Title:
Self-Cleaning Entry Mat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-cleaning entry mat is disclosed. An illustrative embodiment of the self-cleaning entry mat includes a mat housing, a grate opening provided in the mat housing, a grate seated in the grate opening and at least one collecting drawer extendable from the mat housing and positional between closed and opened positions. The collecting drawer is positioned beneath the grate opening when in the closed position.



Inventors:
Tafil, Peter J. (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
12/205726
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
09/05/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/301, 312/330.1
International Classes:
A47B88/00; A47B81/00; A47L5/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REDDING, DAVID A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
APEX JURIS, PLLC (SEATTLE, WA, US)
Claims:
1. A self-cleaning entry mat, comprising: a mat housing; a grate opening provided in said mat housing; a grate seated in said grate opening; and at least one collecting drawer extendable from said mat housing and positional between closed and opened positions, wherein said collecting drawer is positioned beneath said grate opening when in said closed position.

2. The self-cleaning entry mat of claim 1 wherein said collecting drawer is either a front collecting drawer or a side collecting drawer.

3. The self-cleaning entry mat of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of bristles provided on said grate.

4. (canceled)

5. The self-cleaning entry mat of claim 1 further comprising: a plurality of drawer rails carried by said mat housing and; a plurality of drawer slides carried by said at least one collecting drawer and slidably engaging said plurality of drawer rails, respectively.

6. The self-cleaning entry mat of claim 1 wherein said mat housing comprises: a pair of housing sides; a housing front and a housing rear extending between said pair of housing sides; and a housing bottom and a housing top carried by said pair of housing sides, said housing front and said housing rear, and wherein said one collecting drawer comprises a front collecting drawer extendable from said housing front or a side collecting drawer extendable from one of said pair of housing sides.

7. The self-cleaning entry mat of claim 1 further comprising a vacuum device interfacing with said collecting drawer.

8. A self-cleaning entry mat, comprising: a mat housing having a pair of housing sides, a housing front and a housing rear extending between said pair of housing sides and a housing bottom and a housing top carried by said pair of housing sides, said housing front and said housing rear; a grate opening provided in said housing top of said mat housing; a grate seated in said grate opening; a drawer opening provided in said housing front or side of said mat housing; a collecting drawer extendable from said drawer opening and positional between closed and opened positions, said collecting drawer positioned beneath said grate opening when in said closed position; a filter screen provided on said drawer; and a vacuum device provided in said mat housing and having an inlet interfacing with said filter screen when said collecting drawer is in said closed position.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to entry mats. More particularly, the present invention relates to a self-cleaning entry mat.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Entry mats are commonly placed at the entrances of doors in homes and businesses. Over time, the mats become stained with dirt and grime, rendering necessary cleaning or replacement of the mats. Therefore, a self-cleaning entry mat is needed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is generally directed to a self-cleaning entry mat. An illustrative embodiment of the self-cleaning entry mat includes a mat housing, a grate opening provided in the mat housing, a grate seated in the grate opening and one collecting drawer extendable from the mat housing that is positional between closed and opened positions. The collecting drawer is positioned beneath the grate opening when in the closed position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of the hard wired, permanent self-cleaning entry mat, with a collecting.

FIG. 2 is a rear/side view of a portable, self-cleaning entry mat with the optional large capacity side drawer;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the portable, self-cleaning entry mat;

FIG. 4 is an elevated side view of the portable self-cleaning entry mat with the front drawer partially extended;

FIG. 5 is an elevated view of the portable entry mat system;

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the one step portable entry mat;

FIG. 7 is a transparent view of the portable entry mate system showing only the drawer and vacuum unit;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the portable entry mat system;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The entry mat can be, but is not limited to, three configurations. The first is an entry mat unit that is approximately three to four inches in height from the base of the unit to the top platform; it can be either portable or permanently installed; and it does not have any type of vacuum unit either attached or remotely connected. This embodiment is similar to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8 except that there is no vacuum unit. As shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8, this unit has either a front or side opening drawer for collecting debris. Further, the unit has a generally elongated, rectangular shape, or step shape, as shown in the accompanying drawings, or any suitable alternative shape. The mat housing 2 typically includes a pair of spaced-apart, parallel housing sides 3(a) and 3(b); a housing front 4 and a housing rear 5 extending between the housing sides 3; and a housing bottom 6 and a housing top 7 provided on the housing sides 3, the housing front 4 and the housing rear 5.

A grate opening 8 is provided in the housing top 7. A grate 9 is seated in the grate opening 8. Multiple bristles 10 may be incorporated into grate 9. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, a drawer opening is provided in the housing front 4 of the mat housing 2. A front collecting drawer 15, typically, having a drawer handle or drawer handles 16, is extendable from the drawer opening 14. When retracted into the mat housing 2, as shown in FIG. 8, the front collecting drawer 15 is positioned beneath the grate 9. The front collecting drawer 15 can be slidably installed in the mat housing 2 using any of a variety of suitable techniques known to those skilled in the art. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, two pairs of drawer rails 17 are typically provided on the housing bottom 6 of the mat housing 2. A pair of drawer slides 18 are provided on the front collecting drawer 15 and each slidably engages with the corresponding pair of drawer rails 17.

The second configuration is a portable unit that is approximately three to four inches in height from the base of the unit to the top platform, with a plug in power cord, a front opening drawer and an on/off switch installed on the unit itself. This unit is the generally the same as the unit described above; however, this unit has a vacuum.

The third configuration is a permanently installed unit that is preferably six to ten inches in height from the base of the unit to the platform of the unit, with a side drawer on either side or a front drawer, constructed in either existing or new construction porch/steps, and is generally hardwired to an electrical source. The on/off switch could either be installed on the unit or remotely installed on the door frame of the house or structure.

Referring to FIG. 1, the third embodiment of the self-cleaning entry mat is permanently installed and includes a mat housing 2 which may have a generally elongated, rectangular shape, or step shape, as shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, or any suitable alternative shape. The mat housing 2 typically includes a pair of spaced-apart, parallel housing sides 3(a) and 3(b); a housing front 4 and a housing rear 5 extending between the housing sides 3; and a housing bottom 6 and a housing top 7 provided on the housing sides 3, the housing front 4 and the housing rear 5.

A grate opening 8 is provided in the housing top 7. A grate 9 is seated in the grate opening 8. Multiple bristles 10 may be incorporated into grate 9. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a drawer opening 14 is provided in the housing front 4 of the mat housing 2. A front collecting drawer 15, typically having a drawer handle or drawer handles 16, is extendable from the drawer opening 14. When retracted into the mat housing 2, as shown in FIG. 3, the front collecting drawer 15 is positioned beneath the grate 9. The front collecting drawer 15 can be slidably installed in the mat housing 2 using any of a variety of suitable techniques known to those skilled in the art. For example, two pairs of drawer rails 17 are typically provided on the housing bottom 6 of the mat housing 2. A pair of drawer slides 18 are provided on the front collecting drawer 15 and each slidably engages with the corresponding pair of drawer rails 17.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a vacuum device 20 is provided in the mat housing 2, adjacent to the front collecting drawer 15. The inlet 20a of the vacuum device 20 interfaces with the interior of the front collecting drawer 15 through a filter screen 21 that is provided in the side of the front collecting drawer 15. A power switch 22 is provided on the mat housing 2, such as on the housing top 7, for example. In some embodiments of the mat 1, a power cord 23, having a power plug 24, extends from the vacuum device 20. In other embodiments of the mat 1, the vacuum device 20 is hardwired, as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. A side drawer opening 30 may be provided in a housing side 3 of the mat housing when mat is installed permanently in existing or new stairs, porch or any other entryway. A side collecting drawer 31, typically having a drawer handle 32, is selectively extendable from the side drawer opening 30.

Typical application of the invention will be described with respect to the self-cleaning entry mat shown in the Figures. As shown in FIG. 1, the self-cleaning entry mat is typically installed in existing or new construction, adjacent to an exterior door 36 of a structure such as a home or business, for example, with the housing rear 5 of the mat housing 2 typically engaging with, or adjacent to, the wall portion of the structure that extends beneath the door 36. A user (not shown) steps onto the grate 9 and rubs his or her shoes against the grate 9 or against the grate 9 and bristles 10. Accordingly, the grate 9 and bristles 10 remove debris such as dirt, mud, water, sand, snow or leaf fragments, for example, from the user's shoes. The debris falls through the openings in the grate 9 and into the underlying collecting drawer 15 or 31. Through actuation of the power switch 22, the vacuum device 20 can be selectively activated to draw debris 38 from the user's shoes and other debris that clings to the grate 9 and bristles 10, into the front collecting drawer 15 or into the side collecting drawer 31. The front collecting drawer 15 or side collecting drawer 31 can be periodically opened for removal of the debris 38 therefrom.

While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been described above, it will be recognized and understood that various modifications can be made in the invention and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications which may fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.