Title:
PORTABLE WHEELCHAIR RAMP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention provides a mobile wheelchair ramp comprising: (a) a main body comprising first and second ends and sides; (b) at least one wheel secured beneath the main body; (c) hand rails; and (d) at least one pair of legs for grounding the ramp; where the ramp can be transformed from an extended position to a stowed position.



Inventors:
Campbell, Patrick L. (Gardnerville, NV, US)
Application Number:
12/478625
Publication Date:
12/10/2009
Filing Date:
06/04/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F11/00
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Primary Examiner:
HARTMANN, GARY S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRICK L. CAMPBELL (GARDNERVILLE, NV, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A mobile wheelchair ramp comprising: (a) a main body comprising first and second ends and sides; (b) at least one wheel secured beneath said main body; (c) hand rails; and (d) at least one pair of legs for grounding the ramp; wherein said ramp can be transformed from an extended position to a stowed position.

2. The ramp of claim 1 wherein in said stowed position said ramp is folded so that said hand rails are substantially parallel and adjacent to the plane of said main body.

3. The ramp of claim 1 wherein in said extended position said ramp is extended so that said hand rails are substantially parallel and spaced from the plane of said main body.

4. The ramp of claim 1 wherein said main body portion further comprising at least one telescoping extension from at least one of said first and second ends.

5. The ramp of claim 1 further comprising a braking mechanism for said at least one wheel.

6. The ramp of claim 1 wherein said at least one wheel comprises a pair of wheels on a common axle.

7. The ramp of claim 1 wherein said legs are retractable.

8. The ramp of claim 1 wherein said retractable legs are telescoping.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Copyright Notice

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files and records, but otherwise reserves all other copyright rights.

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to ramps for wheelchairs and the like.

2. Description of Related Art

As we all age, some of us will eventually need to use a walker or wheelchair. Some of us will be relegated to the same, due to illness or disease; not just because of aging.

When that happens, we will need to access homes of family, friends, neighbors, etc. Or perhaps we will want to visit commercial establishments that do not have a permanent handicap ramp.

Several prior art ramps have attempted to provide a modular or easily assembled ramp for adapting stairs for wheelchair access. U.S. Pat. No. 7,240,388, to Warford, issued Jul. 10, 2007, and titled “Adjustable Quick Disconnect Portable Wheel Chair Ramp, provides a modular portable wheel chair ramp comprising a plurality of mechanically interconnected modular ramp sections. Ramp sections are supported by adjustable post assemblies on ramp section sides. A rail panel comprising upper and lower rails extend between said outer post on one end and a second post matching in complement the outer post on an opposite end wherein said second post of a first rail panel removably connects to an outer post of an adjacent rail panel therein connecting said rail panels together. Slats connecting between upper and lower rails form a rail panel. An inner rail is also secured between the posts, interlocking with an extended lug on an inner rail section end fitting into a matching hole in an adjacent inner rail section end to make a continuous inner section rail.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,912,796, issues to Crump, Apr. 3, 1990, and titled “Adjustable Height Wheelchair Ramp with Supporting Legs”, discloses an adjustable height wheelchair ramp with supporting legs comprised of a pair of ramps, each end of each ramp containing a ramp end section and attached to each ramp is a height adjustment and supporting mechanism to support the ramps when in use. This height adjustment and supporting mechanism is comprised of a first and second leg and a foot which supports the ramps when they are in use. In conventional wheelchair ramps, especially where long distances are being spanned by the ramps, conventional ramps will tend to deflect resulting in a dangerous condition for the individual using the ramp and also limiting the life and utility of the ramp. By use of the height adjustment ramp support of the adjustable height, wheelchair ramp with supporting legs the ramp can be used for a large range of heights while still providing a stable, secure, relatively light wheelchair ramp system.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,419,050, to Sardonico, Jul. 16, 2002, and titled “Mobile Device for Disabled Persons”, discloses a mobile device for disabled persons comprising a trolley carrying a vertically displaceable platform designed to bear a wheelchair. The trolley is motor-driven and is equipped with an aligning system to line-up the platform with respect to an access site of the wheelchair. The platform can also be shifted in a transverse direction relative to the trolley and includes a transfer ramp longitudinally displaceable between a retracted position and an extended position

None of the prior approaches have been able to provide a truly portable and easily storable ramp for wheelchairs and the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides a mobile wheelchair ramp comprising: (a) a main body comprising first and second ends and sides; (b) at least one wheel secured beneath the main body; (c) hand rails; and (d) at least one pair of legs for grounding the ramp; where the ramp can be transformed from an extended position to a stowed position.

In one embodiment in the stowed position the ramp is folded so that the hand rails are substantially parallel and adjacent to the plane of the main body.

In one embodiment in the extended position the ramp is extended so that the hand rails are substantially parallel and spaced from the plane of the main body.

In one embodiment the main body portion further comprising at least one telescoping extension from at least one of the first and second ends.

In one embodiment further comprising a braking mechanism for the at least one wheel.

In one embodiment the at least one wheel comprises a pair of wheels on a common axle.

In one embodiment the legs are retractable.

In one embodiment the retractable legs are telescoping.

These and other features and advantages of this invention are described in, or are apparent from, the following detailed description of various exemplary embodiments of the apparatus and methods according to this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention and the attendant features and advantages thereof may be had by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 shows the wheelchair ramp of the invention in its closed position, from above.

FIG. 2 is the side view of the wheelchair ramp of the invention in its stowed position.

FIG. 3 depicts the side view of the extended ramp.

FIG. 4 shows a human stick figure pushing the wheelchair ramp of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The products and methods of the present invention provide a wheelchair ramp that is easily portable and storable.

The wheelchair ramp of the invention will allow us ease of access to any facility that does not have a permanent ramp.

FIG. 1 shows the wheelchair ramp of the invention in its closed position, from above. The handgrip is at the right and the wheel end at the left. The extension, handrails and grade flap are indicated in their stowed positions.

FIG. 2 is the side view of the wheelchair ramp of the invention in its stowed position, again with the handgrip at the right and wheel end at the left. Grade flap, handrails and extension are indicated in their stowed positions.

FIG. 3 depicts the side view of the extended ramp, with all operating parts in open and/or extended positions. The handrail pivots up, placing the legs firmly on the ground (lifting the wheels off the ground). The grade flap is rotated back to meet the grade at the handgrip end. The hidden/stowed extension is pulled into position on the top desired step. All rotating or pivoting parts are locked into position with a cotter pin or other mechanism.

FIG. 4 shows a human stick figure pushing the wheelchair ramp of the invention into position, steering it just like a hand truck.

With two wheels and a simple axel, the bed of the ramp is made of injection-molded plastic with a tensile strength sufficient to support 300 pounds of weight. When in position the handrails are extended, placing the support legs upright and pulling/pushing the wheels off the ground. The grade access flap is pulled back to meet the grade at one end. The stowed extension is then pulled out to reach the top step desired to transit. Anyone with a wheelchair or walker will now have instant access to any home, office or store that does not have a permanent access ramp.

Engineered similar to a hand truck, the wheelchair ramp of the invention is as mobile and navigable as a wheelbarrow or pushcart. It stows away in the garage or is portable in the back of a station wagon, van or pick up truck. When the handicapped parents or loved ones, visitors, friends, etc. choose to visit a home or office that does not have a permanent access ramp, the wheelchair ramp of the invention only needs to be wheeled out to position, opened up and voila, instant access.

If a family or commercial operation elects to relocate, they can simply take the wheelchair ramp of the invention with them to their new home or location.

The wheelchair ramp of the invention can be passed on to other generations or users as the need develops. For example: If Grandmother or Grandfather needs the ramp now, when they pass on it can be used by the Boomer son or daughter should their need develop later.

The wheelchair ramp of the invention allows the freedoms earlier extended to people that are more ambulatory, letting the less ambulatory go where we want, visit who we want, without having to be carried over steps to get there.

We'll simply stow the wheelchair ramp of the invention in our garage, or in our vehicle, giving us the opportunity to transit obstacles that previously prevented us from doing so.

The wheelchair ramp of the invention is designed to allow handicap access to homes and commercial locations that do not have built-in, permanent handicap ramps. With 86 million Baby Boomers and millions of their parents needing handicap access, the wheelchair ramp of the invention will provide access where not previously available.

While this invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments outlined above, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the preferred embodiments of the invention, as set forth above, are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.