Title:
Drawer structure with hand free releasing lock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drawer releasing device includes a docking frame and an actuation unit. The docking frame includes a mounting base and a slider platform slidably and inclinedly mounted on the mounting base to slide between a slide-in storage position that the slider platform is disposed within a drawer compartment and a slide-out accessing position that the slider platform is slid out of the drawer compartment, wherein the mounting base is normally retained at the slide-in storage position. The actuation unit includes a hand-free actuator positioned out of the drawer compartment and an actuating cable which is extended from the docking frame to the actuator and is arranged in such a manner that when the actuator is operated for providing an initial momentum of the slider platform, the slider platform is automatically sliding out of the drawer compartment in a hand-free manner.



Inventors:
Sung, Henry Chen (San Marcos, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/387110
Publication Date:
08/27/2009
Filing Date:
04/27/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
312/334.8
International Classes:
A47B88/04; A47B88/12
View Patent Images:
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20090115298Entertainment cabinet with bi-fold storage doorsMay, 2009Parsons et al.
20020011193Work space management and furniture systemJanuary, 2002Beck et al.
20040195943Method of manufacturing a drawer box with a file hanging systemOctober, 2004Bowers et al.
20050116591Home appliance assemblyJune, 2005Hwang et al.
20070029902Latch systems for a drive cage assemblyFebruary, 2007Selvidge et al.



Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID AND RAYMOND PATENT FIRM (MONTEREY PARK, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A drawer releasing device for a cabinet having a drawer compartment, comprising: a docking frame, which is adapted for supporting within said drawer compartment of said drawer, comprising a mounting base and a slider platform slidably and inclinedly mounted on said mounting base to slide between a slide-in storage position that said slider platform is disposed within said drawer compartment and a slide-out accessing position that said slider platform is slid out of said drawer compartment, wherein said mounting base is normally retained at said slide-in storage position; and an actuation unit which comprises a hand-free actuator positioned out of said drawer compartment and an actuating cable which is extended from said docking frame to said actuator and is arranged in such a manner that when said actuator is operated for providing an initial momentum of said slider platform, said slider platform is automatically sliding out of said drawer compartment in a hand-free manner.

2. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 1, further comprising a locking unit mounted on said mounting base to releasably engage with said slider platform to lock up said slider platform at said storage position, wherein said actuator is operated to release an engagement of said locking unit through said actuating cable, said slider platform is set to be free for sliding out of said drawer compartment.

3. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 2, wherein said locking unit comprises at least one magnetic member provided at said mounting base for exerting a magnetic attractive force towards said slider platform so as to normally retain said slider platform at said storage position.

4. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 3, wherein said locking unit further comprises a connecting member transversely extended from said mounting base and a retention member longitudinally and pivotally extended from said connecting member to support said magnetic member at said retention member, wherein said actuating cable is extended to couple with said retention member and is arranged to pivotally move said retention member when said actuator is operated for releasing a magnetic engagement between said mounting base and said slider platform.

5. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 4, wherein said magnetic member comprises two or more magnetic elements spacedly provided at said retention member, wherein said slider platform is made of magnetic attractive material such that said magnetic elements are magnetically locked up with said slider platform at said storage position.

6. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 4, wherein said magnetic member comprises two or more first magnetic elements spacedly provided at said retention member and two or more second magnetic elements spacedly provided at said slider platform to align with said first magnetic elements respectively such that said slider platform is magnetically locked at said storage position when said second magnetic elements are magnetically engaged with said first magnetic elements respectively.

7. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 5, wherein said connecting member is pivotally coupled with a mid-portion of said retention member to form a T-shape structure, wherein said actuating cable, which is embodied as a metal wire enclosed with durable and flexible plastic material, is extended to couple with an end portion of said retention member such that when said actuating cable is pulled via said actuator, said retention member is pivotally moved to magnetically disengage with said slider platform.

8. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 6, wherein said connecting member is pivotally coupled with a mid-portion of said retention member to form a T-shape structure, wherein said actuating cable, which is embodied as a metal wire enclosed with durable and flexible plastic material, is extended to couple with an end portion of said retention member such that when said actuating cable is pulled via said actuator, said retention member is pivotally moved to magnetically disengage with said slider platform.

9. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 7, wherein said locking unit further comprises a resilient element coupling between said connecting member and said retention member for applying an urging force against said retention member to pivotally pull back said retention member to its original position.

10. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 8, wherein said locking unit further comprises a resilient element coupling between said connecting member and said retention member for applying an urging force against said retention member to pivotally pull back said retention member to its original position.

11. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 1, further comprising a cover control for automatically controlling a pivot movement of a container cover of a container which sits on said slider platform, wherein said cover control comprises a guiding track having a convex guiding surface, and a height adjustable support suspendedly supported said guiding track within said drawer compartment at a position above said container cover, in such a manner that when said slider platform is slid at said slide-in storage position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to close said container, and when said slider platform is slid at said slide-out accessing position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to open said container.

12. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 9, further comprising a cover control for automatically controlling a pivot movement of a container cover of a container which sits on said slider platform, wherein said cover control comprises a guiding track having a convex guiding surface, and a height adjustable support suspendedly supported said guiding track within said drawer compartment at a position above said container cover, in such a manner that when said slider platform is slid at said slide-in storage position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to close said container, and when said slider platform is slid at said slide-out accessing position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to open said container.

13. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 10, further comprising a cover control for automatically controlling a pivot movement of a container cover of a container which sits on said slider platform, wherein said cover control comprises a guiding track having a convex guiding surface, and a height adjustable support suspendedly supported said guiding track within said drawer compartment at a position above said container cover, in such a manner that when said slider platform is slid at said slide-in storage position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to close said container, and when said slider platform is slid at said slide-out accessing position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to open said container.

14. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 1, wherein said actuating unit further comprises a pusher member movably mounted at said mounting base and being driven by said actuator via said actuating cable, such that when said pusher member is actuated by said actuator, said pusher member pushes said slider platform out of said drawing compartment.

15. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 3, wherein said actuating unit further comprises a pusher member movably mounted at said mounting base and being driven by said actuator via said actuating cable, such that when said pusher member is actuated by said actuator, said pusher member pushes said slider platform out of said drawing compartment.

16. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 14, wherein said pusher member, which is pivotally coupled with said mounting base, has an arc-shaped pushing surface to push at said slider platform when said pusher member is driven to pivotally move by said actuator via said actuating cable.

17. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 15, wherein said pusher member, which is pivotally coupled with said mounting base, has an arc-shaped pushing surface to push at said slider platform when said pusher member is driven to pivotally move by said actuator via said actuating cable.

18. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 17, wherein said magnetic member comprises two or more magnetic elements spacedly provided at said mounting base, wherein said slider platform is made of magnetic attractive material such that said magnetic elements are magnetically locked up with said slider platform at said storage position.

19. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 17, wherein said magnetic member comprises two or more first magnetic elements spacedly provided at said mounting base and two or more second magnetic elements spacedly provided at said slider platform to align with said first magnetic elements respectively such that said slider platform is magnetically locked at said storage position when said second magnetic elements are magnetically engaged with said first magnetic elements respectively.

20. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 18, further comprising a cover control for automatically controlling a pivot movement of a container cover of a container which sits on said slider platform, wherein said cover control comprises a guiding track having a convex guiding surface, and a height adjustable support suspendedly supported said guiding track within said drawer compartment at a position above said container cover, in such a manner that when said slider platform is slid at said slide-in storage position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to close said container, and when said slider platform is slid at said slide-out accessing position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to open said container.

21. The drawer releasing device, as recited in claim 19, further comprising a cover control for automatically controlling a pivot movement of a container cover of a container which sits on said slider platform, wherein said cover control comprises a guiding track having a convex guiding surface, and a height adjustable support suspendedly supported said guiding track within said drawer compartment at a position above said container cover, in such a manner that when said slider platform is slid at said slide-in storage position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to close said container, and when said slider platform is slid at said slide-out accessing position, said guiding track is adapted for guiding said container cover at said convex guiding surface to open said container.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE OF RELATED APPLICATION

The is a Continuation-In-Part (CIP) application of a non-provisional application having an application number of Ser. No. 11/192,776 and a filing date of Jul. 29, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to a drawer, and more particularly to a drawer releasing device which is capable of releasing a drawer through simple actuation at a distance therefrom.

2. Description of Related Arts

A conventional drawer usually comprises a drawer body and a front panel, wherein the drawer body is slidably mounted on a drawer compartment formed on a cabinet so that a user is able to slide the drawer body in and out of the drawer compartment for achieving different purposes.

Drawers have widely been utilized in a wide variety of circumstances and a number of accessories have been incorporated into conventional drawers in order to fit new situations in which a drawer may be utilized. For example, power unit has been incorporated into conventional drawer so that the user does not need to manually open or close the drawer.

Despite their long and widespread applications, there exist several deep-seated disadvantages which need to be addressed. First, the most usual way of opening a drawer is by the user's hand. From the view point of many, this may seem inevitable because one nevertheless has to manually open a drawer in order to retrieve or put in something. Yet there exist situations where it is not desirable or convenient for the user's hand to touch the drawer's handle for opening it. For example, when the user is in the middle of doing something in which his/her hands are contacting with, say, dirty materials or raw food (if the drawer in a kitchen), the user may not wish to let his/her hands touching the drawer's handle for opening the drawer, even though in fact the user actually needs to open the drawer for retrieving something which he/she needs at that moment.

Second, if a drawer is fully loaded so that a considerable amount of force is required to pull the drawer out of the drawer compartment, the user may not have enough power to do so. This problem may not be that severe for drawers used in domestic environment, yet in workplaces such as in the office, a particular cabinet may contain a huge amount of files so that the user may not be able to pull the particular drawers out of the corresponding drawer compartments for retrieving, say, particular files.

If the drawer is positioned at a very low position, such as the lowest in a cabinet, it is difficult then for a user to effectively exert large amount of force for pulling the drawer out of the drawer compartment.

Obviously, one may purchase motorized drawers for resolving the above problems, but the main problem is that motorized drawers are usually expensive and as a result may not be affordable for general households. Moreover, even though one may afford to purchase sophisticated drawers, the first problem is still not yet resolved since the relevant users still have to use their hands for operating any control panels or even remote controllers.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

A main object of the present invention is to provide a drawer releasing device for a drawer, wherein the drawer releasing device is capable of releasing the drawer through simple actuation at a distance therefrom in a hand-free manner. In other words, a user of the present invention does not need to physically touch the drawer for pulling it out.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a drawer releasing device which is capable of automatically releasing a drawer out of the drawer compartment upon a simple actuation of an actuation unit extended out of the drawer by the user of the present invention. In other words, when the drawer is fully loaded, the user does not need to exert large amount of force for trying to pull put the drawer from the drawer compartment.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a drawer releasing device which is adjustable in its orientation and easy to assemble and disassemble so as to fit a wide variety of drawer compartment in order to facilitate widespread application of the present invention.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a drawer releasing device which can be adopted to use in conjunction with a wide variety of containers for fitting a wide variety of different circumstances. For example, a slider platform may be adapted to support rubbish bins or a basket for normally receiving the rubbish bin or the basket into a drawer compartment while automatically releasing the rubbish bin to be extended for convenient access by the user of the present invention.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a drawer releasing device which does not involve electrical components and even complicated mechanical component, so that the manufacturing cost and the ultimate selling price of the present invention can be kept to minimum.

Accordingly, in order to accomplish the above objects, the present invention provides a drawer releasing device for a cabinet having a drawer compartment, wherein the drawer releasing device comprises:

a docking frame, which is adapted for supporting within the drawer compartment of the drawer, comprising a mounting base and a slider platform slidably and inclinedly mounted on the mounting base to slide between a slide-in storage position that the slider platform is disposed within the drawer compartment and a slide-out accessing position that the slider platform is slid out of the drawer compartment, wherein the mounting base is normally retained at the slide-in storage position; and

an actuation unit which comprises a hand-free actuator positioned out of the drawer compartment and an actuating cable which is extended from the docking frame to the actuator and is arranged in such a manner that when the actuator is operated for providing an initial momentum of the slider platform, the slider platform is automatically sliding out of the drawer compartment in a hand-free manner.

These and other objectives, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a drawer releasing device for a drawer according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the drawer releasing device according to the above first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of the drawer releasing device according to the above first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the drawer releasing device according to the above first preferred embodiment of the present invention illustrating that the slider platform is in the storage position.

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of the drawer releasing device according to the above first preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating that the slider platform is in the accessing position.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the drawer releasing device according to the above first preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating that the inclination adjuster is formed in the mounting base.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a drawer releasing device according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a first schematic diagram of the drawer releasing device according to the above second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a second schematic diagram of the drawer releasing device according to the above second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a drawer releasing device according to the a third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B are schematic diagrams of the drawer releasing device according to the above third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is an alternative mode of the drawer releasing device according to the above third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram of the alternative mode of the drawer releasing device according to the above third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1 to FIG. 2 of the drawings, a drawer releasing device for a cabinet 80 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated, in which the drawer releasing device comprises a docking frame 10 and a locking arrangement 20. The cabinet 80, such as a conventional cabinet, has at least one drawer compartment 70 formed between two sidewalls, wherein the drawer releasing device is preferably to be fittedly received in the drawer compartment 70 for releasably receiving a drawer 60 therein.

Thus, the docking frame 10 is adapted for supporting within the drawer compartment 70 of the cabinet 80, and comprises a mounting base 11 and a slider platform 12 slidably and inclinedly mounted on the mounting base 11 to slide between a slide-in storage position that the slider platform 12 is disposed within the drawer compartment 70, and a slide-out accessing position that the slider platform 12 is slid out of the drawer compartment 70.

On the other hand, the locking arrangement 20 comprises a locking unit 21 and an actuation unit 22, in which the locking unit 21 is substantially mounted on the mounting base 11 to releasably engage with the slider platform 12 to lock up the slider platform 12 at said storage position.

The actuation unit 22 comprises an actuator 221 positioned out of the drawer compartment 70 and an actuating cable 222 which is extended from the locking unit 21 to the actuator 221 and is arranged in such a manner that when the actuator 221 is operated to release an engagement of the locking unit through the actuating cable 222, the slider platform 12 is automatically sliding out of the drawer compartment 70 in a hand-free manner.

According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the mounting base 11 comprises a pair of sliding tracks 111 alignedly mounted on an inner side of the sidewalls of the drawer compartment 70 wherein the slider platform 12 is slidably and inclinedly mounted with the sliding tracks 111 for sliding between the storage position and the accessing position alone the two sliding tracks 111 in a speed controlling manner. As a result, each of the sliding tracks 111 comprises a plurality of rolling balls 1111 rotatably provided therein for facilitating a sliding motion of the slider platform 12 with respect to the sliding tracks 111 in a speed controlled manner. In other words, the rolling balls 1111 allows controlling the speed of sliding movement of the slider platform 12 by the friction at the rolling balls 1111 within the respective sliding tracks 111.

The slider platform 12 is preferably embodied as having a quadrilateral cross section having a pair of elongated longitudinal members 121 slidably mounted with the sliding tracks 111 respectively, and three transverse members 122 transversely and spacedly extended across the two longitudinal members 121 for securely supporting the drawer 60 on the slider platform 12. For the sake of convenience, the three transverse members 122 is categorized as a front and a rear transverse members 122 extended across the two corresponding end portions of the longitudinal members 121 respectively, and a middle transverse member 122 extended across two corresponding mid portions of the longitudinal members 121 respectively.

Referring to FIG. 1, FIG. 2, and FIG. 6 of the drawings, the docking frame 10 further comprises a drawer panel support 13 upwardly extended from the front transverse member 122 (a front edge) of the slider platform 12, wherein a 61 front panel of the drawer 60 is arranged to be mounted on the front transverse member 122 so as to cover the drawer compartment 70 when the slider platform 12 is slid into the storage position.

In order to maximize the suitability of the drawer releasing device of the present invention with different kinds of cabinets 80 having different geographical structures, the drawer panel support 13 can adjustably and pivotally be mounted with the front transverse member 122 so that the front panel 61 is capable of being mounted in a wide variety of orientations for fitting with different geographical structures of the cabinet 80 (FIG. 6). Thus, the front panel 61 can be able to be selectively adjusted in a vertical orientation to fittingly enclose the drawer compartment 60 when the slider platform 12 is slid thereinto at the storage position.

Referring to FIG. 1 to FIG. 3 of the drawings, the locking unit 21 comprises two locking arms 211, which are pivotally connected to the mounting base 10, having two driving ends 2111 engaging with the actuating cable 222 and two engaging ends 2112 to securely clip to the slider platform 12 to retain the slider platform 12 at the storage position and arranged in such a manner that when the actuating cable 222 is slid to move the driving ends 2111 of the locking arms 211 towards each other, the engaging ends 2112 thereof are pivotally moved to release the slider platform 12 from the locking arms 211 so as to unlock the slider platform 12 for freely sliding out of the drawer compartment 70.

Moreover, the locking unit 21 further comprises two locking rotors 212 rotatably mounted at the engaging ends 2112 of the locking arms 211 respectively to engage with the slider platform 12 for allowing the slider platform 12 being manually slid out from the drawer compartment 70 when a pulling force is applied on the slider platform 12.

It is worth mentioning that the driving end 2111 of one of the locking arms 211 is affixed to the actuating cable 222 while the driving end 2111 of another of the locking arm 211 is slidably mounted to the actuating cable 222, such that when the actuating cable 222 is pulled by the actuator 221 to move the driving ends 2111 of the locking arms 211 towards each other, the engaging ends 2112 of the locking arms 211 are moved away from each other to release the slider platform 12.

The locking unit 21 further comprises a resilient element 213 having two ends biasing against the driving ends 2111 of the locking arms 211 respectively so as to apply an urging force on the locking arms 211 to ensure the slider platform 12 being clipped by the engaging ends 2112 of the locking arms 211.

According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, each of the locking arms 211 has gear joint 214 formed between the driving end 2111 and the engaging end 2112, wherein the gear joints 214 of the locking arms 211 are coupled with each other to control the engaging ends 2112 of the locking arms 211 engaging with the slider platform 12 in a coordinating manner.

Furthermore, the locking unit 21 further comprises a locker base 215 transversely extended on the mounting base 11 of the docking frame 10, wherein the locking arms 211 are provided on the locker base 215 for engaging with the slider platform 12 when it is slid at the storage position.

Accordingly, the locking arrangement 20 further comprises an engaging member 23 provided on one of the transverse members 122 and arranged to releasably engage with the locking arms 211 of the locking unit 21 when the slider platform 12 is slid at the storage position. In other words, the engaging member 23 is at the corresponding position with the locking arms 211 so that when the slider platform 12 is at the storage position, the engaging member 23 and the lock engaging device 212 are releasably engaged so as to normally retain the slider platform 12 at the storage position, as shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings.

In other words, the user of the present invention is able to manually pull out the slider platform 12 from the storage position to the accessing position by exerting a sufficient amount of pulling force to overcome the inward biasing force exerted by the resilient element 213 to the engaging member 23. However, it is important to realize that the biasing force exerted by the resilient element 213 is such that the slider platform 12 is normally locked up and retained at the storage position if there is no extra pulling force exerted by the user of the present invention.

On the other hand, the actuator 221 is extended out of the cabinet 80 by the actuating cable 222 so that the user of the present invention may release the engagement between the slider platform 12 and the lock engaging device 212 at a distance through operating upon the actuator 221. Therefore, the actuator 221 can be selectively located away from the docking frame 10 for operating the locking arrangement 20. More specifically, the actuating cable 222, which is preferably embodied as a metal-made wire enclosed with durable and flexible plastic materials, has a driving end portion extended away from the drawer compartment 70 and connected with the actuator 221, and a driven end portion operatively connected with locking arms 211 in such a manner that when the actuator 221 is operated, the driven end portion of the actuating cable 222 is pulled to exert an urging force towards the locking arms 211 for pivotally driving the locking arms 211 to disengage with the engagement member 23 provided on the slider platform 12 so as to release the engagement between the slider platform 12 and the mounting base 11.

According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the actuator 221 comprises first and second actuation members 2211, 2212 pivotally connected with each other in such a manner that the first actuation member 2211 is adapted to be depressed with respect to the second actuation member 2212, wherein the driving end of the actuating cable 222 is connected with the first actuation members 2211 so that when the first actuation members 2211 is depressed, the driving end of the actuating cable 222 is pulled for pulling the driven end thereof so as to release the engagement between the slider platform 12 and the mounting base 11.

Referring to FIG. 4 to FIG. 5 of the drawings, when the engagement between the slider platform 12 and the mounting base 11 is released, since the sliding tracks 111 are downwardly inclined towards the front side of the cabinet 80, therefore, the sliding platform 12 will automatically due to natural gravitational force slide alone the sliding tracks 111 for moving from the storage position and the accessing position, as shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings.

It is worth mentioning at this point that in order to enhance the automatic sliding motion of the slider platform 12 when the engagement between the slider platform 12 and the mounting base 11 has been released, the actuation unit 22 further comprises a pair of resilient members 223 mounted at the sliding tracks 111 respectively for normally exerting an initial forward pushing force towards the slider platform 12 in such a manner that when the engagement between the slider platform 12 and the mounting base 11 is released, the resilient members 223 will push the slider platform 12 frontwardly towards the accessing position. In other words, the slider platform 12 is effectively pushed to slide from the storage position towards the accessing position in the above automatic manner.

Moreover, as shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings, the sliding tracks 111 can be pivotally and adjustably mounted at the drawer compartment 70 for adjusting an angle of inclination of the docking frame 10 so as to allow the present invention to be utilized in a wide variety of circumstances. In order to further enhance universality of the present invention, the mounting base 11 may further comprise an inclination adjuster 14 which has a slider slot 141 formed on the mounting base 10 and comprises a slider member 142 which is extended from the slider platform 12 and is slidably engaged with the slider slot 141 to selectively adjust an inclination angle of the slider platform 12 with respect to the mounting base 10.

The operation and application of the present invention is as follows: the docking frame 10 is received in the drawer compartment 70 wherein the drawer or any other container, such as a rubbish bin, is supported on the slider platform 12. The actuator 221 is extended from the slider platform 12 to an exterior of the cabinet 80 so that the user is able to actuate it at a distance. It is important to emphasis that actuator 221 is preferably to be positioned on a ground surface so that the user may operate the actuator by his/her foot without using his/her hands.

Referring to FIG. 7 to FIG. 9 of the drawings, a drawer releasing device for a cabinet 80′ having a drawer compartment 70′ according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. The drawer releasing device comprises a docking frame 10′ and a locking arrangement 20′ comprising an actuation unit 22′.

The docking frame 10′, which is adapted for supporting within the drawer compartment 70′ of the cabinet 80′, comprises a mounting base 11′ and a preferably metallic slider platform 12′ slidably and inclinedly mounted on the mounting base 11′ to slide between a slide-in storage position that the slider platform 12′ is disposed within the drawer compartment 70′ and a slide-out accessing position that the slider platform 12′ is slid out of the drawer compartment 70′, wherein the mounting base 11′ is normally retained at the slide-in storage position.

The actuation unit 22′ comprises a hand-free actuator 221′ positioned out of the drawer compartment 70′ and an actuating cable 222′ which is extended from the docking frame 10′ to the actuator 221′ and is arranged in such a manner that when the actuator 221′ is operated for providing an initial momentum of the slider platform 12′, the slider platform 12′ automatically slides out of the drawer compartment 70′ in a hand-free manner.

According to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention, the locking arrangement 20′ further comprises a locking unit 21′ substantially mounted on the mounting base 11′ to releasably engage with the slider platform 12′ to lock up the slider platform 12′ at the storage position, wherein the locking unit 21′ comprises at least one magnetic member 211′ arranged to normally exert a magnetic attractive force toward the docking frame 10′ so as to normally retain the slider platform 12′ at the storage position. In this first alternative mode, a container 90′ is supported by the slider platform 12′ so that when the slider platform 12′ slides out of the drawer compartment 70′, the container 90′ is driven to slide out of the drawer compartment 70′. The actuator 221′ is operated to release the engagement of the locking unit 21′ through the actuating cable 222′. In other words, the magnetic member 211′ is provided at the mounting base 11′ for exerting magnetic attractive force towards the slider platform 12′ so as to normally retain the slider platform 12′ at the storage position.

The locking unit 21′ further comprises a retention member 212′ extended to align with the container 90′ and the slider platform 12′ wherein the magnetic member 211′ is spacedly provided on the retention member 212′ for magnetically retaining the slider platform 12′ and the container 90′ at the storage position. The locking unit 21′ further comprises a connecting member 213′ extended from the mounting base 11′ of the docking frame 10′ to rotatably connect with the retention member 212′, in such a manner that the retention member 212′ is capable of pivotally rotating about a rotation pivot 214′ mounted on the connecting member 213′. Preferably, the magnetic member 211′ is embodied as a magnetic element provided on the retention member 212′, wherein when the slider platform 12′ is in the normal storage position, the magnetic member 211′ is arranged to magnetically attract the slider platform 12′ on the mounting base 11′ so as to retain the container 90′ within the drawer compartment 70′. In other words, when the magnetic engagement between the slider platform 12′ and the retention member 212′ ceases to exist, the slider platform 12′ is arranged to slide out of the drawer compartment 70′ so as to be accessed by the user of the present invention. Since the slider platform 12′ is inclinedly mounted with respective to horizontal, when the magnetic attractive force ceases to exist, the slider platform 12′, owning to its own weight, will slide out of the drawer compartment 70′ due to normal gravitational force. The actuating cable 222′ is extended to couple with the retention member 212′ and is arranged to pivotally move the retention member 212′ when the actuator 221′ is operated for releasing a magnetic engagement between the mounting base 11′ and the slider platform 12′.

The magnetic member 211′ can comprise two or more magnetic elements 2111′ spacedly provided at the retention member 212′, wherein the slider platform 12′ is made of magnetic attractive material (such as metal) such that the magnets are magnetically locked up with the slider platform 12′ at the storage position. Alternatively, the magnetic member 211′ can also comprise two or more first magnetic elements 2111′ spacedly provided at the retention member 212′ and two or more second magnetic elements 2112′ (FIG. 7 and FIG. 9) spacedly provided at the slider platform 12′ to align with the first magnetic elements 2111′ respectively such that the slider platform 12′ is magnetically locked at the storage position when the second magnetic elements 2112′ are magnetically engaged with the first magnetic elements 2111′ respectively.

As shown in FIG. 7 to FIG. 9 of the drawings, the connecting member 213′ is pivotally coupled with a mid-portion of the retention member 212′ to form a T-shape structure, wherein the actuating cable 222′, which is embodied as a metal wire enclosed with durable and flexible plastic material, is extended to couple with an end portion of the retention member 212′ such that when the actuating cable 222′ is pulled via the actuator 221′, the retention member 212′ is pivotally moved to magnetically disengage with the slider platform 12′. Moreover, the locking unit 21′ further comprises a resilient element 215′ coupling between the connecting member 213′ and the retention member 212′ for applying an urging force against the retention member 212′ to pivotally pull back the retention member 212′ to its original position when the pulling force of the actuating cable 222′ has been released.

Where the container 90′ has a container cover 91′, the drawer releasing device further comprises a cover control 30′ for automatically controlling a pivot movement of a container cover 91′ of a container 90′ which sits on the slider platform 12′, wherein the cover control 30′ comprises a guiding track 31′ having a convex guiding surface 311′, and a height adjustable support 32′ suspendedly supported the guiding track 31′ within the drawer compartment 70′ at a position above the container cover 91′, in such a manner that when the slider platform 12′ is slid at the slide-in storage position, the guiding track 31′ is adapted for guiding the container cover 91′ at the convex guiding surface 311′ to close the container 90′, and when the slider platform 12′ is slid at the slide-out accessing position, the guiding track 31′ is adapted for guiding the container cover 91′ at the convex guiding surface 311′ to open the container 90′. The cover control 30′ may also comprise a plurality of guiding rollers 32′ rotatably provided on the guiding track 31′ for further allowing smooth opening or closing of the container cover 91′.

Referring to FIG. 10, FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B of the drawings, a drawer releasing device according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated, in which the drawer releasing device for a cabinet 80″ comprises a docking frame 10″ and a locking arrangement 20″. The cabinet 80″, such as a conventional cabinet, has at least one drawer compartment 70″ formed between two sidewalls 81″, wherein the drawer releasing device is preferably to be fittedly received in the drawer compartment 70″ for releasably receiving a drawer 60″ therein.

Thus, the docking frame 10″ is adapted for supporting within the drawer compartment 70″ of the cabinet 80″, and comprises a mounting base 11″ and a slider platform 12″ slidably and inclinedly mounted on the mounting base 11″ to slide between a slide-in storage position that the slider platform 12″ is disposed within the drawer compartment 70″, and a slide-out accessing position that the slider platform 12″ is slid out of the drawer compartment 70″.

On the other hand, the locking arrangement 20″ comprises a locking unit 21″ and an actuation unit 22″, in which the locking unit 21″ is substantially mounted on the mounting base 11″ to releasably engage with the slider platform 12″ to lock up the slider platform 12″ at the storage position, wherein the locking unit 21″ comprises at least one magnetic member 211″ arranged to normally exert a magnetic attractive force toward the docking frame 10″ so as to normally retain the slider platform 12″ at the storage position. Accordingly, the slider platform 12″ further comprises a metallic panel 121″ provided on a rear side of the drawer 60″ for aligning with the magnetic member 211″, wherein the magnetic member 211″ is arranged to magnetically attract the metallic panel 121″ for retaining the slider platform 12″ and the drawer 60″ within the drawer compartment 70″.

The actuation unit 22″ comprises an actuator 221″ positioned out of the drawer compartment 70″ and an actuating cable 222″ which is extended from the locking unit 21″ to the actuator 221″ and is arranged in such a manner that when the actuator 221″ is operated to release an engagement of the locking unit 21″ through the actuating cable 222″, the slider platform 12″ automatically slides out of the drawer compartment 70″ in a hand-free manner.

Accordingly, the locking arrangement 20″ further comprises a pusher arrangement 23″ operatively connecting the actuation unit 22″ and the locking unit 21″ in such a manner that when the actuation unit 22″ is activated to release the slider platform 12″, the pusher arrangement 23″ is arranged to initiate a pusher action towards the slider platform 12″ so as to assist smooth travel thereof from the storage position to the accessing position. In other words, the pusher arrangement 23″ helps the slider platform 12″ to operate smoothly when the actuation unit 22″ is activated.

More specifically, the pusher arrangement 23″ comprises a pusher member 231″ movably mounted on the mounting base 11″ to selectively push the slider platform 12″ moving from the storage position and the accessing position, and a gear unit 232″ operatively connecting actuating unit 22″ with the slider platform 12″, wherein the actuating cable 222″ has a first end connected to the actuator 221″ and a second end connected to the gear unit 232″ in such a manner that when the actuator 221″ is manually actuated by the user of the present invention, the actuating cable 222″ is also driven to pull the gear unit 232″ so as to rotate the gear unit 232″ for driving the pusher member 231″ to pivotally move to push the slider platform 12″ out of the drawer compartment 70″. In other words, the pusher member 231″ is adapted to disengage the magnetic attraction between the magnetic elements 2111″. Moreover, the pusher member 231″, which is pivotally coupled with the mounting base, has an arc-shaped pushing surface 2311″ to push the slider platform 12″ when the pusher member 231″ is driven to pivotally move by the actuator 221″ via the actuating cable 222″.

According to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention, the magnetic member 211″ comprises a plurality of magnetic elements 2111″ provided on the pusher member 231″ and the slider platform 12″ respectively, wherein when the slider platform 12″ is in the normal storage position, the magnetic elements 2111″ are aligned with each other so as to magnetically attract the slider platform 12″ to the mounting base 11″. In other words, when the magnetic engagement between the slider platform 12″ and the retention member 212″ ceases to exist, the slider platform 12″ is arranged to slide out of the drawer compartment 70″ so as to be accessed by the user of the present invention. Since the slider platform 12″ is inclinedly mounted with respective to horizontal, when the magnetic attractive force ceases to exist, the slider platform 12″, owning to its own weight, will slide out of the drawer compartment 70″ due to normal gravitational force.

Alternatively, the magnetic member 211″ comprises two or more first magnetic elements 2111″ spacedly provided at the mounting base and two or more second magnetic elements 2112″ spacedly provided at the slider platform 12″ to align with the first magnetic elements 2111″ respectively such that the slider platform 12″ is magnetically locked at the storage position when the second magnetic elements 2112″ are magnetically engaged with the first magnetic elements 2111″ respectively.

The pusher member 231″ assists sliding of the slider platform 12″ by pushing the slider platform 12″ out from the drawer compartment 70″. It is worth mentioning that the magnetic element 2111″ can be attached on the corresponding position of the drawer 60″, the container 90″ or the slider platform 12″ so that when the pusher member 231″ exerts a pushing force against the corresponding pusher object (i.e. the slider platform 12″, the container 90″ or the drawer 60″), the magnetic engagement of the magnetic member 211″ is broken to allow the slider platform 12″ sliding out of the drawer compartment 60″.

The gear unit 232″ comprises a bevel gear unit comprising a first and a second gear member 2321″, 2322″ engaging with each other, wherein the first gear member 2321″ is vertically supported by the docking frame 10″ and connected with the actuating cable 222″ while the second gear member 2322″ is horizontally supported by the docking frame 10″ via a gear shaft to connect with the pusher member 231″ while engaging with the first gear member 2321″. Thus, when the actuating cable 222″ is actuated (i.e. pulled by the actuator 221″), the first gear member 2321″ is pushed to rotate (about a horizontal axis) and drives the second gear 2322″ to rotate as well (about a vertical axis). The pusher member 231″ has one end connected with the second gear 2322″ in such a manner that when the second gears 2322″ is driven to rotate, the pusher member 231″ is also driven to move in a pivotal manner about the gear shaft so as to pivotally push the slider platform 12″ to slide out of the drawer compartment 60″.

Similar to the first preferred embodiment, the actuator 221″ comprises first and second actuation members 2211″, 2212″ pivotally connected with each other in such a manner that the first actuation member 2211″ is adapted to be depressed with respect to the second actuation member 2212″, wherein the driving end of the actuating cable 222″ is connected with the first actuation members 2211″ so that when the first actuation members 2211″ is depressed, the driving end of the actuating cable 222″ is pulled for pulling the driven end thereof so as to drive the first gear member 2321″ to rotate.

The pusher arrangement 23″ further comprises a resilient element 233″ mounted on the docking frame 10″ to normally exert a pulling force toward the pusher member 231″ for restoring the pusher member 231″ into its original position when it has pushed the slider platform 12″ to the accessing position.

Moreover, in order to further enhance the sliding movement of the slider platform 12″, according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention, each of the slider tracks 111″ comprises a first and a second track members 1111″, 1112″ slidably engaging with each other, wherein then first track member 1111″ is affixed on the docking frame 10″ while the second track member 1112″ is affixed on the slider platform 12″ so as to allow the slider platform 12″ to slide between the storage position and the accessing position smoothly.

As shown in FIG. 12 and FIG. 13 of the drawings, the drawer releasing device may further comprise a cover control 24A for automatically controlling a pivot movement of a container cover 91A of a container 90A which sits on the slider platform 12′, wherein the cover control 24A comprises a guiding track 241A having a convex guiding surface 2411A, and a height adjustable support 242A suspendedly supported the guiding track 241A within the drawer compartment 70′ at a position above the container cover 91A, in such a manner that when the slider platform 12′ is slid at the slide-in storage position, the guiding track 91A is adapted for guiding the container cover 91A at the convex guiding surface 2411A to close the container 90A, and when the slider platform 12′ is slid at the slide-out accessing position, the guiding track 241A is adapted for guiding the container cover 91A at the convex guiding surface 2411A to open the container 90A. A plurality of guiding rollers is suspendedly affixed on the convex guiding surface 2411A for smoothening the movement of the container cover 91A.

One skilled in the art will understand that the embodiment of the present invention as shown in the drawings and described above is exemplary only and not intended to be limiting.

It will thus be seen that the objects of the present invention have been fully and effectively accomplished. It embodiments have been shown and described for the purposes of illustrating the functional and structural principles of the present invention and is subject to change without departure from such principles. Therefore, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the following claims.