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Title:
SEAT ARRANGEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/033108
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a chair being changeable between respective configurations of support positions, and more specifically to a chair configured to be changeable between a support position suitable for supporting a standing user, and a support position of one or more respective sitting positions suitable for supporting the user while sitting in the chair.

Inventors:
ROEDSTOEL ARNE OVE (NO)
NORDBY KJETIL (NO)
LANGE CHRISTOFFER ANDREAS CROEGER (NO)
WINDINGSTAD SIGBJOERN (NO)
KITTILSEN ANDERS AUGUST STENSHOLT (NO)
Application Number:
EP2013/067681
Publication Date:
March 06, 2014
Filing Date:
August 27, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ULSTEIN POWER & CONTROL AS (NO)
International Classes:
A47C9/02; A47C9/00; B63B29/04
Foreign References:
EP1576906A12005-09-21
US4637652A1987-01-20
US5619949A1997-04-15
US20070057554A12007-03-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PLOUGMANN & VINGTOFT A/S (Copenhagen S, DK)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS :

1.

A chair comprising a controlling arrangement enabling and controlling transitions between a plurality of respective support positions of the chair for an associated operator (5) using the chair, wherein the chair comprises a pedestal (2) with a support section (7) fixable to a location the pedestal (2) is standing on, wherein the pedestal (2) is supporting a seat arrangement (12) at a configurable height above the location the pedestal (2) is standing on, the support section (7) comprises a rotatable joint (8) enabling a tilting of the pedestal (2) both forwards and respectively backwards, wherein an arrangement in the support section (7) enables and controls the tilting of the pedestal (2), the pedestal (2) comprises a first actuator element (70) configurable to be operational in length direction of the pedestal (2), wherein a specific activation of the first actuator element (70) is configurable to change the length of the pedestal (2) from a first length to a second length, wherein a specific activation of the actuator element (70) is configurable to be correlated with the amount of tilting of the pedestal (2), characterized in that a second actuator element (71) is capable of tilting the seat arrangement (12) around a rotatable joint (11) located in the seat

arrangement (12), thereby correcting or adjusting any unwanted seat angle for an associated operator (5) sitting in the chair due to the tilting of the pedestal (2) around the rotatable joint (8) in the support section (7) of the pedestal (2). 2.

The chair according to claim 1, wherein the first actuator element (70) is configurable to either shorten or respectively extend the length of the pedestal (2) when the pedestal (2) is tilted backwards or respective forwards around the joint (8), the amount the length of the pedestal (2) is shortened or extended is configurable to be correlated with an angel (a) formed by the tilted pedestal (2) and a horizontal plane, or optionally to be correlated with a defined line of sight (6).

3.

The chair according to claim 2, wherein the first actuator element (70) is configurable to further extend or respectively shorten a length set by the actuator element (70) if the second actuator element (71) rotates the seat arrangement (12) around the rotatable joint (11), the amount of further extending or shortening the set length of the pedestal (2) is provided for with an amount maintaining the defined line of sight (6).

4.

The chair according to claim 1, wherein the second actuator element (71) is configurable to maintain a seat angle of the seat arrangement (12) for an associated operator (5) sitting in the chair by dynamic corrections or adjustments of the seat angle when the pedestal (2) is either being tilted forward or respectively being tilted backwards.

5.

The chair according to claim 1, wherein the actuator element (70) and the second actuator element (71) is configurable to be activated in a coordinated manner, wherein an amount of activation of one of the two actuator elements (70, 71) is configurable for controlling proportionally the amount of activation of the other of the two actuator elements (70, 71).

6.

The chair according to claim 1, wherein the two actuator elements (70, 71) is configurable to change a configuration of support positions for an associated operator (5) standing in front of the chair, from an up folded support position (A) via optionally transitional support positions (B, C) to a support position (D) providing sitting positions suitable for supporting the associated operator (5), or to change a configuration of the chair from a support position (D) providing sitting positions back to an up folded support position (A) vi optional transitional support positions (C, B).

7.

The chair according to claim 6, wherein the two actuator elements (70, 71) is configurable to change a configuration of the chair into a support position (E) providing a relaxing support position (E) for an associated operator (5) sitting in the chair.

8.

The chair according to claim 1, wherein the arrangement in the support section (7) enabling and controlling the tilting of the pedestal (2), comprises an actuator element (13) connected in one end via a rotatable joint (20) located in a rear position on an anchoring frame (16), and in an opposite end of the actuator element (13), a piston (19) of the actuator element (13) is connected to an arm (17) via a rotatable joint (21) located in a middle section of the arm (17), wherein the arm (17) in an opposite location of the rotatable joint (21) is connected to the anchoring frame (16) via a rotatable joint (8) located in a forward position of the anchoring frame (16). 9.

The chair according to claim 1, wherein the first actuating element (70) comprises an actuating element (14) connected in one end to a rotatable joint (21) located in a middle section of an arm (24), and an opposite end of the actuating element (14) is connected to a rotatable joint (11) located in a forwards position of the seat arrangement (12), and an actuating element (15) being connected fixed in one end to the arm (24) and in another end to a rotatable joint (23) located backwards on the seat arrangement (12).

10.

The chair according to claim 1, wherein the pedestal (2) comprises an actuating element (13) connected in one end to a rotatable joint (20) located in a rear end of an anchoring frame (16), and in an opposite end of the actuator element (13), a piston (19) of the actuator element (13) is connected to a middle section of an arm (24) via a rotatable joint (24), an actuator element (14) is connected in one end to the rotatable joint (21), and in another end to a rotatable joint (11) located in a forward position on the seat arrangement (12), the arm (24) is connected in one end to a rotatable joint (8) located in a forward position of an anchoring frame (16), and in another end the arm (24) is connected fixed to an end of an actuating element (15) being connected in an opposite end to a rotatable joint (23) located in a backward location on the seat arrangement (12).

11.

The chair according to any claim 1 to 10, wherein the controlling arrangement is constituted by a programmable controller configurable to change a configuration of the chair by activating respective control signals activating the tilting

arrangement in the support section (7), the first actuator element (70), and the second actuator element (71), wherein the controller comprises a memory with respective executable code sections each being linked to one of a respective one of a series of respective support positions (A, B, C, D, E), wherein each respective code section is executed when an associated operator (5) selects one of the support positions (A, B, C, D, E) via an interface device connected to the programmable controller.

12.

The chair according to claim 11, wherein the programmable controller is configurable to change a support position to be either a support position (A) for an associated operator (5) when the associated operator (5) is standing with his back towards the chair, and a support position (D) when the associated operator (5) is sitting in the chair, optionally the controller is configurable to change the chair to a relaxed support position (E).

13.

The chair according to claim 12, wherein a transition from a first support position (A) to a second support position (D) is activated by pushing a switch located in in front of the associated operator (5), wherein the switch is capable of generating a signal triggering the controller to execute a code providing transitions of configurations of the chair from a first support position (A) to a second support position (D).

14.

The chair according to claim 12, wherein a transition from a first support position (D) for a sitting position to a second support position (A) for a standing position is activated by pushing a switch located in in front of the associated operator (5).

15.

The chair according to claim 13 or 14, wherein the switch is located on an associated footrest (9) of an associated console (4) located in front of the chair.

16.

A vessel comprising a chair according to claim 1. 17.

The vessel according to claim 16, wherein a control room or ship bridge of the vessel comprises the chair and a console of a workstation is optionally arranged in front of the chair.

18.

Use of a chair according to claim 1 in a control room of a crane. 19.

A method of changing a support position of a chair, comprising : a) tilting a pedestal of the chair forwards around a rotatable joint located in a foot of the pedestal, b) while tilting the pedestal in step a), extending or shortening the pedestal length in accordance with a desired target for the length of the pedestal when the tilting in step a) stops, c) while tilting the pedestal in step a), rotate a seat of the chair such that an inclination angle of the seat is corrected or adjusted for an operator sitting in the chair due to the tilting in step a).

20.

The method according to claim 19, comprises the step of tilting the pedestal of the chair backwards instead of forwards in step a).

21.

The method according to claim 19, comprises the requirement of maintaining a line of sight for an associated person sitting in the chair as the target of step b) while tilting the chair in step a).

Description:
SEAT ARRANGEMENT

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a chair, being changeable between respective configurations of support positions, and a method thereof, and more specifically to a chair configured to be changeable between a support position suitable for supporting a standing user, and a support position of one or more respective sitting positions suitable for supporting the user while sitting in the chair.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Marine vessels are built to serve a plurality of different tasks and the

instrumentation of the bridge providing control and interaction with systems on board the ship can likewise be very different. There has to be interfaces to radar systems, radio communication systems and motor controls etc. which are often located on ship bridges. Dependent on the purpose of a specific use of a ship design, further instruments may be necessary, and the complexity and operations of the instrumentations on the bridge may be extremely complex and challenging for the operators working on the bridge.

There is usually a multitude of computerized workstations with displays and computer implemented interaction tools located on workstation consoles together with standard switches and joysticks for example, where each respective workstation serves specific tasks relevant for the type of operations a ship is built to serve. The workstations must fulfil extensive requirements to be allowed for use e.g. in high seas, through rules set out in the relevant classification regimes. Such requirements can be found, for example, in "Rules for Classification of Ships", part 6, chapter 6 from Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

Operators serving the different workstations on board the bridge must all the time keep their attention towards events being processed and displayed in the workstation for example, and dependent on the workstation function, on events around the ship. The pilot should for example keep his attention constantly on the environment around the ship. However, the pilot must be able to change motor settings, be able to look at radar screens, change course of the ship etc. at any time during his watch, sometimes within seconds. This is a stressful working environment.

Chairs, if installed at the workstation, should be designed in accordance with ergonomic requirements for efficient use of the equipment installed in the work station consoles and have adjustable height of the seat above the floor the chair is resting on for maintenance of a required classification rule related to a field of vision through bridge windows for the operator while sitting in the chair. It should also be easy for a person to enter or leave the chairs in any support position the chair has been set.

It should also be possible to move the chair forwards into support positions providing easy hands reach of the equipment by an operator when sitting in the chair in front of a workstation console, or when being supported in a standing position by the chair, and to be able to move the chair backwards from the consoles to achieve good working space for the operator when the operator is in a standing working position. However, such operations of changing support positions of the chair cannot be a time consuming operation that may take away the operators awareness of the surrounding environment of the boat, or other activities on the bridge itself. Even a quick turning away from the console and bridge windows when activating a lever on the chair can be the timeslot where accidents or a certain alarm situation develops. For example, when controlling winch operations, a winch may brake if the operator forgets to control the winch motor when the tension in the winch cable becomes too high, and there is a risk that the winch cable may break. Therefore, the operator should be able to change a chair setting, for example by just activating a foot pedal or switch located in the floor in front of the operator. In this manner the operator can keep the focus on events around the ship and at the same time be able to change a support position of the chair, for example from a sitting position to a standing position which may improve the operator's ability to control a critical situation, since in a standing position he can act more rapidly over a larger working area and have quicker access to other equipment he may need. There have been some efforts in prior art to develop a marine chair that can provide easy access to the interaction tools of a workstation, and at the same time can provide ergonomically correct support of an operator sitting in the chair. For example, it is known in prior art to provide arm rests of marine chairs with interaction tools, for example as an alternative to having a console in front of the chair. However, this arrangement makes it difficult to leave the chair and still be able to operate the interaction tools. It may also be a problem with this type of arm rests since they tend to be not only wide, but also to be long in size to be able to accommodate enough surfaces for respective interaction tools. In this manner the arm rests may be fencing the operator sitting in the chair.

The prior art marine chair disclosed in WO 2011/087971 comprises a pedestal supporting the chair that is being movable and fixable in a rail arranged in the floor. To move the chair back and forth, the structure is released from the rail and the chair can be moved to a new position and be locked. To be able to adjust the vertical position of the chair, the pedestal of the chair is provided with a height adjustment mechanism. However, if this chair as an alternative embodiment comprises electrical motors providing actuator movements for adjustments of the chair, or to instruments located on the chair itself (for example arm rests), then cables that provides power and signals to the chair must be long enough to accommodate for the change of position of the chair in the rail . That implies that the cables may be resting on the floor behind the chair in a coil, or the cables are pulled up or down through a hole in the floor. Therefore, the cables may represent a hindrance for the operators on the bridge, and even be a security issue when operators do have to move quickly around during for example alarm situations.

EP 1 576 906 disclose an adjustable chair that can be regulated to fit individual body sizes by providing adjustment mechanisms of the support body. The arrangement allow different resting positions of the chair, for example an ordinary horizontal seating position, an inclined seating position wherein the person sitting in the chair is supported by arranged support for the knees thereby keeping the person in place on the inclined seat, and an upright straight position providing support for a person standing and leaning towards the upright positioned chair. An actuator in the front can tilt the chair backwards and forwards while an actuator in the back of the chair can also tilt the chair backwards and forward but independently from the movement of the front located actuator. However, if the seat of the chair should be oriented horizontally to provide a normal sitting position if the actuator in the back is tilting the chair forwards it is only by activating the actuator in front that enables an adjustment of the inclined seat to a horizontal position. Then the pedestal is moved backwards again, but with an increased length. Therefore, it is not possible to tilt the pedestal of the chair forward and at the same time provide a normal sitting position.

It may further be a problem of using rails mounted in the floor for moving a chair back and forth. For example, if the rail is made with an elongated groove for guiding the chair, the rails will be prone to collect dust and dirt which may harm or even destroy the mechanism moving the chair. Further, the rail direction limits the possible direction of movement of the chair to just one direction back and forth along the rail direction.

However, even though such known marine chairs provide comfort, it is also known that sitting in such a chair during a watch duty can be extremely monotonous. Monotone working environment may lead to fatigue and thereby to a reduced attention level of the operator. Some ship accidents have been attributed to such monotone situations for the operator. It is a known fact that for example a pilot may fall asleep while on duty.

The Norwegian broadcasting company TV2 has assembled a map of ship accidents along the Norwegian coast line that probably has its cause in poor monotonous working environment for the pilot of the ship that has fallen asleep. The following link is to the map: http://static.tv2.no/nyhetene/kart/skipsulykker/sovnet.html .

Therefore, a better working environment providing less monotone working conditions is advisable to be able to reduce ship accidents. The designs of workstations play of course an important role to improve this situation. Better man-machine interaction tools and protocols may also contribute to improve the situation. However, the chair design may also influence the fatigue problems for operators sitting for hours in their chairs during their watch. It is known that being able to change between respective sitting positions, and be able to stand up, or even be able to pull the back of the seat backwards to provide better relaxation may help the operator to stay alert during his watch.

According to an aspect of the present invention, a chair is configured to provide a possibility for the operator to effortlessly change a support position of the chair when the operator feels for it, or in a situation that requires a rapid change of support position, for example to provide enough space between the chair and a workstation console to enable the operator to leave the workstation quickly if necessary in an emergency situation.

According to an aspect of the present invention, a console arranged in front of a chair is preferable since the operator then quickly can look down onto the console surface if necessary, for example to make a quick look to be sure where the hands are in relation to interaction tools, and then up again and having full view of the environment around the ship again. However, it is within the scope of the present invention that embodiments of the chair can be used with any types and shapes of consoles, for example rectangular shaped console surfaces, U shaped console surfaces, V shaped console surfaces, or a set of console surfaces arranged around the chair, for example opposite each other (180° apart), or with 90° angle between them etc.

However, the work station concept requires that the operator at all time is in hands reach of the respective interaction tools and controls belonging to the workstation. At sea a dangerous situation can develop in minutes and even within seconds. Therefore, there is a requirement that the operator can interfere with situations immediately. Therefore, it is a challenge to design a marine chair providing flexibility of use and at the same time keeps the operator within arm's reach of interaction tools located on consoles etc. The chair provided for an operator of a work station should furthermore provide sufficient support for the operator, and when being mounted on a vessel, provide such support both when the operator is standing or is sitting upright or more reclined in the chair in all weather conditions. Furthermore, changing of support position of the chair should be effortless and easy to be performed. Furthermore, it is a classification requirement that an operator should be able to keep a same field of view or same l ine of sight towards the surrounding environment irrespective of which support position the chair is set, for example when the chair is used in a workstation having tasks related to operations around the ship.

According to the above referenced classification rules, a height of an eye of an operator above a horizontal reference plane (for example the floor of the ship bridge) should be within an acceptable range providing full view of the

surround ing environment of the ship through for example bridge windows, or towards other workstations on the bridge . This requirement should be fulfilled when the operator is supported by the chair in a standing position as well as when being supported in respective sitting positions.

Hence, an improved seat arrangement suitable for marine vessels would be advantageous, and in particular a more efficient and flexible seat arrangement with improved performance would be advantageous.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an alternative to the prior art. In particular, it may be seen as an object of the present invention to provide a chair that solves the above mentioned problems of the prior art with a chair configured to keep the height of an eye of an operator inside a defined interval relative to a horizontal reference plane irrespective of which support position of the chair the operator is using .

It is further an object of the present invention to provide a chair configured to be changeable between respective support positions in a more ergonomic and automated effortless manner. It is further an object of the present invention to provide a chair configured to enable an operator of a workstation to change support position of the chair, and still be in arms reach of interaction tools located on the workstation console.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, the above described object and several other objects are intended to be obtained in a first aspect of the invention by providing a chair that can be tilted around a lower section of a pedestal supporting a seat arrangement, wherein the pedestal can be adjusted in length in the length direction of the pedestal thereby compensating loss or increase of height of the seat arrangement above a surface the pedestal stands on due to tilting of the pedestal.

The invention is particularly, but not exclusively, advantageous for obtaining a chair comprising a controlling arrangement enabling and controlling transitions between pluralities of respective support positions of the chair for an associated operator 5 using the chair. The chair comprises a pedestal with a support section fixable to a location the pedestal 2 is standing on. The pedestal is supporting a seat arrangement at a configurable height above the location the pedestal is standing on. The support section comprises a rotatable joint enabling a tilting of the pedestal both forwards and respectively backwards, wherein an arrangement in the support section enables and controls the tilting of the pedestal. The pedestal comprises a first actuator element configurable to be operational in a length direction of the pedestal, wherein a specific activation of the first actuator element is configurable to change the length of the pedestal from a first length to a second length. A specific activation of the actuator element is configurable to be correlated with the amount of tilting of the pedestal 2, and wherein a second actuator element is capable of tilting the seat arrangement around a rotatable joint located in the seat arrangement, thereby correcting or adjusting any unwanted seat angle for an associated operator sitting in the chair due to the tilting of the pedestal around the rotatable joint in the support section of the pedestal.

The present invention comprises further vessels comprising examples of embodiments of the present invention.

The present invention comprises further control rooms or ship bridges comprising embodiments of the present invention, wherein optionally a console of a workstation is arranged in front of the examples of embodiments of the present invention. The present invention comprises further use of embod iments of the present invention in control rooms of cranes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The chair according to the present invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying figures. The attached figures il lustrates an example of embod iment of the present invention, and is not to be construed as being limiting to other possible embodiments falling within the scope of the attached claim set.

Figure 1 illustrates a side view of a sequence of transitions between configurations of respective support positions of a chair according to an example of embod iment of the present invention .

Figure 2 illustrates an enlarged side view of one of the support positions of the example of chair depicted in fig ure 1.

Figure 3 illustrates another enlarged side view of one of the support positions of the example of chair depicted in figure 1.

Figure 4 il lustrates another example of embodiment of a chair accord ing to the present invention . Figure 5 illustrates a side view of a transitional support position of the example of embodiment depicted in figure 4.

Figure 6 illustrates a perspective view of a work station with a seat arrangement according to the present invention .

Figure 7 A illustrates an example of a path movement followed by the seat of a chair as depicted in figure 1 and figure 4 when the chair is tilted forward .

Figure 7B illustrates an example of assessment of parameter values for the path movement illustrated in fig ure 7A. Figure 8 illustrates an example of locations of adjustable actuator elements for an example of chair according to the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLES OF EMBODIMENTS

There are many adjustable features of chairs that may be common to many types of chairs. For example, chairs used in office environments can be adjusted in height, the angle of the backrest may be adjusted, and a tilt angle of the seat cushion etc. may often be adjusted to accommodate different needs and taste of office employers sitting in these chairs all day long. These adjustments are also found in chairs specially designed for marine applications. However, there are strict classification rules that may influence the design and there are many different choices to be made with respect to solving adjustable features of a chair which may contradict other objects of a design of a chair in marine applications. For example, in the context of a chair for use on a ship bridge, it is a requirement that a chair should be able to be positioned in front of a workstation console and at the same time be able to be pulled back to provide enough space for an operator to leave the workstation quickly, for example due to an emergency situation. At the same time the chair and any person sitting in the chair should also be able to use the chair in heavy weather conditions. The required flexibility of moving the chair back and forth may contradict the requirement of stability during heavy weather conditions. It is also a requirement in marine environment to maintain the line of sight as referenced above. This requirement may contradict possible support positions providing rest for an operator using the chair. For example, if the back rest of the chair is pulled back the head of the operator would be lowered and maybe the line of sight requirement would be violated. Further, when being lowered this way, the arms of the operator would also be pulled backwards and thereby the operator may lose contact with interaction tools located on the workstation console. Further, it is advisable that a chair for marine use should be able to be changed effortless between respective support positions to mitigate the fatigue problem and at the same time maintain the awareness requirement for an operator as described above. According to an example of embodiment of the present invention, it is preferred to fix a chair permanently to the deck of the bridge to be able to secure the chair properly in heavy weather conditions, and at the same time any signal cables and power cables may be fed to the chair inside the fixed coupling of the chair to the bridge deck. This is beneficial from a security point of view. The cables are stuffed away and will not be pulled or be subject to wear and tear due to movement of the cables. Therefore, they will not represent an obstacle lying on the floor for example, and the risk of breaking a power or signal cable due to movement of the ship or chair is not present. An example of a positioning of a chair and a workstation on a bridge is depicted in figure 6. The chair is positioned in front of a workstation console, wherein the chair and the workstation console are located in front of bridge windows. From this position of the chair the operator may have excellent view of the surround ing environment of the ship and at the same time have easy access to the work station console. Further, is within the scope of the present invention to provide a permanent fixation of the chair to a floor that may be inclined .

Figure 1 il lustrates respective support positions and transitional positions between the respective support positions available in an example of embod iment of the present invention .

Starting from the left of figure 1, the chair 1 is folded up in a position A providing a working space between the fixed chair and a workstation console 4 for an operator 5 standing in front of the console 4. The above referenced line of sight is indicated with the line 6 in the figure 1. In this example the line of sig ht is defined as the height above the bridge deck up to the position of the eyes of the operator while the operator is standing on the deck of the bridge. The classification requirements do have some tolerance provid ing a possibility to have people with different heig ht working like this. In special cases an operator may be positioned on a platform that can be moved upwards or downwards relative to the deck thereby enabling an adjustment of the line of sight of an operator when in a standing working position .

In figure 1, the seat arrangement 12 and back rest 3 of the chair is supported on top of a pedestal 2, wherein the pedestal 2 is fixed to the deck via a support section 7 of the pedestal 2. With reference to figure 1, when the configuration depicted in A is changed from the folded position A to a support position D

(providing seating possibility for the operator 5), the chair passes the transitional positions depicted in B and C until settled in the position depicted in D. The transition from A to B starts when the chair 1 is tilted forward for example in a definable vertical plane direction around a rotatable joint 8 in the support section 7, wherein the tilting direction is for example towards an associated workstation console 4. A mechanical mechanism and/or an electro mechanical mechanism in the support section 7, for example comprising an electro motor (not shown), may for example provide control of the tilting . The activation of the transition of the chair from support position A to D may for example be triggered by pushing a switch (activating respective motorized actuators in the chair) located in the deck in front of the operator 5 (not shown) . In the position B the operator has lifted one leg onto a foot rest 9 of the console 4. The switch may be located on the surface of the foot rest 9. In this example the transition would therefore start with a situation wherein the operator 5 first lifts his leg and activate the switch on the footrest 9. The chair will then start the tilting forward towards the operator 5 standing with his back to the chair. In this situation there is no need for the operator to turn around to pull the chair, or activate any form of adjustment tools located on the chair itself. The operator 5 can therefore keep his awareness forward through the bridge windows during the transition . Another effect of activating chair transitions by the action of lifting the leg of the operator 5 onto the footrest 9, and push down the switch, is that the operator's body then starts to be shaped the way it should be shaped when sitting in the chair. In the transitional position depicted in C the seat cushion 10 has started to be tilted upwards around a joint located in the interface between the back rest 3 and the seat cushion 10. When the operator feels that the seat cushion 10 moves and reaches under his rear end he can sit down as depicted in the support position D. It is also important to observe that the position of the hands of the operator 5 on the upward faced surface of the console 4 is maintained in the same position throughout all the transitions from A to D. The operator may for example be using a joystick. During the chair transitions the operator can activate the joystick as he likes without any obstacles provided from the operation of changing configuration of support position of the chair. The transition of configurations of the chair between the support positions A to support position D in figure 1 is illustrated differently in figure 7A. The joint 8 in the support section 7 of the pedestal 2 and the pedestal 2 is only depicted as a point with reference numeral 8 and a radius with reference numeral 2 of a circle. This is due to the fact that when the pedestal 2 is tilted forward in the transition from A to D depicted in figure 1, a fixed length of the pedestal 2 would therefore be equivalent to a movement in a circle as depicted in figure 7A with the radius (pedestal default length) 2. Further, the seat arrangement 12 would be moved downwards towards the deck of the bridge, and be tilted awkwardly downwards as indicated with the seat depicted with broken lines, and the required line of sight 6 would be lost. Therefore, a chair according to the present invention requires two actuator elements, like for example hydraulic motors or electro motors (these and similar devices are denoted actuating elements) to be able to counteract the effect of the inherited circular movement of the chair when tilted forward . In figure 8 a first actuator 70 is arranged in the length direction of the pedestal 2 thereby enabling a possible extension of the length of the pedestal 2, or alternatively, a shortening of the length of the pedestal 2. This can for example be achieved with an arrangement of the pedestal 2 as a telescopic arrangement as known to a person skilled in the art. Another actuator element 71 is arranged between the pedestal 2 and the bottom of the seat arrangement 12, wherein the actuator element 71 may be fixed in one end to the pedestal 2, and in another end to a backward located position of the seat arrangement 12. In this manner the actuator element 71 may tilt the seat arrangement 12 upwards and respectively downwards around rotatable joint 11 located in the interface between the pedestal 2 and the seat arrangement 12 in a forward location of the seat arrangement 12. With reference to figure 7A and figure 1, a transition from support position A to support position D would then require that during the transitional support positions B and C the actuator element 70 in figure 8 should extend the length of the pedestal 2 in such a manner that the seat arrangement 12 keeps its horizontal position above the bridge deck (i. e. maintain line of sight). To be able to maintain a horizontal position of the seat arrangement 12 at the same time, the actuator 71 may pull down the backward part of the seat arrangement around the forwards located rotatable joint 11. It is further within the scope of the present invention that the seat arrangement 12 can be rotated around a joint located in a

backwards location of the seat arrangement 12. In this example of embodiment the pedestal 12 would then be connected to the seat arrangement 12 in the backwards located joint.

With reference to figure 7B it is illustrated how the necessary amount of extension of the pedestal 2 can be calculated. The position of the rotatable joint 8 is fixed relative to the deck since the support section 7 of the pedestal 2 is secured and fixed to the deck. The distance from this point 8 to a console 4 is known since it is a design issue decided when designing the workstation the console 4 is part of in relation to the chair. The distance is dictated by classification rules and other design issues related to for example the shaping of a console 4. In figure 7B the console is indicated by an arbitrary object with reference numeral 4. Therefore, a distance 20 from the intersection point of the known radius 2 (length of the pedestal 2 in an upright default position) with the seat cushion 10 of the seat arrangement 12 until a location of the same intersection point when the chair is correctly positioned in front of the console 4, when in a support position D, is known. Then the radius 2 and the distance 20 will constitute legs of a rectangular triangle and the length of the extended pedestal 2' would be the hypotenuse side of the rectangular triangle and can be calculated as known to a person skilled in the art.

If the chair, in an example of embodiment, should be able to tilt forward along a curved path in an assigned vertical plane, the same steps as outlined above may be used to calculate the amount of extensions or respective shortenings of the pedestal 2 at given points along the curve. For example, it is possible to assign a number of points, for example 10 points, on a desired curve describing the curve of the desired path. In each point it is then possible to draw the rectangular situation as described above and then perform a number of trigonometric calculations, one for each point. If for example a programmable controller is used in the chair for issuing activation signals of actuator elements in the chair, the calculated points can be stored in a memory in the controller, and if a program is parsing the stored calculations, the actuator elements would then move the chair according to this defined calculated curved path. It is further possible to calculate the angle a that will be formed between the horizontal plane and the calculated length 20 when in support position D, and the length of the extended pedestal 2 as known to a person skilled in the art utilizing the known definitions of the trigonometric functions like sinus and cosine for example. Therefore, the movement of the chair may optionally be controlled by assigning polar coordinates for a target position for the chair when tilted . Further, it is possible to know how much the actuator 71 has to be adjusted to provide for example a horizontal level of a seat supported by the seat arrangement 12. If the seat arrangement 12 should be settled in a different level (for example inclined), the corresponding angle a provided for when the chair is configured like this may then be part of the same calculation .

The last support position E depicted in figure 1 is a relaxed support position wherein the backrest 3 of the chair has been tilted backwards in a joint operation with the seat cushion 10 (the relation between the seat cushion 10 and the backrest 3 may be the same as in position D, or may be changed during the transition from support position D to support position E) around a rotatable joint 23 in the interface between the seat arrangements 12 and the pedestal 2. It is important to notice that the operator 5 still should be in hands reach of interaction tools on the console 4 in addition to maintaining the required line of sight 6. The condition of maintaining hands reach for the operator 5 can be achieved by counteracting the movement backwards of the upper body of the operator 5 when the seat arrangement 12 is tilted backwards around the rotatable joint 23 just by performing an extra extension of the length of the pedestal 2. This extension will lift the operator further upwards and forwards towards the console 4 because the direction of the movement of the pedestal 2 is along an inclined upwardly directed direction. The tilting backwards of the seat arrangement 12 around the rotatable joint 23 will further lift the knees of the operator further upwards towards for example a bottom surface of the console surface of the console 4. Therefore, it is also within the scope of the present invention to adapt a height of the console 4 above the deck of the bridge to be able to accommodate correct available space in relation to the respective configurations of the respective support positions and transitional positions A, B, C and D in examples of embodiments of the chair according to the present invention. It is further important to note that the actuator 70 and actuator 71 as depicted in figure 8 can be operated independently. However, when a transition from support positions A to support position D is performed for a chair used in a marine application, a coordinated activation can be accomplished by activation signals being issued coordinated from a controller controlling operations and actuators in the chair, as known to a person skilled in the art. However, the independent operation of actuators 70, 71 can be utilized when performing fine tuning of ergonomic features of the chair by an operator using the chair. It is for example possible to perform a dynamic correction of a seat angle of the seat arrangement 12 when the pedestal 12 is being tilted . In this manner an operator 5 may be sitting in the chair while the pedestal is being tilted forwards or backwards, or when the pedestal 2 is being extended or shortened . In another example of embodiment, the actuator elements in the chair, when they are activated, provide amounts of changes being proportional to each other.

There is usually a plurality of fine tunings of ergonomic features of a chair an operator wants to perform to feel comfortable when sitting in the chair as depicted in the support position D in figure 1, and which are known in prior art. For example, it is known that a car seat may be adjusted according to memorized settings of the chair. In an example of embodiment of the present invention, any user can via a control interface of the chair (not shown, but can for example be located in a section of the upward faced surface of the console 4, or be a panel on an arm rest) make these kind of adjustments and store the preferred settings in a controller providing activation of actuators, for example electro motors, or hydraulic pumps, that may change a configuration of the chair. The fine tuning of ergonomic features may be performed when the chair is settled in the support position D. The operator 5 can for example use a keyboard in communication with the controller of the chair to input a personal code associated with his own preferred fine tunings of ergonomic features of the chair. In another example of embodiments, a face recognition system may be operating on the bridge, and when an operator 5 starts working at the workstation, the system may recognize the person and thereby also be able to identify and retrieve any stored

information related to personal adjustments of for example the chair. In this example of embodiment, the fine tuning of ergonomic features may be performed during the transitional positions B and C as depicted in figure 1, and therefore the chair may be finally adjusted according to personal taste and requirements when settled in the support position D.

Another effect of having independently adjustable actuators in a chair can for example be, when a chair is in a support position A as depicted in figure 1, to adapt the up folded chair to support a standing operator 5. When the operator is standing in front of the console 4 it is possible, in an example of embodiment of the present invention, to tilt the pedestal 2 forward so that the operator 5 can lean his back towards the up folded chair when standing. Further, in this position the inclination of the seat cushion 10 can be lifted upwards to be adjacent to the back end (or hips) of the operator 5, and thereby providing even better support for the operator 5 when the operator 5 is in a standing position. Since the two actuator elements 70, 71 are operated independently, any adaption of the height of the seat cushion 10 above the deck with respect to a specific anatomy of a person may be achieved which further enhance the ergonomic fine tuning of the chair.

In an example of embodiment depicted in figure 2, the pedestal 2 with the support section 7 comprises an anchoring frame 16 arranged parallel with the deck of a bridge the chair is located on . The pedestal 2 further comprises arms interconnected via rotatable joints and the tilting and extensions and retractions of length of the pedestal 2 is controlled with movements of for example pistons linearly movably and connected to the arms and controlled for example by hydraulic motors, electro motors or other similar devices. In general, such devices as hydraulic motors, electro motors etc. with for example a linearly moveable piston are referenced to as actuator elements. It is within the scope of the present invention to use any device or arrangement that can provide a change of configuration of a chair according to the present invention. With reference to figure 2, in a forwards position on the anchoring frame 16, a first arm 17 is connected to the frame 16 via rotatable joint 8. The rest of the configuration of the chair 1 is connected to the arm 17 via a second arm 18 rotatable connected to the first arm 17 via joint 19 located opposite the joint 8 location on the arm 17. A first hydraulic motor or an electric motor or similar device 13 is connected via a forward and backward movable piston controlled by the first motor 13 to a middle section on the arm 17 comprising a rotatable joint 21, and another opposite end of the first motor 13 is connected to the anchoring frame 16 via a rotatable joint 20 located at a backwards location on the anchoring frame 16 opposite the location of the rotatable joint 8. In this manner a triangle is formed wherein the anchoring frame 16, the first motor 13 and a lower part of the arm 17 below the rotatable joint 17 on the arm 17 constitutes sides in the triangle. When the piston of the motor 13 is moved by the first motor 13, the side of the triangle the first motor 13 is part of will be extended or shortened . This will then change the inclination angle of the arm 17 being another side of the same triangle relative to the horizontal plane. All of the movement of the piston of the first motor 13 is transferred to the arm 17 since the third side of the triangle being the anchoring frame 16 is fixed to the deck of the bridge. In this manner the whole chair 1 may be tilted forward or backward around the rotatable joint 8 via movements of the arm 17 controlled by the first motor 13. Movement of the arm 17 is transferred to the rest of the chair via the connected arm 18. The arm 17 and the arm 18 are connected via the rotatable joint 19, and the arm 18 is connected to the seat arrangement 12 via the rotatable joint 11.

In between the first arm 17 and the second arm 18 there may be arranged a second motor 14 wherein one side of the motor is connected to a rotatable joint 21 on the arm 17. An opposite side of the second motor 14 provided with for example a piston may be connected to a middle section of the arm 18 via a rotatable joint 22. In this manner a triangle is constituted between the rotatable joints 19, 21 and 22. The second motor 14 constitutes one side of this triangle. When the second motor 14 activates its piston the sides of the triangle constituted of the part of the arm 18 between rotatable joint 19 and 22, and the part of the arm 17 between the rotatable joint 19 and 21, will be moved apart or towards each other around the common rotatable joint 19 dependent on the direction of movement activated by the motor 14. In this manner there may be a symmetrical movement around the common joint 19 dependent on the condition that the first motor 13 allows the arm 17 to move freely. If the motor 13 and the piston of the motor 13 connected to the rotatable joint 21 is locking or holding back the arm 17, an activation of the second motor 14 would provide a tilting of the arm 18 backwards around the rotatable joint 19. In an example of embodiment of the present invention, the activation of the second motor 14 is done when the activation of the first motor 13 is enabled. In this manner the arm 17 is movable while the second motor 14 is activated thereby providing a linear extension or reduction in length of the pedestal 2 by moving the arms 17 and 18 apart or towards each other symmetrically around the common rotatable joint 19.

In another example of embodiment, the tilting around the rotatable joint 8 of the pedestal 2 may be locked in a tilted position by a lock arrangement (not shown). In this manner the first motor 13 may be released while the tilted position of the pedestal 2 is locked, and the piston of the motor 13 may be freely movable while the second motor 14 provides the adjustment in length of the pedestal 2.

This is in contrast to the movement of the triangle formed by the first arm 17 and the anchoring frame 16 and the first motor 13 around the common rotatable joint 8. The difference in movement is due to the fact that none of the sides of the triangle between the rotatable joints 19, 21 and 22 are fixed or bounded in movement the same way as the anchoring frame 16 is when for example attached to the deck of the bridge. The effect is therefore that movements of the piston of the second motor 14 may provide linear extension or shortening of the length of the pedestal 2 correlated with the direction and amount of movement of the piston of the second motor 14.

A third motor 15 is connected to the rotatable joint 22 in the middle section of the arm 18 and a rotatable joint 23 located in a backwards position on the seat arrangement 12. Activation of the third motor 15 provides a rotation of the seat arrangement 12 around the joint 11 located in a forwards position on the seat arrangement 12.

Figure 3 illustrates how the arms, motors and pistons etc. disclosed in figure 2 have changed configuration when the chair is in the transitional support position B as depicted in figure 1.

Figure 4 illustrates another example of configuration of a chair according to the present invention. A seat arrangement 12 is again supported by a pedestal 2 secured and fixed to the bridge deck by an anchoring frame 16 in the support section 7 of the pedestal 2.

In this example of embodiment there are three motors or actuator elements 13, 14 and 15. The first motor 13 is connected between the rotatable joints 20 on the anchoring frame 16 and the rotatable joint 21, but in this example of embodiment the rotatable joint 21 is connected to an arm 24 connected in a lower end to the rotatable joint 8 on the anchoring frame 16, but connected fixed without any rotatable joint in an upper end to the third motor 15 being connected to the backward located rotatable joint 23 of the seat arrangement 12. The second motor 14 is connected between the rotatable joint 21 and the rotatable joint 11 located in a forward position on the seat arrangement 12. In this example of embodiment, the tilting forwards or backwards of the pedestal 2 around the rotatable joint 8 on the anchoring frame 16 may be executed as disclosed above. However, the extension of length or shortening of the length of the pedestal 2 may now be executed by a coordinated action of pistons in the second motor 14 and the third motor 15. Activation of the second motor 14 alone may alter the inclination angle of the seat arrangement relative to a horizontal plane. Activation of the third motor 15 alone would do the same. Activating both the second motor 14 and the third motor 15 will provide a linear extension or shortening of the length of the pedestal 2 if the amount of activation is equal in both motors. If there is an unequal amount of activation the movement of the attached seat arrangement 12 may follow a curved path. This example of embodiment simplifies the design of the pedestal 2. Figure 5 illustrates how the arms, motors and pistons etc. disclosed in figure 4 have changed configuration when the chair is in a corresponding transitional support position like B depicted in figure 1. In general, the actuator elements 70, 71 in different configurations in examples of embodiments of the present invention may establish a plurality of different support positions, wherein the activations and amount of activations are defined by a specific configuration of a specific support position. Further, extra fine tunings may be done to perform adaption of a chair to preferred taste or need of a specific person using the chair. All of these forms of activations may be executed by a programmable controller, wherein the controller issues control signals activating the respective actuator elements 70, 71 according to the present invention. In another example of embodiment of the present invention, the first actuator element 70 is configurable to either shorten or respective extend the length of the pedestal 2 when the pedestal 2 is tilted backwards or respective forwards around the joint 8, the amount the length of the pedestal 2 is shortened or extended is configurable to be correlated with an angel a formed by the tilted pedestal 2 and a horizontal plane, or to be correlated with a defined line of sight 6.

In another example of embodiment of the present invention, the first actuator element (70) is configurable to further extend or respective shorten a length set by the actuator element 70 if the second actuator element 71 rotates the seat arrangement 12 around the rotatable joint 11, the amount of further extending or shortening the set length of the pedestal 2 is provided for with an amount maintaining the line of sight 6.

In another example of embodiment of the present invention, the second actuator element 71 is configurable to maintain a seat angle of the seat arrangement 12 for an associated operator 5 sitting in the chair by dynamic corrections or adjustments of the seat angle when the pedestal 2 is either being tilted forward or respectively being tilted backwards. In another example of embodiment of the present invention the actuator element 70 and the second actuator element 71 is configurable to be activated in a coordinated manner, wherein an amount of activation of one of the two actuator elements 70, 71 is configurable for controlling proportionally the amount of activation of the other of the two actuator elements 70, 71.

In another example of embodiment of the present invention, the two actuator elements 70, 71 is configurable to change a configuration of support positions for an associated operator 5 standing in front of the chair, from an up folded support position A via optionally transitional support positions B, C to a support position D providing sitting positions suitable for supporting the associated operator 5. In another example of embodiment of the present invention, the two actuator elements 70, 71 is configurable to change a configuration of support positions for an associated operator 5 sitting in the chair from a sitting support position D to an up folded support position A via optionally transitional support positions C, B, wherein the associated operator 5 is enabled to leave the chair and be standing in front of the chair, or leave the chair when the chair is in the up folded support position A. In another example of embodiment of the present invention, the two actuator elements 70, 71 is configurable to change a configuration of the chair into a support position E providing a relaxing support position E for an associated operator 5 sitting in the chair. The anchoring frame 16 can be fixed to a floor structure by any suitable means, such as screws, bolts, clamps or the like. However, it is within the scope of the present invention to provide a rotatable joint between the pedestal 2 and the deck of the bridge in the support section 7 of the pedestal 2 providing rotation of the chair in the horizontal plane. In this manner it may be possible to turn the chair around in a circle on the deck, for example to move the chair in front of the consoles of two respective workstations, wherein the angle between the console surfaces may be 90° relative to each other, or 180°, or any other angle. The turning of the chair may be performed when the chair is folded up as in the position A in figure 1, or when the operator is sitting in the chair. In a situation when the operator is sitting while turning, the operator can pull back the chair from the console he is working at and still sit in the chair and be clear of any obstacles from the console itself. In figure 7A and 7B it is disclosed how a chair with a fixed length of the pedestal 2 actually moves in a circle around the anchoring point of the pedestal 2 to the floor or deck of the bridge in a vertical plane direction. In an example of embodiment of the present invention, the chair may be turned around 180° in the horizontal plane just by moving the chair backwards in a circle movement in the vertical plane (ref. figure 7A). When turned in this manner the seat arrangement 12 can then be turned 180°and thereby the operator can use the chair in front of a workstation located on the opposite side. The way of turning the chair in this manner is also beneficial with respect to avoid wear and tear of cables guided throug h the floor via the support section 7.

It is further within the scope of the present invention to use examples of embodiments of the present invention within other working environment than those found on board ships. For example, high cranes with crane jibs as seen at construction sites have a control room located high up in the mast supporting the crane jibs. The operator must climb up and enters the control room . One particular feature of such control rooms is that the operator should be able to sit as far out towards the windows of the control room as possible to provide the operator with a good visual position for operating the crane. In an example of use of an example of embodiment of the present invention, the chair is in an up folded position like the position A in figure 1 when the operator enters the control room of the crane. When the chair is activated for example by pushing a button, the operator will be able to sit down and be pushed forward by the extension of the pedestal 2. The possible height adjustment, i .e. the mechanism of maintaining a line of sight can now be used to position the operator within the control room windows optimizing the operator's visual view of the surround ings of the crane. It is further within the scope of the present invention to use embodiments of the present invention within control rooms, or wheel houses, or similar environment that can be found on heavy trucks, tractors, inside factories controlling assembly lines etc., or generally speaking within working environments that req uires full attention and awareness of an operator sitting in the chair and that in addition should be able to maintain a line of sight using the chair during operations regardless of operator selected support position of the chair, and wherein the chair should be easy and effortless to fold up in an uprig ht position thereby enabl ing a free passage between the chair and a workstation console when there is an emergency situation .

According to an example of a method of the present invention, a chang ing of a support position of a chair can be done accord ing to the following examples of steps : a) tilting a pedestal of the chair forwards around a rotatable joint located in a foot of the pedestal, b) while tilting the pedestal in step a), extending or shortening the pedestal length in accordance with a desired target for the length of the pedestal when the tilting in step a) stops, c) while tilting the pedestal in step a), rotate a seat of the chair such that an inclination angle of the seat is suitable for sitting in the chair.

The method may further comprise the step of tilting the pedestal of the chair backwards in the vertical direction instead of forwards.

The method may further comprise the requirement of maintaining a line of sight for a person sitting in the chair by providing a corresponding adjustment of the length of the pedestal of the chair.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with the specified embodiments, it should not be construed as being in any way limited to the presented examples. The scope of the present invention is set out by the accompanying claim set. In the context of the claims, the terms "comprising" or "comprises" do not exclude other possible elements or steps. Also, the mentioning of references such as "a" or "an" etc. should not be construed as excluding a plurality. The use of reference signs in the claims with respect to elements indicated in the figures shall also not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention. Furthermore, individual features mentioned in different claims, may possibly be advantageously combined, and the mentioning of these features in different claims does not exclude that a combination of features is not possible and advantageous.