on operation to cause the latch to unlatch the lid, to allow the lid to move towards the closed position.

4. A bin suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising: a container; a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted; a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including a lever mechanism adapted to move the lid towards the open position when actuated, and an electrically operable actuator mechanism for actuating the movement of the lid, said actuator mechanism comprising at least one sensor for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin, and a motive device for actuating the lever mechanism to move the lid towards the open position in response to a signal received from the sensor; and a housing for housing at least part of the lid actuating device; wherein the container is removably engaged with the housing.

5. A bin suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising: a container; a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted; a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including a lever mechanism adapted to move the lid towards the open position when actuated, and an electrically operable actuator mechanism for actuating the movement of the lid, said actuator mechanism comprising a plurality of sensors for detecting the presence of a user at least above and to the side of the bin, a motive device for actuating the lever mechanism to move the lid towards the open position in response to a signal received from the sensor.

6. A bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising: a container; a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted; a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including a lever mechanism adapted for moving the lid towards the open position, and an actuator mechanism for actuating the lever mechanism to cause movement of the lid towards the open position; and a hygiene system suitable for dispensing disinfectant and/or air freshener in and around the container, said hygiene system comprising a holding formation for holding a pressurised aerosol container, and a spray actuation device suitable for actuating a nozzle of a dispensing container to dispense the contents of said dispensing container.

7. A bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising: a container; a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted; a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions; and a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

8. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bin includes a housing for at least partially housing the lid actuating device.

9. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the tensile member is at least partially comprised of one or more materials selected from flexible thermoplastic material, fibrous rope, and at least one metal filament.

10. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lever mechanism includes a pivotable pivoting member, which pivoting member is pivotal around a rotation axis.

11. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pivoting member is coupled to the actuator mechanism through at least one actuation lever.

12. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the actuator mechanism is a foot pedal mechanism which is operable by a user's foot.

13. A bin as claimed in claim 12, wherein the foot pedal mechanism includes a first foot pedal coupled to the actuation lever, wherein movement of the first foot pedal causes the pivoting member to pivot to tension the tensile member, thereby causing the lid to move towards the open position.

14. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the actuator mechanism is an electrically operable actuator mechanism.

15. A bin as claimed in claim 14, wherein the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes at least one sensor for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

16. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bin comprises a hygiene system suitable for dispensing disinfectant and/or air freshener in and around the container.

17. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bin includes a damping device for damping movement of the bin lid.

18. A bin as claimed in claim 12, wherein the foot pedal mechanism includes a latch which latches the lid in an open position once it is moved towards the open position; and a second foot pedal operable by a user's foot; wherein operation of the second foot pedal causes the latch to unlatch the lid, to allow the lid to move towards the closed position.

19. A bin as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bin comprises a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a bin. More particularly, but not exclusively, it relates to a rubbish bin including a mechanism for opening and closing a top lid.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Rubbish bins, such as those used domestically, are well known throughout the world. Many of those include a foot pedal mechanism, which, when operated by a user's foot, cause a lid on top of the rubbish bin to lift, thereby giving a user access to the bin. When the user's foot is removed from the pedal, the bin lid falls down under its own weight.

Such bins typically use a foot driven lever mechanism which actuates a push rod. The push rod pushes the bin lid into an open position. Such conventional pedal rubbish bins have a common disadvantage in that they are noisy, both when opening the bin lid and when the bin lid is allowed to close under its own weight.

When the bin lid of a conventional rubbish bin is opened by means of the foot pedal, the mechanical linkages of the lid opening mechanism can cause undesirable noise. Also, upon the closure of the bin lid under its own weight, the noise of the bin lid hitting the rim of the bin can cause undesirable noise.

A conventional pedal bin also has a disadvantage in that it may be inconvenient to a user who wishes to keep the lid of the bin open, but can only do so by holding the pedal down. The user is thus required to keep at least one foot on the pedal while transferring rubbish to the bin. This may not always be desirable.

Further, conventional pedal bins have a disadvantage in that the pedal needs to physically depressed in order to open the lid. This may not always be possible, for instance when a user is otherwise incapacitated, or wearing shoes which make this inconvenient.

In order to overcome the aforementioned problem, rubbish bins are known which utilise a sensor installed in the front of the bin, which sense when a user is standing in front of the bin. However, these existing bins with sensors have a disadvantage in that it may not be possible or safe to clean or wash these bins under running water, or by submerging them because of the presence of electrical motors, batteries and other electronic or electrical components. Further, when a user is required to stand in front of the bins in order to activate the sensor, this may be disadvantageous if it is not convenient or possible for someone to move exactly to the front of the bin.

Another main disadvantage of conventionally known rubbish bins, is that odour is known to leak from rubbish bins to the ambient environment when the lid of the bin is open. Similarly, germs and viruses may also be spread from such a bin, causing a health hazard.

In this specification, where reference has been made to external sources of information, including patent specifications and other documents, this is generally for the purpose of providing a contact for discussing the features of the present invention. Unless stated otherwise, references to such sources of information is not to be construed, in any jurisdiction as an admission that such sources of information are prior art or form part of the common general knowledge in the art.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a bin which overcomes or at least ameliorate some of the above mentioned disadvantages, or which at least provide the public with useful choice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect the present invention broadly consists in a bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising:

a container;

a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted;

a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including

    • an actuator mechanism actuatable by a user and
    • a lever mechanism including at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism to cause movement of the lid towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin may include a housing for at least partially housing the lid actuating device.

Preferably, the container may be removably engaged to the housing.

Preferably, the tensile member is comprised of flexible thermoplastic material.

Alternatively, the tensile member is a cable.

Preferably the cable is comprised of a plurality of filaments

Preferably the cable is at least partially composed of metal material.

The metal material may be covered by a plastic coating.

Alternatively, the cable is comprised of fibrous rope.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes a pivotable pivoting member, which pivoting member is pivotal around a rotation axis.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the actuator mechanism.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the actuator mechanism through at least one actuation lever.

Preferably, the actuator mechanism is a foot pedal mechanism which is operable by a user's foot.

Preferably, the foot pedal mechanism includes a first foot pedal coupled to the actuation lever, wherein movement of the first foot pedal causes the pivoting member to pivot to tension the tensile member, thereby causing the lid to move towards the open position.

Preferably, the actuator mechanism is an electrically operable actuator mechanism.

Preferably the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a motive device.

Preferably, the motive device is a magnetically operable device, such as a relay.

Alternatively, the motive device is an electrical motor.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism is coupled to a power source.

Preferably, the power source is a battery.

Preferably, the power source is an external power source, such as a wall plug.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes at least one sensor for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a plurality of sensors for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the sensor detects one selected from heat and movement of a user.

Preferably, upon detection of movement and/or heat by said sensor the electrically operable actuator mechanism actuates the actuation lever to cause pivoting of said pivoting member to move the lid towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin may further comprise a hygiene system suitable for spraying disinfectant and/or air freshener spray in and around the container.

Preferably, the hygiene system is adapted to actuate a nozzle for dispensing the contents of a pressurised aerosol container.

Preferably the hygiene includes a spray actuation device for actuating the nozzle of a pressurised aerosol container to dispense its contents.

Preferably, the hygiene system includes a holding formation for holding a pressurised aerosol container.

Preferably, the hygiene system is adapted to actuate the nozzle when the bin lid is opened or closed.

Preferably, the hygiene system includes a timer device.

Alternatively, the hygiene system is adapted to actuate the nozzle at periodic time intervals.

Preferably, the bin includes a damping device for damping movement of the bin lid.

Preferably, the damping device is a hydraulic damping device.

Preferably, the hydraulic damping device is incorporated within the pivoting member to damp the pivoting movement of the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member by a connector.

Preferably, the connector is a hook.

Preferably, the foot pedal mechanism includes

    • a latch which latches the lid in an open position once it is moved towards the open position; and
    • a second foot pedal operable by a user's foot;
    • wherein operation of the second foot pedal causes the latch to unlatch the lid, to allow the lid to move towards the closed position.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a controller for controlling operation of the lid in accordance with signals received from the sensors.

Preferably, the controller controls operation of the lid so that a first signal received from a sensor will cause the lid to move towards the open position, and a second signal received from a sensor will cause the lid to move towards the closed position.

Alternatively, the controller controls the operation of the lid so that the lid is caused to move towards the closed position at a predetermined time interval after it has been moved towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin comprises a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

Preferably, the storage compartment is incorporated with the housing.

In a second aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a damping device adapted for damping movement of a bin having a lid actuating device, said pivoting member comprising

at least one stationary member disposed in a manner stationary relative to the housing;

a moveable member moveably engageable relative to the stationary member; and

a damper mechanism for creating friction between the stationary member and the moveable member when they are in motion relative to each other.

Preferably, the damper mechanism may create hydraulic friction between the stationary member and the pivoting member.

Preferably, the movable member and stationary member define a fluid compartment between them when engaged with each other; said compartment being suitable for the retention of fluid.

Preferably, the stationary member defines a pivoting axis, and the movable member is pivotable about the pivoting axis, said moveable member including a pair of lever formations which are spaced from the axis, and pivotable about the axis relative to the stationary member;

Preferably, one or both of the stationary member and the moveable member may have drag formations for creating hydraulic drag through fluid contained in the fluid compartment, thereby damping movement of the pivoting member relative to the stationary member.

Preferably, at least one of the lever formations are configured to be attached to a tensile member.

Preferably the tensile member is a plastic strap.

Alternatively, the tensile member is a cable.

Preferably the cable is comprised of a plurality of filaments

Preferably the cable is at least partially composed of metal material.

The metal material may be covered by a plastic coating.

Alternatively, the cable is comprised of fibrous rope.

Preferably, at least one of the lever formations are configured to be attached to a tensile member by means of a connector.

Preferably, the connector is a hook.

Preferably the stationary member and the moveable member, abut against each other at an interface.

Preferably, the moveable member includes a seal for sealing the interface between the stationary member and the pivoting member.

Preferably, the seal is an O-ring seal.

In a third aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a bin that includes the damper mechanism as described above.

In a fourth aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising:

a container;

a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted;

a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including

    • an actuator mechanism for actuating the movement of the lid, said actuator mechanism comprising
      • a first foot pedal operable by a user's foot, said first foot pedal being arranged on operation to cause the movement of the lid to move towards the open position;
      • a latch which is adapted to latch the lid in an open position once it is moved towards the open position; and
      • a second foot pedal operable by a user's foot, said second foot pedal being arranged on operation to cause the latch to unlatch the lid, to allow the lid to move towards the closed position.

Preferably, the lid actuating device includes a lever mechanism including at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism to cause the lid to move towards the open position.

Preferably, the tensile member is comprised of flexible thermoplastic material.

Alternatively, the tensile member is a cable.

Preferably the cable is comprised of a plurality of filaments

Preferably the cable is at least partially composed of metal material.

The metal material may be covered by a plastic coating.

Alternatively, the cable is comprised of fibrous rope.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes a pivoting member which is pivotable around a rotation axis.

Preferably, the bin includes a damping device for damping movement of the bin lid.

Preferably, the damping device is a hydraulic damping device.

Preferably, the hydraulic damping device is incorporated within the pivoting member to damp the pivoting movement of the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member by means of a connector.

Preferably, the connector is a hook.

Preferably, the bin comprises a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

Preferably, the storage compartment is incorporated with the housing.

In a fifth aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a bin suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising:

a container;

a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted;

a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including

    • a lever mechanism adapted cause the lid to move towards the open position when actuated, and
    • an electrically operable actuator mechanism for actuating the movement of the lid, said electrically operable actuator mechanism comprising
      • at least one sensor for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin,
      • a motive device for actuating the lever mechanism to cause the lid to move towards the open position in response to a signal received from the sensor; and

a housing for housing at least part of the lid actuating device;

wherein the container is removably engaged with the housing.

Preferably the motive device is an electrical motor.

Alternatively, the motive device is a magnetically operable device.

Preferably, the magnetically operable device is a relay.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism is coupled to a power source.

Preferably, the power source is a battery.

Preferably, the battery is housed in the housing.

Preferably, the power source is an external power source, such as a wall plug.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a plurality of sensors for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the sensor detects one selected from heat and movement of a user.

Preferably, in response to the detection of movement and/or heat by said sensor, the electrically operable actuator mechanism actuates the lever mechanism to cause pivoting of said pivoting member to move the lid towards the open position.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a controller for controlling the opening and/or closing of the lid in response to signals from the sensor(s).

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism to cause the lid to move towards the open position.

Preferably, the tensile member is comprised of flexible thermoplastic material.

Alternatively, the tensile member is a cable.

Preferably the cable is comprised of a plurality of filaments

Preferably the cable is at least partially composed of metal material.

The metal material may be covered by a plastic coating.

Alternatively, the cable is comprised of fibrous rope.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes a pivotable pivoting member, which pivoting member is pivotal around a rotation axis.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the electrically operable actuator mechanism.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the electrically operable actuator mechanism through at least one actuation lever.

Preferably, the bin comprises a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

Preferably, the storage compartment is incorporated with the housing.

In a sixth aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a bin suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising:

a container;

a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted;

a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including

    • a lever mechanism adapted move the lid towards the open position when actuated, and
    • an electrically operable actuator mechanism for actuating the movement of the lid, said electrically operable actuator mechanism comprising
      • a plurality of sensors for detecting the presence of a user at least above and to the side of the bin,
      • a motive device for actuating the lever mechanism move the lid towards the open position in response to a signal received from the sensor.

Preferably, the bin includes a housing for housing at least part of the lid actuating device.

Preferably, the container is removably coupled to the housing.

Preferably the motive device is an electrical motor.

Alternatively, the motive device is a magnetically operable device.

Preferably, the magnetically operable device is a relay.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism is coupled to a power source.

Preferably, the power source is a battery.

Preferably, the battery is housed in the housing.

Preferably, the power source is an external power source, such as a wall plug.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator includes a plurality of sensors for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the sensor detects one selected from heat and movement of a user.

Preferably, in response to the detection of movement and/or heat by said sensor, the electrically operable actuator mechanism actuates the lever mechanism to cause pivoting of said pivoting member to move the lid towards the open position.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a controller for controlling the opening and/or closing of the lid in response to signals from the sensor(s).

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the electrically operable actuator mechanism to cause the lid to move towards the open position.

Preferably, the tensile member is comprised of flexible thermoplastic material.

Alternatively, the tensile member is a cable.

Preferably the cable is comprised of a plurality of filaments

Preferably the cable is at least partially composed of metal material.

The metal material may be covered by a plastic coating.

Alternatively, the cable is comprised of fibrous rope.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes a pivotable pivoting member, which pivoting member is pivotal around a rotation axis.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the electrically operable actuator mechanism.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the electrically operable actuator mechanism through at least one actuation lever.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a controller for controlling the opening and/or closing of the lid in response to signals from the sensor(s).

Preferably, the bin comprises a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

Preferably, the storage compartment is incorporated with the housing.

In a seventh aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising:

a container;

a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted;

a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions, said lid actuating device including

    • an actuator mechanism actuatable by a user, and
    • a lever mechanism adapted for moving the lid towards the open position on actuation by the actuator mechanism; and

a hygiene system suitable for spraying disinfectant and/or air freshener spray in and around the container, said hygiene system comprising

    • a holding formation for holding a pressurised aerosol container, and
    • a spray actuation device for actuating the nozzle of a pressurised aerosol container to dispense the pressurised contents of said aerosol container.

Preferably, the hygiene system is adapted to actuate the nozzle when the bin lid is opened or closed.

Preferably, the hygiene system includes a timer device.

Preferably, the hygiene system is adapted to actuate the nozzle at periodic time intervals.

Preferably, the holding formation is a cylindrical tube for receiving the pressurised aerosol container.

Preferably, the spray actuation device is electrically operated.

Preferably, the spray actuation device is an electric motor.

Preferably, the spray actuation device is a magnetically operable device, such as a relay.

Preferably, the aerosol container may contain one or both selected from a disinfectant and an air freshener.

Preferably, the bin may include a housing for at least partially housing the lid actuating device.

Preferably, the container may be removably engaged to the housing.

Preferably, the hygiene system is incorporated with the housing.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism to cause the lid to move towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin may include a housing for at least partially housing the lid actuating device.

Preferably, the container may be removably engaged to the housing.

Preferably, the tensile member is comprised of flexible thermoplastic material.

Alternatively, the tensile member is a cable.

Preferably the cable is comprised of a plurality of filaments

Preferably the cable is at least partially composed of metal material.

The metal material may be covered by a plastic coating.

Alternatively, the cable is comprised of fibrous rope.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes a pivotable pivoting member, which pivoting member is pivotal around a rotation axis.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the actuator mechanism.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the actuator mechanism through at least one actuation lever.

Preferably, the actuator mechanism is a foot pedal mechanism which is operable by a user's foot.

Preferably, the foot pedal mechanism includes a first foot pedal coupled to the actuation lever, wherein movement of the first foot pedal causes the pivoting member to pivot to tension the tensile member, thereby causing the lid to move towards the open position.

Alternatively, the actuator mechanism is an electrically operable actuator mechanism.

Preferably the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a motive device.

Preferably, the motive device is a magnetically operable device, such as a relay.

Alternatively, the motive device is an electrical motor.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism is coupled to a power source.

Preferably, the power source is a battery.

Preferably, the power source is an external power source, such as a wall plug.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes at least one sensor for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator includes a plurality of sensors for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the sensor detects one selected from heat and movement of a user.

Preferably, upon detection of movement and/or heat by said sensor the electrically operable actuator mechanism actuates the actuation lever to cause pivoting of said pivoting member to move the lid towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin includes a damping device for damping movement of the bin lid.

Preferably, the damping device is a hydraulic damping device.

Preferably, the hydraulic damping device is incorporated within the pivoting member to damp the pivoting movement of the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member by means of a connector.

Preferably, the connector is a hook.

Preferably, the foot pedal mechanism includes

    • a latch which latches the lid in an open position once it is moved towards the open position; and
    • a second foot pedal operable by a user's foot;
    • wherein operation of the second foot pedal causes the latch to unlatch the lid, to allow the lid to move towards the closed position.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator includes a controller for controlling operation of the lid in accordance with signals received from the sensors.

Preferably, the controller controls operation of the lid so that a first signal received from a sensor will cause the lid to move towards the open position, and a second signal received from a sensor will cause the lid to move towards the closed position.

Alternatively, the controller controls the operation of the lid so that the lid is caused to move towards the closed position at a predetermined time interval after it has been moved towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin comprises a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

Preferably, the storage compartment is incorporated with the housing.

In a eighth aspect, the present invention broadly consists in a bin, suitable for the retention of rubbish, said bin comprising:

a container;

a lid which is moveable between an open position in which rubbish may be received into the container, and a closed position in which access to the container is at least partially restricted;

a lid actuating device for moving the lid between the open position and closed positions; and

a storage compartment adapted for storage of replacement consumables associated with the bin.

Preferably, the bin includes a housing for at least partially housing the lid actuating device;

Preferably, the storage compartment is incorporated with the housing.

Preferably, said lid actuating device includes

    • a lever mechanism adapted for moving the lid towards the open position, and
    • an actuator mechanism for actuating the lever mechanism to cause movement of the lid towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin includes a hygiene system suitable for spraying disinfectant and/or air freshener spray in and around the container.

Preferably, said hygiene system comprises

    • a holding formation for holding a pressurised aerosol container; and
    • a spray actuation device for actuating the nozzle of a pressurised aerosol container to dispense the pressurised contents of said aerosol container.

Preferably, the hygiene system is adapted to actuate the nozzle when the bin lid is opened or closed.

Preferably, the hygiene system includes a timer device.

Preferably, the hygiene system is adapted to actuate the nozzle at periodic time intervals.

Preferably, the holding formation is a cylindrical tube for receiving the pressurised aerosol container.

Preferably, the spray actuation device is electrically operated.

Preferably, the spray actuation device is an electric motor.

Preferably, the spray actuation device is a magnetically operable device, such as a relay.

Preferably, the aerosol container may contain one or both selected from a disinfectant and an air freshener.

Preferably, the bin may include a housing for at least partially housing the lid actuating device.

Preferably, the container may be removably engaged to the housing.

Preferably, the hygiene system is incorporated with the housing.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes at least one tensile member which can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism to cause the lid to move towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin may include a housing for at least partially housing the lid actuating device.

Preferably, the container may be removably engaged to the housing.

Preferably, the tensile member is comprised of flexible thermoplastic material.

Alternatively, the tensile member is a cable.

Preferably the cable is comprised of a plurality of filaments

Preferably the cable is at least partially composed of metal material.

The metal material may be covered by a plastic coating.

Alternatively, the cable is comprised of fibrous rope.

Preferably, the lever mechanism includes a pivotable pivoting member, which pivoting member is pivotal around a rotation axis.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the actuator mechanism.

Preferably, the pivoting member is coupled to the actuator mechanism through at least one actuation lever.

Preferably, the actuator mechanism is a foot pedal mechanism which is operable by a user's foot.

Preferably, the foot pedal mechanism includes a first foot pedal coupled to the actuation lever, wherein movement of the first foot pedal causes the pivoting member to pivot to tension the tensile member, thereby causing the lid to move towards the open position.

Alternatively, the actuator mechanism is an electrically operable actuator mechanism.

Preferably the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes a motive device.

Preferably, the motive device is a magnetically operable device, such as a relay.

Alternatively, the motive device is an electrical motor.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism is coupled to a power source.

Preferably, the power source is a battery.

Preferably, the power source is an external power source, such as a wall plug.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator mechanism includes at least one sensor for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator includes a plurality of sensors for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin.

Preferably, the sensor detects one selected from heat and movement of a user.

Preferably, upon detection of movement and/or heat by said sensor the electrically operable actuator mechanism actuates the actuation lever to cause pivoting of said pivoting member to move the lid towards the open position.

Preferably, the bin includes a damping device for damping movement of the bin lid.

Preferably, the damping device is a hydraulic damping device.

Preferably, the hydraulic damping device is incorporated within the pivoting member to damp the pivoting movement of the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member.

Preferably, the tensile member is removably attached to the pivoting member by means of a connector.

Preferably, the connector is a hook.

Preferably, the foot pedal mechanism includes

    • a latch which latches the lid in an open position once it is moved towards the open position; and
    • a second foot pedal operable by a user's foot;
    • wherein operation of the second foot pedal causes the latch to unlatch the lid, to allow the lid to move towards the closed position.

Preferably, the electrically operable actuator includes a controller for controlling operation of the lid in accordance with signals received from the sensors.

Preferably, the controller controls operation of the lid so that a first signal received from a sensor will cause the lid to move towards the open position, and a second signal received from a sensor will cause the lid to move towards the closed position.

Alternatively, the controller controls the operation of the lid so that the lid is caused to move towards the closed position at a predetermined time interval after it has been opened.

Other aspects of the invention may become apparent from the following description which is given by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

As used herein the term “and/or” means “and” or “or”, or both.

As used herein “(s)” following a noun means the plural and/or singular forms of the noun.

The terms “comprising” and “including” as used in this specification and claims mean “consisting at least in part of”. When interpreting statements in this specification [and claims] which include that term, the features, prefaced by that term in each statement, all need to be present but other features can also be present. Related terms such as “comprise” and “comprised” are to be interpreted in the same manner.

The entire disclosures of all applications, patents and publications, cited above and below, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference.

To those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. The disclosures and the descriptions herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1: shows a top perspective view of a bin having a first foot pedal and a second foot pedal;

FIG. 2: shows a bottom perspective view of a bin having a first foot pedal and a second foot pedal, showing a tensile member in the form of a plastic strap and a pivoting member;

FIG. 3: shows a close up perspective assembly view pivoting member;

FIG. 4: shows cross section U-U of an assembled pivoting member as shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 5: shows a side view of an assembled pivoting member;

FIG. 6: shows a perspective view of an assembled pivoting member;

FIG. 7: shows a cutaway side view of a bin with a first and second foot pedal and latch, and including a tensile member and pivoting member, with neither of the first or second foot pedals having been depressed;

FIG. 8: shows a cutaway side view of the bin of FIG. 7 with the lid in an open position with the first foot pedal being depressed and the latch holding the lid in the open position;

FIG. 9: shows a cutaway side view of the bin of FIG. 7 with both the first and second foot pedals depressed, with the latch released, and the lid being able to move towards the closed position;

FIG. 10: shows front and top perspective view of a bin having a tensile member and pivoting member;

FIG. 11: shows a back and bottom perspective view of a bin having a tensile member and pivoting member;

FIG. 12: shows a back and top perspective view of a bin having a tensile member in the form of a cable, the cable being connected to a pivoting member by a hook-type connector;

FIG. 13: shows a side cutaway view of the bin of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14: shows a perspective top view of a housing of a bin with which a container can be removably engaged, the housing being incorporated with a hygiene system; the housing having a sensor at the front and including a storage compartment for a battery and a storage compartment for replacement bags;

FIG. 15: shows a perspective top view of the housing of FIG. 14 from another angle;

FIG. 16: shows a top perspective view of a bin, including a housing having a sensor at the front as well as incorporating a hygiene system and storage compartment for replacement bags, showing how a pressurised aerosol container may be loaded into the hygiene system;

FIG. 17: shows the bin of FIG. 16 with the pressurised aerosol container loaded into the hygiene system

FIG. 18: shows a cutaway side view of a bin including a housing into which is housed a front sensor and an electrically operable actuator;

FIG. 19: shows the bin of FIG. 16 with the lid in the open position and a pressurised aerosol container loaded into the hygiene system, showing how the pressurised aerosol container is directed to spray into the container;

FIG. 20: shows a cutaway side view of a bin having a front sensor and an electrically operable actuator, with the actuator actuated and the lid in the open position;

FIG. 21: shows a top perspective view of the bin of FIG. 16 with a pressurised aerosol container loaded into the hygiene system; and

FIG. 22: shows a cutaway side view of the bin of FIG. 21, showing how the contents of the aerosol container are dispensed into the container.

FIG. 23: shows a cutaway side view of the bin of FIG. 9, showing a foot pedal mechanism with both foot pedals in an un-actuated position;

FIG. 24: shows a cutaway side view of the bin of FIG. 9, showing a foot pedal mechanism with the first foot pedal in an actuated position, and the second foot pedal in an un-actuated position; and the latch latching the first foot pedal

FIG. 25: shows a cutaway side view of the bin of FIG. 9, showing a foot pedal mechanism with the first foot pedal in an actuated position, and the second foot pedal in the process of being actuated; thereby causing the latch to unlatch the first foot pedal;

FIG. 26: shows a cutaway side view of the bin of FIG. 9, showing a foot pedal mechanism with the first foot pedal in an actuated position, and the second foot pedal in an actuated position; having unlatched the first foot pedal;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the accompanying figures, a bin according to a first aspect of the invention is generally indicated by the numeral 100.

In one embodiment according to the invention now described, there is provided a bin 100, suitable for the retention of rubbish. The bin 100 comprises a container 110, and a lid 120 which is pivotable about an axis 122 to move between an open position (as shown in FIGS. 8, 9, 19, and 20) in which items, such as domestic rubbish, are received into the container 110, and a closed position (as shown in FIGS. 1, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 22) in which access to the container is sealed by the lid 120, preferably by an airtight seal to prevent smells escaping. The bin 100 further comprises a lid actuating device 130 for moving the lid 120 between the open position and closed positions.

The lid actuating device 130 includes an actuator mechanism 140, shown in this embodiment as a foot pedal mechanism 140a, actuatable by a user (not shown) by stepping on the first foot pedal 142, and a lever mechanism 150. The lever mechanism 150 includes at least one tensile member 152. It is envisaged that the tensile member 152 can be composed of flexible thermoplastic material, similar to known thermoplastic packaging straps (or similar type straps) as shown in FIGS. 2, 7, 8, 9 and 11, fibrous rope (not shown) or a cable (similar to known electrical cables), as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, comprising a metal core (not shown) in a plastic sleeve (not shown). Typically, the tensile member 152 needs to be flexible without being resiliently elastic.

The tensile member 152 can be tensioned by actuation of the actuator mechanism 140 to cause the lid 120 to open to its open position. The lever mechanism 150 further includes a pivoting member 170 which is pivotable about an axis 172. In one embodiment, the tensile member 152 is removably attached to the pivoting member 170 by a connector in the form of means of a hook 155 or the like, for convenient detachment, for example when the bin 100 is being cleaned, or emptied.

Most of the lid actuating device 130 housed within a housing 160, which housing 160 also provides a stable base onto which the container 110 is located. In one embodiment, the container 110 is removably engaged to the housing 160, being located on annular locating formations 162 on the top of the housing 160 and can be removed by pulling the container 110 upwardly off the locating formations.

The actuator mechanism 140 is coupled to the pivoting member 170 by means of an actuation lever 180. In one embodiment, the actuation lever 180 is incorporated with the first foot pedal 142. When the first foot pedal 142 is actuated, the actuation lever 180 is moved to pivot about the first foot pedal axis 135, thereby causing the pivoting member 170 to pivot about its axis 172.

When the pivoting member 170 pivots, it causes the tensioning up of the tensile member 152, which pulls on a rotating stub 124 extending from an opposite side of the axis 122 of the lid 120, thereby causing the lid 120 to move towards the open position.

In another embodiment, it is envisaged that the actuator mechanism 140 is an electrically operable actuator mechanism 140b, and includes a motive device 143, such as magnetically operated relay (not shown) or the like, or an electrical motor (not shown). Such an electrically operable actuator mechanism 140 will require a power source 190, which, it is envisaged, will be provided by a battery pack 192 or an external power source such as a wall plug (not shown).

In one embodiment, it is envisaged that such an electrically operable actuator mechanism 140b could include at least one sensor 145, such as a motion or infra-red sensor suitable for detecting the motion or heat of a user, which is suitable for detecting the presence of a user proximate the bin 100. It is further envisaged that such an electrically operable actuator mechanism 140b could include a plurality of sensors 145 to detect the presence of a user above or to the sides of the bin 100, although this is not shown specifically in the figures. It is envisaged that the electrically operable actuator mechanism 140b includes a controller (not shown) for controlling operation of the lid 120 in accordance with signals received from the sensors 145.

Preferably, the controller controls the operation of the lid 120 so that a first signal received from a sensor 145 will cause the lid 12 to move towards the open position, and a subsequent signal received from a sensor 145 will cause the lid 120 to move towards the closed position. Alternatively, the controller could control the operation of the lid 120 so that the lid 120 is caused to move towards the closed position at a predetermined time interval after it has been moved towards the open position.

On detection of movement and/or heat by the sensor(s) 145, the electrically operable actuator mechanism 140b actuates the pivoting member (as shown in FIGS. 18 and 20) in a similar fashion to the actuation lever 180 to cause pivoting of the pivoting member 170 to open the lid 120.

In yet another embodiment, the bin 100 further comprises a hygiene system 190 which is used to spray disinfectant and/or air freshener spray in and around the container 110 from a pressurised aerosol can 192. The hygiene system 190 includes a spray actuation device 194, which may be in the form of a relay or similar electrical actuator (not shown), which presses down on the nozzle 193 of the aerosol can 192, causing it to spray its contents via a pipe 196 through a small hole 195 located in the side of the bin 100. The aerosol container is enclosed in a holding formation in the form of a cylindrical tube 197 located at the side of the container 110.

It is envisaged that the nozzle 193 of the aerosol can 192 will be actuated by the spray actuation device 194 on receiving a signal from a controller (not shown). This signal may be sent out when the bin 100 is actuated to open or close, or after a multiple of such times, thereby ensuring that when the bin lid is opened or closed, the ambient air is freshened or disinfected, to prevent the spread of odour or germs from the bin 100. Alternatively, the hygiene system 190 can include a timer device (not shown), and the signal may be sent at regular or pre-set time intervals.

In a preferred embodiment, the bin 100 further includes a damping device 200 for damping movement of the lid 120, thereby making the operation of the bin 100 even quieter. It is envisaged that the damping device 200 will be a hydraulic damping device 200 incorporated into the pivoting member 170 (as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5) to damp the pivoting movement of the pivoting member 170 when the lid 120 closes. It is envisaged that the hydraulic damping device 200 will use hydraulic drag or friction forces to damp pivoting movement of the pivoting member 170. The hydraulic damping device 200 is described in more detail later.

In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, and 23-26, the foot pedal mechanism 140a includes a latch 141 which latches the lid in an open position once it is moved towards the open position; and a second foot pedal 144 operable by a user's foot (not shown). The latch 141 comprises a latch member 131 which is linearly movable along a track 133, and biased to a latching condition by a spring 137. A unlatching formation 132 and a latching formation 136, extend from the latch member 131.

When the first foot pedal 142 is actuated by a user's foot to open the lid 120, the first foot pedal 142 is rotated about axis 135. The first foot pedal pushes the latching formation 136 sideways against the biasing action of the spring, so that the latch member 131 is caused to move sideways. The latching formation 136 then clicks into a latching position when the first foot pedal 142 moves past a barb 139 at the end of the latching formation 136. In this way, the lid 120 will remain latched by the latch 141. Subsequent operation of the second foot pedal 144 to rotate it about axis 135 causes the second foot pedal 144 to push against an unlatching formation 132, to cause sideways movement of the latch member 131, thereby allowing the first foot pedal 142 to be released, to allow the lid to move towards the closed position.

The bin 100 further comprises a cylindrical storage compartment 300 located to the side of the container, as part of the housing 160, for storage of consumables for the bin, such as spare aerosol cans, replacement bin liners 310, and the like.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a hydraulic damping device 200 incorporated with the pivoting member 170. The pivoting member 170 comprises a stationary member 174 which defines an axis 172 of rotation, and a moveable member 176 which is pivotally engageable with the stationary member 174 about the axis of rotation 172. Each of the moveable member 176 and the stationary member 174 have an axle stub 183 a&b extending from them. The axle stub 183a of the stationary member 174 is engageable with the housing 160 in a non-pivotal manner, and the axle stub 183b of the moveable member 176 is engageable with the housing 160 in a pivotal manner, so that it can pivot about the axis 172.

The moveable member 176 further has a lever arm 186 extending from it. The lever arm 186 is pushed on by the actuator mechanism 140 to open the bin 100. The moveable member 176 is further connectable to the tensile member 152 at a distance from axis 172 (causing the moveable member 176 to act as a lever) by means of the connector, so that when the moveable member 176 is pivoted about its axle stub 183b, it will cause the tensioning of the tensile member 152. In operation, when the actuator mechanism 140 actuates movement of the moveable member 176 by pushing on the lever arm 186, the movable member will start pivoting about axis 172. However, the stationary member 174 is prevented from pivoting with the moveable member by the stub axis 183a, causing relative pivoting movement between the moveable member 176 and the stationary member 174.

The moveable member 176 has a cylindrical protrusion 177 extending from it. The cylindrical protrusion 177 has hydraulic drag-inducing formations 181 on it. The stationary member 174 defines a cylindrical recess 175, into which is received the cylindrical protrusion 177 extending from the moveable member 176.

The stationary member 174 and the moveable member 176 engage with each other at an interface 178, forming a compartment 185 between them. The interface 178 is sealed by a seal in the form of an O-ring seal 179. It is envisaged that the compartment 185 formed between the stationary member 174 and the moveable member 176 will be filled with a viscous liquid such as oil or grease. When there is relative pivoting movement between the moveable member 176 and the stationary member 174, the oil will be disturbed by the hydraulic drag-inducing formations 181 moving through the oil, and will create a drag on the hydraulic drag-inducing formations 181, and thereby dampen movement of the moveable member 176, thus damping movement of the lid 120.

Where in the foregoing description reference has been made to elements or integers having known equivalents, then such equivalents are included as if they were individually set forth.

Although the invention has been described by way of example and with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and/or improvements may be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.

In addition, where features or aspects of the invention are described in terms of Markush groups, those skilled in the art will recognise that the invention is also thereby described in terms of any individual member or subgroup of members of the Markush group.





 
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