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Title:
ACCESSORY DEVICE FOR A MOTORIZED TWO-WHEELED VEHICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/070658
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An accessory device (10) removably mountable on a two-wheel motorized vehicle, e.g. an electric bicycle (6), is described the vehicle being equipped with an electric motor (M) to assist or carry out the propulsion of the vehicle and a first electronic circuit (98) configured to process data contained in a wireless signal, the device (10) comprising: a portion shaped for the removable attachment to the vehicle, a second electronic circuit (40) that is configured to process data contained in a wireless signal, and compatible with the first electronic circuit (98) of the vehicle to transfer data from one electronic circuit to another, an electronic processor (U2) configured for controlling the second electronic circuit (40) so as to establish a wireless data channel, via a wireless signal, between the first and the second electronic circuit.

Inventors:
VIANELLO BRUNO (IT)
Application Number:
IB2019/058373
Publication Date:
April 09, 2020
Filing Date:
October 02, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TEXA SPA (IT)
International Classes:
B62H5/20; B60R25/102; B60R25/32; B60R25/10; B62J99/00
Foreign References:
KR20110062667A2011-06-10
US20130231810A12013-09-05
US10040509B12018-08-07
US20180154980A12018-06-07
US20170113747A12017-04-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CITRON, Massimiliano (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Accessory device (10) removably mountable on a two-wheel motorized vehicle, e.g. an electric bicycle (6),

the vehicle being equipped with

an electric motor (M) to assist or carry out the propulsion of the vehicle and

a first electronic circuit (98) configured to process data contained in a wireless signal,

the device (10) comprising:

a portion shaped for the removable attachment to the vehicle,

a second electronic circuit (40) that is

configured to process data contained in a wireless signal, and

compatible with the first electronic circuit (98) of the vehicle to transfer data from one electronic circuit to another,

an electronic processor (U2) configured for

controlling the second electronic circuit (40) so as to establish a wireless data channel, via a wireless signal, between the first and the second electronic circuit.

2. Device according to claim 1, wherein the data channel between the first and second electronic circuits is unidirectional, and

the second electronic circuit (98) is configured to only receive data from the first electronic circuit (40).

3. Device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the processor is configured for discerning a signal sent from the first electronic circuit and received from the second electronic circuit, and

executing instructions according to the received signal.

4. Device according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the processor is configured to react to the prolonged loss of the signal emitted by the first electronic circuit.

5. Device according to claim 2 or 3 or 4, wherein the second electronic circuit is configured to receive from the first electronic circuit a dedicated signal indicating an attempted theft of the vehicle, and

the processor is configured to respond to the dedicated signal by activating an alarm signal.

6. Device according to claim 5, comprising a sound generator, and / or

a light signal generator and / or

a vibration generator

for generating said alarm signal.

7. Device according to claim 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6, wherein the processor is configured to monitor said dedicated signal generated by the first electronic circuit as soon as the accessory device is detached or moved away from the vehicle.

8. Device according to any one of the previous claims, comprising a display for displaying data or information.

9. System comprising:

a two-wheel motorized vehicle (6), e.g. a power-assisted bike, and

an accessory ( 10), which can be coupled thereto, according to any one of the preceding claims.

10. Anti-theft method for a two-wheeled motorized vehicle (6) equipped with an accessory ( 10) which can be mounted removably on the vehicle and with the features according to any one of the previous claims,

with the steps of

detecting a potential theft condition in the vehicle when stationary and without the accessory installed,

sending a wireless alarm signal from the vehicle (6) to the accessory ( 10), and

following the reception of the alarm signal in the accessory ( 10), making the accessory ( 10) emit an alarm that can be interpreted by a user.

Description:
ACCESSORY DEVICE FOR A MOTORIZED TWO-WHEELED VEHICLE

The present invention refers generically to an electronic accessory device for a motorized two-wheeled vehicle, such as a Segway or, more preferably, an electric bicycle or other light vehicle equipped with a propulsion system or assistance to propulsion that for feature and functionality can benefit from the accessory disclosed. The device, in a preferred example, is capable of displaying data or information on board the vehicle.

Today's power-assisted electric bicycles are sophisticated devices and managed by electronic control units. They also commonly have display devices to inform the rider with data about the route, the path, the state of the bicycle or the rider.

Almost always the display devices are mounted on the handlebar, and in removable manner to be removed when the bike is parked unattended. Unfortunately, electric power-assisted bicycles are expensive, and theft attempts incessant for their accessories too.

The known accessories of the aforementioned type remain inactive once they have been detached from the bicycle.

The main object of the invention is to improve the known accessory devices of the aforementioned type.

Another object of the invention is to provide an accessory device of the aforesaid type, in particular a display device, which has more functionality, including in particular the implementation of an anti-theft system.

These and other objects are achieved by a device, applicable e.g. to power- assisted bicycles, according to claim 1; other advantageous technical characteristics are defined in the dependent claims.

The device is a removable accessory that can be mounted on a motorized two-wheeled vehicle, e.g. an electric bicycle,

the vehicle being equipped with

an electric motor to assist or carry out the vehicle's propulsion and a first electronic circuit configured to process data contained in a wireless signal (or able to transfer data wirelessly),

the device comprising:

a portion shaped for the removable attachment to the vehicle, a second electronic circuit that is configured to process data contained in a wireless signal (or able to transfer data wirelessly), and which is compatible with the vehicle's first electronic circuit in order to transfer data from one electronic circuit to another,

an electronic processor (for example a programmable microprocessor or programmed to perform the actions defined for this electronic circuit) configured for

controlling the second electronic circuit so as to establish a wireless data channel, via a wireless signal, between the first and second electronic circuit (i.e. between the device and the vehicle).

In this way the accessory separated from the vehicle is no longer an inactive object, but remains connected via wireless means (e.g. radio), e.g. to the electronic control unit of the bicycle, thereby being able to perform new functions.

The data transfer or channel between the first and second electronic circuit can be unidirectional or bidirectional.

In the first case, only the first electronic circuit is configured to send data to the second electronic circuit or vice versa.

Thus, the first electronic circuit can be an electromagnetic wave transmitter and the second electronic circuit an electromagnetic wave receiver, for example in Bluetooth® technology. Then the processor of the device is configured for

discerning a signal sent by the transmitter and received by the receiver, and

executing instructions according to the received signal.

In particular, the accessory separated from the vehicle can receive data from the vehicle and behave accordingly, e.g. to present the data on a display.

Or the first electronic circuit can be an electromagnetic wave transmitter and the second electronic circuit an electromagnetic wave receiver. Then the device’s processor is configured for processing a signal and transmit it to the receiver by driving the transmitter.

In particular, the accessory separated from the vehicle can communicate data with the intelligence on board the vehicle and behave accordingly, e.g. the user can act remotely on the vehicle. To increase functionality, preferably the communication between the accessory device and the vehicle is of the bidirectional type, that is they comprise an electromagnetic wave transceiver, e.g. a wireless radio or GSM or WI-FI or Bluetooth® or infrared transceiver.

The accessory’s functions are expanded in the preferred variant in which the accessory device comprises a display for displaying data or information. In particular, the display consists of a touch-screen, to avoid buttons on the device and to provide a control surface to enter commands.

When the accessory is mounted on the vehicle, the display can e.g. be driven by the processor of the device, and/or so as to display the speed of the vehicle and/or to display the remaining charge of its battery and/or an external battery, which feeds an electric motor that propels the vehicle on the ground. In particular, the device advantageously maintains the capacity of displaying the remaining charge even when it is disconnected from the vehicle.

When the accessory is removed from the vehicle, preferably the display can be driven by the device's processor to display the current time. This function is advantageous to exploit the accessory away from the vehicle, like a watch, in particular if it is applied to a wearable support, like a strap or necklace.

To simplify the data transmission and management of the vehicle, it preferably comprises an electronic processor (for example a programmable microprocessor or programmed to perform the actions defined for this electronic circuit) configured to manage the speed of the electric motor and the data transfer via the first electronic circuit.

The accessory detached from the vehicle can e.g. have an advantageous function, i.e. to signal an excessive distance from the vehicle. It is enough that the second circuit or processor of the accessory device is configured for reacting, e.g. by emitting or generating an alarm signal, at the prolonged loss of the signal emitted by said transmitter or first electronic circuit.

Preferably the attachment portion (e.g. to the handlebar) of the accessory comprises non-permanent fixing means, such as e.g. Veltro®, magnets or portions interlocking with a receiving element mounted on the vehicle. The non-permanent fixing means present on the accessory are useful, for example, also to attach the accessory to other objects, such as a strap to wear on the wrist, a backpack, another part of the bicycle or a necklace.

Preferably the accessory and the receiving element mounted on the vehicle can be joined together along respective complementary surfaces, on which e.g. said non-permanent mutual fastening means may be present. Preferably said portion for attachment to the handlebar comprises a ring or clamp that can be clamped around or on the handlebar, for facilitating installation on the bicycle.

Preferably the accessory comprises on board an independent battery with which it is electrically powered. In this variant, preferably the accessory comprises a power-supply socket for recharging the battery or by which it can be recharged by a battery. As a variant to power itself and/or recharge its battery, the accessory can also comprise on board a photovoltaic panel or a high capacity capacitor.

The accessory detached from the vehicle may have an advantageous function, i.e. to be an anti-theft alarm.

Its receiver may be configured to receive from the transmitter of the vehicle a dedicated signal indicating an attempted theft, and the processor of the device is configured to respond to this dedicated signal by activating an alarm signal. The alarm signal can be generated e.g. from a means installed on board the accessory device, such as e.g. a sound generator, and/or a light signal generator and/or a generator of vibrations.

Preferably the processor of the accessory device is advantageously configured to monitor said dedicated signal generated by the vehicle transmitter as soon as the accessory device is detached or moved away from the vehicle. The processor of the circuit accessory device may e.g. be configured to distinguish the condition of accessory detached or moved away from the vehicle via a proximity or mechanical sensor or an accelerometer (comprised in the accessory device), or simply by detecting the electrical disconnection between electrical terminals, which before were connected, between the portion shaped for removable attachment to the electric vehicle and the vehicle.

The dedicated signal indicating an attempted theft is e.g.. generated by the first circuit when it detects a signal from a motion, proximity or acceleration sensor (an accelerometer) mounted on the vehicle. It is well understood that if the vehicle is parked and stationary, every detected movement thereof is suspect.

Another aspect of the invention concerns a system comprising

a motorized two-wheeled vehicle, e.g. a power-assisted (electric) bicycle, and the aforesaid accessory couplable thereto, in one or each of the variants defined here for both.

Another aspect of the invention concerns an anti-theft method for said motorized two-wheeled vehicle which is equipped with said accessory mountable removably on the vehicle, with the steps of

- detecting a potential theft condition (e.g. a vibration or acceleration of the vehicle) in the vehicle when parked and without the accessory installed

- sending from the vehicle a wireless alarm signal to the accessory, and

- following the reception of the alarm signal at the accessory, causing the accessory to emit a warning or alarm that can be interpreted by a user (e.g. displaying a message and / or making a sound) .

In the method all the variants defined above for the vehicle and/or accessory can be used, alone or in combination.

Further advantages will be clear from the following description, which refers to a preferred embodiment of an accessory in which:

- figure 1 shows a three-dimensional view of the accessory mounted on a bicycle handlebar;

- figure 2 shows a block diagram of a system formed by the accessory and the bicycle.

The accessory 10 can be attached to the handlebar 8 of a bicycle 6 via a reception element 90.

The bicycle 6 is equipped with (see diagram in fig. 2) an electric motor M, for assisting the pedalling, and an electromagnetic-waves transmitter, both managed by an electronic circuit U 1 (e.g. microprocessor-based).

The arrows in figure 2 indicate connection for a preferred data and/or command flow, while the "waves" S I and S2 indicate wireless signals.

The reception element 90 is formed e.g. by a ring or clamp 92 that can be tightened around the handlebar 8. The reception element 90 can be also structured in other ways, e.g. with adhesives, magnets or single screws. A part of the ring or clamp 92 forms an almost flat surface, complementary to the lower surface of the accessory 10. The almost flat surface and the lower surface can be overlapped and acts as a positional reference for the joining between the reception element 90 and the accessory 10. These two pieces are joined when the accessory 10 works on and for the bicycle 6, or may remain separated when the accessory 10 is working independently, away from the bicycle 6.

The bicycle 6 also comprises a motion sensor, e.g. an accelerometer.

At the center of the accessory 10 there is a display 20 to display data. The display 20 is driven by an electronic circuit U2 and preferably is a touch screen.

The accessory 10 also comprises an electromagnetic wave receiver 40 capable of receiving a signal S I emitted by a compatible transmitter device 98 on board the bicycle 6. In particular the receiver 40 and the transmitter 98 are Bluetooth® transceivers.

The electronic circuit U2 (e.g. microprocessor-based) is connected to the display 20 and to the receiver 40, to control them.

When the accessory 10 is attached to the element 90, it works in known manner for displaying data relating to the bicycle 6 and/or the route.

When the accessory 10 is detached from the bicycle 6, the electronic circuit U2 detects this condition and goes into a specific operation mode, e.g. displaying the time of day on the display 20. Thus, the detached accessory 10 performs functions and has a usefulness that survive the detachment from the bicycle 6.

An advantageous specific operation mode, permitted by the communication between the receiver 40 and the transmitter 98 after the detachment from the bicycle 6, occurs if the accessory 10 functions as an anomaly or danger indicator.

In this variant, the receiver 40 is configured to receive from the transmitter 98 a signal indicative of the anomaly or danger, such as an attempted theft. The circuit U2 interprets the received signal and drives the display 20 to issue an alarm signal, so the user can react promptly.

E.g. the anomaly and danger signal is emitted by an accelerometer, present on the bicycle 6, which is configured to emit a signal during a period of presumed parking in the absence of the owner. The convenience that the owner knows if his bicycle 6 is moving without his knowledge, is glaring.

Moreover or alternatively, the electronic circuit U2 is configured to detect the alleged theft signal with the receiver 40 and activate a different alarm signal, e.g. a sound or a vibration.

In a variant of two-way communication, via the accessory 10 the user can also remotely send commands to the bicycle 6 via the radio channel established between a transceiver 40 and a transceiver 98. In this case it will be the circuit U 1 that will decode the signals emitted by the transceiver 40 and received by the transceiver 98, from which to extract the commands and execute them on the bicycle 6.

Note that it is also possible a variant in which the device 10 can only transmit and the means in the bicycle 6 can only receive.

In a variant the transceiver 40 can receive a command signal from a smartphone 70.