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Title:
TRICYCLE FOR PASSENGER AND CARGO TRANSPORT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/162714
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Tricycle for carrying cargo and passengers, comprising at least one saddle, at least three wheels (1), preferably a front wheel (1a) and at least two rear wheels (1b), at least one steering handle bar (4) and at least one drive unit (5), the at least one drive unit (5) comprising at least one pair of pedals (6) and at least one pair of crank arms (7), where it comprises at least one front frame portion (2) and at least one rear frame portion (3), where the front wheel (la) and the at least one steering handle bar (4) is connected to the at least one front frame portion (2), and the rear wheels (lb) are connected to the at least one rear frame portion (3), the at least one front frame portion (2) is rotatably attached to the at least one rear frame portion (3), with at least one drive and torque transfer unit (9) being disposed connected to the at least one front frame portion (2) and the at least one rear frame portion (3), the at least one drive and torque transfer unit (9) being in driving connection with at least one drive unit (5) and a driven shaft, and comprising at least one bearing hinge mechanism (12) adapted for rotatably interconnecting the at least one front frame portion (2) and the at least one second frame portion (3), and where the drive and torque transfer unit (9) comprises means for transferring torque from the at least one front frame portion (2) to the at least one second frame portion (3).

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Inventors:
RUJDER, Zoltán (Fő u.16, Mosonmagyaróvár, H-9200, HU)
Application Number:
HU2019/000004
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 21, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
RUJDER, Zoltán (Fő u.16, Mosonmagyaróvár, H-9200, HU)
International Classes:
B62K5/10; B62K5/02
Foreign References:
DE4124926A11993-01-28
US3995875A1976-12-07
US3880449A1975-04-29
GB1448805A1976-09-08
GB2484091A2012-04-04
US20160096574A12016-04-07
US9731785B12017-08-15
DE102008004074A12009-07-23
US20160221628A12016-08-04
US9193415B12015-11-24
US8262111B22012-09-11
DE102010039482A12011-05-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DÓNUSZ, Katalin (SBGK Patent Attorneys, Andrássy út 113, Budapest, H-1062, HU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Tricycle for carrying cargo and passengers, comprising at least one saddle, at least three wheels (1), preferably a front wheel (la) and at least two rear wheels (lb), at least one steering handle bar (4) and at least one drive unit (5), the at least one drive unit (5) comprising at least one pair of pedals (6) and at least one pair of crank arms (7), characterised in that it comprises at least one front frame portion (2) and at least one rear frame portion (3), where the front wheel (la) and the at least one steering handle bar (4) is connected to the at least one front frame portion (2), and the rear wheels (lb) are connected to the at least one rear frame portion (3), the at least one front frame portion (2) is rotatably attached to the at least one rear frame portion (3), with at least one drive and torque transfer unit (9) being disposed connected to the at least one front frame portion (2) and the at least one rear frame portion (3), the at least one drive and torque transfer unit (9) being in driving connection with at least one drive unit (5) and a driven shaft, and comprising at least one bearing hinge mechanism (12) adapted for rotatably interconnecting the at least one front frame portion (2) and the at least one second frame portion (3), and where the drive and torque transfer unit (9) comprises means for transferring torque from the at least one front frame portion (2) to the at least one second frame portion (3).

2. The vehicle according to Claim 1 , characterised in that it comprises means for transferring torque from the at least one front frame portion (2) to the at least one second frame portion (3), that is, at least one universal joint (13) and/or at least two bevel gears.

3. The vehicle according to Claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the drive and torque transfer unit (9) comprises at least one chain sprocket (10) and at least one chain (11).

4. The vehicle according to one of Claims 1-3, characterised in that the maximum tilt of the front frame portion (2), in at least one lateral direction relative to the vertical position, is at least 1 degree, or at least 5 degrees, or at least 10 degrees, or at least 20 degrees, or at least 30 degrees, or at least 45 degrees, with the maximum tilt of the front frame portion (2) in both lateral directions being preferably 30 degrees.

5. The vehicle according to any one of Claims 1-4, characterised in that at least one balancing spring mechanism (16) is included between the front frame portion (2) and the rear frame portion (3).

6. The vehicle according to any one of Claims 1-5, characterised in that the drive and torque transfer unit (9) further comprises at least one differential gear (15) or freewheel and/or ratchet wheel, where the at least one differential gear (15) or freewheel and/or ratchet wheel is connected to the rear wheels (lb).

7. The vehicle according to any one of Claims 1-6, characterised in that the drive and torque transfer unit (9) comprises at least one gear shift mechanism (14), the gear shift mechanism (14) preferably comprising a hub gear.

8. The vehicle according to any one of Claims 1-7, characterised in that the drive unit (5) comprises at least one motor (8), preferably an electric motor, more preferably a torque-sensing electric motor.

Description:
Tricycle for passenger and cargo transport

The invention relates to a tricycle for carrying passengers and cargo, comprising at least three wheels - preferably a front wheel and at least two rear wheels -, a steering handle bar and a drive unit, the drive unit comprising pedals and crank arms.

The prior art includes a number of technical solutions related to driving tricycle vehicles and improving their driving stability, for example to tricycles comprising partially or fully tiltable frames that are adapted for being tilted in turns (for leaning into comers), thereby reducing the danger of toppling over. The US publication US2016096574 A1 discloses a motor-driven tricycle with a tiltable frame. The frame of the tricycle is connected to a horizontally extending axle at the rear wheels, about which essentially the entire frame can be tilted, so the tricycle can lean into comers, while the rear wheels remain stable. The disadvantage of the solution is that it has a limited tilt range, i.e. for example in sharp turns the tilting frame can contact the rear wheels, and furthermore, since only the rear suspension is stable, it does not perform any other function. This technical solution comprises a motor drive only, so on the one hand it does not qualify as a bicycle, and on the other hand there is no power transfer between the rotating and the stable portions. Another disadvantage of this solution is that it is not suitable for carrying cargo because it lacks a sufficiently sized cargo support surface, while it is also not feasible to place cargo separately on the vehicle.

An electric tricycle with tiltable frame is also disclosed in the US patent description US 9,731,785 Bl . The bearing mechanism adapted to provide the tiltability of the vehicle is connected to the axle interconnecting the rear wheels. For easier portability the tricycle can be easily disassembled and reassembled. As with the previous one, this technical solution only has a motor drive but no pedals, so it cannot be propelled by human power. This solution also has the disadvantage that essentially the entire frame is tilted, while there is no separate frame portion corresponding to the rear wheels (only an electric running gear assembly), so the rear portion cannot be subjected to significant weight loads, and so the tricycle is not suited for carrying cargo, and it also does not qualify as a bicycle according to the traffic code. A similar technical solution is disclosed in the document with publication number DE 102008004074 Al . To prevent the tricycle from toppling over in turns, the front frame thereof is connected to the horizontal axle interconnecting the rear wheels by a needle roller bearing. Thanks to the applied bearing the front frame portion (together with the front wheel) can lean into comers. This technical solution does not address pedal drive and the transfer of power to the rear wheels, while in the case of placing a load on the frame structure the loads on the needle roller bearing may result in the collapse of the frame. For these reasons the vehicle cannot be subjected only to limited loads, and so it is not suitable for carrying cargo.

The document with publication number US2016221628 Al discloses a tricycle with improved stability. The two frame portions are interconnected by an articulated joint. This tricycle, designed especially for adults and elderly people, can also be fitted with dampers between the front and rear frame portions, and can be propelled by pedal. The solution does not provide for power transmission between the two frame portions, and cannot be fitted either with a motor or a gear shift mechanism because only the front wheel is driven. The two frame portions are not capable of lateral rotation, so in this regard it can be considered rigid. As far as its behaviour is concerned, it is equivalent with a rigid-frame tricycle, especially from the aspect of cornering- and driving stability. As with the full-suspension solutions that have become widespread recently, the spring mechanism disposed between the frame portions is suited only for improving rider comfort.

The US patent description US 9,193,415 Bl also discloses a pedal-propelled tricycle of which the rear wheels have independent suspension. This technical solution employs a rigid frame, wherein the suspension solution applied for the rear wheels allows for the displacement/tilting of the entire load bearing frame portion. For enhancing user comfort, the vehicle can also be fitted with dampers. The solution has the drawback that the tilting of the rear wheels poses restrictions on the configuration of the rear load-carrying portion as far as physical dimensions and load bearing capacity are concerned. The fact that the entire frame has a tiltable configuration precludes carrying significant cargo because the cargo is displaced in the same direction as the frame during driving, decreasing stability (instead of increasing it). Power transmission between the frame portions is also not realized because the design lacks rotatable frame portions. The US patent description US 8,262,1 1 1 B2 and the German publication document DE102010039482 Al both disclose a purely motor-driven tricycle vehicle wherein the rear wheels are adapted to lean into turns. Neither of the solutions comprises pedal drive, so power transmission to the rear wheels is also not addressed. Therefore, the vehicles presented in the documents can be driven as a two-wheeled motor vehicle. In both cases, the frame of the vehicle is a rigid structure, implying that the cargo potentially placed thereon is displaced together with the frame (like in the above described cases), which reduces driving stability. The above cited descriptions does not contain any teaching for arranging cargo.

The object of the present invention is to eliminate the flaws and deficiencies of prior art technical solutions, and to provide a tricycle vehicle that can also be propelled by pedals, and has more favourable characteristics compared to prior art technical solution as far as stability, control, safety, ease of use and comfort are concerned, and is capable of transporting both passengers and cargo.

Inventive step is based on the recognition that by implementing the tricycle vehicle according to Claim 1 an invention with improved features compared to the prior art can be obtained. This recognition allows the tricycle vehicle to preserve stability, preventing it from toppling over both during advancing and in a stationary position, for example during loading cargo. The unique mode of interconnection of the two frame portions provides for transferring the power of the pedal drive and the auxiliary motor drive from the front frame portion adapted to be tilted to the non-tiltable rear frame portion, while the cargo that can be arranged on the non-tiltable rear frame portion also contributes to optimal torque transfer to the road surface.

According to the invention, the above objective is fulfilled most generally by providing a tricycle for carrying passengers and cargo comprising at least one saddle, at least three wheels, preferably a front wheel and at least two rear wheels, at least one steering handle bar and at least one drive unit, the at least one drive unit comprising at least one pair of pedals and at least one pair of crank arms, where the tricycle comprises at least one front frame portion and at least one rear frame portion, where the front wheel and the at least one steering handle bar are connected to the at least one front frame portion, and the rear wheels are connected to the at least one rear frame portion, the at least one front frame portion being rotatably attached to the at least one rear frame portion, with at least one drive and torque transfer unit being disposed connected to the at least one front frame portion and the at least one rear frame portion, the at least one drive and torque transfer unit being in driving connection with at least one drive unit and a driven shaft, and comprising at least one bearing hinge mechanism adapted for rotatably interconnecting the at least one front frame portion and the at least one second frame portion, and where the drive and torque transfer unit comprises means for transferring torque from the at least one front frame portion to the at least one second frame portion.

In a preferred embodiment, the tricycle vehicle according to the invention comprises means for transferring torque from the at least one front frame portion to the at least one second frame portion, that is, at least one universal joint and/or at least two bevel gears.

In another preferred embodiment of the tricycle vehicle according to the invention the drive and torque transfer unit comprises at least one chain sprocket and at least one chain.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the tricycle vehicle according to the invention the maximum tilt of the front frame portion, in at least one lateral direction relative to the vertical position, is at least 1 degree, or at least 5 degrees, or at least 10 degrees, or at least 20 degrees, or at least 30 degrees, or at least 45 degrees, with the maximum tilt of the front frame portion in both lateral directions being preferably 30 degrees.

In another preferred embodiment of the tricycle vehicle according to the invention at least one balancing spring mechanism is included between the front frame portion and the rear frame portion.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the tricycle vehicle according to the invention the drive and torque transfer unit further comprises at least one differential gear or freewheel and/or ratchet wheel, where the at least one differential gear or freewheel and/or ratchet wheel is connected to the rear wheels.

In a further preferred embodiment of the tricycle vehicle according to the invention the drive and torque transfer unit comprises at least one gear shift mechanism, the gear shift mechanism preferably comprising a hub gear.

According to a still further embodiment of the tricycle vehicle according to the invention the drive unit comprises at least one motor, preferably an electric motor, more preferably a torque-sensing electric motor. In the following the invention is described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment, where

Fig. 1 shows an underside view illustrating the configuration of an embodiment of the tricycle vehicle, and

Fig. 2 shows a front elevation view of the embodiment of the tricycle vehicle shown in Fig. 1.

In Fig. 1 the configuration of a possible exemplary embodiment of the tricycle vehicle can be observed in underside view. The vehicle preferably comprises three wheels

1 , of which one is a front wheel la and two are rear wheels lb. As it can be observed contemplating this embodiment, the diameter of the front wheel la is preferably greater than the diameter of the rear wheels lb. The front wheel la is connected to a front frame portion

2, while the rear wheels lb are attached to a rear frame portion 3. The front frame portion 2 and the rear frame portion 3 both have their own functions: the front frame portion 2 is adapted for driving the vehicle, while the rear frame portion 3 is adapted for carrying load. In addition to the wheel la, a steering handle bar 4, a drive unit 5, and a saddle are also connected to the front frame portion 2. The drive unit 5 comprises pedals 6 and crank arms 7; in further embodiments the drive unit 5 can also comprise a motor 8. The motor 8 is preferably an electric motor, more preferably a torque-sensing electric motor adapted for complementing human-powered drive. The vehicle is capable of carrying as much as 100 kg of cargo placed on the rear frame portion 3 or on a support structure that can be disposed thereon, between the rear wheels lb. By providing an appropriate configuration of the rear frame portion 3, or applying a support structure that can be mounted thereon, the rear frame portion 3 can also be made suitable for carrying passengers.js Ep lrhe front frame portion 2 and the front wheel la connected thereto can be rotated with respect to the rear frame portion 3 about a horizontal axis, and thus the front frame portion 2 can lean into the comer upon a direction change of the vehicle, with the rear frame portion 3 remaining in a stable position, safely holding the cargo or the passengers being carried. In the case of a direction change, the inward tilt or lean of the front frame portion 2 (and the rider) counters the tendency to topple over that is characteristic of rigid-frame tricycle vehicles. Arranging the cargo on the rptir fratnp nrvrtinn 7 i nrnvpc tnrnnp transfer bv the rear wheel 1 h The front frame portion 2 is connected to the rear frame portion 3 by a drive and torque transfer unit 9. The drive and torque transfer unit 9 is adapted for transferring drive from the drive unit 5 to the rear frame portion 3 and to the rear wheels lb. The rear wheels lb are interconnected by a differential gear 15 or a ratchet wheel and/or freewheel, allowing the rear wheels lb to rotate at different speeds, which is required for the safe cornering of the vehicle. The drive and torque transfer unit 9 comprises at least one chain sprocket 10, at least one chain 11, at least one bearing hinge mechanism 12, at least one universal joint 13, and at least one differential gear 15. The drive unit 5 and the universal joint 13 of the drive and torque transfer unit 9 are interconnected via a chain sprocket 10 and a chain 1 1. In the drive and torque transfer unit 9 the universal joint 13 is connected to the differential gear 15 (and thus to the rear wheels lb) by at least one chain sprocket 10 and at least one chain 1 1. The universal joint 13 is situated between the front frame portion 2 and the rear frame portion 3 and is adapted for providing uninterrupted drive transmission between the front frame portion 2 and the rear frame portion 3, that is, for providing that by propelling the pedals 6 of the drive unit 5 both rear wheels lb are driven via the differential gear 15 to achieve optimal torque transfer. Alternatively, the universal joint 13 can be replaced by bevel gears, in which case the drive and torque transfer between the front frame portion 2 and the rear frame portion 3 is provided by the bevel gears.

Rotation of the front frame portion 2 about a horizontal axis, i.e. the tilting of the front frame portion 2 during a direction change is provided for by at least one bearing hinge mechanism 12 adapted to interconnect the front frame portion 2 and the rear frame portion 3. In the embodiment according to Fig. 1 (a preferred embodiment) the chain 1 1 and the chain sprocket 10 connected to the drive unit 5 in the drive and torque transfer unit 9 are attached to the front frame portion 2, the chain sprocket 10 attached to the front frame portion 2 being interconnected with the chain sprocket 10 attached to the rear frame portion 3 by a universal joint 13. The chain sprocket 10 attached to the rear frame portion 3 is connected to a gear shift mechanism 14, preferably a hub gear, via a chain 11, the gear shift mechanism 14 being connected to the differential gear 15 also by a chain 1 1. In the embodiment according to Fig. 1 the rotation of the front frame portion 2 is provided by two bearing hinge mechanisms 12, the bearing hinge mechanisms 12 being in connection with both the front frame portion 2 and the rear frame portion 3. In order to improve the stability of the vehicle both in a stationary position and during driving, a balancing spring mechanism 16 adapted for reducing the mutual rotation of the frame portions (i.e. for determining the maximum tilt angle) can be included between the front frame portion 2 and the rear frame portion 3, the balancing spring mechanism 16 also allowing for the omission of the kickstand mechanism applied in conventional bicycles because the front frame portion 2 is kept in a stable position by the balancing spring mechanism 16.

In Fig. 2 the vehicle according to the invention is shown in front view during cornering. In the figure there can be seen that the front frame portion 2 (together with the front wheel la attached thereto) is tilted, for example during a turn, while the rear wheels lb attached to the rear frame portion 3 stably remain in a vertical position.

During cornering, the front frame portion 2 is adapted to be tilted in both lateral directions by a tilt angle of at least 1 degree, or at least 5 degrees, or at least 10 degrees, or at least 20 degrees, or at least 30 degrees, or at least 45 degrees; in a preferred embodiment the tilt angle of the front frame portion 2 is maximum 30 degrees in both directions.

The steering handle bar 4 and the drive unit 5 comprising pedals 6 and crank arms 7 (and, in the embodiment according to the figure, also comprising a motor 8, preferably an electric motor) are connected to the front frame portion 2. Drive of the rear wheels lb is provided by a differential gear 15 connected to the rear frame portion 3 and to the rear wheels lb. In certain embodiments the differential gear 15 can be replaced by a freewheel or ratchet wheel.

The above described tricycle vehicle has a number of advantages. One of the most important advantages of the invention is improved stability that can be achieved irrespective of the mode of propelling, and applies both in a stationary position (during loading) and during cornering. Thanks to its improved stability, the vehicle is capable of driving at higher speeds and especially of cornering at higher speeds, while it has a reduced tendency to topple over. Another advantage is that the vehicle can be controlled exceptionally easily, with small effort; it is highly maneuverable, and it does not require any special training or accustomation as it can be steered like two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles or bicycles, but it does not require a stand when stationary, and it does not topple over during cornering tn oci^r l nrU nn nnrf imnrm/prl ctahilitv it can he driven hv users with D oorer training. even children or elderly people, and therefore the vehicle can also be utilized for recreational purposes. Improved stability and the greater achievable speeds it allows are especially advantageous for performing cargo hauling tasks. A further advantage of the vehicle is that it can be also operated in a fully human-powered mode, and therefore it is environmentally friendly, but if necessary it can be retrofitted with an electric drive unit, while its use is not restricted to persons with special qualifications (e.g. driving licence) and does not require any special skills or greater-than-average physical fitness.

The primary fields of application of the vehicle are general transport, cargo transport and logistics, as well as passenger transport and recreation. In addition to the above described exemplary embodiments the invention can be realized applying another embodiments or manufacturing processes within the scope of protection.