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United States Patent Application 20170156521
Kind Code A1
Munro; Russell David ;   et al. June 8, 2017

Adjustable Food Presentation Apparatus

Abstract

Provided herein is an apparatus for food presentation. The apparatus includes at least two platforms and a mechanism for moving the platforms to allow for presentation of foodstuff in a number of states.


Inventors: Munro; Russell David; (Clarkson, AU) ; Lambert; Trevor John; (Brooklyn Park, MN)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

RNB Innovations Pty Ltd

Clarkson

AU
Family ID: 1000002155840
Appl. No.: 15/244361
Filed: August 23, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62262192Dec 2, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47G 19/00 20130101; A47F 7/0071 20130101; A47F 5/0018 20130101; A47F 5/0087 20130101; A47F 5/10 20130101
International Class: A47G 19/00 20060101 A47G019/00; A47F 5/10 20060101 A47F005/10; A47F 5/00 20060101 A47F005/00; A47F 7/00 20060101 A47F007/00

Claims



1. An adjustable food presentation apparatus comprising: a base platform; first and second platform modules, said first and/or second platform modules being adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff or decoration; and elevation means to allow transitioning of the first and second platform modules between at least first and second states; wherein in the first state, each of the first and second platform modules are substantially at rest upon the base platform and are positioned adjacent one another relative to the base platform; and wherein in the second state, at least the second platform module is maintained in an elevated position relative to the first platform module and/or base platform.

2. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first and/or second platform modules further comprises one or more flanged portions adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff or decoration.

3. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the first and/or second platform modules comprises at least two flanged portions extending outwardly in opposing directions.

4. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the elevation means comprises: an actuator; and at least one rigid interconnecting arm, said interconnecting arm being pivotally attached at or near its distal end to the actuator, and pivotally attached to each of said first and second platform modules.

5. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the actuator comprises a DC motor.

6. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the DC motor is located beneath the base platform, and wherein at least the distal end of the interconnecting arm extends through a slot in the base platform.

7. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 4, wherein during a transition between the first and second states, the at least one interconnecting arm pivots about the first platform module.

8. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 4, wherein during a transition between the first and second states, the first platform module remains in a substantially fixed position on the base platform.

9. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 1, wherein a rotational orientation of each of the first and second platform modules remains substantially unchanged during a transition between the first and second states.

10. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 9, further comprising at least one stabilising arm pivotally attached to and extending between the first and second platform modules.

11. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 9, further comprising two stabilising arms pivotally attached to and extending between the first and second platform modules.

12. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the two stabilising arms are pivotally attached to the first platform module at points either side of the pivotal attachment between the first platform module and arm.

13. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the two stabilising arms are pivotally attached to the second platform module at points either side of the pivotal attachment between the second platform module and arm.

14. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 4, further comprising a third platform module being adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff or decoration.

15. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 14, wherein the third platform module is pivotally attached to the interconnecting arm.

16. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 15, further comprising a second interconnecting arm pivotally attached to and extending between the first and third platform modules.

17. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 14, wherein in the first state, the third platform module is substantially at rest upon the base platform and positioned adjacent the second platform module, and wherein in the second state, at least the third platform module is maintained in an elevated position relative to the first platform module and/or second platform module.

18. The adjustable food presentation apparatus according to claim 14, wherein the rotational orientation of the third platform module remains substantially unchanged during the transition between the first and second states.

19. A transformable cake comprising: the adjustable food presentation apparatus of claim 1; and one or more portions of cake positioned on each of the first and second platform modules.

20. The transformable cake according to claim 19, wherein in the first state, the transformable cake has the overall appearance of a vehicle, and wherein in the second state, the cake has the overall appearance of a robot.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/262,192, filed Dec. 2, 2015, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated in its entirety by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The disclosure relates, generally, to food presentation apparatus and, more particularly, to an adjustable food presentation apparatus having a mechanism to allow a transition between two (or more) states. The disclosure has particular, but not necessarily exclusive, application to the presentation and transformation of cake and similar foodstuffs.

BACKGROUND

[0003] There are currently a number of existing apparatus that are used in relation to the presentation of food, although the majority of these consist of different configurations of static food presentation platforms. With regard to specific examples of apparatus for the presentation of cake and similar foodstuffs, the majority of the focus has been placed on decoration alone. One of these examples attempts to add movement to the cake by providing a simple rotating base upon which the cake is mounted, although this feature adds very little to the overall presentation of the cake and does not significantly improve the enjoyment of the experience for a user.

[0004] There is a need for an improved design of apparatus that addresses the abovementioned deficiencies. There is also the need for an improved design of apparatus for presenting food, and particularly cake, that improves a user's (e.g. a recipient of the cake, or a person participating in the celebrations) enjoyment of the experience.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Some embodiments of the present disclosure relate to an adjustable food presentation apparatus comprising:

[0006] a base platform;

[0007] first and second platform modules, said first and/or second platform modules being adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff or decoration; and

[0008] elevation means to allow transitioning of the first and second platform modules between at least first and second states;

[0009] wherein in the first state, each of the first and second platform modules are substantially at rest upon a base platform and are positioned adjacent one another relative to the base platform; and

[0010] wherein in the second state, at least the second platform module is maintained in an elevated position relative to the first platform module and/or base platform.

[0011] The first and/or second platform modules may further comprise one or more flanged portions adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff or decoration. Alternatively, or in addition, the first and/or second platform modules may comprise at least two flanged portions extending outwardly in opposing directions. Such a configuration provides the advantage of balancing the load (of the foodstuff or decoration) and allowing for greater stability of the apparatus, particularly during the transition between the first and second states.

[0012] The elevation means preferably comprises an actuator, and at least one rigid interconnecting arm, said interconnecting arm being pivotally attached at or near its distal end to the actuator, and pivotally attached to each of said first and second platform modules. In a representative embodiment, the interconnecting arm is pivotally attached to each of the first and second platform modules at or near their central transverse axis of rotation. It should be appreciated that additional interconnecting arms may also be incorporated into the design in order to provide the apparatus with greater stability.

[0013] The actuator may comprise a DC motor, which is adapted to control movement of the interconnecting arm. However, it should be appreciated that alternative control sources are also envisioned without the scope of the present disclosure. In a representative embodiment, the DC motor may control movement of the interconnecting arm such that it pivots about its attachment to the first platform module. In this regard, the DC motor may engage with, and be connected to, the interconnecting arm by means of an elongate member or shaft. However, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that other configurations may also be possible to achieve actuation or movement of the interconnecting arm.

[0014] The DC motor may be located beneath the base platform, and at least the distal end of the interconnecting arm may extend through a slot in the base platform. As discussed above, the DC motor may engage with, and be connected to, the interconnecting arm by means of an elongate member or shaft (which may preferably also be located beneath the base platform).

[0015] During the transition between the first and second states, the at least one interconnecting arm may pivot about the first platform module. More specifically, the interconnecting arm may pivot about the point of pivotal attachment between the interconnecting arm and the first platform module. As a result, the first platform module may remain in a substantially fixed position on the base platform during the transition between the first and second states.

[0016] The rotational orientation of each of the first and second platform modules may remain substantially unchanged during the transition between the first and second states. In other words, the upward-facing surfaces of the first and second platform modules remain the upward-facing surfaces in both the first and second states. This is a particularly advantageous configuration since it allows foodstuffs to be retained on either the first and second platform modules during the transition between the first and second states.

[0017] The adjustable food presentation apparatus may further comprise at least one stabilising arm pivotally attached to and extending between the first and second platform modules. Alternatively, and in a representative embodiment, the adjustable food presentation apparatus may comprise two stabilising arms (per interconnecting arm) pivotally attached to and extending between the first and second platform modules. The two stabilising arms may be pivotally attached to the first platform module at points either side of the pivotal attachment between the first platform module and arm. The two stabilising arms may also be pivotally attached to the second platform module at points either side of the pivotal attachment between the second platform module and arm. Such a configuration advantageously provides greater stability of the apparatus, and particularly the second platform module, during the transition between the first and second states. This stability is particularly important for the second platform module that reaches an elevated position above the first platform module and/or base platform in the second state.

[0018] In a representative embodiment, the adjustable food presentation apparatus may further comprise a third platform module being adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff or decoration. It should be appreciated that the decoration referred to may be either a removable or fixed decoration, and be perishable or non-perishable in nature.

[0019] The third platform module may be pivotally attached to the interconnecting arm. In a representative embodiment, a second interconnecting arm may be pivotally attached to and extend between the first and third platform modules. This second interconnecting arm may preferably provide additional stability for the third platform module, and/or aid with the rotational orientation of the third platform module during transition between the first and second states.

[0020] In the first state, the third platform module may be substantially at rest upon the base platform and positioned adjacent the second platform module. By contrast, in the second state, at least the third platform module may be maintained in an elevated position relative to the first platform module and/or second platform module. In a further representative embodiment, in the second state, the third platform module may be maintained in an elevated position relative to both the first and second platform modules. In accordance with this embodiment, the second platform module may be elevated above the first platform module, and the third platform module may be elevated above both the first platform module and second platform module.

[0021] As with the first and second platform modules, the rotational orientation of the third platform module may remain substantially unchanged during the transition between the first and second states. In other words, the upward-facing surfaces of the third platform module remain the upward-facing surfaces in both the first and second states. This is a particularly advantageous configuration since it allows foodstuffs or decorations (that are not fixed to the apparatus) to be retained on the third platform module during the transition between the first and second states.

[0022] Some embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a transformable cake comprising:

[0023] the adjustable food presentation apparatus described in one or more of the above embodiments; and

[0024] one or more portions of cake positioned on each of the first and second platform modules.

[0025] In the first state, the transformable cake may have the overall appearance of a vehicle such as, for example, an automobile or truck, and in the second state, the transformable cake may have the overall appearance of a robot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0026] An embodiment of the disclosure is now described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: --

[0027] FIG. 1 shows a perspective front view of an embodiment of an adjustable food presentation apparatus in a first state;

[0028] FIG. 2 shows a perspective rear view of the embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in the first state shown in FIG. 1;

[0029] FIG. 3 shows a perspective front view of an embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in a second state;

[0030] FIG. 4 shows a perspective rear view of the embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in the second state shown in FIG. 3;

[0031] FIG. 5 shows a side cross-sectional view of the embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in the first state shown in FIG. 1;

[0032] FIG. 6 shows a side cross-sectional view of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in the second state shown in FIG. 3;

[0033] FIG. 7 shows a perspective front view of an alternative embodiment of an adjustable food presentation apparatus in the first state;

[0034] FIG. 8 shows a perspective rear view of an alternative embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in the second state;

[0035] FIG. 9 shows a side cross-sectional view of the alternative embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in the first state shown in FIG. 7; and

[0036] FIG. 10 shows a side cross-sectional view of the alternative embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus in the second state shown in FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0037] In the drawings, reference numeral 10 generally designates an embodiment of an adjustable food presentation apparatus. The adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 is particularly useful in relation to the presentation and transformation of cake and similar foodstuffs and it will therefore be convenient to describe the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 in that environment. More specifically, the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 is particularly useful in relation to the presentation of a cake that, in a first state, has the appearance of a vehicle or automobile and, in a second state, has the appearance of a robot. However, it should be understood that the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 is not limited to this embodiment, and may be utilised or implemented in other applications or in relation to other foodstuffs.

[0038] As illustrated in at least FIGS. 1 to 4 of the drawings, a representative embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 comprises a base platform 12, a first platform module 14 and a second platform module 16. The first platform module 14 and/or second platform module 16 are adapted to receive and retain a portion of a foodstuff (such as, for example, cake) or decoration. The adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 also comprises elevation means 30 to allow transitioning of the first platform module 14 and second platform module 16 between at least a first state and a second state.

[0039] In a first state of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, being a lowered state (illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 of the drawings), the first platform module 14 and second platform module 16 are essentially at rest upon the base platform 12 and are positioned adjacent one another relative to the base platform 12. In a second state of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, being a raised state (illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6 of the drawings), at least the second platform module 16 is maintained in an elevated position relative to the first platform module 14 and base platform 12. More preferably, in the second state the second platform module 16 is maintained in a position directly above the first platform module 14, which remains at rest on the base platform 12.

[0040] The first platform module 14 and/or second platform module 16 comprise flanged portions 20, adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff or decoration, which extend outwardly in opposing directions. Such a configuration provides the advantage of balancing the load (of the foodstuff or decoration) and allowing for greater stability of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, particularly during the transition between the first and second states.

[0041] In an alternative embodiment of the disclosure (shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings), only the second platform module 16 comprises the flanged portions 20. In this embodiment, the base platform 12 performs a similar function (to the flanged portions 20) about the first platform module 14 by retaining a portion of a foodstuff (such as, for example, cake) or decoration.

[0042] It should be appreciated that prior to use of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 (i.e. before the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 can be used to present the foodstuff), the foodstuff (e.g. cake) needs to be applied to the apparatus 10 in a manner that is visually appealing to the user. While the overall structure of the apparatus 10 gives it the appearance, in a first state, of a vehicle or automobile, and the appearance, in a second state, of a robot, it is envisioned that the foodstuff (e.g. cake) or decoration will also be styled by a user in such a way as to enhance this visual appearance. For example, where cake is used as the foodstuff, the portions of cake placed on the flanged portions 20 of the first platform module 14 and/or second platform module 16 (or on the base platform 12 in the case of the alternative embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings) are preferably stylised (or decorated) to give the overall visual appearance of a part of a vehicle or automobile (in the first state) and a robot (in the second state). While the present disclosure is not directed to decoration and stylising of foodstuffs, it will be generally appreciated that the use of colouring, and icing is commonly used in relation to cakes to alter the visual appearance.

[0043] In a representative embodiment of the disclosure, shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings, the elevation means 30 comprises an actuator 32 and at least one rigid interconnecting arm 38. The interconnecting arm 38 is pivotally attached, at its distal end 40 to the actuator 32, and pivotally attached to each of the first platform module 14 and second platform module 16. More preferably, the interconnecting arm 38 is pivotally attached to each of the first platform module 14 and second platform module 16 at or near their central transverse axis of rotation (not shown).

[0044] As shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings, additional interconnecting arms 38 may also be incorporated into the design in order to provide the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 with greater stability. The design shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings incorporates two interconnecting arms 38 that are both pivotally attached, at their distal ends 40 to the actuator 32, and pivotally attached to each of the first platform module 14 and second platform module 16. More preferably, both of the interconnecting arms 38 are pivotally attached to each of the first platform module 14 and second platform module 16 at or near their central transverse axis of rotation (not shown). In this embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, the two interconnecting arms 38 preferably attach to each of the first platform module 14 and second platform module 16 on opposing sides so as to provide greater balance and stability.

[0045] The actuator 32 preferably comprises a DC motor 34, which is adapted to control movement of the interconnecting arm(s) 38. However, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that other configurations or mechanisms may also be used to achieve actuation or linear movement of the interconnecting arm(s) 38. For example, any mechanism capable of applying a linear pulling/pushing force to the distal end(s) 40 of the interconnecting arm(s) 38 including, but not limited to, a leadscrew, rack and pinion configuration, timing belt, or hydraulic or pneumatic ram.

[0046] The DC motor 34 is located beneath the base platform 12, and at least the distal end(s) 40 of the interconnecting arm(s) 38 extend through a slot 60 (or slots 60 in the case of two interconnecting arms 38) in the base platform 12 to facilitate pivotal attachment between the interconnecting arms 38 and the actuator 32. More specifically, the DC motor 34 is adapted to control movement of the interconnecting arm(s) 38 such that it pivots about its attachment to the first platform module 14, which remains in a fixed position on the base platform 12 throughout the transition between the first and second states. In this regard, the DC motor 34 preferably engages with, and is connected to, the interconnecting arm(s) 38 by means of an elongate member or retractable shaft 36 (which also forms part of the actuator 32). It can be seen from FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings that the retractable shaft 36 is preferably positioned beneath the base platform 12 of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, and pivotally attached to the distal end(s) of the interconnecting arm(s) 38.

[0047] The adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 further comprises at least one stabilising arm 44 pivotally attached to and extending between the first platform module 14 and the second platform module 16. In a representative embodiment of the disclosure, shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings, the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 comprises two stabilising arms 44 (per interconnecting arm 38) pivotally attached to and extending between the first platform module 14 and the second platform module 16. More preferably, the two stabilising arms 44 are pivotally attached to the first platform module 14 at points either side of the pivotal attachment between the first platform module 14 and the interconnecting arm(s) 38.

[0048] By virtue of the operation of the stabilising arms 44, the rotational orientation of second platform module 16 remains substantially unchanged during the transition between the first and second states. In other words, the upward-facing surfaces (such as, for example, the flanged portions 20) of the second platform module 16 remain the upward-facing surfaces in both the first and second states, despite the fact that the second platform module 16 rotates or pivots relative to the interconnecting arm(s) 38. This is a particularly advantageous configuration since it allows foodstuffs (such as, for example, cake) to be retained on the second platform module 16 (specifically, the flanged portions 20) during the transition between the first and second states.

[0049] Also, since the first platform module 14 remains in a substantially fixed position on the base platform 12 during the transition between the first and second states, it can also be said that the rotational orientation of the first platform module 14 remains substantially unchanged during the transition between the first and second states.

[0050] The adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 further comprises a third platform module 18, which is adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff (such as, for example, cake) or decoration. It should be appreciated that the decoration referred to may be either a removable or fixed decoration, and be perishable or non-perishable in nature.

[0051] The third platform module 18 is preferably pivotally attached to a distal end 42 of the interconnecting arm(s) 38. In a representative embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, a second interconnecting arm(s) 46 is pivotally attached to and extends between the first platform module 14 and third platform module 18. This second interconnecting arm 46 advantageously provides additional stability for the third platform module 18 and maintains the rotational orientation of the third platform module 18 during transition between the first and second states. In other words, the upward-facing surfaces of the third platform module 18 remain the upward-facing surfaces in both the first and second states, despite the fact that the third platform module 18 rotates or pivots relative to the interconnecting arm(s) 38. This is a particularly advantageous configuration since it allows foodstuffs (such as, for example, cake) or decorations (that are not fixed to the apparatus 10) to be retained on the third platform module 18 during the transition between the first and second states.

[0052] In the first state of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, being a lowered state (illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 of the drawings), the first platform module 14, second platform module 16 and third platform module 18 are essentially at rest upon the base platform 12 and are positioned adjacent one another relative to the base platform 12 (i.e. first platform module 14 adjacent the second platform module 16, and second platform module 16 adjacent third platform module 18). In the second state of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, being a raised state (illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6 of the drawings), at least the second platform module 16 and third platform module 18 are maintained in an elevated position relative to the first platform module 14 and base platform 12. More preferably, in the second state the second platform module 16 is maintained in a position directly above the first platform module 14, which remains at rest on the base platform 12, and the third platform module is maintained in a position directly above the second platform module 16 and first platform module 14.

[0053] In a representative embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, the third platform module 18 further comprises flanged portions 20 and adjustable flanged portions 22, which (as with flanged portions 20) are adapted to receive a portion of a foodstuff (such as, for example, cake) or decoration. The adjustable flanged portions 22, give the visual appearance of `arms` when the apparatus 10 is in the second state (i.e. the state wherein the apparatus has the overall appearance of a robot). The adjustable flanged portions 22 are pivotally attached to the third platform module 18, and inwardly biased (or mechanically predisposed) towards the resting position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings.

[0054] As the apparatus 10 transitions from the first (lowered) state to the second (raised) state, a tab (not shown) on the adjustable flanged portions 22 engages the first interconnecting arm(s) 38 and/or second interconnecting arm(s) 46, causing the adjustable flanged portions 22 to pivot and flair outwardly (as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings). Conversely, as the apparatus 10 transitions from the second (raised) state to the first (lowered) state, there is a disengagement between the tab (not shown) on the adjustable flanged portions 22 and the first interconnecting arm(s) 38 and/or second interconnecting arm(s) 46. Due to the inward biasing of the adjustable flanged portions 22 toward the resting position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the adjustable flanged portions 22 automatically pivot back to their resting position. It will be appreciated that many known techniques and mechanisms (such as, for example, the use of a spring mechanism (not shown) attached between the adjustable flanged portions 22 and the third platform module 18) can be used to effect the inward biasing of the adjustable flanged portions 22.

[0055] In an alternative embodiment of the disclosure, a mechanical arrangement of the adjustable flanged portions 22 may be used instead of inward biasing (such as, for example, using a spring mechanism as described above). In accordance with this alternative embodiment, a tab (not shown) on the adjustable flanged portions 22 may still engage the first interconnecting arm(s) 38 and/or second interconnecting arm(s) 46, causing the adjustable flanged portions 22 to pivot and flair outwardly (as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings). However, as the adjustable flanged portions 22 pivot and flair outwardly an additional spring tab(s) (not shown) made from a flexible material is brought into engagement with the third platform module 18 creating a temporary inward biasing force on the adjustable flanged portions 22 due to the flexing of the spring tab (not shown). As the apparatus 10 transitions from the second (raised) state to the first (lowered) state, there is a disengagement between the tab (not shown) on the adjustable flanged portions 22 and the first interconnecting arm(s) 38 and/or second interconnecting arm(s) 46. Due to the temporary inward biasing applied to the adjustable flanged portions 22, by the spring tab (not shown), toward the resting position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the adjustable flanged portions 22 automatically pivot back to their resting position. In this resting position, the spring tab (not shown) is no longer flexed (due to the disengagement between the spring tab (not shown) and the third platform module 18) and therefore no longer applies an inward biasing force on the adjustable flanged portions 22.

[0056] In a representative embodiment of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10, the third platform module 18 further comprises an extendable head portion 48. The extendable head portion 48, gives the visual appearance of a `head` when the apparatus 10 is in the second state (i.e. the state wherein the apparatus has the overall appearance of a robot).

[0057] In the first (lowered) state, the head portion 48 is concealed within the third platform module 18 and covered by cover portion 50 that is pivotally attached to the third platform module 18 (as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 of the drawings). As the apparatus 10 transitions from the first (lowered) state to the second (raised) state, a distal portion 52 of the second interconnecting arm 46 is brought into engagement with an engaging member 54 that is pivotally (or rigidly) attached to the extendable head portion 48. As this engagement continues, throughout the transition from the first state to the second state, the head portion 48 is caused to project from the third platform module 18. This projection, either by direct action of the head portion 48 against the cover portion 50 or by some levered mechanical arrangement between the head portion 48, the engaging member 54 and/or the cover portion 50, causes the cover portion 50 to pivot and allow the head portion 48 to be revealed (as shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6 of the drawings).

[0058] Conversely, as the apparatus 10 transitions from the second (raised) state to the first (lowered) state, there is a disengagement between the distal portion 52 of the second interconnecting arm 46 and the engaging member 54, which causes the head portion 48 to retract within the third platform module 18. Also during this transition, the effect of gravity (or, alternatively, a suitable biasing mechanism) causes the cover portion 50 to pivot and once again cover the head portion 50.

[0059] It should be appreciated that other mechanically equivalent techniques for projecting and retracting the head portion 50 from the third platform module 18 are also envisioned by the present disclosure. Such techniques and mechanisms will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

[0060] In an alternative embodiment of the disclosure, shown in FIGS. 7 to 10 of the drawings, the elevation means 30 of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 comprises an actuator 32 and a gearing arrangement 70 between the first platform module 14, second platform module 16 and third platform module 18. The operation of the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 is otherwise the same as previously described.

[0061] With regard to this alternative embodiment, the actuator 32 preferably comprises a DC motor 34, which is adapted to control movement of the gearing arrangement. However, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that other configurations or mechanisms may also be used to achieve actuation or rotational movement of the gearing arrangement 70. For example, any suitable mechanism capable of applying a rotational force to the gearing arrangement 70.

[0062] As with the previously described embodiment, the DC motor 34 is preferably located beneath the base platform 12, and at least a portion of the gearing arrangement 70 extends through the slot 60 in the base platform 12. It should be appreciated from FIGS. 7 to 10 of the drawings that, in accordance with this alternative embodiment, portions of the first platform module 14, second platform module 16 and/or third platform module 18, may be adapted to engage with the gearing arrangement 70. More specifically, the DC motor 34 is adapted to control rotational movement of the gearing arrangement 70, which in turn causes the second platform module 16 to become elevated above the first platform module 14, and the third platform module 18 to become elevated above the second platform module 16 and first platform module 14. It should be appreciated that many suitable gearing arrangements may be used to achieve the above described movement of the second platform module 16 and third platform module 18 as the apparatus transitions between the first and second states. These techniques and mechanisms will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

[0063] Having regard to the above described embodiments of the disclosure, the adjustable food presentation apparatus 10 preferably also comprises a microcontroller (not shown) that controls the DC motor 34, and is activated by a surface mounted switch (not shown) that is preferably located on the base platform 12. The adjustable food presentation apparatus may further comprise an optional sound player (not shown) with amplifier and speaker (not shown) to allow for the playing by the apparatus 10 of certain music or sound effects as the apparatus transitions between the first and second states.

[0064] It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments, without departing from the broad general scope of the present disclosure. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.

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