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1. WO2020115777 - ASSEMBLABLE SEAT

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

ASSEMBLABLE SEAT

The present invention refers to an assemblable seat, in particular, as described in a non-limiting way below, to an assemblable seat for a vehicle.

In general, the present invention refers to exoskeletons, standing or sitting helps, vehicles with special arrangements for transporting patients or disabled people, guiding means with electric or magnetic actuation, jointed arms, joints, showck absorbers, handling devices controlled ba a program with parallel kinematics with kinematic chains having a rotary joint at the base with kinematic chains of the rotary-rotary-rotary type, non-manual regulation, for example with electric operation with logic circuits with memory of positions, guiding means with hydraulic or pneumatic actuation through piston-cylinder systems, and housing of a vehicle passenger.

In particular, the present invention refers to specific means for regulating the sizes, automatically adjusted depending on anthropometric data of a user, seats suitably designed for vehicles in which the seat or part thereof is movable, for example adjustable, joint between elements, measuring means to adapt chairs, beds or mattresses to shape or size of people for seats, shape of backs or back cushions, lumbar supports, details or parts not otherwise provided for massaging systems, layers between skin and massaging elements, for example fluid or ball, interface movement, namely a linear application force, means for controlling a series of similar massaging devices which act in a sequence of different positions on a patient, non-manual regulation, for example with electric operation with logic circuits which change hardness or support of upholstery, for example when curved roads are travelled, and seats suitably designed for vehicles.

The prior art is given by patent DE-B3-10 2016 215 399, dealing with a mobility system with at least one drive exoskeleton for a person, at least one electronic unit to control and regulate an operating status of the exoskeleton and at least one vehicle with a compartment to which the exoskeleton is mechanically coupled, wherein at least one electronic device can be connected to the electronic unit through at least one communication connection. The exoskeleton has a heating unit and/or at least one cooling unit, at least one massaging unit and or at least one adjustable back-supporting unit, and a regulating unit of at least one sitting part position.

The prior art is also given by patent application DE-Al-10 2017 205 192 Al, dealing with a laser distance -measuring device associated with the housing of an apparatus through a coupling device on the apparatus side for the reversible assembling of at least one fastening device on the laser distance-measuring device. The coupling device on the apparatus side operates as a mechanical coupling interface, a supply interface and a data communication interface.

Moreover, the prior art is given by patent application DE-Al-10 2013 107 811, dealing with a seat with a plurality of sitting elements separately driven through actuators moving along a direction perpendicular to the sear plan, connected to a controller allowing an individual regulation of the seat depending on different situations or people .

The prior art is also given by patent US-A-6,087,942., dealing with a tactile stimulating and tactile massaging system for tooling such as a vehicle comprising a seat, a heating element and motored vibrators in respective regions of the seat, a plurality of vibrating transducers by position with respect to many seat areas, each transducer being sensitive to a transducer power signal, a controller with microprocessor having program and variable memories, and an input and output interface, a series of input elements connected to the input interface to signal the microprocessor in reply to the entry of an operator, the signal including an intensity control value, a plurality of mode signals and a plurality of region signals related to the transducers to be enabled, a driving circuit sensitive to the output interface to produce, separately for each of the transducers, the power signal, the controller with microprocessor being operating in response to the input elements to activate the transducers for their operation in a plurality of modes, including a massage mode which selectively produces an activation of driving signals with adjustable intensity corresponding to the intensity-control value in order to easily massage muscular groups of the driver, and an alert mode which produces a pre set sequence of alert stimulation cycles, each alert stimulation cycle having sufficient frequency and intensity to selectively stimulate the muscular groups of the driver, in order to improve the driver readiness .

The mobility system of patent DE-B3-10 2016

215 399 solves the problem of the controlled regulation of the sitting position, without however dealing with the problem of being able to make a mechanical, electric power and control signal interface .

Another problem not solved by the prior art is being able to miniaturize the actuator to obtain an active behaviour of the parts arranged on the vehicle seat .

Document WO-A1-2015/081419 discloses an assemblable seat according to the preamble of Claim 1.

The problem of having available a universal interface between the moving and the carrier parts of a seat and of miniaturized actuators arranged in the moving part of the seat is solved through the coupling device on the apparatus side of patent application DE-Al-10 2017 205 192 A1 dealing with the laser distance-measuring device associated with the housing of an apparatus .

Therefore, the present invention refers to such coupling device operating as mechanical coupling interface, supply interface and data communication interface.

Such coupling device allows including the prior art solutions, in particular that of patent application DE-Al-10 2013 107 811, to allow an individual regulation of the seat depending on different situations or people, and that of patent US-A-6 , 087 , 942 to activate the transducers for their operation in a plurality of modes, including a massage mode according to a pre-set sequence of alert stimulation cycles to improve the driver readiness .

Object of the present invention is solving the above prior art problems, by providing an assemblable seat with a construction diagram with exoskeleton and with holding and safety systems for a human body, which are innovative and functional for future mobility needs on multiple types of cars, trucks, planes, space crafts, boats, railways, gaming, helping means for disabled people, furniture and interior design, etc.

A further object is making a seat with exoskeleton which allows reducing mass, movement energy and production costs, adapting the shape of the seat to various bodies and biometric measures, offering a better winding of a human body to give protection and safety under any condition, increasing the comfort above all during extended stays and during long trips, increasing hygiene and well-being of the body through a greater aeration of the human body at any time of use of the seat, in addition to a smaller contact surface with the body, namely only where it is necessary, providing an optimum support only where it is actually needed, extending and conforming the seat according to multiple needs, such as laying-down, semi-inclined or closed position to save space, etc., using simple and efficient fastening systems to the compartment or the supporting structure, intervening on the shape by taking care of the aesthetic through new materials and a new and futuristic design, introducing a micrometric regulation of the sitting part to be perfectly suited to every body size, allowing the rotation with respect to its own vertical axis, using cushions with different types of materials, for example, with form memory, foams with different mixes and density according to needs to offer a differentiated support for each body area, using massaging means through the vibration of various supports/cushions according to different profiles of alternated and differentiated vibration curves on various supports to obtain a complete massage in the major body areas, or in the areas subjected to more stress given by the prolonged stay on the seat, using acoustic boxes inside the headrest, to optimize an individual and customizable listening experience .

A further object is guaranteeing more safety and less damages in case of accident, making a sort of safety cell for an optimum protection of the body in case of impact/accident .

A further object is reducing the restoring, updating or maintenance costs of the seat, for example, on planes, through a simple and quick replacement only of cushions and contact surfaces with the body, as guarantee of more hygiene, using different and modern types of materials, such as tubes made of aluminum/magnesium, carbon, Kevlar, fiberglass, memory-foam, etc., according to the specific use necessary and most suitable for the various components .

The above and other objects and advantages of the invention, as will appear from the following description, are obtained with an assemblable seat as claimed in Claim 1. Preferred embodiments and nontrivial variations of the present invention are the subject matter of the dependent claims.

It is intended that all enclosed claims are an integral part of the present description.

It will be immediately obvious that numerous variations and modifications (for example related to shape, sizes, arrangements and parts with equivalent functionality) can be made to what is described, without departing from the scope of the invention, as appears from the enclosed claims.

An advantage of the invention is being able to connect to the exoskeleton any active bearing element through a single action which allows the mechanical connection, the electric supply of the actuators present in the bearing element and the acquisition of the dynamic attitude of the bearing element through the connection to a centralized controller.

A further advantage is being able to quickly change the preferred configuration of an assemblable seat; for example, it is possible to replace a supporting element of the head of the driver or of a passenger on board the vehicle, with a head supporting element equipped with an audio plant and/or at the same time, it is possible to replace a passive lumbar supporting element with a lumbar supporting element equipped with a lumbar massaging device. In both examples, it is possible to automatically restore certain attitude conditions depending on desired anthropomorphic curves stored and managed by the centralized dal controller .

The present invention will be better described by some preferred embodiments thereof, provided as a non- limiting example, with reference to the enclosed drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows an axonometric view of an embodiment of the assemblable seat according to the present invention;

Figure 2 shows a plan view of an embodiment of the assemblable seat according to the present invention;

Figure 3 shows a side view of an embodiment of the assemblable seat according to the present invention;

Figure 4 shows a front view of an embodiment of the asse blable seat according to the present invention ;

Figure 5 shows an exploded axonometric view of an embodiment of the assemblable seat according to the present invention;

Figures 6 and 7 show an orthogonal projection view of a first device to allow making the assemblable seat according to the present invention; and

Figures 8 and 9 show an orthogonal projection view of a second device to allow making the assemblable seat according to the present invention .

With reference to the Figures, it is possible to note that an assemblable seat is composed of jointed elements and is equipped with actuators to change a geometrical arrangement and to move in a desired way.

Advantageously, the assemblable seat is composed of an exoskeleton with at least one joining joint 1 of a sitting part 2 and of a back 3, and of a plurality of bearing elements 4 amovably connected to the exoskeleton.

With reference to Figure 5, each bearing element 4 includes a coupling interface exoskeleton side 100, not shown, to a mechanical connection of the exoskeleton 100-1.

Moreover, each bearing element 4 includes a supply interface exoskeleton side 200, not shown, to an energy connection of the exoskeleton 200-1, and a data communication interface exoskeleton side 300, not shown, to an information transmission connection of the exoskeleton 300-1.

With reference to Figures 6, 7, according to a first versione, the coupling interface exoskeleton side 100 to a mechanical connection of the exoskeleton 100-1 comprises a pin engaged in a first undercut seat (100-11) through at least one rotation of the bearing element 4.

With reference to Figures 8, 9, according to a further version, the coupling interface exoskeleton side 100 to a mechanical connection of the exoskeleton 100-1 comprises a prismatic plate engaged in a second undercut seat (100-12) through at least one translation of the bearing element 4.

In particular, the coupling interface exoskeleton side 100 to a mechanical connection of the exoskeleton 100-1 automatically implies the connection of the supply interface exoskeleton side

200 to an energy connection of the exoskeleton 200-1 and that of the data communication interface exoskeleton side 300 to an information transmission connection of the exoskeleton 300-1.

The plurality of bearing elements 4 comprise at least one bearing element 41, not shown, with an electric actuator with a miniaturized speed reducer

41-1, not shown, to allow such at least one bearing element 41 to rotate with respect to the exoskeleton .

The plurality of bearing elements 4 comprise at least one bearing element 42, not shown, with an electric actuator with a miniaturized speed reducer

42-1, not shown, to be able to transmit a dynamic action of the pulse, vibration type.

The plurality of bearing elements 4 comprise at least one bearing element 43, not shown, equipped with a system of resistances 43-1 inside the cushion for heating.

The sitting part 2 and the back 3 are composed of a tubular structure with telescopically variable length to regulate the extension of the exoskeleton along a direction.

A controller 5, not shown, connected at least to the actuators arranged on board the plurality of bearing elements 4, transmits information about data dealing with the geometrical arrangement and to move in a desired way, through the data communication interface exoskeleton side 300 to the respective information transmission connection of the exoskeleton 300-1.

The assemblable seat is composed of two different and complementary parts, an exoskeleton, namely a frame composed of telescopic tubes with different section according to specific needs, adapted to be conformed to the human skeleton shape, namely a central vertebral column with vertical development adapted to support the whole back till the head, and a horizontal support in a section or branched in two or more sections, adapted to support each of the two legs respectively.

The vertebral column and the horizontal support are connected through an articulated joint, which allows changing the inclination angle of the vertical column with respect to the horizontal support .

The exoskeleton supports supporting- isle-shaped supports, suitably spaced one from the other, adapted to house cushions, specifically shaped as cradle, for the legs, with the flanks bent forward for the back and head sides, or plane and linear to optimally support the various body areas .

Elongation, narrowing and inclination of the supporting isles are driven through suitable electro-mechanical and/or hydraulic and/or pneumatic actuators, to allow determining the most suitable size of the apparatus for every use through a micrometric adaptation to every body size .

By further providing suitable junctions for each supporting/cushioning isle, a widening and/or an angle chance can further be obtained for every cushion, thereby determining not only an adaptation with respect to the longitude/length of the body, but also with respect to its width.

A controller with a scanning and biometric analysis software allows driving the actuators arranged to reach the ideal sitting for every body size and for each of the areas placed in contact with the seat. The controller allows setting and storing the customization of the sitting part.

The assemblable seat of the invention is connected to a telescopically adjustable central support to change he height with respect to a carrier structure, shell, chassis, compartment, case, etc.

Such support with circular section allows the rotation of the seat with respect to its own axis, in order to make it easier, for example in case of a motor-vehicle, the entry or the exit in/from the car compartment. A rotation for the passenger seats or the driver seat in case of use of a vehicle with autonomous drive, allows the passenger to change his position with respect to the others, in infinite possibilities of different combinations, according to every need. The chance of rotating the seat with respect to its own axis (in the application on trucks) is further a big enablement for the entry and the exit in and from the compartment .

Where the surrounding spaces so allow, it is further possible to horizontally extend all structural components, in order to obtain an actual bed configuration.

The assemblable seat of the invention allows safeguarding the safety of a user through a pair of belt-winding devices to be worn by first extending a mini -belt, and then the other, by respectively inserting first one arm and then the other arm, with the same movements that are performed to wear a backpack. The two buckles can then be fastened in the chest center, next to the heart. This also allows installing a sensor on the buckle itself, to detect pulses and hearth rate, this device being rather useful in case of accident, for a more timely communication to rescue operators through suitable systems installed on board. Moreover, such system can guarantee a better support of the torso and therefore a lower front excursion of the head and of the rest of the body, since it is more homogeneous with respect to the central axis of the body, with clear advantages, above all in case of lateral impacts.

A system similar to the known one with double triangle consists in using extendible elements through two belt-winding devices placed on the sides of the stomach area, to be fastened in the center like the chest, obtaining an articulated and balanced holding system in eight different spots, in place of the three current spots of traditional systems. The benefits are clear in terms of kinetic energy dissipation to be absorbed and dissipated, being thereby able to divide it into many more spots and much more homogeneously, for the whole advantage of the lower dynamic stress for a human body .

In this way, moreover, the seat adapted and perfectly wound as protection of the human body, similar to the current seats already used in aeronautics on fighters or in fields such as motorsports, if an actual further survival cell autonomous from the rest of the compartment, to which it is fastened through a sturdy central column, scarcely subjected to be deformed, instead of the side risers of the vehicle compartment, to which currently the safety belts are fastened.

Such type of system further guarantees the maximum comfort under any condition, with a chance of being suited as a custom-made dress for any body size, at the same time guaranteeing the widest freedom of movement .

The flexibility of the whole system (for example not having to constrain any more the safety belts to the compartment risers) is ideal for its use on future vehicles with completely autonomous drive, like those already being developed, as well as on planes and on trains, on which more seats can therefore be installed, each independent from the others as regards rotation, position and annexed holding system. The possibly unused ones can have the parts for bearing the legs bent downwards, in order to offer the smallest encumbrance possible, all as advantage of the actually used seats.

The massaging function is performed through two major modes, one of which does not excluding the other: vibration of the plate/support on which the cushion is abutted; rotation along its own axis of an element with two or more asymmetrical lobes to the support inside, so that, in this case, there can also be an actual mechanical massaging action on the body parts.

By combining the two functions, using the same regulating mechanisms of the sizes of the apparatus {for example, by alternately and repeatedly sliding the back supports upwards and downwards) , a complete and extended massaging effect is obtained.

It is possible to only change the external covers, made of leather, cloth, alcantara, etc., or the whole support/cushion, according to needs. According to the use intensity or depending on a change of wonership of a vehicle, it could be necessary to replace, more or less frequently, either the covers only, due to hygienic and/or aesthetic reasons, or the whole cushion, since already worn also in its properties of resilience and absorption of gumming due to an intense, frequent and/or prolonged use.

The pneumatic cushion below the padding has the function of supporting the body weight, through a pneumatic system adapted to allow changing consistency and degree of absorption according to needs. As well as many cars, when function/mapping changes, adapt many parameters of their own dynamic behavior, for example, suspension calibration, engine response, gearbox speed, steering-wheel readiness, in the same way a seat can be modified and calibrated, becoming more rigid in its sports use for a greater sensitivity about the vehicle behavior, softer and more comfortable in its urban, tourist, off-road uses, etc.

The air conditioning of the seat is provided in two main modes. The first through the already widespread and known system of resistances inside the cushions, which, when it is suitably activated, takes care of heating the cushion interior. The second and more innovative system instead occurs through a diffused micro-drilling on the whole metallic structure of the seat which, when connected to the main air conditioning system of the vehicle, can thereby operate as channeling for the diffusion of hot air (in winter) or cool air (in summer) all around the body housed on the seat, thereby generating a widespread well-being.

One or both armrests can be equipped with a joint connected to a support adapted to bear info-entertainment and working systems, such as tablets, portable screens and PCs, with a system with elastic vice for the tablet and/or a book for portable PCs. These can be of the fixed type (screens) or of the removable type (tablets and PCs) , and the joint is functional to move, regulate or recover them in a hidden position when not used.

The mentioned joint can be of the type to which conference chairs are connected, with annexed small bendable table, or as already present on some airlines for TV screens.

Adaptations to biometric measures are made through mechanical movements with electric actuation, for example through mechanical gears and/or trapezoidal screw/recirculation screw coupled with brushless motors. Or in the version with manual regulation, free from electric movements, through fastening screws inserted on pre-drilled and sliding elements, with a telescopic sliding or equivalent solution, anyway such as to allow an extension or a shortening of the arms to which the supports for the body along various axes are connected.

What has been shown in the enclosed drawings is obviously valid for all movement elements, on the elongation axes in the main planes: horizontal sitting plane, vertical plane as back, horizontal -lateral plane for elongation and shortening of the sitting part, lateral support plane for hips, hip bone, etc.

Moreover, the extendible arms of back and sitting part, in addition to move mutually parallel, can move along a direction X with respect to the main central supporting axis to which they are connected: in this way, with the same movement, they can be both enlarged and elongated diagonally.