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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
STAIRLIFT SEAT WITH FOLDABLE ARMREST
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1995/019315
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A seat for a stairlift comprises an armrest (11) which is pivotable between an upright out-of-use position and a horizontal in-use position, and a link arm (20) which folds against the armrest (11) when in its out-of-use position but which unfolds from the armrest when the latter is pivoted to its in-use position. In use, the link arm (20) closes the gap between the armrest (11) and the front of the seat base (10), providing improved security for the user.

Inventors:
Parker
Kim, Young
Alastair
Application Number:
PCT/GB1995/000040
Publication Date:
July 20, 1995
Filing Date:
January 10, 1995
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
STANNAH STAIRLIFTS LIMITED PARKER
Kim, Young
Alastair
International Classes:
B66B9/08; (IPC1-7): B66B9/08
Foreign References:
US2888099A
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A seat for a stairlift, the seat having an armrest which is pivotable between a generally upright outofuse position and a generally horizontal inuse position, and a link arm which coextends with the armrest when in its said outof use position but which displaces relative to the armrest when the latter is pivoted to its inuse position, such that the link arm adopts a position in which its free outer end projects downwardly adjacent the front of the armrest.
2. A seat as claimed in claim 1, in which the link arm is pivotally mounted to the armrest and is connected to a linkage which serves to displace the link arm relative to the armrest as the latter is moved from its outofuse position to its in use position.
3. A seat as claimed in claim 2, in which the linkage, armrest and link arm form a parallelogram assembly.
4. A seat as claimed in claims 2 or 3, in which the linkage extends through a channel formed in the armrest.
5. A seat as claimed in any preceding claim, comprising a seat base which is pivotable from a horizontal inuse position to a generally vertical outofuse position.
6. A seat as claimed in claim 5, comprising a pair of said armrests arranged on respective opposite sides of the seat base.
7. A seat as claimed in any preceding claim, in which the link arm folds against the armrest when the latter is pivoted to its outofuse position.
8. A seat as claimed in claim 7, in which the link arm folds against the armrest under gravity. 9) A seat as claimed in claim 7, in which the link arm folds against the armrest by means of a spring.
Description:
Stairlift seat with foldable armrest

This invention relates to a seat with a seat for a stairlift, the seat having a foldable armrest.

Stairlifts are known which comprise a seat mounted to a motorised carriage assembly which runs on a rail extending along one side of the stairs, so that an infirm or disabled person can be transported up or down the stairs whilst sitting on the seat. The seats are generally mounted transversely of the stairs, so that the user sits sideways relative to the stairs, and generally include armrests. The seat base and armrests can be pivoted upwards to an out-of-use position, to leave the stairs free of obstruction for other users: generally the seat base and armrests can be pivoted independently of each other and, in particular the armrests can be pivoted to an out- of-use position independently of the seat base in order to give the user unrestricted access to the seat. In their in-use position, the armrests extend parallel to the seat base leaving open gaps between their lower edges and the seat base. Particularly in the case of stairlifts, these open gaps can be perceived as being prejudicial to the user's security and safety.

We have now devised a seat for a stairlift, the seat having a foldable armrest which provides for improved security when in its in-use position, but which can be pivoted readily to its out-of-use position to allow unrestricted access to the seat.

In accordance with this invention there is provided a seat for a stairlift, the seat having an armrest which is pivotable between a generally upright out-of-use position and a generally horizontal in-use position, and a link arm which co-extends with the armrest when in its said out-of-use position but which displaces relative to the armrest when the latter is pivoted to its in-use position, such that the link arm adopts a position in which its free outer end projects downwardly from adjacent the front of the armrest. Thus, in use the link arm closes or partly closes the gap between the armrest and the seat base. However, the

armrest can be pivoted upwards independently of the seat base, since the link arm is not connected to the latter, when the user requires unrestricted access to the seat.

Preferably the seat base is also pivotable from a horizontal in-use position to a generally vertical out-of-use position.

Preferably the link arm is pivotally mounted to the armrest and is connected to a linkage which serves to displace the link arm relative to the armrest as the latter is moved from its out-of-use position to its in-use position.

Preferably the linkage, armrest and link arm form a parallelogram assembly.

Preferably the linkage extends through a channel formed in the armrest. Preferably the seat comprises a pair of armrests, each independently pivotable between the in-use and out-of-use positions.

An embodiment of this invention will now be described by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a partial side view of a seat for a stairlift in accordance with this invention, an armrest of the seat being shown in its in-use position;

FIGURE 2 is a side view of the seat of Figure 1, the armrest being shown in its out-of-use position and

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view along the line III-III of Figure 2.

Referring to the drawings, there is shown a seat for a stairlift, the seat comprising a base 10 and a pair of foldable armrests, one of which is shown at 11. The armrest 11 comprises an elongate metal channel-section member 12 having a padded covering 13 over its upper surface and having its underside closed by a U-section plastics housing 14. The channel-section member 12 is pivotally attached at its rear end to the upper arm of a bifurcated metal plate 15 mounted at the back of the seat. The bifurcated plate 15 comprises a slot having horizontal and vertical edges 17,18 which extend generally radially from the pivot point PI of the armrest 11. A stud 16 projects from a sidewall of the channel-section

element 12 through the slot in the bifurcated plate 15.

When the armrest 11 is folded down to its in-use position as shown in Figure 1, the stud 16 abuts the vertical edge 18 of the slot in the bifurcated plate 15, and thus prevents further downwards pivotal movement of the armrest. In the out-of-use position of the armrest 11, the stud 16 abuts the horizontal edge 17 of the slot in the bifurcated plate 15, to prevent further upwardly and rearwardly movement of the armrest 11. A link arm 20 has one end pivotally attached at P2 adjacent the forward end of the channel-section member 12. The link arm 20 comprises an elongate metal U-section member 21 covered by a plastics sleeve 22. In the out-of-use position of the armrest 11, the link arm 20 is folded flat against its underside. A linkage is provided to displace the link arm 20 relative to the armrest 11 as the latter is pivoted between its in-use and out-of-use positions.

The linkage comprises an elongate shaft 23 having one end pivotally connected to a point P3 adjacent the free end of the link arm 20, and its other end pivotally connected to a point P4 on a plate 24 which is pivotally mounted on the pivot point PI of the armrest 11. Thus, the armrest 11, link arm 20, shaft 23 and plate 24 form a parallelogram. The shaft 23 extends along the channel in the channel-section member 12, which conceals the shaft and prevents users from trapping their fingers in the linkage.

In use, when the user pivots the armrest 11 down from its vertical out-of-use position, the plate 24 abuts a peg 25 on the bifurcated plate 15, to prevent further pivotal movement of the plate 24 and thereby cause the link arm 20 to unfold from the armrest as the latter continues to pivot downwards. When the armrest 11 reaches its horizontal in-use position, the link arm 20 reaches a position in which it extends downwardly from the armrest 11 with its free end adjacent the front edge of the seat base 10: this reduces the risk of the user slipping sideways from the seat and gives the user an increased feeling of security.

In the example shown, the link arm 20 folds onto the underside of the armrest 11 under gravity as the armrest is

pivoted to its out-of-use position. Instead however, a spring may be connected between the link arm 20 and the arm rest to bias the link arm towards the arm rest as the latter is raised. The stairlift seat further comprises a carriage assembly (not shown) to which the base 10 and armrests are mounted, the carriage assembly being arranged to run along a rail which extends up the side of a flight of stairs. The carriage assembly may comprise a motor which drives the assembly along the rail, so that an infirm or disabled person can be transported up or down the stairs. It will be appreciated that the displaceable link arm in the armrest of the seat gives the user a feeling of security whilst being transported up or down the stairs. The armrest and link arm can be folded away at the top or bottom of the stairs, so that the user can get on or off the stairlift seat easily.