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Title:
OFFICE OR LABORATORY WORKSTATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/079583
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mobile workstation (1) comprises a support structure (2) with a plurality of wheels (3) for supporting the workstation (1) on a floor (4) and for sliding the workstation (1) by means of rolling contact of the wheels (3) on the floor (4), a work space boundary structure (5) connected to the support structure (2) and comprising a work surface (6), an electromechanical movement system (7) for moving the work space boundary structure (5), a connection device (8) integrated into the workstation (1) for an electrical power connection with the electronic equipment in order to supply electrical energy to the electronic equipment, an electrical control system (9) integrated into the workstation (1) and connected to the movement system (7), a user interface (10) connected to the control system (9) to control the movement of the work space boundary structure (5), a rechargeable battery (11), directly arranged on board the workstation (1) and electrically connected to the electrical control system (9), the connection device (8) and the movement system (7).

Inventors:
MOLTENI PIERO (IT)
Application Number:
IB2019/058772
Publication Date:
April 23, 2020
Filing Date:
October 15, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
UNIFOR SPA (IT)
International Classes:
A47B9/20; A47B21/02; A47B27/14; A47B9/04; A47B97/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009033486A12009-03-19
Foreign References:
JP2000210339A2000-08-02
US5758586A1998-06-02
EP0782828A21997-07-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEIHKAUF, Steffen Falk et al. (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A mobile workstation (1 ), comprising:

- a support structure (2) with a plurality of wheels (3) for supporting the workstation (1 ) on a floor (4) and for sliding the workstation (1 ) by means of rolling contact of the wheels (3) on the floor (4),

- a work space boundary structure (5) connected to the support structure (2) and comprising a work surface (6),

- an electro-mechanical movement system (7) for moving the work space boundary structure

(5),

- a connection device (8) integrated in the workstation (1 ) for an electrical power connection with the electronic equipment in order to supply electrical energy to the electronic equipment,

- an electrical control system (9) integrated in the workstation (1 ) and connected to the movement system (7),

- a user interface (10) connected to the control system (9) to control the movement of the work space boundary structure (5),

- a rechargeable battery (1 1 ), directly arranged on board the workstation (1 ) and electrically connected to the electrical control system (9), to the connection device (8) and to the movement system (7).

2. A workstation (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein the support structure (2) comprises two vertical uprights (12) arranged on two opposite lateral sides of the workstation (1 ), and a support beam (13) is connected to a lower end (12') of each vertical upright (12), said support beam (13) having two opposite end portions (13') to which the wheels (3) are connected, so that four wheels (3) of the workstation (1 ) define the four corners of a quadrilateral.

3. A workstation (1 ) according to claim 2, wherein the two vertical uprights (12) support one or more box-shaped profiles (18) made of perforated metal sheet which brace the support structure (2) and accommodate auxiliary functional components of the workstation (1 ).

4. A workstation (1 ) according to claim 3, wherein the rechargeable battery (1 1 ) and the control system (9) are accommodated in the box-shaped profile (18) and a wiring between the battery (1 1 ) and the connection device (8) comprises a bundle of cables joined together to form a single flexible bead (31 ) extended with catenary curvature between the box-shaped profile (18) and the work surface (6).

5. A workstation (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising a charger device (29) for charging the battery (1 1 ), as well as an optical or acoustic warning device (30) of a charge condition of the battery (1 1 ).

6. A workstation (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the workspace boundary structure (5) further comprises one or more vertical wall segments (21 , 22) extending in planes erected at one or more lateral (23) and rear (24) peripheral edges of the work surface (6).

7. A workstation (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the electro mechanical movement system (7) comprises a device (25) for adjusting the height of the working surface (6) with respect to the support structure (2).

8. A workstation (1 ) according to claim 2 and 7, wherein:

- the height adjustment device (25) comprises, for each vertical upright (12), a rotary- translational motion conversion mechanism (26) at least partially accommodated inside the vertical upright (12), as well as an electric motor (27) controlled by the control system (9) for a synchronized adjustment of the height of the work surface (6) with respect to the support structure (2).

9. A workstation (1 ) according to claim 8, wherein the rotary-translational motion conversion mechanism (26) comprises a two-stage worm gear transmission.

10. A workstation (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the connection device (8) is mounted in the work surface (6) in a displaceable manner between:

- a retracted position, in which it defines a planar continuation of the work surface (6), and

- an extracted position, in which it protrudes out of the surface of the work surface (6), exposing one or more connection interfaces (28) of the connection device (8) to the outside.

11. A workstation (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the user interface (10) comprises an actuating member arranged below the work surface (6) at a front edge thereof facing the user side (20).

Description:
"Office or laboratory workstation"

DESCRIPTION

[0001] The present invention relates to an office or laboratory workstation, in particular a desk or workstation suitable for office work or study and/or for supporting electronic and telecommunication devices, for example portable computers, personal computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, tablets, smartphones, cameras, lighting devices, electronic analysis and/or testing equipment, medical diagnostic equipment, such as microscopes with lighting and/or an electrical and/or electronic image detection function. The term "office or laboratory" of course also includes hotel environments, conference rooms that provide activities that may require the use of electronic equipment described above.

[0002] Nowadays, workstations can no longer be considered solely as stationary workstations with fixed electricity and light installations. On the contrary, the need is felt to be able to have versatile workstations as regards their positioning individually or in groups of workstations, for example in conference rooms, in laboratories, in hotels and in co-working spaces.

[0003] There is also a need for proximity to electrical outlets at the workstation for the operation and recharging of electronic devices and equipment and for lighting the workstation and/or adjacent spaces.

[0004] The need is also felt to ensure a certain degree of confidentiality of the contents of supported documents or images reproduced by means of electronic equipment (portable computers, tablet computers, etc.) positioned on the individual workstation, despite the need for a versatile positioning and/or grouping of the same workstation together with other workstations. The need is also felt for easy handling and easy adaptation of shape and/or size, for example of the height of the workstation. Finally, the need is felt to be able to use the workstation with an ergonomic individual posture (of the person) and without fatigue, even during repeated movements and/or reconfigurations of the workstation itself or the change of workstation by the user.

[0005] The workstations of the prior art, in particular the desks with individual or multi position tables, do not meet the requirements listed or only partially meet them.

[0006] The object of the present invention is therefore to provide an improved office or laboratory workstation having such features as to overcome at least some of the drawbacks of the prior art. [0007] The object of the invention is achieved by an office or laboratory workstation according to claim 1. The dependent claims describe advantageous and preferred embodiments.

[0008] According to an aspect of the invention, an office or laboratory workstation comprises:

- a support structure with a plurality of wheels for supporting the workstation on a floor and for sliding the workstation by means of rolling contact of the wheels on the floor,

- a work space boundary structure connected to the support structure and comprising a work surface horizontally positioned or positionable,

- an electro-mechanical movement system for moving the work space boundary structure,

- a connection device integrated into the workstation for an electrical power connection with electronic equipment,

- an electrical control system integrated into the workstation and connected to the movement system,

- a user interface connected to the control system to control the movement of the work space boundary structure,

- a rechargeable battery, directly on board the workstation and electrically connected to the electrical control system, to the connection device and to the movement system.

[0009] The workstation thus configured is versatile as far as its positioning is concerned, it allows full functionality even in remote locations from electrical outlets, and facilitates the movement and/or adaptation of the shape and/or size of the work space boundary structure, in particular of the work surface.

[0010] To better understand the invention and appreciate the advantages thereof, some exemplary non-limiting embodiments of the workstation are described hereinafter with reference to the accompanying figures, in which:

[0011] figure 1 is a lateral-top perspective view of a workstation according to an embodiment,

[0012] figure 2 is a lateral view of the workstation of figure 1 ,

[0013] figure 3 is a vertical sectional view of the workstation of figure 1 ,

[0014] figure 4 is a bottom view of the workstation of figure 1 ,

[0015] figure 5 is an enlarged view of detail V in figure 3,

[0016] figure 6 is an enlarged view of detail VI in figure 2.

[0017] With reference to the figures, an office or laboratory workstation 1 comprises: - a support structure 2 with a plurality of wheels 3 for supporting the workstation 1 on a floor 4 and for sliding the workstation 1 by means of rolling contact of the wheels 3 on the floor 4,

- a work space boundary structure 5 connected to the support structure 2 and comprising a work surface 6 (i.e. e.g. a work surface panel or an upper surface defined by a work surface panel) horizontally positioned or positionable,

- an electro-mechanical movement system 7 for moving the work space boundary structure 5,

- a connection device 8 integrated in the workstation 1 for an electrical power connection with electronic equipment,

- an electrical control system 9 integrated in the workstation 1 and connected to the movement system 7,

- a user interface 10 connected to the control system 9 to control the movement of the work space boundary structure 5,

- a rechargeable battery 1 1 , directly arranged on board the workstation 1 and electrically connected to the electrical control system 9, to the connection device 8 and to the movement system 7.

[0018] The workstation 1 thus configured is versatile as far as its positioning is concerned, it allows full functionality even in remote locations from electrical outlets, and facilitates the movement and/or adaptation of the shape and/or size of the work space boundary structure 5, in particular of the work surface 6.

[0019] According to an embodiment, the support structure 2 can comprise two vertical uprights 12 arranged on two opposite lateral sides of the workstation 1. At a lower end 12' of each vertical upright 12 a support beam 13 can be connected to whose opposite end portions 13' the wheels 3 are connected so that the four wheels 3 of the work station 1 define the four corners of a quadrilateral or a rectangle.

[0020] The wheels 3 are supported in a fork 16 rotatably with respect to the fork 16 around a horizontal axis 14, and the fork is in turn fixed to a wheel support 17, for example in the form of an inverted bowl, rotatable around a vertical axis 15 with respect to the wheel support 17. The wheel support 17 may be advantageously fixed, for example welded to a hole, in the support beam 13.

[0021] The two vertical uprights 12 may support one or more open or closed box-shaped profiles 18, for example in perforated sheet metal or in a mesh or in the form of a basket or U-shaped profile open upwards, suitable for containing functional components of the workstation 1 and/or for connecting the two vertical uprights 12 to each other and in this way brace the entire support structure 2.

[0022] Advantageously, the box-shaped profile 18 is positioned and extends (preferably completely and only) on a rear side 19 of the vertical uprights 12, opposite a user side 20 of the workstation 1 , on which the user is in a condition of use of the workstation 1 (figures 2, 3).

[0023] According to an embodiment, the workspace boundary structure 5 further comprises one or more vertical wall segments 21 , 22 extending in erected planes, for example vertical, at one or more lateral 23 peripheral edges and rear 24 peripheral edges of the work surface 6. This increases the level of privacy and confidentiality of the performance of the work and of the content of work carried out through the workstation 1.

[0024] Preferably, the vertical wall segments 21 , 22 comprise a single rear wall segment 22 arranged on a rear side of the work surface 6 opposite the user side 20, and two lateral wall segments 21 arranged on two opposite lateral sides of the work surface 6.

[0025] According to one embodiment, the electro-mechanical movement system 7 comprises a device 25 for adjusting the height of the work space boundary structure 5 or of the work surface/plane 6 with respect to the support structure 2.

[0026] The height adjustment device 25 comprises, for each vertical upright 12, a rotary- translational motion conversion mechanism 26 at least partially or completely accommodated inside the vertical upright 12, as well as an electric motor 27 controlled by the control system 9 for a synchronized adjustment of the height of the work surface 6 with respect to the support structure 2.

[0027] The rotary-translational motion conversion mechanism 26 comprises a, preferably two-stage, worm gear (or jack screw) transmission.

[0028] According to an embodiment, the connection device 8 is mounted in the work surface 6 or in one of the vertical wall segments 21 , 22 and may preferably be displaceable or orientable between a retracted position, in which it defines a planar continuation of the work surface 6, and an extracted position, in which it protrudes out of the surface of the work surface 6 exposing one or more connection interfaces 28 of the connection device 8 (figure 1 ). The connection interfaces 28 may comprise an electrical socket, e.g. 220V standard and/or a 5V USB socket, and/or an electromagnetic interface for a wireless transmission of electricity, again to supply electricity. Moreover, the connection interfaces 28 may also comprise a connector for charging the rechargeable battery 1 1 to absorb electrical energy. [0029] Advantageously, the connection device 8 is arranged adjacent to the rear peripheral edge 24 of the work surface 6 at half distance from the opposite lateral peripheral edges 23.

[0030] The control system 9 may comprise a charger device 29 for charging the battery 1 1 , as well as an optical or acoustic warning device 30 of the charge condition of battery 1 1 . The control system 9 may be at least partly housed in the box-shaped profile 18 connected to the support structure 2.

[0031] The user interface 10 may comprise an actuating member, for example a button or a lever, arranged below the work surface 6 at a front edge thereof facing the user side 20 (figures 2, 5).

[0032] The rechargeable battery 1 1 may be housed in a fixed or removable and replaceable manner, for example in the box-shaped profile 18.

[0033] The wiring between battery 1 1 and the connection device 8 may comprise a bundle of cables joined together to form a single flexible string 31 extended with catenary curvature between the box-shaped profile 18 and the work surface 6, to accommodate the relative height adjustment movements between them.

[0034] A person skilled in the art may make several changes and variants in order to meet specific and incidental needs, all falling within the scope of protection as defined by the claims.