Wheel chair abstract
A leveraged hand propeller and brake assembly for a wheel chair
is described including on each wheel at least one main brace/propeller
arm provided with a handle and a tire engaging gripper to rotate
the wheel for forward motion and at least one brake arm provided
with a brake handle at one end and a brake plug at the other and
pivotally connected therebetween to the main brace/propeller arm
assembly whereby squeezing of the propeller handle and brake handle
together applies braking action to the wheel chair tire. The main
brace is provided with an angled flange to limit movement between
the propeller arm and the brace to a given angle.
Wheel chair claims
1. A hand propeller for a wheel tire mounted on a wheel axle of
a wheel chair comprising, in combination:
at least one main brace having a first end and a second end and
an opening adjacent said first end for rotatable attachment to the
wheel axle of the wheel chair,
at least one propeller lever arm having a first end and a second
end, said lever arm first end pivotally connected to said second
end of said main brace,
a first propeller handle connected to said second end of said lever
a first elongate tire gripper having its first end connected at
the connection between said main brace and said propeller arm and
a second end,
first means biasing the second end of said gripper away from said
at least one brake arm having first and second ends, said brake
arm first end connected to a brake handle and said brake arm second
end connected to a brake plug, said brake arm pivotally connected
in between its ends to at least one of said tire gripper and said
whereby levered advancement of said propeller arm causes said gripper
to engage and rotatably advance the wheel tire and whereby clamping
together of said propeller handle and said brake handle causes the
brake plug to engage and stop rotation of the wheel tire.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said first end of said tire
gripper is connected to said main brace and said propeller arm at
the pivotal connection therebetween.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said brake arm and said propeller
lever arm are pivotally connected together and to said tire gripper
at the other end of said tire gripper.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said propeller lever arm includes
an angled flange on the second end thereof limiting movement between
said propeller arm and said brace to a given angle.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 including stop brackets connected to
the frame of the wheel chair limiting rotational movement of said
combination main brace and propeller arm.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 including a second main brace, a second
propeller lever arm, a second propeller handle, a second tire gripper,
a second biasing means and a second brake arm all connected together
as said one brace, said one lever arm, said first propeller handle,
said first tire gripper, said first biasing means and said one brake
arm for propelling and braking a second wheel of the wheel chair.
7. A hand propeller for a wheel tire mounted on a wheel axle on
a frame of a wheel chair comprising, in combination:
a pair of first main braces, each main brace having a first end
and a second end and an opening adjacent said first end for rotatable
attachment to the wheel axle of the wheel chair on opposite sides
of the wheel and each main brace having an angled flange on said
a pair of first propeller lever arms each having a first end and
a second end, each said lever arm first end pivotally connected
to a said second end of one of said main braces with said angled
flange limiting movement between each lever arm and the brace pivotally
connected thereto to a given angle, the second ends of said lever
arms spaced apart and connected to a first propeller handle extending
an elongate first tire gripper having its first end connected at
the connection between said second ends of said main braces and
said first ends of said propeller arms and a second end,
at least one first propeller bracket having one end thereof pivotally
connected to at least one of said lever arms and the other end thereof
pivotally connected to said second end of said tire gripper,
a pair of first brake arms having first and second ends, said brake
arm first ends spaced apart and connected to a brake handle extending
therebetween and said brake arm second ends connected to a brake
plug extending therebetween, said brake arm pivotally connected
in between said first and second ends to at least one of said tire
gripper and said propeller bracket,
whereby levered advancement of said propeller arms causes said
gripper to engage and rotatably advance the wheel tire and whereby
clamping together of said propeller handle and said brake handle
causes the brake plug to engage and stop rotation of the wheel tire.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said first end of said tire
gripper is connected to said main braces and said propeller arms
at the pivotal connection therebetween.
9. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said brake arms and said propeller
bracket are pivotally connected together and to said tire gripper
at said second end of said tire gripper.
10. The apparatus of claim 7 including stop brackets connected
to the frame of the wheel chair limiting rotational movement of
said combination main braces and propeller arms.
11. The apparatus of claim 7 including a pair of second main braces,
a pair of second propeller lever arms, a second propeller handle,
a second tire gripper, a second propeller bracket and a pair of
second brake arms connected together as said first main braces,
said first propeller lever arms, said first propeller handle, said
first tire gripper, said first propeller bracket and said pair of
first brake arms for propelling and braking a second wheel of the
Wheel chair description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates in general to wheel chairs and in particular
to hand levers designed to move and stop a wheel chair by the occupant
2. Description of Related Art
The presently used device for moving a manually-operated wheel
chair by the occupant is a metal one-half inch circular ring projecting
out from the wheel. This is a narrow hand gripping device used to
propel the wheel chair and is an improvement over gripping a dirty
tire to turn the wheels.
The smaller gripping edge used on conventional wheel chairs is
hard on hands and provides very week propulsion, with a great deal
In addition, U.S. Pat. No. 3,189,368 to J. F. Peterson discloses
a driver attachment with a pivotally connected handle assembly for
a wheel chair. U.S. Pat. No. 3,301,574 to D. T. Good shows a propelling
arrangement including a U-shaped main lever to which is connected
a driving lever 34 and with a separate brake handle mounted behind
the wheel. U.S. Pat. No. 4,538,826 to R. Lemarie discloses a pair
of arms rotatably mounted on a wheel chair axle and a handle operated
caliper assembly mounted on the arms to engage the wheels, and U.S.
Pat. No. 4,735,431 to R. E. Tait discloses a pair of normal horizontally
mounted handles which are pivotally mounted for up and down movement
to drive a clutch connected to the drive wheels.
The object of my invention is to provide leverage for greater movement,
more power and less effort to propel a wheel chair along with the
convenience of propelling handles along with a braking device next
to the propelling handle, giving the occupant of the wheel chair
improved stopping and turning control.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Broadly stated, the present invention is directed to a hand propeller
for a wheel chair constructed in the form of a pair of main braces
rotatably mountable on the wheel chair axles on opposite sides of
the wheel and rotatably interconnected with one of the ends of a
pair of propeller lever arms, the opposite spaced apart ends of
which are connected together by a handle. An elongate tire gripper
is pivotally connected to the main brace/lever arm combinations,
preferably at the pivotal connection therebetween with the other
end of the tire gripper projecting at an angle toward the tire and
held at the angle and spaced from the lever arms by at least one
propeller bracket. A pair of brake arms are provided which have
a handle pivotally connected between one end of the brake arms,
a braking plug pivotally connected between the opposite ends of
the brake arms and a pivotal connection along the length of the
brake arms with the tire gripper such that in normal operation the
propeller handle is spaced forwardly of the propeller handle and
the brake plug is clear of the wheel tire.
By pushing the propeller lever handle forward, the tire gripper
pushes against the tire and thus moves the wheel chair forward.
When the occupant pulls back on the handle, the propeller levers
rotate relative to the main braces to release the tire gripper from
engagement with the wheel allowing the occupant to pull the handle
back free from tire engagement to repeat the forward pushing motion.
The occupant by reaching his or her fingers from the propeller
handle to the brake handle and squeezing the two handles together
forces the brake plug against the tire enabling the occupant to
stop or turn the wheel chair. When the handles are not being pressed
forward or squeezed together, the propelling lever is disengaged
and the wheels are free to move.
In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the
propeller lever arms and main braces are prevented from rotating
relative to one another beyond a given angle at which the tire gripper
is clear of engagement with the wheel. When the propeller arms are
pushed forward by the handle, the gripper engages the tire.
The present invention has the advantage of providing more leverage
and ease of propulsion and braking than the circular ring in current
use or the prior art lever devices.
Travelling in a wheel chair equipped with the invention is made
faster and easier for the occupant. A wheel chair equipped with
this invention will travel faster than a person walking and require
less effort to move than the circular ring model by reason of the
lever action on the wheels.
Another advantage of my invention is that the upright handles provide
a comfortable gripping device for propelling the wheel chair.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a protruding
stop bracket is attached to the back rest of the chair and to the
forwardly projecting seat support to limit the rotational position
of the propelling handles to keep the propelling handles in easy
reach of the occupant.
Various features and advantages of the present invention will become
more apparent on a perusal of the following specification taken
in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein similar characters
are referenced to similar elements in each of the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the propelling and braking
apparatus of the present invention with the propeller and braking
handles in disengaged position.
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the structure shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the portion of the structure shown
in FIG. 2 delineated by line 33.
FIG. 4 is a view of a portion of the structure shown in FIG. 1
illustrating action of the assembly to propel the wheel tire.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating action of the assembly
to brake movement of the tire.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to the drawing with particular reference to FIGS.
1-3 , there is shown the leveraged hand propeller assembly 10 in
accordance with this invention attached to a conventional wheel
chair 2. The wheel chair 2 has the standard main frame and back
member 3 to which is mounted a pair of wheels 4 with tires 5 via
axles 6 and a seat support member 7 and an arm and arm rest 8.
The hand propeller assemblies 10, one of which is provided on each
of the wheels, includes a main brace 12, such as of aluminum, which
is freely rotatably mounted through an opening 16 at its lower end
14 on a bushing 18 on the wheel axle 5 between a pair of washers
20. The upper end 22 of each of the braces 12 is provided with an
aperture 30 for rotatably mounting a pair of propeller arms 26,
such as of aluminum, and also a tire gripper or plug 36, such as
of roughened, medium flexible rubber. Apertures are provided through
one end 28 of each of the lever arms 26 and through one end 38 of
the gripper 36 so that a bolt 42 passes through the apertures 30
in the braces 12 on the outside, then through the apertures in the
lever arms 26 inwardly of the braces 12 and then through the gripper
36 between the lever arms. The upper ends of the braces 12 are provided
with an angular flange 24 which limits the degree of relative rotation
of the lever arms 26 and braces 12 in the upward or counterclockwise
direction around the bolt 42.
The other or upper end 32 of each of the lever arms 26 is bent
in a direction away from the wheel chair so as to clear the arm
rest 7, and the free upper ends 32 of lever arms 26 are connected
together via a bolt which extends through the openings 34 and a
cylindrical propeller handle 46 positioned between the arms 26.
Each of a pair of propeller bracket 52 is connected at its upper
end to one of the lever arms 26 and at its lower end to the free,
forward or downward end 40 of the gripper 36 via the bolt 54.
A pair of brake arms 56, each angled substantially midway thereof,
are also positioned inbetween the propeller brackets 55 and pivotally
connected via bolt 54 to the lower end of the gripper 36. The forward
ends 58 of the brake arms 56 are connected together with a handle
59 therebetween, and the reward ends 60 of the brake arms are connected
together with a brake plug 62 therebetween.
In the position shown in FIG. 1, the gripper 36 and the brake plug
62 are free from engagement with the wheel tire. To propel the wheel
chair forward, the occupant grasps and pushes the propeller handle
46 forward which causes the forward or lower end of the gripper
36 to engage and rotate the wheel chair tire 9 forward. When the
occupant pulls back on the propeller handle 46, the gripper 36 is
released from engagement with tire 9 and allows the occupant to
pull the handle back free to repeat the forward levered pushing
For turning and braking, the second and smaller braking handle
59 is typically positioned about two inches forward of the propelling
handle 44. By reaching the occupant's fingers to the braking handle
59 and squeezing the two handles 46 and 49 together, the brake plug
62 is cause to engage the tire 9 and to stop rotation of the wheel.
When the handles 46 and 59 are not being pushed forward or squeezed
together, the propelling lever arm and the brake arms are disengaged
and the wheels are free to move forward or backward.
A stop bracket 54 is mounted from the back frame 3 and another
stop bracket is mounted from the seat support member 7 thereby limiting
the rotational position of the propelling and braking assembly to
the arc between these two bracket stop members.
If desired, a spring or springs can be attached to position the
propelling and braking assembly at the arcuate position between
the stop brackets 64 most convenient for use by the particular occupant.
The terms and expressions which have been employed here are used
as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention,
in the use of such terms and expressions, of excluding equivalence
of the features shown and described, or portions thereof from the
scope of the present invention.