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Title:
MOTOR POWERED TRICYCLE WITH A STEERING MODE SELCECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/207489
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Foldable, motor driven tricycle classified as the IPC B62K, comprising motor (14) which may be integrated in the drive wheel (13) and attached to the chassis (15). Chassis comprises certain part of the control system with control column (32), mode selection mechanism, swivel arms with foot rests, steering system and steering wheels. Steering mode may be changed while driving, and choice between a conventional and leaning mode may be done by acting on the mode selection mechanism control lever (39) preferably attached to the control column (32). Maneuverability of the vehicle may be adjusted by replacing one pair of linear guides (68 and 69) with other pair of differently shaped Cardan joint guiding track (66), while by replacing the left (22) and the right foot rests (20) and by relocating the control column (32) from right to left, configuration of the chassis may be changed from delta to tadpole.

Inventors:
BOŠNJAK VLADIMIR (HR)
Application Number:
HR2014/000023
Publication Date:
December 31, 2014
Filing Date:
June 16, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BOŠNJAK VLADIMIR (HR)
International Classes:
B62K3/00; B62K5/007; B62K5/02; B62K5/025; B62K5/08; B62K5/10; B62K13/00; B62K21/00
Foreign References:
FR2905658A12008-03-14
CN201907608U2011-07-27
Other References:
None
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Motor powered tricycle with a steering mode selector that may be driven from standing position comprises a drive wheel (13) attached to the chassis (15), drive motor which depending of embodiment, may be attached to the frame (84) or integrated in the drive wheel assembly (14), swivel arms with lower part of the steering system and linear guides, steering wheels (34) and (36) which are preferably attached to the chassis by axles and the upper part of the steering mechanism with mode selector, whereby vehicle may be operated in such a way that steering mode may be selected between leaning mode where steering is performed by leaning the vehicle in the direction of a turn and classic mode where steering is performed by moving the control column (32) in the direction of a turn.

2. Motor powered tricycle according to claim 1, wherein the mode selection mechanism control lever (39) acts on the mode selection mechanism thus choosing between leaning or classic steering mode.

3. Motor powered tricycle according to claim 2, wherein the mode selection mechanism locks one portion of steering mechanism in neutral position by simultaneously releasing the other portion.

4. Motor powered tricycle according to claim 3, wherein the steering system through the mode selection mechanism controls the control column rocker arm (42) and leaning system rocker arm (44) in such way that only one rocker arm may be released at the time while the other is locked in neutral position.

5. Motor powered tricycle with a steering mode selector that may be driven from standing position comprises a drive wheel (13) attached to the chassis (15), drive motor which depending of embodiment, may be attached to the frame (84) or integrated in the drive wheel assembly (14), swivel arms with lower part of the steering system and linear guides, steering wheels (34) and (36) which are preferably attached to the chassis by axles and the upper part of the steering mechanism with mode selector, wherein the linear guides (68) and (69), located one on each swivel arm allowing, regardless of steering mode selected, that motions of steering mechanism are always transferred to the lower part of the steering system and steering wheels.

6. Motor powered tricycle according to claim 5, wherein the linear guides may be interchangeable for the reason of altering the vehicle handling characteristics by replacing one pair of linear guides with another set thus allowing setting up the vehicle maneuverability according to personal preferences.

7. Motor powered tricycle with a steering mode selector that may be driven from standing position comprises a drive wheel (13) attached to the chassis (15), drive motor which depending of embodiment, may be attached to the frame (84) or integrated in the drive wheel assembly (14), swivel arms with lower part of the steering system and linear guides, steering wheels (34) and (36) which are preferably attached to the chassis by axles and the upper part of the steering mechanism with mode selector, wherein configuration may be changed from classic, so-called delta tricycle with one front and two rear wheels to inverted configuration, so-called tadpole tricycle with two front and one rear wheel.

8. Motor powered tricycle according to claim 7, wherein the change from delta configuration to tadpole is performed by replacing the left (22) and right (20) foot rests and by replacing the control column (32) from the slot on the right side of the control column rocker arm (42,) rotating the control column vertically by 180 degrees and installing to the slot on the left side of the rocker arm.

9. Motor powered tricycle according to claim 8, wherein the removable saddle (90) may be attached to the chassis in allowing vehicle being driven from seated position when in tadpole configuration.

10. Motor powered tricycle with a steering mode selector that may be driven from standing position comprises a drive wheel (13) attached to the chassis (15), drive motor which depending of embodiment, may be attached to the frame (84) or integrated in the drive wheel assembly (14), swivel arms with lower part of the steering system and linear guides, steering wheels (34) and (36) which are preferably attached to the chassis by axles and the upper part of the steering mechanism with mode selector, whereby disassembling of certain joints and arranging of thus separated parts, may allow vehicle being fitted to medium sized suitcase.

Description:
MOTOR POWERED TRICYCLE WITH A STEERING MODE SELECTOR

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Field of the Invention

This invention refers to motorized vehicle of tricycle type undercarriage which can be steered, depending of the selected mode: by moving the control column or by leaning the vehicle, which can be folded for easier storage or transport and is classified as B62K (5/02, 5/027, 5/05, 5/08) according to international patent classification.

Technical problem

As a consequence of increase in number of people who live in the cities there is also increase in traffic, and most cities are becoming under capacited to accept that increasing number of vehicles which then leads to traffic congestion. Because of that problem, more and more centres of the cities are being closed for traffic which then leads to shortage of parking space in vicinity those areas. Results of latest researches regarding traffic congestions in relation with citizen commuting habits are showing that vehicles are not being used economically because in most cases driver is the only person in the car which means more than necessary air pollution, too much parking space is being taken (4 people take 4 parking places instead of 1) and not to mention the financial factors (variety of expenses regarding fuel, parking, maintenance of the vehicle and registration).

Description Of Prior Art

For the problem described above, there are several known solutions like:

Public transportation which can be organized in various ways and which is usually not cheap but costs less then to commute by a car.

Light city automobiles are offering only partial solution to above mentioned problem because most of the issues still remain but some costs are reduced when compared to family cars.

Motorcycles, gas scooters and mopeds are good alternative to automobiles and public transport but those require driving licence and are limited to driveways with exemption of light electric scooters (most of the countries has regulation about maximum power of drive motor after which electric scooter is being considered a moped and requires registration).

Bicycles and kick scooters represent the cheapest mean of personal transport and are very light, portable and usually allowed even on the sidewalks but possible limit may be the commuting distance and physical strength of a driver. Personal transporters are new category of vehicles, still not regulated in most countries and most of those are still being developed. Most popular vehicle in that category is Segway but there are also other designs, including electric monocycles which yet have to prove on the market. Main problem of these vehicles is their unusual design and high price because of which are mostly used only for advertising purposes.

Disclosure of Invention

Primary objective of the invention is to provide an inexpensive and reliable way of personal transportation, mainly for commuting short to medium distances in the city area (approximately 20 km) and not only limited to urban road network but to also use bicycle and pedestrian paths resulting in a high traffic mobility and enabling transportation from door to door .

The secondary objective of the invention is to provide portability of the vehicle by folding its compact frame in a simple and quick way to match the measures of a medium suitcase once when folded.

Further objectives are to make vehicle customizable according the user requirements in order to include a choice of ways to drive by moving the control stick or by tilting the vehicle, as well as the ability to change the chassis configuration from delta (one wheel forward and two steps back) to tadpole (two wheels forward and one back).

The vehicle according to the present invention consists of a drive wheel which is attached to the chassis, mode selecting mechanism, energy storage unit (fuel, air or battery), swinging arms with wheels and foot-rests, steering rods and control column which can comprise throttle control, brake controls and mode selecting mechanism controls.

Before being driven vehicle can be setup for tadpole or delta configuration by relocating the control column and foot-rests, while during the drive can setup for classical mode of control when steering is performed by moving the control column left or right or for tilting more when steering by leaning the vehicle to a side of the turn. Desired mode is selected by acting on a mode selector lever.

The vehicle is designed to be driven from standing position which is meant to be driver primary position but after installing removable saddle can be also driven from seated position. Vehicle speed is controlled by throttle control which can be attached to the control column.

The vehicle can be driven by various types of motors (electric motors, internal combustion engines, compressed air engines, etc.). Motor can be accommodated in the drive wheel (Eng. hub motor) or attached to the chassis in which case the power transfer can be achieved by using the chain, timing belt, V-belt with variable diameter pulleys, gearing and other means. Energy storage unit can be removable for easier charging or refuelling. Brief Description of Drawings

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the vehicle;

FIG. 2A is a side view of the vehicle and driving position for delta configuration; FIG. 2B is a plan view of the vehicle in delta configuration;

FIG. 3A is a side view of the vehicle and driving position for tadpole configuration; FIG. 3B is a plan view of the vehicle in tadpole configuration;

FIG. 4 is a side view of driving position in tadpole configuration with removable saddle attached;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the vehicle folded for transport; FIG. 6A is a side view of the vehicle if motor is integrated in the drive wheel and proffered accommodation of the energy storage unit;

FIG. 6B is side view of the vehicle if motor attached to the chassis of the vehicle and proffered accommodation of energy storage unit;

FIG. 7A is a side view of the vehicle during left turn in tilting mode; FIG. 7B is a side view of the vehicle during right turn in tilting mode;

FIG. 8A is a side view of the vehicle during left turn in fixed mode;

FIG. 8B is a side view of the vehicle during right turn in fixed mode;

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of the vehicle, partially fragmented for clearer visibility of components;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the left arm with components of the lower steering system attached;

FIG. 11A is a perspective view of the upper steering system and mode selecting mechanism;

FIG. 11B is a perspective view of the upper steering system and mode selecting mechanism fragmented for clearer visibility of components;

FIG. 12A is a perspective view of the upper steering system and mode selecting mechanism with tilting mode selected;

FIG. 12B is a perspective view of the upper steering system and mode selecting mechanism with fixed mode selected. Best Mode for Carrying Out the invention

Following introduces one of the proffered embodiments of the invention which is also illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Referring to FIG. 1 the vehicle comprises a drive wheel 13 preferably with integrated motor 14 and is attached to the chassis 15. Symmetrically left and right of the chassis there are swivel arms connected to the chassis through the pair of axles. Swivel arms may consist of several parts and right arm of this embodiment comprises right arm upper segment 16, right arm lower segment and right foot rest 20 while the left arm comprises left arm upper segment 18, left arm lower segment 28, and left foot rest. Right steering wheel 34 and symmetrically located left steering wheel 36 as well as the lower segment of steering system that comprises left wheel torque arm 60 and symmetrically located right wheel torque arm 61 connected by connecting rods 62 with Cardan joints 64 are linked to accompanied swivel arms. Cardan joint 64 from the illustrated embodiment may be detachable and can be replaced by other applicable joint which function is to link steering rods - left 27 and right 25 with accompanied linear guides - 68 left and 69 right. Steering rods - left 27 and right 25 are linked through the ball joints 43 to control column rocker arm 42 to which is attached the control column 32 with preferably attached brake lever 37, throttle control lever 38 and mode selection mechanism control lever 39. Upper part of the control system comprises the control column rocker arm 42, leaning system rocker arm 44 and mode selection mechanism. Energy storage 88 may be detachable and attached under the chassis 15-and between the swivel arms.

Possible driving positions are illustrated in FIG. 2A, FIG. 3A and FIG. 4. Vehicle in delta configuration and corresponding driving position is illustrated in FIG. 2A where the drive wheel 13 is in the front, and steering wheels are in the back. User controls the vehicle by standing on the foot rests, the way that the right foot is on the right foot rest 20 and left foot on the left foot rest 22 while holding the control column 32 by right hand. Plan view of the vehicle in the delta configuration is shown in Figure 2B. Configuration change from delta to tadpole may be realized by switching the foot rests the way that right foot rest 20 replaces the left foot rest 22 and left foot rest 22 replaces the right foot rest 20 as illustrated in the FIG. 3B. Control column may be pulled out from the slot in the control column rocker arm 42, rotated around vertical axis for 180 ° and inserted into the slot on the opposite side of the control column rocker arm 42. New configuration and consequently new driving position is illustrated in FIG. 3A, where the user's right leg is on the right foot rest 20, left foot is on the left foot rest 22 while right hand is holding the control column 32. Removable saddle 90 as illustrated in FIG. 4 may be subsequently installed on the chassis to allow the user to operate the vehicle from a seated position. Important feature of the invention is its foldable frame allowing great portability. By disconnecting Cardan joints 64 on the steering rods -right 25 and left 27 from accompanied linear guides - right 69 and left 68, and detaching lower arm segments - right 26 and left 28 from the upper arm segments - right 16 and left 18, and disconnecting steering wheels - right 34 and left 36 of the wheel torque arms - right 61 and left 60, and disconnecting the control column 32 of the control column rocker arm 42, vehicle may be folded to the size of an average suitcase FIG. 5. Folded and stored in the corresponding case vehicle can be easily transported or taken as personal baggage in the public transport.

Drive motor of the illustrated embodiment is not defined, but preferred embodiments would comprise a motor 14 integrated in the wheel 13 which directly transfers power to the wheel rim, and an example of such embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 6A where the energy storage unit 88 is attached to the chassis 15. Typical examples of such motors are new generation of DC powered electric motors or motors powered by compressed air. Embodiments of the invention with a motor attached to the chassis 84 is illustrated in FIG. 6B which requires transmission element 82 between the motor and the wheel, and the most popular example for transmission element is chain or belt which, depending of the choice, requires drive wheel equipped with adequate gear shank 80 like a sprocket or pulley. In this case the space to accommodate energy storage 86 is limited which makes the solution illustrated in FIG. 6A better way for embodiment of the invention.

Driving the vehicle may performed by only using the right hand as illustrated in this embodiment, but other modes of control are also applicable, as well as customization of the control column for only left or even both hands control. Brake lever 37, throttle control lever 38 and mode selection mechanism control lever 39 may be attached to control column which puts all primary controls in one place. Speed control of this embodiment is performed by pushing down the throttle control lever 38 by a thumb of right hand, while directional control is performed by tilting the vehicle to the side of .a -turn or by moving-the control lever to the left for left turn and right for right turn. Steering mode may be changed without stopping the vehicle by acting on a mode selection mechanism control lever 39.

Tilting mode is illustrated in FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B where the control column 32 and control column rocker arm 42 are locked in the neutral position, and the leaning system rocker arm 44 that is via ball joints 67 linked with swivelling arms is released and leaning the vehicle results with sliding of Cardan joints 64 over accompanied linear guides - right 69 and left 68 which through connecting rods 62 acts on the wheel torque arms - right 61 and left 60 resulting in rotation of steering wheels - right 34 and left 36. By leaning the vehicle to the left, right swivelling arm is lowered while the left arm is raised which results in steering wheels - right 34 and left 36 being rotated to the right and the vehicle steered to the left, as illustrated in FIG. 7A. By leaning the vehicle to the right, left swivelling arm is lowered and right arm is raised which results in steering wheels - right 34 and left 36 being rotated the left and the vehicle steered right. This mode is more appropriate for driving at higher speeds when the gyroscopic effect helps stabilizing the vehicle while leaning to the side of a turn significantly reduces the effect of centrifugal force on a driver. By acting on a mode selection mechanism control lever 39, the mode selection mechanism locks the leaning system rocker arm 44 in neutral position while the control column rocker arm 42 is released. The leaning system rocker arm 44 is via ball joints 67 linked with swivelling arms that are also being locked which results in fixing the vehicle in neutral position. By moving the control column 32 control column rocker arm 42 is also moved, acting via steering rods - right 25 and left 27 on the Cardan joints 64 by sliding them over accompanied linear guides - right 69 and left 68. Motion of Cardan joints 64 is transferred by connecting rods 62 on the torque arms - right 61 and left 60, resulting in wheel rotation - right 34 and left 36. By moving the control column 32 to the left, steering wheels - right 34 and left 36 are rotated to the right resulting that vehicle turns left as illustrated in FIG. 8A, and by moving the control column 32 to the right, steering wheels - fight 34 and left 36 are rotated left and vehicle is steered right as illustrated in FIG. 8B. This steering mode is more appropriate for low speeds when stability of the vehicle is reduced because the influence of gyroscopic effect is negligible as well as the effect of centrifugal force during turn and fixed foothold enables better control of the vehicle.

Another specific of this embodiments steering system is related to linear guides - right 69 and left 68, located on the lower segments of both swivelling arms and illustrated in FIG. 9. Enlarged detail of left swiveling arm with its associated linear guide 68 and along with other parts of the steering system is illustrated in FIG. 10. The role of the linear guide 68 is to transfer motion of the Cardan joint 64 via the connecting rod 62 to the torque arm 60 and steering wheel 36. Linear guide 68 may be as illustrated in the embodiment, a plate of metal or some other material of adequate properties in which Cardan guiding track is carved 66 to define the path of Cardan joint 64 in such way that the vertical axis of Cardan joint 65 slides along the slot defined by the Cardan guiding track 66. Illustration of this embodiment represents simplified model of vertical axle of Cardan joint 65 and Cardan guiding track 66, but realistic solution would comprise a roller bearing on the vertical axle of Cardan joint 65 and the width of the track 66 adjusted accordingly in such way the Cardan joint 64 and its vertical axle 65 is accompanied by rolling inside the Cardan guiding track 66 rather than sliding which reduces friction between the vertical axle of Cardan joint 65 and Cardan guiding track 66 and consequently also reduces the wear of these elements.

The shape of the Cardan guiding track 66 may vary depending on desired vehicle setup in terms of handling and steering sensitivity to user inputs and therefore linear guides - right 69 and left 68 may be attached to arms lower segments - right 26 and left 28 the way that linear guides may be easily replaced by another set of linear guides in order to change the vehicle handling characteristics. Cardan guiding tracks 66 are defined by three points of which, one is neutral position of each Cardan joint on the guiding track 70, and other two positions are defined by Cardan joints maximum deflections 72 and desired maximum deflections of steering wheels - right 34 and left 36. Other points are defined as a function of desired deflection of steering wheels in accordance with length of a shift of Cardan joints, the way that for certain shift of Cardan joint accompanied steering wheel is rotated for certain value. Although the central axes of Cardan guiding tracks 66 would be represented by straight lines according the illustrated embodiment, the real achievement would be presented by some sort of curve whose appearance would be determined by desired handling characteristics of the vehicle. The upper part of the control system and the mode selection mechanism is shown in FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B, where the FIG. 11A illustrates the assembled systems and section planes of some elements which are shown in FIG. 11B. The upper part of the control system comprises the control column rocker arm 42, the leaning system rocker arm 44 and rocker arms axle 49 which may be an integral part of the housing of mode selection mechanism 46 which is also integral part of the chassis 15. Mode selection mechanism comprises the rear locking rods 56 which are integral parts of the console 54, helical spring 59, axle clamp 58 and the body of mode selection mechanism 50 which integral parts are the front locking rods 52. Ball bearings 51 may be installed on the body of mode selection mechanism 50 as illustrated in FIG. 11B in order to reduce friction during movement of the body over the guide rails 48.

Helical spring 59 of mode selection mechanism acts on the console of rear locking rods 54 which pulls the body of mode selection mechanism 50 in the direction of the spring resulting in the front locking rods 52 entering the slots 45 on the leaning system rocker arm locking it in neutral position, while at the same time movement of the console of rear locking rods 54 results in pulling the rear locking rods out of the slots 41 and the rocker arm releasing the control column rocker arm, as illustrated in FIG. 12B. This way the vehicle is locked stable, and steering is performed by acting via the control column 32 on the control column rocker arm 42 transferring the motion to the lower part of the steering system and the wheels.

Change of the steering mode from classic to leaning may be performed by acting on the mode selection mechanism control lever 39 which is according to the illustrated embodiment attached on the control column 32 resulting in a cable 59 being pulled FIG. 11A which is over the cable holder 55 linked with the console of rear locking rods 54 and is attached to the axle clamp 58 in such a way that pulling of the cable compresses the same helical spring 59 and pushes the console of the rear locking rods 54 towards the control column rocker arm 42 which consequently moves the body of mode selection mechanism 50 and the front locking rods 52 in the opposite direction of leaning system rocker arm. Consequently, rear locking rods 56 lock the control column rocker arm 42 in the neutral position, while the front locking rods 52 release the leaning system rocker arm 44 as illustrated in FIG 12A. This way control column 32 is locked in neutral position and tilts with the vehicle.

Application of invention

The invention is affordable and useful means of transport which simplicity allows economical manufacturing process, and compared to previous solutions offers innovative approach to personal mode of transport with emphasis on the great flexibility for customization according the user aspiration. It is designed for indoor and outdoor use, on partially prepared surfaces and rural roads, on cherished lawns or dry dirt roads as well as on paved surfaces.

Usage of the invention requires no previous training, and information from the user manual is quite sufficient for safe use. The invention does not have a certain lifespan and can last indefinitely by replacing or repairing worn parts with all parts except the battery being fully recyclable.

It is obvious to experts that one could make a number of modifications and changes to the vehicle according to the invention embodiment, without leaving the scope of the invention. List of reference numerals used

13 - drive wheel

14 - motor integrated into drive wheel

15 - chassis

16 - right arm upper segment

18 - left arm upper segment

20 - right foot rest

22 - left foot rest

25 - right steering rod

26 - right arm lower segment

27 - left steering rod

28 - left arm lower segment

32 - control column

34 - right steering wheel with shank

36 - left steering wheel with shank

37 - brake lever

38 - throttle control lever

39 - mode selection mechanism control lever

41 - slot for the rear locking rod of mode selection mechanism 42 - control column rocker arm

43 - ball joint

44 - leaning system rocker arm

45 - slot for the front locking rod of mode selection mechanism

46 - housing of mode selection mechanism (integrated into chassis) 47 - guiding hole for front locking rod

48 - guide rail of mode selection mechanism

49 - rocker arms axle 50 - body of mode selection mechanism

51 - ball bearing of mode selection mechanism

52 - front locking rods of mode selection mechanism

54 - console of rear locking rods

55 - cable holder

56 - rear locking rods of mode selection mechanism

57 - cable

58 - axle clamp

59 - helical spring

60 - left wheel torque arm

61 - right wheel torque arm

62 - connecting rod of torque arm and Cardan joint

64 - Cardan joint between steering rod and linear guide

65 - vertical axle of Cardan joint

66 - Cardan guiding track

67 - ball joint

68 - left linear guide

69 - right linear guide

70 - neutral position of Cardan joint on the guiding track

72 - position of Cardan joint maximum deflection on the guiding track 80 - transmission element on the drive wheel

82 - gear shank

84 - motor attached to the chassis

86 -energy storage for the motor attached to the chassis

88 -energy storage for hub motor

90 - removable saddle