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Title:
SANITATION ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/222840
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sanitation assembly includes a housing defining a cavity and an open end in communication with the cavity. A plurality of light sources are positioned proximate the housing and are configured to direct light into the cavity. At least one of the plurality of light sources is a UV-C light source. A lid is configured to selectively cover the open end of the housing.

Inventors:
DEACON MARGARET WILKINSON (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2021/030310
Publication Date:
November 04, 2021
Filing Date:
April 30, 2021
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
COCO LLC (US)
International Classes:
E03D9/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GUPTA, Hemant et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sanitation assembly comprising: an outer housing; an inner housing positioned within and spaced apart from the outer housing by a space, wherein the inner housing defines a cavity; and a plurality of light sources positioned within the space and configured to direct light into the cavity, wherein at least one of the plurality of light sources is a UV-C light source; and a lid operably coupled with the outer housing configured to selectively cover an open end of the inner housing.

2. The sanitation assembly of claim 1, further comprising: a latch assembly positioned at least partially the lid and configured to couple the lid with the outer housing.

3. The sanitation assembly of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the outer housing includes a top wall at least partially coplanar with the lid when the lid is closed.

4. The sanitation assembly any one of claims 1-3, further comprising: a control panel positioned on the outer housing; and a controller electrically connected with the controller panel and configured to selectively illuminate the plurality of light sources in response to user input from the control panel.

5. The sanitation assembly of claim 4, further comprising: a lid sensor positioned proximate the lid and configured to detect if the lid is open or closed, wherein the lid sensor is configured to provide an input to the controller to turn off the plurality of light sources when the lid is open.

6. The sanitation assembly of claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the controller is configured to be in communication with and receive user input from a portable user device.

7. The sanitation compartment of any one of claims 4-6, further comprising: a motion sensor positioned proximate the cavity of the inner housing, wherein the motion sensor is configured to provide an input to the controller to turn off the plurality of light sources when motion is detected within the cavity.

8. The sanitation compartment of any one of claims 1-7, further comprising: a refrigeration system operably coupled with the inner housing and configured to cool the cavity.

9. The sanitation compartment of any one of claims 1-8, wherein the outer housing includes a metallic inner surface.

10. The sanitation compartment of any one of claims 1-9, wherein the inner housing is transparent.

11. A sanitation assembly comprising: a housing defining a cavity and an open end in communication with the cavity; a plurality of light sources positioned proximate the housing and configured to direct light into the cavity, wherein at least one of the plurality of light sources is a UV-C light source; a lid configured to selectively cover the open end of the housing; a control panel positioned proximate the housing and configured to receive user input; and a controller electrically coupled with the control panel, wherein the controller is configured to selectively illuminate the plurality of light sources in response to user input from the control panel.

12. The sanitation assembly of claim 11, further comprising: a sensor positioned on the housing and configured to provide an input to the controller to selectively illuminate the plurality of light sources.

13. The sanitation assembly of claim 11 or claim 12, further comprising: a latch assembly at least partially positioned on the lid and configured to couple the lid with the housing.

14. The sanitation assembly of any one of claims 11-13, wherein the housing includes a top wall, and further wherein the control panel is positioned on the top wall.

15. The sanitation assembly of any one of claims 11-14, further comprising: an insert configured to be received by the cavity and selectively support items within the cavity.

16. The sanitation assembly of any one of claims 11-15, wherein the housing, the plurality of lights, and the controller are configured to be at least partially enclosed by a furniture piece.

17. A sanitation assembly for insertion within a furniture piece, comprising: an inner housing defining a cav ity; a plurality of light sources positioned proximate the inner housing and configured to direct light into the cavity, wherein at least one of the plurality of light sources is a UV- C light source; a lid configured to selectively seal the cavity; a control panel positioned proximate the inner housing and configured to receive user input; and a controller electrically coupled with the control panel, wherein the controller is configured to selectively illuminate the plurality of light sources in response to user input from the control panel.

18. The sanitation assembly of claim 17, further comprising: an outer housing positioned around the inner housing and spaced apart from the inner housing by a space, wherein the outer housing includes a metallic inner surface and the plurality of light sources are positioned within the space.

19. The sanitation assembly of claim 17 or claim 18, further comprising: a sensor positioned proximate the inner housing and configured to provide an input to the controller to selectively illuminate the plurality of light sources.

20. The sanitation assembly of any one of claims 17-19, wherein the controller is configured to be in communication with and receive user input from a portable user device.

Description:
SANITATION ASSEMBLY

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The present disclosure is generally directed toward a sanitation assembly, specifically a sanitation assembly utilizing UV-C light sources.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] Sterilization can be achieved through heat, chemicals, irradiation, high-pressure, or filtration. Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is a relatively simple disinfection method that causes minimal damage and avoids the use of irritating chemicals. UVGI uses short-wavelength Ultraviolet light (UV-C) to attack the DNA of pathogens so they cannot reproduce and thus sterilize. Viruses are especially vulnerable because they have no cell walls or cell membrane.

[0003] There are three general types of ultraviolet radiation: long wave UV-A, which is not absorbed by ozone; medium wave UV-B, which is mostly absorbed by ozone; and UV-C, which is completely absorbed by ozone. UV-C has the shortest wavelengths and highest energy of levels of all three types of UV rays. As a result, it causes serious damage to all life forms. UV-C radiation is completely filtered out by the ozone layer. As a result, these rays never reach the ground. UV- C can be produced using mercury fluorescent lamps and UV-C LEDs.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0004] The present disclosure is a residential UV-C sanitation chamber and decorative storage system which discreetly houses sterilization compartments in a mudroom-style bench. The device has UV-C sanitation, refrigeration, and storage capabilities. It can be used to sanitize clothing (shoes, outerwear), mail, packages, groceries, and take-out food deliveries.

[0005] Furthermore, the device will be operated by a secure app available on mobile devices, along with a control panel accessible on the device. The device will be equipped with remote sensors and safety locks to ensure appropriate usage. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Further advantages of the disclosure will become apparent by reference to the detailed description of preferred embodiments when considered in conjunction with the drawings.

[0007] FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a sanitation assembly, according to various examples;

[0008] FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 1 ;

[0009] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of sanitation assembly of FIG. 1;

[0010] FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a control panel of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 1;

[0011] FIG. 5 is a rear elevation view of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 1 ;

[0012] FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 1 with an insert illustrated in phantom;

[0013] FIG. 7 is a side perspective view of a sanitation assembly, according to various examples;

[0014] FIG. 8 is a front elevation view of a sanitation assembly within a furniture piece, according to various examples;

[0015] FIG. 9 is a side perspective view of a sanitation assembly within a furniture piece, according to various examples;

[0016] FIG. 10 is a side perspective view of a sanitation assembly within a furniture piece, according to various examples;

[0017] FIG. 11 is a side perspective view of a sanitation assembly, according to various examples;

[0018] FIG. 12 is a side perspective view of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 11 with a lid in an open position;

[0019] FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 12 taken along line

XIII -XIII;

[0020] FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 12;

[0021] FIG. 15 is a side perspective view of a sanitation assembly, according to various examples;

[0022] FIG. 16 is a side perspective view of the sanitation assembly of FIG. 15 with a lid in an open position;

[0023] FIG. 17 is a block diagram of an operating system of a sanitation assembly, according to various examples; and

[0024] FIG. 18 is a flow diagram of a controller process of the operating system of FIG. 17.

[0025] Repeat use of reference characters in the present specification and drawings is intended to represent the same or analogous features or elements of the present disclosure. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0026] The following detailed description is presented to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the disclosure. For purposes of explanation, specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the present disclosure. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that these specific details are not required to practice the disclosure. Descriptions of specific applications are provided only as representative examples. Various modifications to the preferred embodiments will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the scope of the disclosure. The present disclosure is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest possible scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein.

[0027] As used herein, the terms “first,” “second,” and “third” may be used interchangeably to distinguish one component from another and are not intended to signify location or importance of the individual components. The terms “coupled,” “fixed,” “attached to,” and the like refer to both direct coupling, fixing, or attaching, as well as indirect coupling, fixing, or attaching through one or more intermediate components or features, unless otherwise specified herein.

[0028] The singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

[0029] Approximating language, as used herein throughout the specification and claims, is applied to modify any quantitative representation that could permissibly vary without resulting in a change in the basic function to which it is related. Accordingly, a value modified by a term or terms, such as “about,” “approximately,” “generally,” and “substantially,” is not to be limited to the precise value specified. In at least some instances, the approximating language may correspond to the precision of an instrument for measuring the value, or the precision of the methods or apparatus for constructing or manufacturing the components and/or systems. For example, the approximating language may refer to being within a ten percent margin.

[0030] Moreover, the technology of the present application will be described with relation to exemplary embodiments. The w'ord “exemplary” is used herein to mean “serving as an example, instance, or illustration.” Any embodiment described herein as “exemplary” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments. Additionally, unless specifically identified otherwise, all embodiments described herein should be considered exemplary.

[0031] As used herein, the term “and/or, ’ when used in a list of two or more items, means that any one of the listed items can be employed by itself, or any combination of two or more of the listed items can be employed. For example, if a composition or assembly is described as containing components A, B, and/or C, the composition or assembly can contain A alone; B alone; C alone; A and B in combination; A and C in combination; B and C in combination; or A, B, and C in combination.

[0032] Referring now to FIGS. 1-10, reference numeral 10 general designates a sanitation assembly for insertion within a furniture piece 12. The sanitation assembly 10 includes an inner housing 14 defining a cavity 16. An outer housing 18 may be positioned around the inner housing 14 and may be spaced apart from the inner housing 14 by a receiving space 20. A plurality of light sources 22 are positioned proximate the inner housing 14 and are configured to direct light 24 into the cavity 16. In various examples, the plurality of light sources 22 may be positioned within the receiving space 20. At least one of the plurality of light sources 22 is a UV-C light source. A lid 26 may be hingedly coupled with the inner housing 14 or the outer housing 18. The lid 26 is configured to selectively seal the cavity 16. A control panel 28 is positioned proximate the inner housing 14, the lid 26, and/or the outer housing 18 and is configured to receive user input 30. The user input 30 is communicated to a controller 32 electrically coupled with the control panel 28. The controller 32 is configured to selectively illuminate the plurality of light sources 22 in response to the user input 30 from the control panel 28.

[0033] Referring now to FIGS. 1-6, an exemplary embodiment of the sanitation assembly 10 is illustrated. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the sanitation assembly 10 includes the lid 26 coupled with the outer housing 18. The lid 26 is movable between a closed position (FIG. 1) and an open position (FIG. 2).

[0034] With reference now to FIGS . 2 and 3 , the inner housing 14 and the plurality of light sources

22 are illustrated in phantom. The inner housing 14 is shown positioned within and spaced apart from the outer housing 18 by the receiving space 20. The inner housing 14 includes first and second side walls 50, 52, a front wall 54, a rear wall 56, and a bottom wall 58. For purposes of clarity, only the first and second side walls 50, 52 and the bottom wall 58 are illustrated in FIG. 2 and only the first and second side walls 50, 52, the front wall 54, and the rear wal 1 56 are illustrated in FIG. 3. In each of FIGS. 2 and 3, only the lights sources 22 positioned proximate the illustrated walls 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 are shown. However, it will be understood that the inner housing 14 includes each of the walls 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 with the plurality of light sources 22 as described with reference to both FIGS. 2 and 3.

[0035] As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the inner housing 14 defines the cavity 16 configured to receive goods (e.g., personal bags, clothing, shoes, groceries, etc.). In various examples, the sanitation assembly 10 is designed to be approximately 15.5” deep x 20” high x 47.5” to 50” long. How'ever, it will be understood that these measurements are exemplary only and that the sanitation assembly 10 may be formed with any dimensions without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0036] The plurality of light sources 22 are positioned within the receiving space 20 between the inner housing 14 and the outer housing 18. In various examples, the inner housing 14 is formed of a transparent material to allow 7 light 24 to pass through the walls 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 of the inner housing 14 and illuminate the cavity 16. The plurality of light sources 22 are positioned vertically proximate the first and second side walls 50, 52, the front wall 54, and the rear wall 56. As best shown in FIG. 3, the plurality of light sources 22 may be evenly spaced along the walls 50, 52, 54, 56. In various examples, the plurality 7 of light sources 22 may be symmetrically positioned across the cavity 16. In other examples, the plurality of light sources 22 may be unevenly positioned and/or offset. It is contemplated that any number of light sources 22 may be used and may be positioned in any arrangement, including, but not limited to, arrangements where the plurality of light sources do not extend vertically, are not elongated, are stacked, etc. or where a single light source is used.

[0037] A portion of the plurality of light sources 22 may further be positioned proximate the bottom wall 58 of the inner housing 14. These light sources 22 may extend between the first and second side walls 50, 52 of the inner housing 14 or may extend between the front and rear walls 54, 56 of the inner housing 14. In other examples, the plurality of light sources 22 may be oriented diagonally below the bottom wall 58. In still other examples, the plurality of light sources 22 may be individually positioned at intervals along the bottom w¾ll 58.

[0038] Referring still to FIGS. 2 and 3, the plurality of light sources 22 are positioned within the receiving space 20 and are supported by a base 76. The base 76 may define a cavity 78 for receiving electrical components of the sanitation assembly 10 (see FIG. 17). In various examples, supports (not shown) may be used to space the bottom wall 58 of the imier housing 14 from the plurality of light sources 22 and the base 76. In other examples, the inner housing 14 may be otherwise supported and spaced apart from the base 76.

[0039] Referring still to FIGS. 2 and 3, the inner housing 14 further defines an open end 64 in communication with the cavity 16. The open end 64 is configured to provide a user access to the cavity 16 to position goods within the cavity 16 for sanitation. The open end 64 maybe configured to be selectively sealed by the lid 26. When the lid 26 is closed and the open end 64 is sealed by the lid 26, a latch assembly 48 is configured to retain the lid 26 in the closed position. In various examples, the latch assembly 48 may be a magnetic latch assembly. In other examples, the latch assembly 48 may include a Hall-Effect Sensor for detecting whether the lid 26 is open or closed. However, it is contemplated that any latch assembly 48 may be used, including, but not limited to, latch assemblies using latch hooks, latch arms, locks, etc.

[0040] As best shown in FIG. 2, the latch assembly 48 includes a receiver 66 positioned on one of the outer housing 18 and the imier housing 14. The receiver 66 is configured to receive a latch 74 positioned on the lid 26. Where the latch assembly 48 is a magnetic latch assembly, the receiver 66 may be configured to magnetically engage with the latch 74. Alternatively, the receiver 66 may include a space, a striker, a hook, or any other retention member for a latch assembly without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0041] The lid 26 is movable between the open position and the closed position and is engaged with the outer housing 18 via the latch assembly 48 in the closed position, as previously introduced. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the lid 26 may be hingedly coupled with the outer housing 18 via one or more hinges 68. The lid 26 further includes a lip 72. The lip 72 may be sized to be received by the open end 64 of the inner housing 14 or may be otherwise configured to seal the open end 64. The latch 74 of the latch assembly 48 may extend from the lip 72. Alternatively, the latch 74 may be coupled with or integrally formed with the lip 72. It is contemplated that sealing members may be used between the lip 72 and/or the lid 26 and the inner housing 14.

[0042] Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the outer housing 18 may include an edge 80 extending about the lid 26. The hinges 68 may be coupled with the edge 80 in various examples. The control panel 28 for operating the sanitation assembly 10 may be positioned on the edge 80 of the outer housing 18. The control panel 28 may include one or more actuator indicia 82a-d. Each actuator indicia 82a-d may be positioned proximate a corresponding actuator 84a-d. The control panel 28 may further include one or more output indicia 90. The output indicia 90 may each be positioned proximate a corresponding feedback 92.

[0043] An exemplary embodiment of the control panel 28 is illustrated in FIG. 4. The control panel 28 includes a first actuator indicia 82a for selecting a “Normal Cycle,” a second actuator indicia 82b for selecting a “Top Rack” cycle, a third actuator indicia 82c for selecting a “Delay” start, and a fourth actuator indicia 82d for selecting “Start.” Each actuator indicia 82a-d is associated with a corresponding actuator 84a-d. In various examples, the fourth actuator 84d, which is associated with the “Start” indicia 82d, may be configured to cancel the cycle if actuated for predetermined time (e.g., 3 seconds). The control panel 28 further includes a display 88 positioned proximate one or more of the actuator indicia 82a-d. The display 88 includes one or more feedbacks 92 and corresponding indicia 90 for each. The feedbacks 92 may be any feedback including a light source, a sound, etc. The display 88 provides information on if there was a delay start selected, if the sanitation assembly 10 is currently in operation, and/or if the cycle is complete. It will be understood that this configuration is exemplary only and that any combination of actuator indicia, actuators, output indicia, and/or feedbacks may be used. It will also be understood that the control panel 28 may be remotely operated via a portable user device 250 (see FIG. 17).

[0044] Referring now to FIG. 5, a rear view of the sanitation assembly 10 is shown. A back panel

94 of the outer housing 18 may define one or more upper cutouts 104 proximate the edge 80 of the outer housing 18. The cutouts 104 may be used to receive the hinges 68 or other components. The back panel 94 may further define an opening 96 configured to provide access to a power cord 100 for providing power to the sanitation assembly 10.

[0045] Referring now to FIG. 6, the sanitation assembly 10 may further include insertable components 110, 124. For example, the sanitation assembly 10 may include a movable insert 110 configured to create a shelf or rack within the cavity 16 of the inner housing 14. The movable insert 110 may be rotatably coupled with an inner edge 120 of the inner housing 14 by opposing arms 114, 116. It is contemplated that the movable insert 110 may be slidably coupled or otherwise operably coupled with the inner housing 14. It is further contemplated that the movable insert 110 may be removable.

[0046] In various examples, the sanitation assembly 10 may include a dividing insert 124 positioned within the cavity 16. The dividing insert 124 may be configured to adjust the size of the cavity 16 or may be configured to divide the cavity 16 into multiple sections. It is contemplated that the dividing insert 124 may be operably coupled with the inner housing 14 via rails, slides, or any other engagement member without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0047] Referring now to FIGS .7-10, various exemplary embodiments are shown. FIG. 7 illustrates a finish 130 positioned on the exterior of the outer housing 18. The finish 130 may be any finish selected to correspond with furniture finishes including, but not limited to, wood, metal, or plastic, and may include a seat covered with fabric or a material such as leather or vinyl. The outer housing 18 may be provided with the plurality of light sources 22 and the inner housing 14 or the outer housing 18 may be a bench or ottoman configured to receive the plurality of light sources 22 and the inner housing 14.

[0048] As shown in FIG. 8, a furniture piece 12a may include multiple sanitation assemblies 10a,

10b positioned in various compartments. Doors 140a, 140b may be configured to seal the sanitation assemblies 10a, 10b and may be configured to look like cabinets or other furniture doors. The sanitation assemblies 10a, 10b and respective doors 140a, 140b may be positioned within a modular furniture piece 12a that includes shelves 142 or other furniture components.

[0049] Referring now to FIG. 9, the furniture piece 12b may be entirely composed of a sanitation assembly sealable by a door 140. An inner housing 14 may be positioned within the furniture piece 12b, and a plurality of light sources 22 may be spaced apart from the inner housing 14 or positioned within the inner housing 14. The dividing insert 124 may be used to create two or more cavities 16a, 16b. In various examples, both cavities 16a, 16b may be configured as sanitation assemblies 10. In other examples, only one cavity 16a may be configured as a sanitation assembly 10. It will be understood that any number of cavities 16 may be included within the furniture piece 12b with any number of the cavities 16 being used as a sanitation assembly 10 without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. For example, as shown in FIG. 10, the sanitation assembly 10 may be surrounded by a plurality of cabinets 150 within a furniture piece 12c.

[0050] Referring now to FIGS. 11-15, a second exemplary embodiment of a sanitation assembly

160 is illustrated having an inner housing 164 spaced apart from an outer housing 168 to define a receiving space 170. It will be understood that the features of this sanitation assembly 160 and the one depicted in FIGS. 1-7 and described above include many features that are similar or the same. Accordingly, it will be understood that the any features described may be used on either of the sanitation assemblies 10, 160 without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. [0051] As best shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, the inner housing 164 includes first and second side walls 190, 192, a front wall 194, a rear wall 196, and a bottom wall 198. The first and second side walls 190, 192 may be a first length, and the front wall 194 and the rear wall 196 may each be a second length. The first length is less than the second length. The walls 190, 192, 194, 196, 198 may be transparent to permit light from the light sources 172a-d to pass through the walls 190, 192, 194, 196, 198 and into the cavity 166.

[0052] Referring still to FIGS. 11 and 12, the outer housing 168 includes corresponding first and second sidewalls 152a, 152b, a front wall 154a, and a rear wall 154b. The walls 152a, 152b, 154a, 154b of the outer housing 168 may include an inner surface 238 formed or coated with a reflective material. This allows the inner surface 238 of the outer housing 168 to reflect light from the light sources 172a-d back into the cavity 166. As shown in FIG. 12, the rear wall 158 of the outer housing 168 may define an opening 220 configured to provide access to a power cord for providing power to the sanitation assembly 160.

[0053] The plurality of light sources 72a-d are positioned within the receiving space 170 between the inner housing 164 and the outer housing 168. As best shown in FIG. 12, the plurality of light sources 72a-d may be evenly spaced along the walls 190, 192, 194, 196. For example, one light source 72a may be positioned on each of the first and second side walls 190, 192, and two light sources 72b may be positioned on each of the front wall 194 and the rear wall 196. Each of these light sources 72a, 22b may positioned vertically proximate the first and second side walls 190, 192, the front wall 194, and the rear wall 196, respectively.

[0054] A portion of the plurality of light sources 72c may further be positioned proximate the bottom wall 198 of the inner housing 164. These light sources 72c may extend between the first and second side walls 190, 192 of the inner housing 164 or may extend between the front and rear walls 194, 196 of the inner housing 164. As shown in FIG. 12, the plurality of light sources 72c may be oriented diagonally below the bottom wall 198. However, it will be understood that this configuration is exemplary only and that any number of light sources 72a-d may be used and may be positioned in any arrangement, including, but not limited to, arrangements where the plurality of light sources do not extend vertically, are not elongated, are stacked, etc. or where a single light source is used.

[0055] As shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, a central extension 200 may be positioned proximate the center of the cavity 166. The central extension 200 may be extend upward from the bottom wall 198 of the inner housing 164 and may be configured to support or receive a single light source 72d. This allows goods (e.g., clothes) to be draped across or over the central extension 200 for sanitation. However, it will be understood that the sanitation assembly 160 may operate without the extension 200 and respective light source 72d.

[0056] Referring now to FIG. 13, the plurality of light sources 72a-c are positioned within the receiving space 170 and are supported by a base 216. The base 216 may define a cavity 218 for receiving electrical components of the sanitation assembly 10 (see FIG. 17). In various examples, supports may be used to space the bottom wall 198 of the inner housing 164 from the plurality of light sources 72a-d and the base 216. In other examples, the inner housing 164 may be otherwise supported and spaced apart from the base 216.

[0057] Referring still to FIG. 13, the inner housing 164 further defines an open end 204 in communication with the cavity 166. The open end 204 is configured to provide a user access to the cavity 166 to position goods within the cavity 166 for sanitation. The open end 204 is configured to be selectively sealed by the lid 176 and may be surrounded by a lip 202. In some examples, the lip 202 may be configured to support a portion or all of the control panel 178. When the lid 176 is closed and the open end 204 is sealed by the lid 176, a latch assembly 188 is configured to retain the lid 176 in the closed position. In various examples, the latch assembly 188 may be magnetic. However, it is contemplated that any latch assembly 188 may be used, including, but not limited to, latch assemblies using latch hooks, latch arms, locks, etc.

[0058] As best shown in FIG. 12, the latch assembly includes a receiver 206 positioned on one of the outer housing 168 and the inner housing 164. The receiver 206 is configured to receive a latch 214 positioned on the lid 176. Where the latch assembly 188 is a magnetic latch assembly, the receiver 206 may be configured to magnetically engage with the latch 214. In various examples, the magnetic latch 214 includes a Hall-Effect sensor for determining the position of the lid 76. Alternatively, the receiver 206 may include a space, a striker, a hook, or any other retention member for a latch assembly without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0059] The lid 176 is movable between the open position and the closed position and is engaged with the outer housing 168 in the closed position, as previously introduced. The control panel 28 for operating the sanitation assembly 160 may be positioned on the lid 176.As illustrated in FIG. 12, the lid 176 may be hingedly coupled with the outer housing 168 via one or more hinges 208. The latch 214 of the latch assembly 188 may extend from the lid 176. Alternatively, the latch 214 may be coupled with or integrally formed with the lid 176. It is contemplated that sealing members may be used betw een the lid 176 and the inner housing 164.

[0060] Referring now to FIGS. 15 and 16, the second exemplary embodiment of the sanitation assembly 160 is illustrated with additional features. As illustrated, the outer housing 168 may include handles 234 extending Rom the first and second side walls 152a, 152b. These handles 234 may assist a user in moving the sanitation assembly 160.

[0061] As also illustrated in FIG. 15 and 16, in various examples the outer housing 168 may further include a top wall 230. The top wall 230 may partially cover the open end 204 of the inner housing 164 and may be coplanar with the lid 176 when the lid 176 is in the closed position. The control panel 178 may be positioned on the top wall 230 to limit movement of the control panel 178.

[0062] Referring now to FIG. 16, the sanitation assembly 160 may Rirther include a removable insert 242. Supports 244 may be coupled with or integrally formed with inner housing 164 and may extend inward into the cavity 166. The supports 244 are configured to support the insert 242 in various positions such that the insert 242 operates as an adjustable shelf. It is contemplated that more than one insert 242 may be included and supported by any number of supports 244 without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0063] As previously discussed and discussed in detail below, the bench and storage system are also equipped with locks and potentially motion sensors, temperature controls and a camera to ensure the safety of users, which can be operated from either the physical unit or a mobile app. The bench could optionally have pads that are placed on the lid of the storage unit so that it could be used as additional seating.

[0064] Referring now to FIG. 17, a block diagram of an operating system of the sanitation assembly 10, 160 is illustrated. As previously introduced, the sanitation assembly 10, 160 includes a display panel 28, 178 configured to receive user input 30 (e.g., via actuators 84a-d) and subsequently provide the user input 30 to the controller. The sanitation assembly 10, 160 may further include various sensors 254, 256, 258 or other detection components. For example, the sanitation assembly 10, 160 may include a motion sensor 254, a temperature sensor 256, and a lid sensor 258. Each sensor 254, 256, 258 is configured to provide input to the controller 32. In various examples, biometric scanning or other sensors/inputs may also be included and in communication with the controller 32. [0065] The controller 32 is configured to receive input from the display panel 28, 178 and/or the sensors 254. 256, 258. In various examples, the controller 32 may be configured to receive user input 30 from a portable user device 250. The portable user device 250 may be configured to operate in a similar manner to the display panel 28, 178 and will include the same or similar input options for a user. Input is provided to the controller 32 via a wireless connection (e.g., Bluetooth™), and output may be provided from the controller 32 to the portable user device 250 via the same type of wireless connection.

[0066] The controller 32 includes a processor 246 having a memory 248 therein. The controller

32 is configured to process input and provide output to actuate the plurality of light sources 22, 172a-d, as described in more detail elsewhere herein (see FIG. 18). The controller 32 is further configured to provide out to one or more of the display panel 28, 178 and the portable user device 250 related to the operation of the sanitation assembly 10, 160 (e.g., run time, delays, errors, etc.). For example, the controller 32 may provide output to the display panel 78, 128 indicating the state of the sanitation assembly 10, 160 via feedbacks 90. In various examples, the controller 32 may also provide output to the portable user device 250 related to notifications about the state of the sanitation assembly 10, 160, the cycle being run, etc. For example, the controller 32 may provide the output to an application stored on the portable user device 250. The application may be configured to provide remote access, log data from the cycles run on the sanitation assembly 10, 160, and/or log cycle alerts that have been received from the controller 32. The application may further be configured to provide notifications to the user via the portable user device 250. It will be understood that these are exemplary only and that other devices may be used in conjunction with the controller 32 without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0067] Referring now to FIGS. 1-17, the controller 32 may further be in communication with a refrigeration assembly 264. When goods that should be refrigerated are placed within the cavity 16, 166, the controller 32 may receive input from the temperature sensor 256 to determine if the cavity 16, 166 drops below a programmed temperature. The controller 32 may be configured to actuate the refrigeration assembly 264 if the temperature falls below the programmed temperature to ensure the goods do not spoil. Refrigeration may be available for cycles over a predetermined time frame (e.g., about 30 minutes).

[0068] Referring now to FIG. 18, a decision flow chart for a process 300 of operating the sanitation assembly 10, 160 is illustrated. With reference now to FIGS. 1-18, a user selects a cycle via the display panel 28, 178 or the portable user device 250 in a step 310, and the controller 32 receives user input 30 (step 314). The controller 32 may be configured to request input from the motion sensor 254 (step 318). If the motion sensor 254 detects motion within the cavity 16, 166, the controller 32 is configured to not begin the cycle (step 322). In various examples, the controller 32 is configured to provide output to one or both of the display panel 28, 178 and the portable user device 250 indicating that the cycle was not started (step 326). In various examples, the display panel 28, 178 and/or the portable user device 250 may be configured to indicate the source of the error.

[0069] If the motion sensor 254 does not detect motion in step 330, the controller 32 may be configured to then request input from the lid sensor 258 (step 330). If the lid sensor 258 indicates that the lid 26, 176 is in the open position, the cycle will not begin (step 322) and the controller 32 provides output to one or both of the display panel 28, 178 and the portable user device 250 indicating that the cycle was not started (step 326). In various examples, the display panel 28, 178 and/or the portable user device 250 may be configured to indicate the source of the error (i.e., the lid 26, 176 is open). If the lid sensor 258 indicates that the lid 26, 176 is in the closed position, the controller 32 may be configured to start the cycle (step 334). It will be understood that additional sensors resulting in additional steps may be used in conjunction with the controller 32 without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0070] In various examples, the latch assembly 48, 188 may be magnetic and/or the lid sensor 258 may be a Hall-Effect Sensor. During the cycle, if the latch assembly 48, 188 is disconnected, the lid sensor 258 provides input to the controller 32 that the lid 26, 176 is no longer closed (step 338). The controller 32 automatically powers down the plurality of light sources 22, 172a-d, stopping the cycle (step 342). In various examples, the controller 32 is configured to provide output to one or both of the display panel 28, 178 and the portable user device 250 indicating that the cycle was not started (step 346). If the lid 26, 176 remains closed, the cycle will run to completion (step 350). In various examples, the controller 32 is configured to provide output to one or both of the display panel 28, 178 and the portable user device 250 indicating that the cycle was not completed (step 354). The latch assembly 48, 188 may further be configured to disengage if there is no power provided to the sanitation assembly 10, 160.

[0071] The presently disclosed UV-C sanitation chamber and decorative storage system solves the problem of providing a sterilization unit that is both decorative, functional, and large enough to store clothing, food, and packages. Furthermore, the sterilization unit provides refrigeration options that will be beneficial to store foods and contains a secure locking and safety system operated via mobile app. The ability to damage pathogens is not dependent on the intensity of the UV-C bulb but rather the quantity. Having more lights installed to a box would cut sterilization time in half. UV-C waves of 254 nm destroy the DNA of all microorganisms, so viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi are disabled in seconds.

[0072] It would be desirable for individuals to have a sterilization unit that is both decorative, functional, and large enough to store clothing, food, and packages. Furthermore, it would also be desirable for the sterilization unit to have refrigeration options to store grocery deliveries, and for the sterilization unit to contain a secure locking and safety system operated via mobile app. Therefore, there currently exists a need in the industry for the device.

[0073] The terms "comprising," "including," and "having," as used in the claims and specification herein, shall be considered as indicating an open group that may include other elements not specified. The terms "a," "an," and the singular forms of words shall be taken to include the plural form of the same words, such that the terms mean that one or more of something is provided. The term "one" or "single" may be used to indicate that one and only one of something is intended. Similarly, other specific integer values, such as "two," may be used when a specific number of things is intended. The terms "preferably,” "preferred," "prefer," "optionally,” "may," and similar terms are used to indicate that an item, condition or step being referred to is an optional (not required) feature of the disclosure.

[0074] The disclosure has been described with reference to various specific and preferred embodiments and techniques. However, it should be understood that many variations and modifications may be made while remaining within the spirit and scope of the disclosure. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that methods, devices, device elements, materials, procedures and techniques other than those specifically described herein can be applied to the practice of the disclosure as broadly disclosed herein without resort to undue experimentation. All art-known functional equivalents of methods, devices, device elements, materials, procedures and techniques described herein are intended to be encompassed by this disclosure. Whenever a range is disclosed, all subranges and individual values are intended to be encompassed. This disclosure is not to be limited by the embodiments disclosed, including any shown in the drawings or exemplified in the specification, which are given by way of example and not of limitation. [0075] While the disclosure has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, those skilled in the art, having benefit of this disclosure, will appreciate that other embodiments can be devised which do not depart from the scope of the disclosure as disclosed herein. Accordingly, the scope of the disclosure should be limited only by the attached claims.

[0076] All references throughout this application, for example patent documents including issued or granted patents or equivalents, patent application publications, and non-patent literature documents or other source material, are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entireties, as though individually incorporated by reference, to the extent each reference is at least partially not inconsistent with the disclosure in the present application (for example, a reference that is partially inconsistent is incorporated by reference except for the partially inconsistent portion of the reference).