Wheel chair abstract
A wheel chair having four spaced apart surface support wheels positioned
on each corner of a rectangular platform in which a person rides
is readily convertible to a walker which supports a person walking
therebehind which has a triangular support platform with two spaced
apart wheels at the rear and two closely positioned wheels acting
effectively as a single dual wheel at the front thereof. The front
portion of the rectangular platform of the wheel chair folds together
to form the walker triangular support platform. The seat platform
of the wheel chair is flexible and folds up at the front when the
device is in its walker configuration. A Velcro type strap closes
the front of the folded seat at the fold to provide a closed container
for carrying items.
Wheel chair claims
What is claimed is:
1. A convertible wheel chair/walker device comprising: a pair of
side members having a seat supported therebetween, a pair of upright
members, means for connecting a rearward end of each side member
to a respective one of said upright members while permitting rotational
movement of said side member relative to said upright member, front
releasable locking bar means interconnecting forwards ends of said
side members, rear releasable locking bar means interconnecting
said upright members, a pair of front wheels attached to forward
ends of said side members, and a pair of rear wheels attached to
lower ends of said upright members, wherein said device is convertible
between a wheel chair mode in which said side members are locked
in a laterally spaced parallel position by said front and rear locking
bar means, a walker mode in which said front locking bar means is
released and said side members have been pivoted to bring said front
wheels into close proximity while said upright members are locked
in said laterally spaced position to form a triangular configuration,
and a collapsed mode in which said front and rear locking bar means
are released to permit said side members to be in close proximity.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein the front wheels
are independently directionally pivotable.
3. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein each of the rear
wheels are fixed in directional rotation.
4. The invention as defined in claim 1, further comprising means
attachable to bottom portions of said seat when said device is in
said walker mode.
5. The invention as defined in claim 1 further comprising braking
means for braking the rotation of the rear wheels.
6. The invention as defined in claim 1 further comprising height
adjustable handle means on each of said upright members.
Wheel chair description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention is directed to a device for conversion from a wheel
chair to a walker for the disabled and more particularly for converting
a conventional rectangular platform wheel chair into a triangular
platform walker with a steerable front wheel pair acting as a single
Lillian L. Vingard et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,759,562 issued Jul. 26,
1988 teaches a kit for converting a wheel chair into a walker. The
kit includes loose parts that can be inadvertently lost or misplaced
when the device is in one or the other configuration. A basic rectangular
platform with corner wheels is used for both the wheel chair and
U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,506,900 and 4,453,729 teach generally conventional
rectangular platform wheel chairs with a wheel on each corner of
U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,159,110 and 4,307,715 teach walker devices with
a triangular base support with a wheel on each point of the triangle.
None of the prior art references teach a conversion from a conventional
rectangular support wheel chair with a wheel at each corner of the
rectangle to a conventional triangular support walker with a wheel
or wheels at each of the three corners of the triangle until the
emergence of the instant invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention is directed to a patient transport device which can
be readily converted between a conventional four wheel rectangular
support platform patient support wheel chair to a conventional three
wheel triangular support platform patient walker.
The device of the instant invention in the wheel chair configuration
has four spaced apart wheels, two in the normal front portion of
the wheel chair which pivot relative to the wheel chair and two
at the normal rear portion of the wheel chair which are fixed in
position relative to a wheel chair forward direction. The pivotal
front wheel attachments allows the wheel chair to be turned about
the rear wheels in a conventional expected manner.
Frame upright members with handles for grasping by a person pushing
the device in a wheel chair configuration or by a person using the
device as a walker at the distal ends thereof and the fixed in position
rear wheels at the lower or opposite ends thereof. An upper and
lower frame member are fixedly attached between the two spaced apart
handles. Extending toward the front of the device from the two spaced
apart frame upright members and pivotable attached thereto are a
pair of combination frame and patient arm support members. The pair
of combination frame and patient arm support members extend downward
at the front thereof and are pivotly attached at their front bottom
surface to the forward wheels. Positioned between the two combination
frame and patient arm support members is a frame cross member which
is pivotly connected at each distal end to a combination frame and
patient arm support member. The frame cross piece is formed of two
halves. A centrally positioned interconnecting pivot connects the
two halves together and allows the frame cross piece to fold upwardly
or inwardly depending on the position of the pivot. When the two
halves of the cross piece are pivoted the combination frame and
patient arm support members pivot toward each other at the front
which brings the two front most wheels together where they act as
a single duel wheel. Thus the rectangular platform of the wheel
chair configuration (with four spaced apart wheels on each corner
thereof) forms a rectangular platform is easily converted to the
triangular platform of the walker configuration with the two rear
wheels spaced apart and the front two wheels centrally positioned
together and acting as a single duel wheel.
The frame upright members are telescopic to provide height adjustment
to the handles and to provide compactness when in a non-use configuration
and conventional brakes on the rear wheels are provided that are
operable from the handles.
When in the walker configuration the patient seat acts as a container
for articles. A Velcro attached strap seals or closes the open forward
end of the seat to prevent articles from falling from the normally
open front of the folded seat.
An object of this invention is to provide a combined convertible
wheel chair and walker which is simple to convert between either
use by a person of limited physical strength.
Another object of this invention is to provide a combined convertible
wheel chair and walker which has no or minimal removable parts to
accomplish the conversion to either configuration.
Another object of this invention is to provide a combined convertible
wheel chair and walker which when in a wheel chair configuration
has a rectangular wheel supported base and when in the walker configuration
has a steerable triangular wheel supported base with a pair of positioned
together pivotal wheels in the front thereof.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a container
for holding articles when the device is in the walker configuration.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention
will become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering
the following detailed specification in which the preferred embodiment
is described in conjunction with the accompanying drawing Figure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. is a front perspective of the wheel clair/walker of the present
FIG. 2 is a side view of the wheel chair/walker of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a section of the wheel chair/walker upright support and
patient handle attachment thereto;
FIG. 4 is a top plan showing depicting the wheel chair/walker of
FIG. 1 in a wheel chair configuration.
FIG. 5 is a top plan showing depicting the wheel chair/walker of
FIG. 1 in a walker configuration;
FIG. 6 is a front view of a portion of the wheel chair/walker in
a walker configuration;
FIG. 7 is a showing of the rear of the wheel chair/walker in the
wheel chair configuration;
FIG. 8 is a showing of the front of the wheel chair/walker in the
wheel chair configuration; and
FIG. 9 shows the wheel chair/walker in a stowed or folded configuration.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to the drawing Figures, drawing FIG. 1 depicts a
perspective showing of the combination wheel chair/walker device
10. In the wheel chair configuration as shown in drawing FIGS. 1,
2, 4, 7 and 8, a four wheel supported platform 12 which forms a
rectangle support base with a wheel 14 at each corner thereof. The
rear wheels are fixedly secured to uprights 16 and are fixed in
a forward rotational direction. The front wheels are pivtoly secured
to uprights 18 to allow for their independent relative directional
rotation. A bar 20 comprised of two elements 22 and 24 which are
pivotly attached at 23 to the uprights 18 at one end and pivotly
attached to each other at there other end. An optional crosspiece
25 may be removably attached to the upper end of uprights 16 adjacent
to the handles as required for device horizontal stability directed
by the users weight. The cross piece 25 can be either removed by
removing the handles and lifting upwardly or can be circumferentially
latched at one or both ends for partial or complete removal. The
crosspiece 25 must be removed from the upright 16 on at least one
end to place the wheel chair/walker in the FIG. 9 stowed configuration.
The cross piece 25 can also take the same configuration as cross
piece 22 and fold rather than be at least partially disconnected
from the uprights. Once the cross pieces 22, 24 are positioned as
shown in FIG. 1, they are locked at their pivotal connection to
each other to prevent inadvertently folding together as shown in
drawing FIG. 9 by a slide lock clip 26 slidingly carried by one
of the cross pieces 22, 24. The lock clip is slidable over the inner
distal ends of the cross pieces to hold them along a straight horizontal
plane and can be slid away from the distal end of one of the cross
pieces for folding of the arms 22, 24, as shown in drawing FIG.
9. The two cross pieces 22, 24 are shown foldable toward each other
in an upward manner. It should be understood that the two cross
pieces can be made to fold in any suitable direction to practice
The uprights 18 form patient arm rests 28 for the wheel chair and
support bars 19. The arm rests and bars are pivotly connected to
the uprights 16 through support members 30, see drawing FIGS. 1
and 3. Support members 30 are held between fixed lock nut bushing
and adjustable lock nut bushing 36 and are rotatable relative to
the attached uprights 16.
A seat 32 for the wheel chair extends between the opposed support
members 30 and bars 19.
A back support 33 extends between the uprights 16. The seat and
back support are constructed of a flexible material such as for
example, plastic, leather, cloth or the like suitable for the purpose
intended. The lower portion of the seat back is fixedly attached
around each upright 16 and the upper portion of the seat back is
removably attached around the extensions 34 by connector 17, see
drawing FIG. 7. The attachment of the seat back allows for positioning
with handle height adjustment, allows for ease of bar 25 removal
and the folding of the device into its non-use configuration.
Extension 34 telescopes into upright 16 which allows for elevation
adjustment of the handle 37 which telescope relative to extension
34. The lock nut bushing 36 when tightened locks the telescopic
portions at a selected elevation and provides the upper bushing
for support 30.
The handle 37 on each side of the convertible wheel chair/walker
10 includes a brake lever 38 which includes an actuation cable 35
which extends to the rear fixed in direction wheels for breaking
the rotation thereof. The brakes work in a conventional manner by
squeezing the lever 38 toward the handle 37 causing inner wire of
cable 35 to pull the braking surface 39 of brake lever 40 against
the outer wheel surface 41 wheel surface against the bias of spring
42 which normally biases the brake in an off position. When the
brake lever is released the spring returns the brake its off position.
The brakes can be maintained in a brake condition which is easily
releasable as is well known in the hand brake art.
In operation, as a wheel chair, both of the cross pieces 20 have
segments 22, 24 locked in the FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 inline positions
as are the uprights 18 and the support members 30.
In operation as a walker, as shown in drawing FIGS. 5 and 6, the
front cross piece 20's segments 22, 24 are folded toward each other
causing the uprights 18 to come together at the front of the device
placing the two front wheels 14 together and operable as a single
A Velcro fastener strap 44 is secured between the bottoms of the
folded seat on each side thereof to seal off or close the gap formed
by the folded seat to provide a item or article carrying pocket.
While specific embodiments of the convertible wheel chair/walker
has been shown and fully explained above for the purpose of illustration
it should be understood that many alterations, modifications and
substitutions may be made to the instant invention disclosure without
departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined
by the appended claims.