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1. WO1997044206 - SYSTEME DE SUSPENSION POUR FAUTEUIL ROULANT ELECTRIQUE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

We claim:

1. A suspension system for a powered wheelchair having an elongated frame supporting an occupant seat;

a transaxle housing having a pair of power driven wheels mounted on opposite ends of said transaxle housing;

Hnkage means for connecting said transaxle housing in transverse relation to said elongated frame with said transaxle housing being freely tiltable in a vertical plane transverse to said elongated frame, whereby said power driven wheels may foUow the contour of the ground traversed by said power driven wheels;
fluid pressure cyHnder means operatively connected between said Hnkage means and said frame for verticaUy positioning said frame relative to said ground engaging wheels; and
operator controUed means for supplying and withdrawing fluid from said fluid pressure cyHnder means.

2. The suspension system of claim 1 further comprising:

a pair of caster wheels for said powered wheel chair;

a subframe supporting said caster wheels in lateraUy spaced relationship to said elongated frame;

a second Hnkage means for supporting said subframe in transverse relationship to said elongated frame to permit tilting movement of said subframe in a vertical transverse plane relative to said elongated frame, whereby said caster wheels may foUow the contour of the ground traversed by said caster wheels;

a second fluid pressure cyHnder means operatively connected between said second Hnkage means and said elongated frame for verticaUy positioning said elongated frame relative to said caster wheels; and

means connecting said second fluid pressure cyHnder means to said operator controUed means for supplying and withdrawing fluid from said second fluid pressure cyHnder means.

3. A suspension system for a powered wheelchair having a rigid, elongated articulated frame with longitudinaUy spaced, depending first and second vertical portions, a lateraUy disposed transaxle housing, a pair of power driven wheels rotatably mounted on opposite lateral ends of said transaxle housing and caster wheel means mounted on said second vertical frame portion for supporting one end of said frame, comprising, in combination:

a pair of horizontaUy aHgned, lateraUy spaced, universal pivot mountings on said first vertical frame portion;

a pair of identical mounting Hnks respectively having one and universaUy pivotaUy mounted in said pair of universal pivot mountings and the other end universaUy pivotaUy secured to said transaxle housing, whereby said power driven wheels can move in a vertical plane;

a pair of lateraUy spaced, horizontaUy aHgned, single axis pivot mountings on said first vertical frame portion verticaUy spaced relative to said pair of universal pivot mountings and defining a common horizontal axis;

a stabiHzing Hnk having a generaUy triangular configuration defining a wide base portion and a vertex portion;
means on opposite ends of said base portion of said stabilizing Hnk for respectively engaging said pair of single axis pivot mountings to permit pivotal movement of said stabiHzing Hnk only in a vertical plane; and

means for universaUy pivotaUy connecting said vertex portion of said stabiHzing Hnk to the lateral center of said transaxle housing; thereby preventing lateral movement of said power wheels relative to said elongated frame without restricting independent vertical movements of said power driven wheels to conform to the ground contour.

4. The suspension system of claim 3 further comprising shock absorbing means operable between said mounting Hnks and said rigid frame.

5. The suspension system of claim 4 wherein said shock absorbing means comprises fluid pressure means for elongating and contracting said shock absorbing means; and
operator controUed means for increasing or decreasing the amount of fluid existing in said fluid pressure means to elevate or lower said frame relative to said power driven wheels.

6. The suspension system of claim 3 wherein said caster wheel mounting comprises an L-shaped subframe having a horizontal leg supporting two lateraUy spaced caster wheels in depending relation and a vertical leg;

a second pair of horizontaUy aHgned, lateraUy spaced universal pivot mountings on said second vertical frame portion;

a second pair of identical mounting Hnks respectively having one end universaUy pivotaUy mounted in said second pair of universal pivot mountings and the other end universaUy pivotaUy secured to said vertical leg of said caster wheel subframe, whereby said caster wheels can move in a vertical plane;

a second pair of lateraUy spaced, horizontaUy aHgned, single axis pivot mountings on said second vertical frame portion, verticaUy spaced relative to said second pair of universal pivot mountings and defining a common horizontal pivot axis;

a second stabilizing Hnk having a generaUy triangular configuration defining a wide base portion and a vertex portion;
means for universaUy pivotaUy connecting said vertex portion of said stabiHzing Hnk to said vertical leg of said caster wheel subframe, thereby preventing lateral movement of said caster wheels without restricting independent vertical movements of said caster wheels to conform to the ground contour.
7. The suspension system of claim 6 further comprising a first shock absorbing means operable between said first pair of mounting Hnks and said rigid frame; and

a second shock absorbing means operable between said second stabiHzing Hnk and said rigid frame.

8. The suspension system of claim 7 wherein each said shock absorbing means comprises fluid pressure means for elongating and contracting each said shock absorbing means; and
operator controUed means for increasing or decreasing the amount of fluid existing in said fluid pressure means to elevate or lower said frame relative to said power driven wheels and said caster wheels.

AMENDED CLAIMS
[received by the International Bureau on 27 October 1997 (27.10.97); original claims 1-3 and 6-8 amended; remaining claims
unchanged (5 pages)]
1. A suspension system for a powered wheelchair having an elongated frame supporting an occupant seat;
a transaxle housing having a pair of power driven wheels mounted on opposite ends of said transaxle housing;

a first Hnkage means for connecting said transaxle housing in transverse relation to the length of said elongated frame with said transaxle housing being freely tiltable in a vertical plane transverse to said elongated frame;
said first Hnkage means including universal type pivot bearings on said elongated frame and said transaxle housing, whereby said power driven wheels may foUow the contour of the ground traversed by said power driven wheels;

a fluid pressure cyHnder operatively connected between said Hnkage means and said frame for vertically positioning said elongated frame relative to said ground engaging wheels; and
operator controUed means for supplying and withdrawing fluid from said fluid pressure cylinder.

2. The suspension system of claim 1 further comprising:

a pair of caster wheels for said powered wheel chair;
a subframe supporting said caster wheels in horizontaUy spaced relationship;

a second Hnkage means for supporting said subframe in transverse relationship to the length of said elongated frame for permitting tilting movement of said subframe in a vertical transverse plane relative to said elongated frame, whereby said caster wheels may foUow the contour of the ground traversed by said caster wheels;

a second fluid pressure cyHnder means operatively connected between said second Hnkage means and said elongated frame for verticaUy positioning said elongated frame relative to said caster wheels; and
means connecting said second fluid pressure cyHnder means to said operator controUed means for supplying and withdrawing fluid from said second fluid pressure cyHnder means.
3. A suspension system for a powered wheelchair having a rigid, elongated frame with longitudinaUy spaced, depending first and second vertical frame portions, a lateraUy disposed transaxle housing;

a pair of power driven wheels rotatably mounted on opposite lateral ends of said transaxle housing and caster wheel means mounted on said second vertical frame portion for supporting one end of said frame, comprising, in combination:

a pair of horizontaUy aHgned, lateraUy spaced, universal pivot mountings on said first vertical frame portion;

a pair of identical mounting Hnks respectively having one end universaUy pivotaUy mounted in said pair of universal pivot mountings and the other end universaUy pivotaUy secured to said transaxle housing, whereby said power driven wheels can move in a vertical plane;

a pair of lateraUy spaced, horizontaUy aHgned, single axis pivot mountings on said first vertical frame portion verticaUy spaced relative to said pair of universal pivot mountings and defining a common horizontal axis;

a stabiHzing Hnk having a generaUy triangular configuration defining a wide base portion and a vertex portion;

means on opposite ends of said base portion of said stabiHzing Hnk for respectively engaging said pair of single axis pivot mountings to permit pivotal movement of said stabilizing Hnk only in a vertical plane; and
means for universaUy pivotaUy connecting said vertex portion of said stabilizing Hnk to the lateral center of said transaxle housing; thereby preventing lateral movement of said power wheels relative to said elongated frame without restricting independent vertical movements of said power driven wheels to conform to the ground contour.
4. The suspension system of claim 3 further comprising shock absorbing means operable between said mounting Hnks and said rigid frame.
5. The suspension system of claim 4 wherein said shock absorbing means comprises fluid pressure means for elongating and contracting said shock absorbing means; and
operator controUed means for increasing or decreasing the amount of fluid existing in said fluid pressure means to elevate or lower said frame relative to said power driven wheels.

6. The suspension system of claim 3 wherein said caster wheel means comprises a T-shaped subframe having a horizontal leg supporting two lateraUy spaced caster wheels in horizontaUy spaced depending relation and a vertical leg;
a second pair of horizontaUy aHgned, lateraUy spaced universal pivot mountings on said second vertical frame portion;

a second pair of identical mounting Hnks respectively having one end universaUy pivotaUy mounted in said second pair of universal pivot mountings and the other end universaUy pivotaUy secured to said horizontal leg of said T-shaped subframe, whereby said caster wheels can move in a vertical plane relative to each other;

a second pair of lateraUy spaced, horizontally aHgned, single axis pivot mountings on said second vertical frame portion, verticaUy spaced relative to said second pair of universal pivot mountings and defining a common horizontal pivot axis;

a second stabiHzing Hnk having a generaUy triangular configuration defining a wide base portion and a vertex portion;

pivot pins on each end of said wide base portion respectively mounted in said second pair of single axis pivot mountings; and

means for universaUy pivotaUy connecting said vertex portion of said stabiHzing Hnk to said vertical leg of said caster wheel subframe, thereby preventing horizontal movement of said caster wheels without restricting independent vertical movements of said caster wheels to conform to the ground contour.

7. The suspension system of claim 6 further comprising a first shock absorbing means operable between said first pair of mounting Hnks and said rigid elongated.frame; and a second shock absorbing means operable between said second stabiHzing Hnk and said rigid elongated frame.
8. The suspension system of claim 7 wherein each said shock absorbing means comprises fluid pressure means for elongating and contracting each said shock absorbing means; and

operator controUed means for increasing or decreasing the amount of fluid existing in said fluid pressure means to elevate or lower said rigid, elongated frame relative to said power driven wheels and said caster wheels.