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Title:
FOLDABLE STROLLER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/053409
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A foldable stroller (10) comprising a main frame (12) for supporting a child-receiving device; a rear wheel assembly coupled to the main frame (12), comprising an elongate support leg (20) carrying a rear wheel (32) at a first end, and being pivotally coupled a second end to a first end of said main frame (12); a front wheel assembly comprising front wheels (28); a linear drive mechanism (25) for effecting folding and unfolding of the stroller (10), upon actuation, said linear drive mechanism (25) comprising a linear actuator (24) coupled to a motor and selectively linearly movable by an actuation device (24); and a linkage assembly, coupled between the rear wheel assembly and the main frame (12), said linkage assembly comprising a first link arm (16) pivotally coupled to the support leg (20) at a position along its length and a second link arm (13) pivotally coupled to the main frame (12) at a position along its length, the first (16) and second (13) link arms being connected together by a pivotal joint (18); wherein the linear actuator (24) extends from the front wheel assembly to said pivotal point (18) between said first (16) and second (13) link arms and configured, upon actuation, to move in a direction away from the front wheel assembly to fold the stroller (10) and in a direction toward the front wheel assembly to unfold the stroller (10) for use.

Inventors:
VOTSIS, Christos (869 High Road, London N12 8QA, N12 8QA, GB)
VOTSIS, Josephine (869 High Road, London N12 8QA, N12 8QA, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/052559
Publication Date:
March 21, 2019
Filing Date:
September 10, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DIDOFY LIMITED (869 High Road, London Greater London N12 8QA, N12 8QA, GB)
International Classes:
B62B7/06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STRACHAN, Victoria (Wynne-Jones, Laine & James LLPEssex Place,22 Rodney Road, Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL50 1JJ, GL50 1JJ, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

A foldable stroller comprising:

- a main frame for supporting a child-receiving device;

- a rear wheel assembly coupled to the main frame, comprising an elongate support leg carrying a rear wheel at a first end, and being pivotally coupled a second end to a first end of said main frame;

- a front wheel assembly comprising front wheels;

- a linear drive mechanism for effecting folding and unfolding of the stroller, upon actuation, said linear drive mechanism comprising a linear actuator coupled to a motor and selectively linearly movable by an actuation device; and

- a linkage assembly, coupled between the rear wheel assembly and the main frame, said linkage assembly comprising a first link arm pivotally coupled to the support leg at a position along its length and a second link arm pivotally coupled to the main frame at a position along its length, the first and second link arms being connected together by a pivotal joint; wherein the linear actuator extends from the front wheel assembly to said pivotal point between said first and second link arms and configured, upon actuation, to move in a direction away from the front wheel assembly to fold the stroller and in a direction toward the front wheel assembly to unfold the stroller for use.

2. A stroller according to claim 1 , further comprising a disengagement mechanism between said motor and said linear actuator configured to selectively disengage said linear actuator, for selectively manually folding and unfolding said stroller frame, in use.

3. A stroller according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein said front wheels are pivotally connected to said front wheel assembly by a pivot hinge configured to allow said front wheels to pivot toward and away from said rear wheel assembly, in use.

4. A stroller according to claim 3, wherein said pivot hinges are engaged with said linear drive mechanism by a connector, said drive mechanism causing pivotal movement of said front wheels toward said rear wheel assembly when said stroller frame is folding, and said drive mechanism causing pivotal movement of said front wheels away from said rear wheel assembly when said stroller frame is unfolding.

5. A stroller according to any preceding claim, wherein said motor is

electrically powered by a power source.

6. A stroller according to claim 5, wherein said power source is a

rechargeable power source.

7. A stroller according to claim 6, wherein said rear wheel assembly further comprises a dynamo, wherein said rechargeable power source is electrically coupled to said dynamo.

8. A stroller according to any preceding claim, wherein said main frame

comprises a handlebar.

9. A stroller according to claim 8, wherein said actuation device for said motor of said linear drive mechanism is situated in said handlebar.

10. A stroller according to claim 9, wherein said actuation device is a push button.

1 1 . A stroller according to claim 9, wherein said actuation device is a switch.

12. A stroller according to any preceding claim, wherein said front wheel assembly further comprises a foot rest board.

13. A stroller according to any preceding claim, wherein said main frame comprises a pair of sockets for receiving a child-receiving device.

14. A stroller according to claim 6, wherein said stroller further comprises a child-receiving device, said child-receiving device comprising attachment means configured to removably affix said child-receiving device to said main frame of said stroller.

15. A foldable stroller comprising;

- a main frame for supporting an interchangeable child-receiving

device, comprising a releasable sockets;

- a rear wheel assembly coupled to the main frame, comprising an elongate support leg carrying a wheel a first end and being pivotally coupled a second end to a first end of said main frame;

- a front wheel assembly;

- a linear drive mechanism for effecting folding and unfolding of the stroller, upon actuation, said linear drive mechanism comprising a linear actuator coupled to a motor and selectively linearly movable by an actuation device; - a linkage assembly, coupled between the rear wheel assembly and the main frame, said linkage assembly comprising a first link arm pivotally coupled to the support leg at a position along its length and a second link arm pivotally coupled to the main frame at a position along its length, the first and second link arms being connected together by a pivotal joint; and

- a child-receiving device comprising a foldable bassinet having

releasable attachment means for removable insertion within said sockets of said main frame said bassinet comprising a base plate, a rim frame, collapsible side walls, and a pull tab for effecting folding and unfolding of said collapsible side walls when actuated.

16. A foldable stroller according to claim 15, wherein said pull tab comprises fastening means at two different locations along the length of said pull tab.

17. A foldable stroller according to claim 16, wherein said collapsible walls of said bassinet further comprises a fastening point near the base on the outer surface of said bassinet.

18. A foldable stroller according to claim 17, wherein said fastening means comprises a male popper fastening half, and said fastening point comprises a female popper fastening half.

19. A foldable stroller according to claim 17, wherein said fastening means and said fastening point comprises hook and loop fastenings.

20. A foldable stroller according to any of claims 15 to 19, wherein said bassinet further comprises an extendible hood having a pouch in the inner surface thereof.

21 .A foldable stroller according to claim 20, wherein said pouch has a

viewing window therein, and a closable opening along one side for receipt of a mobile device.

22. A collapsible bassinet for use with the foldable stroller of claims 1 or 2, comprising removable attachment means for removably attaching said bassinet to a stroller, in use, said bassinet further comprising a base plate, a rim frame, collapsible side walls, and a pull tab for effecting folding and unfolding of said collapsible side walls when actuated.

23. A bassinet according to claim 22, wherein said base plate is constructed from a rigid material.

24. A bassinet according to claim 22, wherein said pull tab comprises

fastening means at two different locations along the length of said pull tab.

25. A bassinet according to claim 24, wherein said collapsible walls of said bassinet further comprises a fastening point near the base on the outer surface of said bassinet.

26. A bassinet according to claim 25, wherein said fastening means

comprises a male popper fastening half, and said fastening point comprises a female popper fastening half.

27. A bassinet according to claim 26, wherein said fastening means and said fastening point comprises hook and loop fastenings.

28. A bassinet according to any of claims 23 to 27, wherein said bassinet further comprises an extendible hood having a pouch in the inner surface thereof.

29. A bassinet according to claim 28, wherein said pouch has a viewing

window therein, and a closable opening along one side for receipt of a mobile device.

Description:
FOLDABLE STROLLER

The present invention relates to a foldable stroller. Particularly, although not necessarily exclusively, to a foldable stroller having an automated folding mechanism. The present invention also relates to a foldable bassinet for use within the foldable stroller.

Foldable strollers are well known in the art, particularly when the user may be travelling, or when the stroller is not in use and therefore is being stored away. Such strollers typically comprise a manual mechanism which requires the user to manually complete several steps transitioning the stroller between the completely folded and completely open configurations. Often such steps will require both hands of the user in order to be completed successfully. This is fiddly and frustrating for the user, particularly if they have a young child who may wander off during this process, or an infant who requires to be held. There is also a risk that the steps may not have been completed successfully and therefore the stroller may collapse or open undesirably, potentially posing a hazard to the user or their child. Even when in the completely folded

configuration, wheels and handlebars of the folded stroller tend to protrude and move about undesirably, meaning that there is a risk of the stroller being damaged when trying to transport or store it. Several attempts to improve foldable strollers, and in particular the mechanism by which they fold, are known. US 2008/021 1206 discloses strollers having one or more components which can be moved by a drive mechanism between two or more desired positions, such as baby strollers having one or more components which are automatically movable by a drive mechanism between an operative position for use of the stroller and a collapsed position for compact storage and transport of the stroller. Therefore it is known to provide a drive mechanism which will actuate the stroller between the two configurations without much input by the user. However the drive mechanism required to enable this particular method of folding the stroller must be quite high powered as the drive mechanism is pulling against a number of different forces. In particular, because during the folding movement the drive mechanism is pulling on the frame assembly, leg supports, link arms as well as drawing the feet in towards itself, the motor requires a large amount of power to overcome all the conflicting forces. Therefore the motor required is quite large and therefore heavy. This makes the stroller unwieldy and difficult to manage therefore it does not overcome the problem of allowing the user to easily handle the stroller.

It is an object of aspects of the present invention to address at least some of these issues and, in accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a foldable stroller comprising:

- a main frame for supporting a child-receiving device;

- a rear wheel assembly coupled to the main frame, comprising an elongate support leg carrying a wheel a first end and being pivotally coupled a second end to a first end of said main frame;

- a front wheel assembly, comprising front wheels;

- a linear drive mechanism for effecting folding and unfolding of the stroller, upon actuation, said linear drive mechanism comprising a linear actuator coupled to a motor and selectively linearly movable by an actuation device; and

- a linkage assembly, coupled between the rear wheel assembly and the main frame, said linkage assembly comprising a first link arm pivotally coupled to the support leg at a position along its length and a second link arm pivotally coupled to the main frame at a position along its length, the first and second link arms being connected together by a pivotal joint; wherein the linear actuator extends from the front wheel assembly to said pivotal point between said first and second link arms and configured, upon actuation, to move in a direction away from the front wheel assembly to fold the stroller and in a direction toward the front wheel assembly to unfold the stroller for use.

According to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the stroller may further comprise a disengagement mechanism between the motor and the linear actuator, which may be configured to selectively disengage the linear actuator, for selectively manually folding and unfolding said stroller frame, in use.

Optionally, the front wheels may be pivotally connected to the front wheel assembly by a pivot hinge, which may be configured to allow the front wheels to pivot toward and away from the rear wheel assembly, in use. The pivot hinges may be engaged with the linear drive mechanism by a connector, the drive mechanism may cause pivotal movement of the front wheels toward the rear wheel assembly when the stroller frame is folding, and the drive mechanism may cause pivotal movement of the front wheels away from the rear wheel assembly when thte stroller frame is unfolding.

In one exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the motor may be electrically powered by a power source. Optionally, the power source may be a rechargeable power source.

According to an exemplary embodiment, the rear wheel assembly may further comprise a dynamo, wherein said rechargeable power source is electrically coupled to said dynamo. Optionally, the main frame may comprise a handlebar. The actuation device for the motor of the linear drive mechanism may be situated in the handlebar. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the actuation device might be a push button. Optionally, the actuation device might be a switch.

In one exemplary embodiment, the front wheel assembly may further comprise a foot rest board.

According to one exemplary embodiment, the main frame may comprise a pair of sockets for receiving a child-receiving device. Optionally, the stroller mY further comprise a child-receiving device, the child-receiving device comprising attachment means configured to removably affix the child-receiving device to the main frame of the stroller.

Furthermore, strollers which are foldable generally tend to be those which have a seat-type stroller, as opposed to a bassinet-style stroller, and therefore cater only towards those users which have children who are old enough to sit in such strollers, meaning those with young infants are left without the option of having a foldable stroller. Some bassinet-style strollers, such as the one disclosed in US 2007/0075525, have some foldable capabilities, but do not fold into a completely collapsed configuration simply owing to the fact that bassinets tend to provide more of a rigid structure in the hope of providing improved comfort and safety for the infant, whilst sacrificing the portability of the stroller itself. This document does disclose being able to remove the bassinet in order to replace it with a different seat and/or collapse the frame of the stroller but the bassinet itself still takes up a considerable amount of space. Therefore this does not really solve the problem of saving storage space when it is not being used, and making travelling on public transport, e.g. a bus, much simpler for the user.

It is an object of aspects of the present invention to address at least some of these issues and, in accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a foldable stroller comprising:

- a main frame for supporting an interchangeable child-receiving

device, comprising a releasable sockets;

- a rear wheel assembly coupled to the main frame, comprising an elongate support leg carrying a wheel a first end and being pivotally coupled a second end to a first end of said main frame;

- a front wheel assembly; - a linear drive mechanism for effecting folding and unfolding of the stroller, upon actuation, said linear drive mechanism comprising a linear actuator coupled to a motor and selectively linearly movable by an actuation device;

- a linkage assembly, coupled between the rear wheel assembly and the main frame, said linkage assembly comprising a first link arm pivotally coupled to the support leg at a position along its length and a second link arm pivotally coupled to the main frame at a position along its length, the first and second link arms being connected together by a pivotal joint; and

- a child-receiving device comprising a foldable bassinet having

releasable attachment means for removable insertion within said sockets of said main frame said bassinet comprising a base plate, a rim frame, collapsible side walls, and a pull tab for effecting folding and unfolding of said collapsible side walls when actuated.

In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the pull tab comprises fastening means at two different locations along the length of said pull tab.

Optionally, the collapsible walls of the bassinet further may comprise a fastening point near the base on the outer surface of the bassinet.

The fastening means may comprise a male popper fastening half, and said fastening point may comprise a female popper fastening half. Optionally, the fastening means and said fastening point may comprise hook and loop fastenings.

According to one exemplary embodiment of the invention, the bassinet may further comprise an extendible hood having a pouch fitted to the inner surface thereof. Optionally, pouch may have a viewing window therein, and a closable opening along one side for receipt of a mobile device.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a collapsible bassinet for use with a foldable stroller, comprising removable attachment means for removably attaching said bassinet to a stroller, in use, said bassinet further comprising a base plate, a rim frame, collapsible side walls, and a pull tab for effecting folding and unfolding of said collapsible side walls when actuated.

Optionally, the base plate may be constructed from a rigid material.

In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the pull tab may comprise fastening means at two different locations along the length of the pull tab.

Optionally, the collapsible walls of the bassinet may further comprise a fastening point near the base on the outer surface of the bassinet.

The fastening means may comprise a male popper fastening half, and said fastening point comprises a female popper fastening half. Optionally, fastening means and said fastening point may comprise hook and loop fastenings. According to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the bassinet may further comprise an extendible hood having a pouch in the inner surface thereof. Optionally, the pouch may have a viewing window therein, and a closable opening along one side for receipt of a mobile device. Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying Figures, in which:

Figure 1 is a schematic side view diagram of a stroller frame according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic front perspective view diagram of the stroller frame of Figure 1 ;

Figure 2A is a schematic top perspective view diagram of a castor wheel on the stroller frame of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a schematic side view diagram of the linear drive mechanism for the stroller frame and stroller of Figures 1 and 2; Figure 4 is a schematic side view of the linear drive mechanism of the stroller frame of Figure 1 , illustrated in the folded configuration;

Figure 5 is a schematic close-up diagram of the linear drive mechanism of the stroller frame of Figure 1 , illustrated in the folded configuration;

Figure 6 is a schematic front perspective view of the disengagement system of a stroller according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention; Figure 7 is a schematic front perspective view of the disengagement system of Figure 6, illustrated in the unlocked configuration;

Figure 8 is a schematic side view of a seat lift system according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention; Figures 9A and 9B are schematic cross-sectional views of the seat lift system of Figure 8;

Figure 10 is a schematic cross-sectional side view diagram of a seat recliner system according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention; Figures 1 1 A and 1 1 B are a schematic cross-sectional rear view and side view diagram of the seat recliner system of Figure 10;

Figures 12A and 12B are schematic side view diagrams of a hood for use with one exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 13 is a schematic side view diagram of a hood frame for use in the hood of Figures 12A and 12B;

Figure 14 is a schematic rear view diagram of the hood of Figures 12A and 12B;

Figure 15 is a schematic side view diagram of a hood for use with one exemplary embodiment of the present invention; Figure 16 is a schematic side view diagram of a hood for use with a further exemplary embodiment of the present invention, comprising a pouch; Figure 17 is a schematic front view diagram of the pouch of Figure 16;

Figure 18 is a schematic rear view diagram of the pouch of Figure 16;

Figure 19 is a schematic top perspective diagram of a bassinet for use in one exemplary embodiment of the present invention; Figure 20 is a schematic side perspective diagram of a bassinet frame of the bassinet of Figure 19;

Figure 21 is a schematic bottom perspective diagram of the bassinet frame of Figure 20;

Figure 22A to 22D are schematic top perspective diagrams of the bassinet frame of Figure 20, showing the consecutive steps in the folding and opening sequence.

Referring to Figures l and 2 of the drawings there is provided a stroller frame for a stroller, indicated generally at 10, constructed from a plurality of hollow tubular frame members. Each frame member is pivotally linked to another, and is made from a lightweight, but strong, material. Two parallel outermost frame members, hereinafter referred to as the main frame members 12 extend in a first diagonal direction when the stroller is in the open

configuration, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The main frame members 12 are spaced apart from each other defining a space therebetween in which a child- receiving device, such as a seat or bassinet, can be fitted. The mechanism how the child-receiving device is fitted will be described in more detail hereinafter. The main frame members 12 may comprise two tubular sections 12a, 12b, telescopically engaged such that a first section 12a is sildably received within the second section 12b. As such, the main frame member 12 is adjustable in length.

At a first end of the main frame members 12, the main frame members 12 are connected together by means of a handlebar 14. The handlebar 14 may be made from the same material as the frame members, or may be plastic, or covered in a foam, fabric, leather, or rubber material, and the invention is not intended to be limited in this regard.

The main frame members 12 are connected together at a second point, approximately two-thirds along the length of the main frame member 12 from the handlebar 14. A substantially "U"-shaped bar providing a first link arm 16 is pivotally connected between the main frame members 12. The first link arm 16 is also pivotally connected to a second link arm 13.

Referring additionally to Figure 2A of the drawings, a castor wheel 1 1 may be provided along the length of the main frame 12. The castor wheel 1 1 protrudes beyond the circumference of the main frame member 12, such that when the stroller frame folds the castor wheel 1 1 abuts against the other frame members of the stroller frame and allows smooth movement between the two frame members. This is described in more detail hereinafter, with respect to Figures 4 and 5 of the drawings.

Referring additionally to Figure 3 of the drawings, at a second end of the main frame members 12 there is provided a pivot hinge 18. The pivot hinge 18 pivotally joins each main frame member 12 with a corresponding elongate support leg 20. The support legs 20 extend diagonally away from the pivot hinge 18 parallel to each other and are joined together by a central bar 22 which extends between the two leg members 20 substantially horizontally, when the stroller is oriented for use. The support legs 20 extend beyond the central bar and terminate at a distal end. The support legs 20 are also pivotally connected to the second link arm 13 at a point near to the pivot hinge 18. The central bar 22 and the first link arm are connected by a linear actuator 24.

The linear actuator comprises a stationary outer pipe 24a in linear connection with an inner pipe 24b (shown in Figures 4 and 5). The inner pipe 24b and outer pipe 24a are slidably movable with respect to each other. The inner pipe 24b and outer pipe 24a are communicably coupled by a linear drive mechanism 25. The central bar 22 is fixedly joined to the outer pipe 24a, while the first link arm 16 is fixedly joined to the inner pipe 24b. The main frame members 12, support legs 20, and first and second link arms 13, 16 create a linkage assembly which, during use, allows for a smooth transition of the foldable stroller from a first, open configuration as shown in Figures 1 to 3 of the drawings, to a folded configuration as shown in Figures 4 and 5 of the drawings. The linkage assembly is specifically designed so as to reduce the force on the linear actuator 24, which will now be described in more detail.

The linear actuator 24, and in particular the outer pipe 24a, extends away from the first link arm 16 beyond the central bar 22. At the distal end of the linear actuator 24 a foot rest board 26 joins two front wheels 28. These wheels 27 may be of any suitable type known in the art and the invention is not intended to be limited in this regard. However, preferably the wheels may comprise a rubber tyre, and a plurality of spokes. There may be a hydraulic system within the connection between the wheel 28 and the foot rest board 26 for added comfort to the child or infant in the stroller and also increased manoeuvrability of the stroller. The wheels 28 are fitted to the foot rest board 26 by pivots 30 such that the wheels may be folded backwardly (i.e. toward the rear wheels 32 which are described in more detail later on) in use. The pivot points 30 are communicably coupled to the linear drive mechanism 25 by an elongate connector 34. The connector 34 may comprise a Bowden cable, or similar mechanism to transfer linear movement from the linear drive mechanism 25 to the pivot points 30. Those skilled in the art will know of suitable mechanisms for this purpose and the invention is not necessarily intended to be limited in this regard. There is also a mechanism within the foot rest board connecting the two pivot points 30 which transfers the linear actuation movement of the linear drive mechanism 25 into pivoting movement of the front wheels 28 rearwardly and forwardly, when the stroller is oriented for use. In use, when the linear drive mechanism 25 causing the frame 10 to fold or open is in action, the front wheels 28 are also simultaneously folded and opened respectively. This means that a stroller according to the present invention only requires a single linear drive mechanism 25 which performs a single step in order to fully complete the folding and/or opening sequence. Due to the linkage assembly, the linear drive mechanism 25 can be low- powered since the force on the linear actuator 24 is substantially reduced. As a result the linear drive mechanism 25 can be smaller and lighter, providing the stroller with more portability. The support legs 20 have a distal end. Each distal end is connected to a rear wheel 32. The rear wheels 32 are much larger in diameter than the front wheels 28. As with the front wheels 28, the rear wheels 32 may comprise rubber tyres and may preferably include hydraulics for improved

manoeuvrability and comfort. The front and rear wheels 28, 32 define the base of the stroller frame 10. A bag (not shown) may optionally be fitted between the wheels, the linear actuator 24 and the support legs 20 to provide storage for essentials and shopping. The distance between the rear wheels 30 must be larger than the distance between the main frame bars 12 so that when the stroller is in the folded configuration, as shown in Figures 4 and 5, the rear wheels 32 are the outermost part of the stroller.

Referring additionally to Figures 4 and 5 of the drawings, the linear actuator 25 comprises a cam mechanism driven by a motor (not shown). The cam mechanism pushes and pulls the inner pipe 24b relative to the outer pipe 24a. When the inner pipe 24b and outer pipe 24a are pushed away from one another, the linear actuator 24 extends. This pushes the first link arm 16 away from the central bar in a linear direction, shown by arrow A in Figure 1 . As such, the main frame members 12 are forced to pivot toward their respective support leg 20, and the first link arm 16 is forced to pivot toward the second link arm 13. This causes the stroller frame 10 to fold down on itself, until it reaches the configuration shown in Figures 4 and 5 of the drawings. As discussed above, because of the particular linkage assembly created by the link arms 13, 16, the main frame members 12 and the support legs 20, this movement is particularly smooth and requires very little power from the linear drive mechanism 25 in order to work. The castor wheel 1 1 rolls against the support legs 20 and prevent the support legs 20 and main frame members 12 frictionally sliding against each other. This means that the system is less likely to stick and therefore overwork the linear drive mechanism 25. The connector 34 pulls on a cam mechanism inside the foot rest board 26 causing rotation of the pivot points 30 rearwardly toward the rear wheels 32.

Similarly the linear drive mechanism 25 may pull the inner pipe 24b in toward the outer pipe 24a thus pulling the first link arm toward the central bar 22. This would result in the frame members of the stroller frame 10 unfolding and therefore the stroller frame 10 could return to the open configuration as shown in figures 1 , 2 and 3 of the drawings..

The motor for the cam mechanism which drives the linear drive

mechanism 25 may be actuated electronically by a switch 38 built into the handlebar 14 of the stroller frame 10. In use, the user may simply press the button and wait for the frame 10 to fold into its folded configuration, or open into its open configuration. This requires little input from the user and allows them to focus their attention on their child or infant. The linear drive mechanism 25 itself keeps the stroller frame 10 in which ever configuration is desired. When in the open configuration, and referring in particular to Figures 1 , 2, and 3 of the drawings, a dynamo mechanism 40 fitted to the rear wheels 32 of the stroller converts rotational energy into electrical energy and charges up the capacitor while the stroller is being moved around. Because only a single motor is required, and because of the simplicity of the electronics needed, the power used by the motor is very small meaning that the chance of failure is very low. This also allows the whole system to be recharged by the dynamo mechanism 40 on the rear wheels. If more power was required, then the dynamo

mechanism would not be able to fully recharge the system in between instances of folding and opening the stroller frame 10. Therefore, over time, the capacitor would run out of power and therefore the mechanism would fail quickly. As such the present invention provides an advantage over the prior art as there is not need to replace batteries. However, motors do fail occasionally from time to time and the present invention may provide a failsafe option in the event of motor failure.

A disengagement mechanism for the dynamos on each rear wheel may be provided which may be actuated by pressing a button or switch on the handlebar 14, or by pressing a foot switch near the dynamo itself. During use, the user may find that the back electromotive force generated by the dynamos as the user is pushing the stroller around may become tiresome. In this case, they can then disengage the dynamos from the rear wheels such that the back EMF is no longer acting against the movement of the stroller. Referring now to Figures 6 and 7 of the drawings, in the case that the motor fails, or the capacitor fails to recharge successfully, a disengagement system is provided to enable the user to manually disengage the linear drive mechanism 25. A twist lock 42 is provided which connects the linear drive mechanism 25 with the linear actuator 24. On one side, for example, the linear drive mechanism 25, there may be a collar 45 having a bar 43 running across in the diameter of the collar 45. The collar 45 may be rotatable with respect to the linear drive mechanism 25. On the opposing side, for example, the linear actuator 24, there may be an extension 47 comprising a portion of hollow tubing, and having diametrically opposing "L"-shaped apertures 49 extending from the edge of the extension 47 for a short distance, then partially following the circumference of the extension. In use, if the motor fails to engage with the linear actuator 24 or the dynamo is not charging the linear actuation mechanism 25 properly, the user may twist the collar 45 to move the bar 43 along the aperture 49 until the bar 43 can be freed, thus allowing the linear actuator 24 to disengage from the linear drive mechanism 25.

Once disengaged, as shown in Figure 7 of the drawings, the user may manually fold the stroller frame 10. This adds an extra level of safety and control for the user, who is not then solely relying on electronic components to work in order to use the stroller frame 10 as desired. Note that the connector 34 is still connected to the front wheels 28 and, as such, the front wheels 28 still fold in/out when the drive mechanism 25 is disengaged, and the user performs the manual folding/opening sequence. The stroller frame 10 may be fitted with a child-receiving device, such as a seat 44 or a bassinet 126, attached to the main frame members 12 by sockets 46 suitable for the receipt of frame attachments 48. Seats 44 suitable for holding a child are known in the art, and the present invention is not necessarily intended to be limited to any seat 44 in particular.

Referring to Figure 8, 9A and 9B of the drawings, a frame attachment 48 is illustrated having a generally rectangular main body 84 having a rounded moveable handle 86 fitted at on end thereof. In use, the frame attachment would be fixedly attached to the seat and/or bassinet desired for use with the stroller frame 10. The handle 86 is moveable in a linear direction relative to the main body 84 along the longitudinal axis thereof. Near the opposing end of the main body 84 are two protruding teeth 88. The teeth are connected by a spring bias 89. Referring in particular to Figures 9A and 9B, there is an elongate post 90 running along the longitudinal axis of the main body 84 and fixedly attached at a first end to the handle 86. The post is moveably attached to the teeth 88 at its opposing second end. The first end of the post 90 comprises a spring biasing member 92 biasing the post 90 downwardly (when the device is oriented for use). The second end of the post 90 comprises a guide plate 94 having a pair of guide slots 96. The guide slots 96 extend diagonally toward each other in the direction pointing away from the handle. Two pins 98 are fixedly attached to the teeth 88 and extend through the guide slots 96. The pins 98 are moveable in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the main body 84. In use, the user may lift the handle 86 which pulls the post 90 upwardly. The guide slots 96 pull the pins toward each other as the handle 86 is being lifted. This draws the teeth inwardly allowing the user to lift the seat and/or bassinet out of the frame sockets 46.

Referring to Figure 10, in the case of using a seat 44 with the stroller frame 10, the seat attachment means 48 will be attached to the seat frame 100 and have a seat recline mechanism 102 fitted thereon. The seat frame 100 forming the back of the seat is rotatable with respect to the seat frame 100 forming the seat arms (not shown). On the rear face of the rounded lift handle 86 a fixed circular disc 104 having a plurality of rectangular notches 106 formed in the perimeter thereof. The seat frame 100 forming the back of the seat is hollow, and houses therein a sprung plunger. The sprung plunger comprises a plunger 1 10 having a protrusion 1 12 configured to be received in one of the plurality of notches 106. The plunger 1 10 is spring biased toward the disc 104 by a spring 1 14 which is connected to a housing 1 16 which provides the resistance against one end of the spring 1 14 to push the plunger 1 10 toward the disc. This causes the protrusion 1 12 to push into a corresponding notch 106. A foam buffer 1 15 is fitted between the plunger 1 10 and the disc 104. A cable 1 18 connects the housing to a handle 120 situated in the upper rear surface of the back of the seat 44. Referring to Figures 1 1 A and 1 1 B, the cable 1 18 runs along the seat frame 100 to the handle 120 located in the rear of the seat 44. The cable is anchored to the handle 120 by means of push-fit cable anchors 122. An opening in the fabric of the rear of the seat 44 reveals a portion of the handle 120 to the user. The handle is movable in a pivoting fashion away from the back of the seat 44 in the direction of arrow C, about a pivot point 1 19. The spring 1 14 biases the handle 120 toward the back of the seat 44.. In use, the user may pull the handle 120 outwardly causing the cables 1 18 to draw the plunger 1 10 and in particular the protrusion 1 12 out of the notches 106 in the disc 104. This would enable the user to then rotate the back of the seat 44 to make the seat more or less reclined.

Referring now to Figure 12A, 12B and 13 of the drawings, the seat 44 may have connected to it a hood 50. The hood may be removably attached to the seat 44 by any suitable means for example poppers, strips of hook and loop fastenings, zips or other suitable means known in the art. The invention is not intended to be limited in this regard. The hood 50 comprises a hood frame 52 having three support bars, a front bar 54, a mid bar 56 and an under bar 58 which are generally arched in shape and are pivotally joined together at each end by a pivot hinge 59 so as to define a hood-shape. Fabric 60 is fitted between each consecutive bar. The length of fabric 60 fitted between each bar defines the maximum extension of that bar from its neighbouring bars. A flexible peak 61 made from stiffened fabric may provide a further level of shading to the child or infant during use. The peak 61 can be manually folded out from the inside of the hood when required, or folded back to the inner of the hood when not required. The hood 50 may further comprise a viewing window at the rear of the hood comprising an openable flap 68 which, when lifted reveals a transparent PVC window (not shown). This can allow the user of the stroller to view the child or infant during use.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that any number of mid bars 56 may be used as required by the user and the invention is not necessarily intended to be limited in this regard. As such the hood 50 may comprise three or four foldable panels between the frame bars, or perhaps even more if desired.

The pivot hinge may connect the hood 50 to an attachment means 62. Any suitable attachment means will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The attachment means may connect the hood 50 to the seat 44 or to the stroller frame itself 10.

Referring to Figure 14 of the drawings at the base of the hood 50 there is provided an excess of fabric 64 designed to wrap around, for example, the back of a seat or around the top end of a bassinet, to secure the hood in place during use. The excess fabric 64 may have therein poppers 66 or other suitable fastening means for securely fastening the hood 50 to a seat or bassinet, in use.

Referring to Figure 15 of the drawings, in an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the hood 50 may further comprise a layered panel 70 between the first mid bar 56a and the under bar 58. The layered panel 70 may comprise an outer layer 72 which can be temporarily removed or moved to reveal a breathable mesh layer 74. This allows fresh air to circulate inside the hood, for example, on a hot day.

Referring now to Figures 16 to 18, a pouch 76 may be provided fitted to the inner surface of the hood 50. The pouch 76 is generally rectangular in shape and may be joined to the hood 50 along one edge so that it can be angled downwardly therefrom. The pouch 76 is fitted to the upper most point of the hood as seen from the inside, approximately a quarter of a length of fabric 60 from the edge of the hood 50. A flexible coupling 78 may connect the opposing edge of the pouch 76 to the peak 61 of the hood. Alternatively, the coupling may join the pouch to a part of the hood closer to the edge of the hood 50. In use, when the hood 50 is opened, the coupling 78 pulls on the opposing edge of the pouch 76 in order to angle it generally toward where a child or infant might be when the stroller is in use. Optionally, the coupling may have a fastener 79 at the end which is not attached to the pouch 76, and a plurality of fastening points may be provided on the inner surface of the hood 50, thus allowing the user to select an appropriate angle for the pouch.

A viewing window 80 in the pouch faces toward the seat/bassinet when the hood 50 is fitted thereto. An opening 82 along one edge of the pouch 76 allows the user to have access to inside the pouch 76. A closable flap 84 allows the user to seal the opening 82. In use, the user may place a mobile device such as a phone or tablet, or any other item, in the pouch for entertainment for the child or infant. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, and referring to Figure 19 there is provided a foldable bassinet 126 for use with the foldable stroller frame 10. The bassinet 126 comprises a bassinet frame 128 encased in a fabric cover 130. The frame defines a standard bassinet shape having a generally rounded rectangular base 132 and having a continuous wall 134 which extends from the base to define a partially enclosed space therein for an infant or very young child. The bassinet frame 128 has attached thereto a pair of seat attachments 48 as described with reference to Figures 8, 9A and 9B so the bassinet can be fitted to the stroller frame 10. An exposed portion of the bassinet frame 136 provides the user with the option of fitting a hood 50 as described with reference to Figures 12A to 18 of the drawings. Alternatively the hood 50 may be integrally formed with the seat attachment 48. A pull-out tab 138 is also provided comprising a length of durable, flexible fabric 140 and a pull handle 142. Referring additionally to Figure 20, the bassinet frame 128 is illustrated without the fabric cover 130. A single metal loop forms the rim 144 of the bassinet 126. The rim 144 is substantially rectangular in shape, having two opposing longer sides connected by two opposing short sides. The rim 144 has fitted thereto the seat attachment means 48 of Figures 8, 9A and 9B of the drawings. The metal rim 144 is pivotally attached to four thick wire support legs 146, two support legs 146 per longer side. The support legs 146 extend diagonally between the base plate 148 and the rim 144 when the bassinet 126 is in the open configuration, and slidably connect to a base plate 148. The base plate is rigid. The support legs 146 are crossed to provide support and rigidity. The base plate 148 may be formed of any suitable material, however a preferred option would be to use plywood for its high strength and low weight properties. Other suitable materials will be known in the art, for example durable plastic formed in a single moulding, and the invention is not intended to be limited in this regard.

Referring to Figure 21 of the drawings, the underneath of the base plate 148 is illustrated. The support legs 146 are connected to the corresponding opposing support leg by a rigid connecting bar 150. Alternatively there may only be two substantially "U"-shaped support legs 146 wherein the bottom of the "ΙΓ- shape fits underneath the base plate 148. Runners 152 on the base plate 148 attach the support legs 146 and rigid connecting bar 150 (or, in the case of the "U"-shaped support legs 146, just the support legs 146) to the rigid base plate 148. The runners 152 comprise wide formations defining an elongate slot 154 generally placed at each corner of the underneath of the base plate 148. The slots 154 run parallel to the longitudinal axis of the base plate 148 (and therefore, the bassinet 126). The support legs 146 are free to slide longitudinally within the slots 154. Because the support legs 146 are connected by the rim 144 and the connecting bar 150, and because the connecting bar is held against the underneath of the base plate 148 by the runners 152, the support legs can only move in unison. Furthermore, they can only move so as to push the connecting bars 150 toward or away from each other. When they move toward each other, the crossed support legs 146 push the rim 144 away from the base plate 148. When they move away from each other, the crossed support legs pull the rim 144 toward the base plate 148. As such the general structure of the bassinet 126 is movable between a folded configuration and an open configuration. The fabric 140 of the pull tab 138 is wrapped around each connecting bar

150 such that pulling the pull tab 138 causes the connecting bars 150 to be pulled toward each other. By releasing the pull handle 142, gravity will cause the rim 144 to fall toward the base plate 138, thus pushing the connecting bars 150 away from each other. Therefore, the user can move the bassinet between the folded and open configurations using the pull tab 138.

In one exemplary embodiment the bassinet may further comprise a pulley system (not shown) to aid the pull of the pull tab 138. Since the user has to pull the support legs 146 into position against the weight of the support legs 146 and also the rim 144, a pulley system would enable the user to exert less force on the system and end with the same result. The pulley system would loop the fabric of the pull tab 138 through a slot near to the rim 144 of the bassinet. As the pull tab 138 is pulled downwardly, the support legs 146 are drawn together and the rim 144 is pushed upwardly. Poppers 156 on the outer surface of the bassinet near to the base plate 148 provide a fastening means to allow the user to secure the pull tab 138 in position when the bassinet is in the open configuration.

In order to lock the bassinet 126 in the open configuration, poppers 156 are provided on a locking plate 158 formed integrally with the base plate 148. Corresponding poppers 158 on the fabric of the pull tab 138 are provided at a point along the fabric which corresponds with the connecting bars 150 being at their closest. A second set of poppers 156 may optionally be provided near to the pull handle 142 to lock the bassinet in the folded configuration for the purposes of transport. Other fastening means suitable for locking the bassinet 126 in one of its two configurations will be apparent to those skilled in the art and the invention is not intended to necessarily be limited in this regard.

Figures 22A to 22D show the consecutive stages of the folding sequence of the bassinet 126. Going from Figures 22A to 22D the bassinet is transitioning into the folded configuration. Going from Figure 22D to 22A the bassinet is transitioning into the open configuration.

The invention described above provides the user with increased flexibility in handling all aspects of the stroller. The stroller frame 10 can be collapsed into its folded configuration, and lifted into its open configuration, with a single push of a button. Similarly the bassinet can be assembled into its open configuration using one hand, and collapsed simply by releasing a pull tab. The lift

mechanism for removing the seat/bassinet out of the stroller frame provides an easy and quick way to remove the seat, without the need to unplug parts or disconnect a number of things in a sequence manually. The seat reclining mechanism allows the user to easily recline the seat from a single point of contact. Variations and modification to the embodiments described above will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of protection as defined in the appended claims.