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1. (WO2008050643) SOFA
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D E S C R I P T I O N
SOFA

Technical Field
The present invention relates to a sofa having a length that allows a plurality of users to sit thereon side by side.
Background Art
In general, a sofa is constituted by a seat body and a back body, which is provided at a rear end in the fore-and-aft direction of the seat body. A user usually sits on the seat body and leans against the back body when using the sofa.
For example, a long-type sofa which allows a plurality of users to sit thereon side by side is generally suitable for use in a living room or the like. However, there is a demand for a high-value-added sofa, which is not only used for the user to sit thereon but also for another purpose.
Patent Document 1 discloses a sofa, which has a massage unit in the seat body in order to increase the added value. However, with a seat body having a massage unit, the cushioning characteristics are considerably low, since the user who sits on the seat body feels the hardness of the massage unit.
Therefore, in Patent Document 1, the seat body houses a massage unit constituted by first to third rise and fall portions and an upper cushion body detachably attached on the upper surface of the massage unit.
Thus, when the sofa function is used, the upper cushion body is attached on the upper surface of the first to third rise and fall portions of the massage unit, so that the user may not feel the hardness of the massage unit. When the function of the massage unit is used, the upper cushion body is removed.
[Patent Document 1] Jpn. Pat. Appln. KOKAI
Publication No. 2004-321384
However, in the configuration in which the massage unit constitutes the seat body, and the upper cushion body is provided on the upper surface of the massage unit, the seat body has a double structure of the massage unit and the upper cushion body. Therefore, the appearance as a sofa is unattractive.
In addition, since the upper cushion body need be removed when the massage unit is utilized, the removal is troublesome and storage space for the removed cushion body is required. Therefore, it is much bothersome and inconvenient to convert the function so that the massage unit can be utilized.
Further, since the portion of the massage unit where the roller unit is provided is more rugged as compared to the other portions, the user will be likely to feel the ruggedness of the roller unit if only the upper cushion body is put on the upper surface of the massage unit when the sofa function is used.
Disclosure of Invention
An object of the present invention is to provide a sofa, which can be used almost as a normal sofa in appearance and performance, and easily converted to a condition available as a massage unit.
To achieve the above object, according to the present invention, there is provided a sofa which allows a plurality of users to sit thereon side by side, the sofa comprising:
a base;
a back body vertically mounted at a rear end portion in a fore-and-aft direction of the base;
a seat frame provided in front of the back body so as to be movable within a predetermined range along the fore-and-aft direction of the base;
a support body vertically mounted in a middle portion in the fore-and-aft direction of the base;
a seat body, a middle portion in the fore-and-aft direction of which is rotatably connected to the support body, the seat body being horizontally
supported on an upper surface of the seat frame when the seat frame is in a retracted position in the fore-and-aft direction of the base, and being rotated about a portion connected to the support body when the seat frame is in a forwarded position, and inserted
substantially vertically between a front surface of the back body and a rear end of the seat frame; and
a massage unit housed in the seat frame.
Brief Description of Drawings
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sofa according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a state where a seat frame is moved frontward from the state shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a state where a seat body is rotated backward from the state shown in FIG. 2, and a rear end portion of the seat body is inserted between the seat frame and a back body.
FIG. 4 is a perspective showing a state in which a massage unit housed in the seat frame is utilized.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a state in which the massage unit has been removed to show an interior of the seat frame.
FIG. 6 is a horizontally sectional view of the seat frame, showing a structure of the massage unit housed therein.
FIG. 7 is a vertically sectional view of the seat frame, showing a structure of the massage unit housed therein.
FIG. 8 is a sectional view showing a state in which a first rise and fall portion of the massage unit shown in FIG. 7 is raised.
FIG. 9 is a side view for explaining a state in which the seat frame is in a retracted position.
FIG. 10 is a side view for explaining a state in which the seat frame is in a forwarded position.
FIG. HA is a side view showing a state in which the seat body is raised.
FIG. HB is a plane view showing a state in which the seat body is raised.
FIG. 12 is a perspective view showing an
attachment member of the seat frame having a leg member and wheels.
FIG. 13 is a plan view showing the first rise and fall portion.
FIG. 14 is a plan view showing a roller unit provided in the first rise and fall portion.
FIG. 15 is a sectional view showing an attachment structure between an attachment shaft and a rotation disk of the roller unit.
Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention
An embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the state of a sofa 1, and FIG. 4 is a perspective showing of the sofa 1 when a massage unit 2 is utilized. FIGS. 2 and 3 are perspective views sequentially showing a process of converting the state of the sofa 1 to the state in which the massage unit 2 is utilized. FIG. 5 shows the sofa 1, from which the massage unit housed therein has been removed.
As shown in FIG. 5, the sofa 1 has a base 3. The base 3 has a pair of leg members 4 formed of
rectangular pipes, which are located at both end portions in the width direction of the sofa 1. As shown in FIGS. 5, 7 and 8, both end portions in the fore-and-aft direction of the pair of leg members 4 are connected by connecting members 5.
A back body 6 is vertically mounted at a rear end portion in the fore-and-aft direction of the base 3. In front of the back body β, a seat frame 7 is provided so as to be movable along the leg members 4 in the fore-and-aft direction. The seat frame 7 is shaped as a rectangular box, upside and downside of which are open. A pair of attachment members 8, extending in the fore-and-aft direction, are provided in both end portions in the width direction of the seat frame 7 at an interval corresponding to that between the paired leg members 4.
As shown in FIG. 12, a pair of wheel shafts 11, each having a wheel 9 at its lower end, extend downward from the lower surface of each of the attachment members 8. The wheel shafts 11 are inserted through long holes 12, which is formed in the upper surface of the leg member 4 and extending in the fore-and-aft direction of the sofa 1.
As a result, the wheel 9 provided at the lower end of the wheel shaft 11 can roll on the inner bottom surface of the leg member 4. Thus, the seat frame 7 is movable in the fore-and-aft direction of the base 3 as far as the wheel shaft 11 moves in the long hole 12.
As shown in FIGS. 6 to 8, one end of a support body 13, which is formed by bending a rectangular pipe into an L shape, is fixed to an outer surface of a middle portion in the longitudinal direction of each of paired leg members 4. The other end portions of the support bodies 13, which are bent substantially
perpendicular, extend to both end portions inside the seat frame 7 in the width direction. One end portion of an arm 14 is fixed to an upper end portion of each support member 13. As shown in FIG. 9, the arm 14 is inclined such that the upper end is located in a rear portion of the base 3. The arm 14 may not necessarily be separate from the support member 13 but may be integral therewith.
A seat body 16 is placed on the upper surface of the seat frame 7 horizontally. Armrests 17 are
provided in both end portions in the width direction of the seat body 16. The distance between the inwardly directed surfaces of the paired armrests 17 is slightly greater than the width of the back body 6.
As shown in FIGS. 5 to 8, connecting pieces 18 are projected from both end portions in the width direction of the lower surface of the seat body 16 in middle portions of in the fore-and-aft direction of the seat body 16. Distal end portions of the arms 14 are rotatably connected to the paired connecting pieces 18.

When the seat frame 7 is moved forward from a retracted position shown in FIG. 9 along the base 3 as shown in FIG. 10, a space 19 is formed between the outer surface of the rear end of the seat frame 7 and the front surface of the back body 6.
Then, when the seat frame 7 is moved to the front limit where the wheel shafts 11 are brought into contact with the front ends of the long holes 12, the upper end portions of the arms 14, obliquely connected to the upper end portions of the support body 13, project through slits 21 (shown in FIGS. 4 to 6) formed on both ends in the width direction in rear portions of the seat frame 7. In this time, the rear end portion of the seat body 16 placed on the upper surface of the seat frame 7 projects rearward from the upper surface of the seat frame 7 and is located above the space 19, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 10.
As a result, the seat body 16 can rotate about a connecting portion between the arm 14 and the
connecting piece 18 such that the rear end is located at the bottom, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 11A. When the seat body 16 is rotated, the bottom end (rear end) portion thereof is inserted in the space 19 between the rear surface of the seat frame 7 and the front surface of the back body 6. Thus, the seat body 16 is raised substantially at right angles.
When the seat body 16 is raised, the upper opening of the seat frame 7, which has been closed by the seat body 16, is opened. In addition, when the seat body 16 is raised, the back body 6 is inserted between the paired armrests 17. Thus, since the seat body 16 does not overlap the armrests 17 in the fore-and-aft
direction when the seat body 16 is raised, it is possible to prevent increase in the dimension in the fore-and-aft direction.
As shown in FIGS. 6 to 8 , a reception frame 26 is detachably supported by a plurality of hooks 27 (shown in FIG. 7) and kept horizontal inside the seat frame 7. The reception frame 26 holds the massage unit 2. The massage unit 2 is made up of a first rise and fall portion 28, a second rise and fall portion 29, and a third rise and fall portion 30, which are arranged in this order from one end to the other end of the seat frame 7 in the width direction.
Further, on the inner surfaces of both sides in the fore-and-aft direction of the seat frame 7,
crosspieces 34 are provided along the width direction of the seat frame 7, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 9. A bed board (not shown) may be laid over the crosspieces 34.

The massage unit 2 may be placed on the bed board instead of the reception frame described above.
As shown in FIGS. 6 and 13, the first rise and fall portion 28 has a pipe frame 31 formed of a pipe member having a rectangular frame shape. A rotation shaft 32 is fixed to the pipe frame 31 by plate-like connecting members 33 in one end located in a central portion of the seat frame 7 in the width direction.
Both ends of the rotation shaft 32 are rotatably supported by a pair of bearing 36 provided on inner surfaces in middle portions in the width direction of the reception frame 26. One end of a first arm 38 is fixed to a middle portion in the axial direction of the rotation shaft 32, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The other end of the first arm 38 is fixed to one end of a second arm 39.
The other end of the first arm 38 is pivotally connected to a rear end of a cylinder 42 of a gas spring 41, which serves as driving means. A driving shaft 43, which is urged in a projecting direction by a gas pressure, is provided on the distal end surface of the cylinder 42. The distal end of the driving shaft 43 is rotatably connected by a bracket 45 to a
crosspiece member 44 extending in the fore-aft-direction and bridging across the reception frame 26 in a middle portion in the longitudinal direction of the reception frame 26.

A lever 46 is rotatably provided on the bracket 45. A middle portion of the lever 46 faces an
operating element (not shown) , which projects from the distal end of the driving shaft 43 of the gas spring 41. The other end of the lever 46 is connected to one end of an operating wire 49.
An operating handle (not shown) to push and pull the operating wire 49 is provided in a middle portion in the width direction of the seat frame 7 and on the lower surface of the front end in the fore-and-aft direction. When the operating wire 49 is pulled by operating the operating handle, the operating element of the gas spring 41 is pushed by the lever 46.
As a result, the gas pressure causes the driving shaft 43 of the gas spring 41 to move in the projecting direction. According to the movement, the first arm 38 and the second arm 39 rotate clockwise as indicated by an arrow A in FIG. 8.
When the first and second arms 38 and 39 rotate, the rotation shaft 32 moves together with the rotation. Accordingly, the first rise and fall portion 28 rotates about the rotation shaft 32 along with the rotation shaft 32, in a direction that the other end of the first rise and fall portion 28 rises. Thus, the first rise and fall portion 28 can rise and fall along the width direction of the seat frame 7.
To lower the raised first rise and fall portion 28, the first rise and fall portion 28 is pushed toward a lowering direction against the gas pressure in the state where the operating wire 49 is pulled.
An electric motor (not shown) may be used instead of the gas spring 41 as the driving source for moving up and down the first rise and fall portion 28. In other words, a driving shaft (not shown) is moved back and forth by the electric motor, so that the first arm 38 can be rotated by the back and forth movement of the driving shaft.
As shown in FIG. 6, the second rise and fall portion 29 is constituted by a frame body 57. Support shafts 58 are provided at both ends of one end portion of the frame body 57 located on the side of the first rise and fall portion 28. The paired support shafts 58 are rotatably supported by paired reception elements 59 provided on the inner surface of the reception frame 26. As a result, the second rise and fall portion 29 can rotate about the support shafts 58 provided at one end thereof in the direction in which the other end rises .
The third rise and fall portion 30 is provided in the other end in the width direction of the seat frame 7. The third rise and fall portion 30 has a frame body 61, one end of which is pivotally connected to the other end of the second rise and fall portion 29.
Rollers 62 are rotatably attached to both ends in the width direction of the other end of the frame body 61. The paired rollers 62 can roll along channel-like reception portions 63 provided on the inner surface at both end portions in the width direction of the
reception frame 26.
A plurality of belts 64 extending along the fore-and-aft direction of the seat frame 7 at regular intervals are attached to the frame bodies 57 and 61 of the second rise and fall portion 29 and the third rise and fall portion 61.
As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a boomerang-shaped rotation arm 65 is provided in a position under the connecting portion between the second rise and fall portion 29 and the third rise and fall portion 30. A middle portion of the rotation arm 65 is pivotally attached to an attachment piece 66 fixed to the
crosspiece member 44.
A pushup roller 67 is rotatably attached to one end of the rotation arm 65 that faces the lower surface of the second rise and fall portion 29. The other end of the rotation arm 65 is pivotally connected to one end of an interlocking lever 68. The other end of the interlocking lever 68 is pivotally connected to the other end of the first arm 38.
When the gas spring 41 is operated to rotate the first rise and down portion 28 in the rising up
direction, the interlocking lever 68 moves in a direction of an arrow B shown in FIG. 8 in association with the rotation of the first arm 38. Then, the rotation arm 65 rotates about the middle portion in a direction in which the other end provided with the pushup roller 67 is provided. Therefore, the pushup roller 67 pushes the lower surface of the frame body 57 of the second rise and down portion 29. Accordingly, the second rise and down portion 29 rotates about the support shafts 59 provided at the one end in a
direction in which the other end rises.
When the other end of the second rise and down portion 29 rises, the third rise and down portion 30, the one end is pivotally connected to the other end of the second rise and down portion 29, rises in a
direction in which the one end rises. In this time, at the other end of the third rise and fall portion 30, the rollers 62 provided at the end roll on the
reception portion 63. As a result, in the massage unit 2, the first rise and fall portion 28 rises at an angle slightly smaller than the right angle, for example, 75 to 80 degrees, and the second rise and fall portion 29 and the third rise and fall portion 30 substantially form a triangle.
The maximum rise angle of the first rise and fall portion 28 is shown in FIG. 8 at the maximum. When it rises, if the operation of the gas spring 41 is stopped before the angle reaches the maximum rise angle, it can be maintained at that angle.
The first rise and fall portion 28 includes a roller unit 70. More specifically, as shown in
FIG. 13, the roller unit 70 includes a substrate 70a, to which the pipe frame 31 of the first rise and fall portion 80 is attached, and a pair of horizontal crosspieces 71 extend in a direction crossing the rise and down direction of the substrate 70a at a distance therebetween in the fore-and-aft direction of the seat frame 7. Racks 72 are provided on sides of the paired horizontal crosspieces 71, which face each other. A pair of pinions 74, which are provided on both sides of the width direction of the roller unit 70 as shown in FIG. 14, engages with the respective racks 72.
The roller unit 70 includes a nut body 75. A driving screw shaft 76 is screwed into the nut body 75. The driving screw shaft 76 extends along the width direction of the seat frame 7. The distal end thereof is connected to a first drive motor 77 via a power transmitting mechanism 78, as shown in FIG. 13.
As a result, when the first driving motor 77 is activated, the driving screw shaft 76 is rotated via the power transmitting mechanism 78. When the driving screw shaft 76 is rotated by the first driving motor 77, the roller unit 70 is reciprocated in the width direction of the seat frame 7 in accordance with the direction of the rotation.

As shown in FIG. 14, an actuator 79 projects in one side of the massage unit 70 near one of the pinions 74. Two limit switches (not shown) to set a distance of movement of the roller unit 70 are respectively provided on one and the other ends in the longitudinal direction of one of the racks 72.
When the actuator 79 activates one of the limit switches, the rotation direction of the driving motor 77 is changed, thereby switching the direction of the travel of the roller unit 70. In other words, the roller unit 70 is reciprocated in the width direction of the seat frame 7 on the first rise and fall portion 28.
As shown in FIG. 14, the massage unit 70 includes a mechanism box 82. The mechanism box 82 includes a half-turn clutch 83. The half-turn clutch 83 connects one end of a first attachment shaft 84 to one end of a second attachment shaft 85. The attachment shafts 84 and 85 are arranged such that the axes thereof are perpendicular to the direction of travel of the roller unit 70. The other ends thereof are rotatably
supported by bearings 81.
The roller unit 70 has a second driving motor 86. A rotation shaft 86a of the second driving motor 86 protrudes in the mechanism box 82 and the end of the protrusion is provided with a worm 86b. The worm 86b is engaged with a worm wheel (not shown) provided on the first attachment shaft 84.
As a result, the first attachment shaft 84 and the second attachment shaft 85 connected by the half-turn clutch 83 can be rotated by the second driving motor 86.
A rotation disk 87 is attached to each of the other ends of the first attachment shaft 84 and the second attachment shaft 85, which project out of the mechanism box 82, as shown in FIG. 15. Each of the rotation disks 87 is eccentric and inclined at an angle with respect to the corresponding attachment shaft 84 or 85. An attachment plate 88 is attached to each of the rotation disk 87 so as to be rotatable with respect to the rotation disk 87. Thus, the paired attachment plates 88 are inclined to substantially form a V shape, as shown in FIG. 14. Further, an attachment hole 89, in which the rotation disk 87 is to be fitted, is formed in a central portion of each attachment plate 88, as shown in FIG. 15.
A retainer member 91, which is larger in diameter than the attachment hole 89, is integrally provided on each of one side surface and the other side surface of the rotation disk. The peripheral portions of each of the paired retainer members 91 sandwich the two side surfaces of the attachment plate 88. Thus, the
rotation disk 87 is held so as not be removable from the attachment hole 89.

As shown in FIG. 14, massage rollers 92 are rotatably attached to one end portion and the other end portion of each of the paired attachment plates 88. The paired attachment plates 88 incline in the opposite directions (form a V shape) . When the first and second attachment shafts 84 and 85 are rotated by the second driving motor 86, the paired attachment plates 88 are swung such that the one or the other end portions thereof approach to and separate from each other, as indicated by the arrows.
Consequently, the paired massage rollers 92 provided in one end portions and the other end portions of the attachment plates 88 perform a massaging
operation on the back of the user leaning against the front surface of the first rise and fall portion 28, which rises at an angle, as shown in FIG. 8.
When the rotation shaft 8βa of the second driving motor 86 is rotated in the direction opposite to that in the massaging operation, only the first attachment shaft 84 rotates 180°, and thereafter the second attachment shaft 85 is interlocked by means of the half-turn clutch 83.
As a result, the attachment plate 88 connected to the first attachment shaft 84 and the attachment 88 connected to the second attachment shaft 85 are
inclined in the same direction and displaced in
accordance with the eccentric rotation of the rotation disks 87. Thus, the massage rollers 92 attached to the attachment plates 88 perform a hammering operation.
Although not shown in the drawings, the first rise and fall portion 28 including the roller unit 70 is covered with cloth, at least an upper surface portion of which has sufficient slack. The roller unit 70 can be operated by a remote controller 93 shown in FIG. 3. The remote controller 93 is removably held on the lower surface of the seat body 16.
In the case where the first rise and fall portion

28 is raised and fallen by means of an electric motor, instead of the gas spring 41, the electric motor can be operated by the remote controller 93.
As shown in FIG. 13, a first lower cushion body 95 is provided on the upper surface of the pipe frame 31 of the first rise and fall portion 28, except for the area where the massage roller 92 travels. As shown in FIG. 8, a second lower cushion body 96 is provided on the upper surface of the frame bodies 57 and 61 of the second rise and fall portion 29 arid the third rise and fall portion 30.
With the sofa 1 of the above configuration, when the massage unit 2 housed in the seat frame 7 is to be used from the state shown in FIG. 1, first, the seat frame 7 is moved forward to the front limit as shown in FIG. 2. As a result, as shown in FIG. 10, the space 19 is formed between the rear end surface of the seat frame 7 and the front end surface of the back body 6 above the base 3.
Then, as shown in FIGS. 3, HA and HB, the seat body 16 placed on the upper surface of the seat frame 7 is rotated backward about the connecting portion between the connecting piece 18 provided on the lower surface of the seat body 16 and the arm 14 of the support body 13. Thus, the rear end portion in the fore-and-aft direction is inserted in the space 19 and the seat body is raised substantially vertically. As a result, the upper surface of the seat frame 7 is opened and the massage unit 2 housed therein is exposed, as shown in FIG. 3.
In this time, the upper ends of the arms 14 provided on the support bodies 13 and connected to the connecting pieces 18 at the lower surface of the seat body 16 are projected out of the seat frame 7 through the slits 21 formed in both end portions in the width direction of at the rear end of the seat frame 7.
Therefore, the rear end portion of the seat body 16 can be inserted in the space 19 and the seat body can be rotated to rise substantially vertically.
When the seat body 16 is raised vertically, the back body 6 is inserted between the paired armrests 17. Thus, since the upper surface of the seat body 16 and the front surface of the back body 6 can be fully close to each other, the dimension in the fore-and-aft direction of the sofa 1 in its entirety can be
prevented from being increased by the armrests 17 when the seat body 16 is raised.
Thus, when the upper surface of the seat frame 7 is opened, the operating wire 49 is pulled to raise the first rise and fall portion 28 of the massage unit 2 at an angle, as shown in FIG. 4. Then, the user sits on the massage unit 2, leans against the first rise and fall portion 28, and operates the roller unit 70 by operating the remote controller 93. As a result, the roller unit 70 is reciprocated along the longitudinal direction of the first rise and fall portion 28, so that the back of the upper body of the user is
massaged.
After using the massage unit 2, following the aforementioned steps in reverse, the first rise and fall portion 28 is laid horizontally, then, the seat body 16 is rotated from the vertical state to the horizontal state, and thereafter the seat frame 7 is moved in the retracting direction to close the upper opening of the seat frame 7 with the seat body 16.
Thus, the sofa 1 can be used in the state as shown in FIG. 1.
As described above, with the sofa 1 of the above configuration, when the massage unit 2 is to be used from the state the sofa 1 is utilized, the seat frame 7 is moved frontward, then the seat body 16 in the horizontal state is rotated backward to be raised vertically, and thereafter, the "rear end portion of the seat body 16 is inserted in the space 19 between the seat frame 7 and the back body 6.
Therefore, the converting operation to use the massage unit 2 can be performed easily and quickly. In addition, since the seat body 16 removed from the upper surface of the seat frame 7 is accommodated between the seat frame 7 and the back body 6 in the raised state, the seat body 16 cannot be an obstacle.
When the sofa 1 is utilized, the seat body 16 is laid on the upper surface of the seat frame 7. Thus, since the massage unit 2 housed in the seat frame 7 is not exposed at all, the sofa 1 looks substantially like a normal sofa and is attractive in terms of design.
In the above embodiment, the massage rollers that reciprocate in the width direction of the sofa are used in the massage unit. However, a massage unit of a type of massaging the user with vibrators can be used instead of the type of reciprocating the massage rollers .
Industrial Applicability
According to this invention, the seat body is placed on the surface of the seat frame incorporating the massage unit, and the seat body is rotated to the back body side and inserted between the seat frame and the back body.

Therefore, when the sofa function is used, the performance of the sofa is maintained by the seat body, and the appearance is substantially the same as that of the normal sofas. Moreover, when the massage unit is utilized, since the seat body removed from the upper surface of the seat frame is accommodated between the back body and the seat frame, storage space is not required.