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Title:
SYSTEM FOR OPTIONAL DYNAMIC POSITIONING OF A SKI BINDING ON A SKI
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/095232
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
System for optional dynamic positioning of a ski binding (2) or parts thereof on or in a ski during use, the system comprising a motor (3), an energy source for driving the motor (3), a control system arranged to control the motor (3) and a power transmission mechanism (5) that transmits power from the motor (3) to the ski binding (2) or parts thereof.

Inventors:
SVENDSEN, Øyvar (Arnebråtveien 57, 0771 Oslo, 0771, NO)
GOVERUD-HOLM, Thomas (Vassåsveien 27, 3090 Hoff, 3090, NO)
DANIELSEN, Jørn Frode (Ekeveien 11G, 1446 Drøbak, 1446, NO)
HOLØS, Steinar (Lambertseterveien 47, 1154 Oslo, 1154, NO)
WØLLO, Even (Sundbyveien 24, 3478 Nærsnes, 3478, NO)
AANES, Øyvind (Herman Wildenveys gate 67, 3022 Drammen, 3022, NO)
Application Number:
NO2016/050248
Publication Date:
June 08, 2017
Filing Date:
November 30, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ROTTEFELLA AS (Industriveien 1, 3490 Klokkarstua, 3490, NO)
International Classes:
A63C9/088; A63C9/08; A63C9/086
Domestic Patent References:
WO2002013924A12002-02-21
WO2014205472A12014-12-31
Foreign References:
US4465295A1984-08-14
US8910967B22014-12-16
EP2281615A22011-02-09
US8910967B22014-12-16
US8910968B22014-12-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ZACCO NORWAY AS (Box 2003 Vika, 0125 Oslo, 0125, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Patent Claim

System for optional dynamic positioning of a ski binding (2) or parts thereof, on or in a ski during use,

characterized by the system being comprised of a motor (3), an energy source for driving the motor (3), a control system arranged to control the motor (3) and a power transmission mechanism (5) that transmits a force from the motor (3) to the ski binding (2) or parts of this.

The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the power transmission mechanism (5) is a track.

The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the power transmission mechanism (5) transmits a force selected from the group comprising: longitudinal, transverse, rotating, twisting, tilting, off -centering and rendering.

The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the power transmission mechanism (5) is one or more of the group comprising: a gear, a wire, a chain, a rack, one worm screw, a worm gear, a piston.

The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the power transmission mechanism (5) is arranged in a groove or channel on or in the ski.

The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the power transmission mechanism (5) is arranged in a groove or channel on or in a plate (6).

The system, in accordance with claim 1, comprising several transmission mechanisms (5).

The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein all or part of the system is disposed in a pocket or a chamber in the ski.

The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein one or more elements are integrated or included in another.

10. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the motor (3) is electric.

11. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the motor (3), the energy source and the control system are a person.

12. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the motor (3) is a pneumatic system.

13. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the motor (3) is arranged to cause a displacement of the ski binding forwards or backwards between different longitudinal positions on or in the ski. 14. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the motor (3) is arranged to cause a displacement of one or more parts of the ski binding between different positions.

15. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein movement of one or more parts involves moving a ski boot position on the ski when the ski boot is fixed to the ski binding.

16. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the linkage is arranged to move continuously between the positions. 17. The system, in accordance with claim 1, wherein the linkage is adapted to move

between discrete positions.

18. The system, in accordance with claim 8, wherein the motor (3) is selected from the group comprising: step motor, linear motor, screw motor, telescopic motor, gear motor, and magnetic/solenoid switch.

Description:
System for optional dynamic positioning of a ski binding on a ski

The presented invention relates to a system for optional dynamic positioning of a ski binding on a ski during use to improve an athlete's performance and user experience.

From US 8910967, we can now manually change the position of a cross-country or tour binding in longitudinal direction by means of a manual device, for example, with a lever or rotary knob. The publication points out the benefits of being able to change the position of a binding on one ski to improve an athlete's performance and user experience. By moving the binding forward relative to the neutral position, the athlete will notice that the friction or the grip on the terrain improves. This is due primarily to the fact that it is now easier for the athlete to press the ski's grip zone down on the ground. By moving the binding backwards on the ski relative to the neutral position, the grip will deteriorate, but the ski will glide easier and faster. According to US 8910967, advantages are gained by moving the binding back and forth by a manually operable lever or rotary knob, which, via a gear or another toothed element, causes the binding to be displaced between two or more longitudinal positions on the ski. US 8910968 has experienced some drawbacks and problems. To move the binding, the athlete must stop completely, or at least bend down while moving, to reach the lever or knob and operate these. This is a disadvantage during use, where one will lose time and efficiency with the loss of rhythm. For the same reasons, it is impractical to operate the lever or knob often, even if you want to. If the terrain often changes in character, for example, with an undulating trail or terrain, it would be optimal to change the binding's position before and/or on every hill. For these reasons, US 8910968 is best used on a course or in a ski area where it is not appropriate or desirable to adjust the binding's positions often.

It is therefore a goal of the presented invention to provide a solution, which is not encumbered with the above disadvantages. The presented invention is defined in the appended claim 1. Further advantageous features and embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

The following is a non-limiting description of advantageous embodiments with reference to the drawings, where

Figure la-c shows the embodiment of a system according to the presented invention; Figure 2a-c shows another embodiment of a system according to the presented invention; Figure 3a-b shows a third embodiment of a system according to the presented invention; Figure 4a-c shows possible embodiments of boards/tracks, Figure 5a-f shows possible embodiments of tracks,

Figure 6a-i shows cross-sections of possible embodiments of the presented invention; Figure 7a-b shows further possible embodiments of boards/tracks of the presented invention; Figure 8a-c shows alternative embodiments,

Figure 9a-b illustrates alternative embodiments,

Figure lOa-b shows further alternative embodiments of the presented invention; Figure lla-e shows a manual embodiment of the presented invention; Figure 12 illustrates another manual embodiment of the presented invention; Figure 13 shows a third manual embodiment of the presented invention, and Figure 14 shows a fourth embodiment of the presented invention.

Figure la-c show an embodiment of the presented invention comprised of an electrical and remote control system (1) to change an athlete's position on a ski in a longitudinal direction. An electric motor (3) is arranged so that it pushes a binding (2) on a ski forward or backward depending on an electric signal given by an athlete. The motor (3) pushes/pulls the binding (2) and the heel (4) via a transmission mechanism (5). The motor (3) and the binding (2) are mounted on a plate (6). The binding (2) and the heel (4) are mounted such that they can slide on the plate (6).

Herein it should be understood that a "transmission mechanism" and a "track" may include a rod, a pole or similar elements, which can have various shapes, cross-sections, widths and lengths. Transmissions may include various movable mechanisms. Materials can be selected as required.

As shown in Figure 2a-c, a track (5) can be mounted in the longitudinally extending direction in or on the plate (6). In the illustrated embodiment, the track (5) runs along the plate (6), such that with mounting, for example, it can be inserted from either end of the plate (6) in such a way that the track (5) can move in the longitudinal direction of the plate, while the track (5) is held firmly by the plate in all other directions. An embodiment in which the track can be laid directly into a slot in the plate (6) is also conceivable. Different embodiments of the track or transmission mechanism are shown in Figures 4a-c, 5a-f, 6a-i, 7a-b, lOa-b and lla-e. In the embodiments shown in the example 4a-c and 6a, c and d the plate (6) has an "undercut", which grips the track 5 tightly. Other embodiments are also conceivable, for example, the track (5) extends in a somewhat partially closed channel, either in the plate (6) or a ski (for example, 6e-i, lOa-b). It is understood that the plate (6) can be mounted onto the ski either by screws, adhesive or binding, ref. for example, 6d and lOa-b. The plate (6) may be also be integrated into a ski (for example, Figure 6b and 6f).

Back to Figure 2a we see that the motor (3) can be mounted on the front part of the plate (6) such that the motor (3) is fixed, relative to plate (6) and the ski. Although the motor (3) is shown mounted in front of the binding (2) and top plate (6), the motor (3) may be mounted behind the binding (2) and/or the heel (4), under binding (2) or plate (6), under the binding (2) or plate (6) integrated into the ski or even in a ski boot (not shown). Figure 2a shows the track (5) mounted longitudinally extending in the plate (6). The binding (2) and the heel (4) are mounted in or on the track (5). Here, by means of a pin or pins 20 on the track (5), which can be snapped or otherwise can be inserted into complementary holes/slots in the binding (2), or vice versa. Figure lb-c illustrates embodiments assembled together, respectively in the forward and rear positions. The track (5) can be provided with grooves, pins or notches 7, which are suitable to engage a gear (not shown) with a toothed wheel or equivalent in or from the motor. The grooves or notches (7) may have a different design and location depending on the motor (3) design and location. Examples of traces, pins or notches (7) are, for example, shown in Figure 5a-c. The grooves, tabs and/or the notches (7) can also be provided on the underside of the track, so that they engage with a motor, which is arranged in the ski on the underside of the track, ref. Figure 5e-f and 8c.

Figure 3a-b shows an embodiment where a track (5) is fixed with a pin or equivalent in front of the binding (2). The advantage of this embodiment is that the track does not need to proceed under the binding (2) in a plate (6), channel in a ski or similar. In this embodiment, the heel (4) moves together with the binding, but the heel can also get stuck.

Figure 4a shows a plate (6) attached to the ski using screws in the screw holes 22. Figure b and c show an embodiment, which can be glued or bonded to the ski. These embodiments also include pins 20 for attachment of binding (2).

The track (5), as mentioned, can include traces, pins and/or notches 20, which hold the binding (2). If the track includes a wide range of notches or grooves, the binding (2) can be

mounted/positioned on the track (5)/plate (6) in the desired position, ref. Figure 7b. Figure 7b alone shows only several notches or grooves 23 for the heel (4), but the same can be provided for the binding (2), where there are now only two notches shown for a fixed position. One can, for example, provide sufficient notches/slots for the binding to be mounted within a length interval of 3 or 5 cm (it may be more or less, but it's immaterial in this example). Thus, the binding (2) is mounted/fastened onto the ski in the athlete's neutral starting position, whereupon the motor (3) can move the binding (2) or the athlete back and forth as desired during use. Such a possibility can be useful if the athlete gains or loses weight. Various conditions can also make it desirable to change the athlete's neutral starting position. Figure 7a shows a so-called "hybrid plate." In the plate (6), a conventional binding is attached without any dynamic system comprising of a motor (3), track (5), etc. The plate (6) includes a permanent attachment notch/track 23. If the athlete wants to develop with a dynamic system, a track can be placed in track 24 and a motor (3) attached on top of the track in the fastening mechanism 25. In this case, the binding must be a sliding type, which engages with the permanent attachment notch/track 23. The motor (3), the track (5) and the binding (2) are shown in Figure 3a-b will be suitable for retrofit of such a hybrid plate.

As an alternative to the notch/slot, a binding can also be secured/positioned/connected to the track (5) by means of snap locks, screws, Velcro adhesive material, etc., ref. Figure 5a (Velcro) and 5b (screws). The track (5) and a binding may be molded integrally. In another embodiment, the track (5), a binding and a motor, if necessary, can also, with other items, form one integral piece, so that it moves in a plate (6) or in the ski.

Figure 6e shows various embodiments where the ski comprises a groove or channel 21 which can house or accommodate a transmission mechanism 22, 23. The power transmission mechanism 22 shows a worm screw that can be turned. The power transmission mechanism 22 is a rod linkage or a portion of the binding (2) attached in or on. Here, it is attached with a screw, but other alterrnatives can also be used. Figure lOa-b shows a groove or channel 21, which is partially or completely closed. In this embodiment, the motor (3) is either placed in the ski, on the ski or in the binding.

Figure 5d shows a track (5), which can be pulled back and forth by means of a worm screw. This embodiment can be an alternative embodiment to what is shown in Figure la-c or 6e.

Figure lOa-b shows as mentioned an embodiment of the invention, wherein the power transmission mechanism extends in a groove or channel 21 in the ski. The opening 24 can accommodate the power transmission mechanism and other items such as motor, control system and/or battery. Figure 8a and 8c show an alternative way to apply the opening. Here the plate (6) is provided with an open chamber 25, which can be placed in the opening 24 or an equivalent opening. Figure 8c shows a motor (3) placed in the chamber 25, as it can draw on a track located above the plate (6). Figure 8a shows a plate (6), which can be glued/bonded onto the ski, as Figure 8c shows a plate (6), which can be screwed onto the ski. The chamber 25 may also contain elements such as a driving system and/or battery.

Figure 8b shows an embodiment of a short plate (6) where the heel (4) is separate and fixed.

Figure 9a shows an embodiment comprised of two plates (6), wherein the heel is movable with a track that extends through both plates.

Figure 9b shows standardized attachment mechanisms 25 on the front of the plate (6). The advantage of these is that a motor, a battery, a stop plate, etc., can all fit in the same fastening mechanism, i.e. they are interchangeable.

Figure lla-e shows a manual embodiment 13 of the invention where the motor is replaced with a manipulable moving and locking mechanism 26, 27. Such a manual procedure may be appropriate for athletes who want a cheaper product or who do not want the hassle of advanced systems. The manipulable moving and locking mechanism 26, 27 fit the standardized fastener 25. The moving mechanism may include a lever 26 cooperating with a flexible flap 28 of the track (5). By tilting the lever back and forth, the track (5), and thus the binding, can also be moved.

Figure 12 shows an alternative manual embodiment 13 comprising a rotating wheel 29 that moves the binding (2) back and forth. The housing 30 is applicable and is stuck in the standard fastener 25. The thumb wheel 29 may comprise gears or chamber (not shown) that pulls the track back and forth. The rotating wheel 29, the gear(s) and/or the chamber(s) are fixed relative to the ski in the standardized attachment mechanism 25. Figure 13 shows a further alternative embodiment comprised of a longitudinal groove 9 and a number of transverse grooves 10, which are arranged in a housing 30. Housing 30 is fixed relative to the ski in the standardized attachment mechanism 25. A lever 12 is mounted in connection with the track (5) so that the lever 12 can be moved from one transverse slot to another. The distance between the grooves 10 determines the distance between the binding's two different positions. An off-center mechanism, rotary knob or laterally arranged lever, etc. is also conceivable.

Figure 14 shows a lock plate or a latch housing 31. This can be designed to fit the standardized fastener 25. The slots or notches 32 are designed to engage with corresponding

grooves/notches (7) in the track (5), thereby locking the binding (2) in one fixed position. This position may in itself be modified by removing the plate 31, adjusting the position of the track (5)/binding (2), and then setting the plate 31 again. Such a simple plate 31 may be an emergency solution or sold as a future compatible system that can be developed with a manual procedure or dynamic execution. Such manual embodiments can also be used as a handy spare part, which can be carried during use. If the athlete experiences problems with an electric motor, for example, in that it runs out of battery, becomes damaged or becomes slow, the motor (3) can easily be manually replaced with a standardized attachment 25. The standardized attachment mechanism 25 can be used by both manual and dynamic/electrical items, such that everything can be interchangeable. The positions of the binding (2) mentioned above may be discrete or continuous.

If the system is electrical and uses electrical signals, these may be given or sent from buttons, levers, switches, sensitive zones or similar entities such as can be arranged on a glove or a ski pole. Such entities could then be said to constitute controls. Other locations and applicable methods can also be conceivable. For example, we can have three buttons: "Forward/good grip," "neutral/default" and "backward/glide." The system can also be fluid.

In addition, one can have a separate position for attaching the ski boot to the binding/ski. One could suppose, for example, that, in addition to a front, middle and rear position, there could be a "fourth position" that opens the binding. In this fourth position, the binding would be open and the athlete can put on or release the ski. If the athlete wants to put on the ski, the binding can be locked by moving the binding to the forward, middle and rear position (there can of course be more positions). Alternatively, the binding can be locked electrically in the fourth position .

Although an electric motor (3) is described, a pneumatic system, hydraulic system, a mechanical system, etc., which are all able to slide the binding (2) back and forth between different longitudinal positions, can also be used. Such alternative systems can be electrically functional.

If an electric motor (3) is used, the system must include a power source (7) in the form of an energy-bearing element (battery, capacitor, feather/alternator, etc.). This or these may be arranged in connection with the motor (3), elsewhere on the binding or the ski shoe or a place on the athlete's body. Furthermore, the system, comprised of a signal transponder or other communication mechanism/microprocessor, receives a signal, processes it and sends a signal through to the motor (3), causing the binding to move backwards or forward.

The motor, the manual execution or the locked embodiment may be attached to the ski/plate in various ways. Because these are relatively connected, they can achieve the benefits mentioned above, i.e., the athlete has the opportunity to replace or upgrade the component elements. This applies not only to the motor, the manual execution or the locked performance, but also the track, the binding, the battery, etc.

As there will be major forces transferred from the athlete, through the binding and the ski, the system may thus include items that lock the binding firmly in the selected position after the motor (3) has shifted the binding (only shown for the manual system). The locking element should in any case be of such a nature that it can withstand strong applied forces. Instead of separate locking elements, the latching element can be a part of the electric motor (3) or pneumatic systems, hydraulic systems, mechanical systems, etc. In one embodiment, the latching element can be arranged in connection with the motor, for example, such that a rotary shaft on the basis of the motor, if necessary via gearing, is locked in the axial direction. The shaft may thus rotate freely, while the axial forces transmitted from the binding to the shaft are occupied by the locking elements. If the shaft of the electric motor transmits rotational forces via a single gear system to another shaft, then the shaft of the electric motor is not affected by any axial play or movement that occurs, either by necessary tolerances or wear in the latch element.

One or more sensors in or adjacent to an electrical actuator, the motor (3) or pneumatic systems, hydraulic systems, mechanical systems, etc., can alternatively, feel and send a signal back to the transponder/microprocessor with notification of the binding's position and state. It is understood that the system corresponding to the electrical version of the invention in most cases should be sealed or protected from water ingress. Penetration of snow, ice and condensation can also pose a problem that the system can or should be protected from. To mitigate condensation problems, heating elements may be arranged on the inside of the fully or partially sealed rooms, for example, in terms of resistance/heating wires that emit sufficient heat for the condensation to evaporate and finds its way out of the system. One or more of the elements of the systems, for example, one or more of the pre-stressed springs can constitute such resistance/heating wires. Such a drying process may be initiated automatically or manually in connection with the charging of the power source, i.e. preferably a battery. Alternatively, arranging appropriate vents or the equivalent mitigates condensation problems. These can be arranged so that condensation escapes, while snow and water cannot get in.

An advantageous aspect of the present invention is that all the elements comprising an electric motor, binding, plate/interface, transfer element, mounting mechanism on the shoe/sole, etc., are made independently of each other, i.e., each element can be improved and replaced individually without other elements necessarily being affected or needing to be changed. Thus each element is produced as a "shelf product" that can be used for different standards, systems and applications (Professional, performance, touring, back-country, etc.).

The plate itself is replaceable. Different types of linkages can be designed to fit the plate. The transfer mechanism can fit different types of bindings in one end, while also applicable for different types of electric motors at the other end.

In the above examples and embodiments a binding system that is adjusted optionally by the athlete is described, i.e. the athlete him/herself decides in which position the binding will be in on the ski by sending a signal to the binding system, for example by pressing buttons or similar on a glove or ski pole. One can also imagine a fully or semi-automatic system where different sensors in the binding system collect relevant information, such as speed, angle, acceleration, force application, etc., to calculate the optimal position for the binding, whereby the binding moves automatically. Manual buttons can override such a system if the athlete is not satisfied with the binding's position.

In the above examples, it is shown that the binding (2) is moved in its entirety. Individual elements of the binding, for example, flexor(s), the gripping mechanism or other parts can also be moved independently, or just some items, but not all of them. Then one part of the binding will remain fixed while other parts move.

Default mode can be said to be a neutral setting that represents a compromise between all operable positions and settings. Initially, the default mode is likely to correspond to the positions and postures that a conventional ski/binding/shoe will assume/have without adjustability. The system may go into default mode when the battery level is low, the poles are broken, the control(s) may not work, one or more features or parts of the system stops working as intended due to electrical, mechanical, managerial, temperature-related, moisture, or other relevant factors. According to one embodiment of the invention, the default mode is selected in advance, so that certain properties are emphasized when or if the battery level is low, the poles are broken, the control device(s) stop(s) and works, etc.

If the controls are located on ski poles, one can choose to have a redundant system where either poles or gloves include controls. Controls on both poles will then be able to control the system. If one of the poles breaks, the other pole with control the steering system. Likewise, if something happens with one of the gloves, then the system will still be operable. If both poles were to break, and the gloves were destroyed or lost, then the system would go into default mode, either factory-defined or predefined by the athlete or the service crew, if necessary, so that the system could be controlled remotely by the service crew or coach.

As an alternative to changing a binding's position on a ski, one or more elements of the system described above can be used to change the properties of the ski in such a way that the net effect is the same or similar. The purpose of changing the binding's position is to utilize changes in the ski's tension to achieve a gear effect. Such a gear effect can also be achieved by changing the ski properties directly. This can be achieved by a motor, a transmission mechanism, a power source and a control system being used to regulate the stiffness of the whole or parts of the ski, moving the ski's tension and/or grip zone, or changing the design of the grip zone. The ski's properties can also be modified in other ways, for example, by a voltage or an electric change to the material properties, (stiffness/surface/spring-constant, etc.) to the ski.