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Title:
TROLLEY CONVERTIBLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/142222
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described is a trolley (10, 20) convertible into a bag which can be housed on a supporting structure of a bicycle (17); the trolley (10, 20) is configured in such a way as to constitute a single unit in a closed position and is designed to be transformed into a bag or pannier mounted on the supporting structure of the bicycle (17). More specifically, the trolley (10, 20) comprises a first compartment (11a) and a second compartment (11b) and has a connection device (12), with respect to which the above- mentioned first and second compartments (11a, 11b) are able to slide (J and K), in such a way as to obtain, respectively, an open configuration (20) of the trolley, designed to be mounted on the supporting structure of the bicycle (17), and a closed configuration (10) of the trolley, designed to be transported manually.

Inventors:
GIORDANI, Roberto (VIA G. D'ANNUNZIO 5, S. VITO DI LEGUZZANO, 36030, IT)
Application Number:
IT2019/050008
Publication Date:
July 25, 2019
Filing Date:
January 17, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GIORDANI, Roberto (VIA G. D'ANNUNZIO 5, S. VITO DI LEGUZZANO, 36030, IT)
International Classes:
B62J9/00; A45C7/00; B62B1/12
Foreign References:
FR3027278A12016-04-22
GB1522021A1978-08-23
US8820596B12014-09-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BURCHIELLI, Riccardo et al. (Via Piemonte 26, Rome, 00187, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . Trolley (10, 20) convertible into a pannier bag which can be housed on a support structure of a bicycle (17), said trolley (10, 20) being configured so as to constitute a single unit in a closed position and being adapted to be transformed into a pannier bag or a valise mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17), characterized in that said trolley (10, 20) comprises a first compartment (1 1 a) and a second compartment (1 1 b) and a connection device (12), with respect to which said first and second compartment (1 1 a, 1 1 b) are able to slide (J, K), so as to obtain, respectively, an open configuration (20) of the trolley, adapted to be mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17), and a closed configuration (10) of the trolley, adapted to be transported manually.

2. Convertible trolley (10, 20) as claimed in claim 1 , characterized in that it comprises at least a first and a second hook (13a, 13b), adapted to maintain said first and second compartment (1 1 a, 1 1 b) fixed to a rear wheel (16) of said bicycle (17), and a third hook (14), fixed on one side, to the trolley (10, 20) and on the other side to a seat post (18) of said bicycle (17), which is apt to maintain the trolley (10, 20) in position, when said trolley (10, 20) is mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17).

3. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that it comprises at least one element of closure (15), apt to maintain said first and second compartment (1 1 a, 1 1 b) joined when said trolley (10, 20) is in closed configuration.

4. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said connection device (12) is integrated with said first compartment (1 1 a) or with said second compartment (1 1 b), such that only said second compartment (1 1 b) or said first compartment (1 1 a) slidable in correspondence with the connecting device (12).

5. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said connection device (12) has a groove (12a), suitable for housing, without contact, a circumferential portion of said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17).

6. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said connection device (12) includes an electric motor unit (30), which comprises a friction actuator (31 a), apt to engage an upper portion of said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17), an electric motor (31 ), connected to said friction actuator (31 a) so that, when the electric motor (31 ) is in operation, said motor ( 31 ) transmits a rotational motion to said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17) through said actuator (31 a); a battery (32), connectable to said electric motor (31 ) to supply power; at least a dynamo generator (33), connected to said battery (32), to charge it when the energy level is below a certain threshold; a control unit (34), apt to issue commands to the electric motor (31 ) to operate it; at least a first sensor (35, 36) able to detect the speed rotation of said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17).

7. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to claim 6, characterized in that said dynamo generator (33) is connected to a series of friction rollers

(33a), engageable to said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17) when said trolley (10, 20) is mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17).

8. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the claims 6 and 7, characterized in that at least a second sensor (35, 36) detects the slope of the bicycle (17) with respect to the ground and sends relative signals to said control unit (34), which, after having analyzed them, in turn sends them to said electric motor (31 ).

9. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the claims 6, 7 and 8, characterized in that said battery (32) is deactivated when it is fully charged or when it has an energy level higher than a given threshold.

10. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said battery (32), also realizable with solar cells, is removable and/or fixable to the frame of the bicycle (17).

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 08 May 2019 (08.05.2019)

1. Trolley (10, 20) convertible into a pannier bag which can be housed on a support structure of a bicycle (17), said trolley (10, 20) being configured so as to constitute a single unit in a closed position and being adapted to be transformed into a pannier bag or a valise mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17), characterized in that said trolley (10, 20) comprises a first compartment (1 1 a) and a second compartment (1 1 b) and a connection device (12), with respect to which said first and second compartment (1 1 a, 1 1 b) are able to slide parallel to the ground plane (J, K), so as to obtain, respectively, an open configuration (20) of the trolley, adapted to be mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17), and a closed configuration (10) of the trolley, adapted to be transported manually.

2. Convertible trolley (10, 20) as claimed in claim 1 , characterized in that it comprises at least a first and a second hook (13a, 13b), adapted to maintain said first and second compartment (1 1 a, 1 1 b) fixed to a rear wheel (16) of said bicycle (17), and a third hook (14), fixed on one side, to the trolley (10, 20) and on the other side to a seat post (18) of said bicycle (17), which is apt to maintain the trolley (10, 20) in position, when said trolley (10, 20) is mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17).

3. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that it comprises at least one element of closure (15), apt to maintain said first and second compartment (11 a, 11 b) joined when said trolley (10, 20) is in closed configuration.

4. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said connection device (12) is integrated with said first compartment (1 1 a) or with said second compartment (1 1 b), such that only said second compartment (1 1 b) or said first compartment (1 1 a) slidable in correspondence with the connecting device (12).

5. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said connection device (12) has a groove (12a), suitable for housing, without contact, a circumferential portion of said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17).

6. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said connection device (12) includes an electric motor unit (30), which comprises a friction actuator (31 a), apt to engage an upper portion of said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17), an electric motor (31 ), connected to said friction actuator (31 a) so that, when the electric motor (31 ) is in operation, said motor ( 31 ) transmits a rotational motion to said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17) through said actuator (31 a); a battery (32), connectable to said electric motor (31 ) to supply power; at least a dynamo generator (33), connected to said battery (32), to charge it when the energy level is below a certain threshold; a control unit (34), apt to issue commands to the electric motor (31 ) to operate it; at least a first sensor (35, 36) able to detect the speed rotation of said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17).

7. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to claim 6, characterized in that said dynamo generator (33) is connected to a series of friction rollers (33a), engageable to said rear wheel (16) of the bicycle (17) when said trolley (10, 20) is mounted on said support structure of the bicycle (17).

8. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the claims 6 and 7, characterized in that at least a second sensor (35, 36) detects the slope of the bicycle (17) with respect to the ground and sends relative signals to said control unit (34), which, after having analyzed them, in turn sends them to said electric motor (31 ).

9. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the claims 6, 7 and 8, characterized in that said battery (32) is deactivated when it is fully charged or when it has an energy level higher than a given threshold.

10. Convertible trolley (10, 20) according to at least one of the claims 6-9, characterized in that said battery (32), also realizable with solar cells, is removable and/or fixable to the frame of the bicycle (17).

Description:
CONVERTIBLE TROLLEY

This invention relates to a convertible bag or trolley.

More specifically, the invention relates to a trolley which is convertible into a bag which can be housed on a rack or any other supporting structure of a bicycle.

The trolley in question constitutes a single unit when it is in a closed position and can be transformed into a bag mounted on a rack or other supporting structure of a bicycle, in such a way that it can be easily transported when travelling on the bicycle.

For this reason, the invention falls within the field of bags, valise or trolleys which can be easily adapted for being transported on the racks of bicycles. Bags made specifically for being transported on a bicycle currently exist. More specifically, these bags can be divided into two parts and have a mechanical connection device which connects these separate parts, as described, for example, in patent documents US3786972A and IT 1137666B.

In detail, the mechanical connection device is able to rest on the rear support of the bicycle, whilst the two separate parts hang on the sides of the bicycle; the connection device can sometimes be fixed to the rear support of the bicycle.

However, these prior art solutions have certain drawbacks, including the fact that the connection device needs a support to rest on, with the consequence that the bag cannot be transported on a bicycle without a rear support.

Moreover, when the bicycle is moving, the parts of the bag hanging at the sides of the luggage rack oscillate, and this may cause disadvantages for the cyclist, including the instability of the bicycle due to the swaying of the lateral parts.

In a worse situation, when the contents of the bag are heavy, it becomes difficult to control the steering of the bicycle.

Moreover, even when the load is quite well distributed at the sides of the bicycle, its weight is added to the total weight for transport; this may prove to be a difficulty and tiring for the cyclist especially when cycling uphill. Lastly, there are no references in the prior art to the possibility of using the bag, positioned on the bicycle luggage rack, as an element for accumulating energy which can be used for the propulsion systems typical of electric bicycles.

The main aim of the invention is therefore to make a convertible trolley which provides a solution to the drawbacks of the prior art bags described above and which, in particular, can be easily transported onboard a bicycle.

Another aim of the invention is to make a convertible trolley which can be mounted on and removed from the bicycle easily and without the use of special tools.

A further aim is to make a convertible trolley which adapts perfectly to the front or rear portion of a traditional bicycle and does not need a supporting surface (such as a luggage rack) of the bicycle.

Yet another aim is to make a convertible trolley designed to accumulate energy to be used if the trolley is used on electric bicycles, and also designed to detect the rhythm of the cyclist, thus supplying the adequate quantity of energy for assisted pedalling in the various conditions of the journey.

These and other aims are attained by a convertible trolley according to appended claim 1 ; other detailed technical characteristics are disclosed in the following claims.

Other technical features of the invention and its advantages are more apparent from the description which follows of preferred embodiments of the convertible trolley, according to the invention, illustrated by way of non limiting example in the accompanying drawings, in which:

- Figure 1 illustrates a convertible trolley, according to the invention, in a closed position;

- Figure 2 illustrates a convertible trolley, according to the invention, in an open position;

- Figure 3 illustrates a view through section A-A of Figure 2 of a connection device used in the convertible trolley of Figures 1 and 2 according to the invention;

- Figure 4 illustrates a view through section B-B of the connection device of Figure 3 mounted on the rear of a bicycle according to the invention;

- Figure 5 is an overall view of a convertible trolley, according to the invention, mounted on a traditional type of bicycle;

- Figure 6 shows a further embodiment of the connection device of Figure 3 used on the convertible trolley, according to the invention, mounted on a traditional type of bicycle.

With reference to the above-mentioned drawings, the numeral 10 denotes in its entirety a convertible trolley, which, according to the invention, comprises a first compartment 1 1 a and a second compartment 1 1 b and which is equipped with a connection device 12, with respect to which the above-mentioned first compartment 1 1 a and second compartment 1 1 b are able to slide (according to arrows J and K of Figures 1 and 2), in such a way as to obtain, respectively, an open configuration 20 of the trolley, designed to be applied to the rear part of a bicycle 17 (Figure 2), or a closed configuration 10 of a trolley, designed to be transported and used in a traditional manner (Figure 1 ).

The convertible trolley 10 also comprises at least a first and a second hook 13a, 13b, designed to keep the compartments 1 1 a, 1 1 b of the trolley 10 fixed to the rear wheel 16 of the bicycle 17 (Figure 6), and a hook 14, fixed on one side to the trolley 10 and on the other side to seat post 18 of the bicycle 17, designed to keep the trolley 10 in position when it is on the rear part of the bicycle 17 (Figure 5).

Use is made, preferably, of at least one closing element 15, designed to keep the above-mentioned first compartment 1 1 a and second compartment 1 1 b joined when the trolley 10 is in the closed configuration. According to this embodiment, the sliding between the compartments 1 1 a, 1 1 b, which occurs at the connection device 12, is obtained, preferably, using a guide and a carriage integrated, respectively, with the connection device 12 and with the above-mentioned compartments 1 1 a, 1 1 b.

Preferably, the connection device 12 is integrated with the first or with the second compartment 1 1 a, 11 b, in such a way that only the second or the first compartment 1 1 b, 1 1 a is slidable at the connector 12, in such a way as to form the open 20 and closed 10 trolley configurations.

The connection device 12 also has a groove 12a designed to house, without any contact, a circumferential portion of the rear wheel 16 of the bicycle 17, and an electric motor unit 30.

The turn, the motor unit 30 includes (Figure 3):

- a friction actuator 31 a, designed to engage the upper portion of the tyre of the rear wheel 16 of the bicycle 17,

- an electric motor 31 , connected to the friction actuator 31 a, in such a way that, when the electric motor 31 is in operation, it transmits a rotational motion to the rear wheel 16 of the bicycle 17 through the actuator 31 a,

- a battery 32, connected to the electric motor 31 , designed to power the motor 31 ,

- at least a dynamo generator 33, connected to the battery 32, for charging it when the energy level is below a certain threshold,

- a control unit 34, designed to issue commands to the electric motor 31 to operate it,

- at least a first sensor 35 and/or a second sensor 36 which is able to detect the speed of rotation of the tyre of the wheel 16.

The dynamo generator 33 is connected to a series of friction rollers 33a, which can be engaged with the tyre of the rear wheel 16 of the bicycle 17 when the trolley 20 (in the open configuration) is mounted on the bicycle 17 (Figure 4).

When the trolley 20 is in use on the bicycle 17 (in the open configuration), the electric motor 31 is activated when the cyclist starts to pedal (in order to guarantee an easy start).

The above-mentioned first sensor 35 measures the speed of the wheel 16 and sends a signal to the control unit 34; in turn, the control unit 34 analyses the signal to determine the rhythm of the cyclist and send a series of commands to the electric motor 31 in order to adjust the quantity of energy supplied and, therefore, the speed of rotation. The control unit 34 also synchronises the speed of the electric motor 31 with the pedalling rhythm of the cyclist so as to supply an adequate quantity of energy in the absence of the electric motor unit 30.

II second sensor 36 is designed to detect the slope of the bicycle 17 with respect to the ground and send the relative signals to the control unit 34, which, after analysing them, sends them in turn to the electric motor 31. The control unit 34, analysing the signals coming from the sensors 35, 36, obtains a set of data relative to the speed of the wheel 16 and to the slope of the bicycle 17 with respect to the ground and, on the basis of this data, sends adequate command to adjust the speed of the electric motor 31.

For example, when the cyclist is ascending a slope (positive slope), the control unit 34 reduces the speed of the electric motor 31 increasing the torque; this action is synchronised with the pedalling of the cyclist so that the electric motor 31 produces most of the torque through the friction actuator 31 a.

When the cyclist is descending a slope or travelling along level ground the control unit 34 synchronises the speed of the electric motor 31 to the rhythm of the cyclist and, in this way, the cyclist can adjust his/her speed without the need to provide major effort.

When the battery 32 is fully charged or has an energy level greater than a certain threshold, the charging action for the battery 32 is deactivated.

This may be achieved by using an alternator or a switch controlled by the control unit 34.

On the other hand, when the battery 32 has an energy level lower than a certain threshold, the charging action is again activated and, when the cyclist pedals, the dynamo generator 33 will produce the current used for recharging the battery 32.

When the charging thresholds are reached they may be signalled to the cyclist visibly and/or audibly.

From configuration of the trolley 20 open and mounted on the rear wheel 16 of the bicycle 17 (as described above), it is possible to easily release the hooks 13a, 13b from the rear wheel 16 of the bicycle 17 and the hook 14 from the tube of the saddle support 18, in order to release the trolley 20 from the bicycle 17; then lifting the trolley 20 upwards and pushing the compartments 1 1 a, 1 1 b towards each other along the connecting device 12, the trolley 10 adopts the closed configuration (secured by the closing element 15) and it is ready for being transported.

According to other embodiments of the invention, the electric motor unit 30 does not comprise the battery 32 and the battery 32 can be removable from and/or fixable to the frame of the bicycle 17.

Moreover, the battery 32 may have solar panels.

The invention as it is conceived is susceptible to numerous modifications and variants, all falling within the scope of protection of the appended claims.

Further, all the details can be replaced by other technically-equivalent elements.

In practice, the materials used, as well as the contingent forms and dimensions, can be varied according to the contingent requirements and the state of the art.

Where the constructional characteristics and the technical characteristics mentioned in the following claims are followed by signs or reference numbers, the signs or reference numbers have been used only with the aim of increasing the intelligibility of the claims themselves and, consequently, they do not constitute in any way a limitation to the interpretation of each element identified, purely by way of example, by the signs or reference numerals.