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United States Patent Application 20170203779
Kind Code A1
GOWER; Campbell ;   et al. July 20, 2017

COLLAPSIBLE TWO SEAT PERAMBULATOR

Abstract

A buggy for transporting children has a frame including first and second sections rotatable about one or more couplings. The couplings have a locking mechanism configured to selectively lock the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another. The buggy also has a latch connectable to the frame and configured to selectively prevent rotation of the first and second sections of the frame. Further, the buggy has a plurality of wheels rotatably mounted to the frame, and first and second seats connectable to the frame and configured to support a first child and a second child, respectively, with at least one of the seats being readily attachable and detachable to the frame via one or more quick release connectors. When the locking mechanism is unlocked and the latch is unlatched, the buggy is convertible between a folded configuration and an expanded configuration without removing the second seat.


Inventors: GOWER; Campbell; (Newtown, NZ) ; BRACE; Philip; (Newtown, NZ)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

PHIL AND TEDS MOST EXCELLENT BUGGY COMPANY LIMITED

Newtown

NZ
Family ID: 1000002553465
Appl. No.: 15/479925
Filed: April 5, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14950803Nov 24, 20159643640
15479925
14462234Aug 18, 20149205855
14950803
14261209Apr 24, 20148840132
14462234
14180158Feb 13, 2014
14261209
14074515Nov 7, 20138708364
14180158
13735977Jan 7, 20138702118
14074515
12595733Apr 14, 20108371606
PCT/NZ07/00264Sep 7, 2007
13735977
60923318Apr 13, 2007

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B62B 7/10 20130101; B62B 9/12 20130101; B62B 7/142 20130101; B62B 7/008 20130101
International Class: B62B 7/10 20060101 B62B007/10; B62B 7/14 20060101 B62B007/14; B62B 9/12 20060101 B62B009/12; B62B 7/00 20060101 B62B007/00

Claims



1. A stroller for transporting children, comprising: a frame comprising a first section and a second section rotatable about one or more couplings, the one or more couplings comprising a locking mechanism configured to selectively lock the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another; a latch connectable to the frame, the latch configured to selectively prevent rotation of the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another; a plurality of wheels rotatably mounted to the frame; a first seat connectable to the frame and configured to support a first child; and a second seat connectable to the frame and configured to support a second child, wherein at least one of the first seat and the second seat is readily attachable and detachable to the frame via one or more quick release connectors, and wherein when the locking mechanism is unlocked and the latch is unlatched, the stroller is convertible between a folded configuration and an expanded configuration without removing the second seat.

2. A stroller as claimed in claim 1, wherein the frame comprises a first seat frame for supporting the first seat and a second seat frame for supporting the second seat.

3. A stroller as claimed in claim 1, wherein the locking mechanism comprises a biasing component and one or more complimentary pairs of projections and recesses configured to selectively engage one another, the biasing component being configured to bias the one or more complimentary pairs of projections and recesses to disengage.

4. A stroller as claimed in claim 3, wherein when the locking mechanism is unlocked and the latch is unlatched, each of the one or more complimentary pairs of projections and recesses are disengaged thereby allowing rotation of the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another.

5. A stroller as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second seat is positioned at least partially within the frame in the folded configuration.

6. A stroller as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second seat is positioned at least partly behind the first seat.

7. A buggy for transporting children, comprising: a frame comprising a first section, a second section, and one or more couplings, the first and second sections rotatable about the one or more couplings, and the one or more couplings comprising one or more quick release levers configured to switch between a first position and a second position; a latch connectable to the frame, the latch configured to selectively lock the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another; a plurality of wheels rotatably mounted relative to the frame to support the frame above a ground surface; a first forward-facing seat operatively supported by the frame for supporting a first child; and a second forward-facing seat operatively supported by the frame for supporting a second child at a position at least partly behind the first seat, wherein at least one of the first seat and the second seat is readily attachable and detachable to the frame via one or more quick release connectors, and wherein the buggy is convertible between a storage configuration and an in-use configuration only when the one or more quick release levers are switched into the first position and the latch is unlocked.

8. A buggy as claimed in claim 7, wherein the one or more quick release levers comprise one or more complimentary pairs of projections and recesses and a biasing component configured to bias movement of at least one of the projections relative to at least one of the recesses.

9. A buggy as claimed in claim 8, wherein when the one or more quick release levers are switched into the first position, the one or more complimentary pairs of projections and recesses are disengaged.

10. A buggy as claimed in claim 7, wherein the second seat is attachable to the buggy in a second position at least partly above and at least partly in front of the first seat.

11. A buggy as claimed in claim 10, wherein the buggy is convertible between the storage configuration and the in-use configuration when the second seat is attached to the buggy in the second position.

12. A buggy as claimed in claim 7, wherein the buggy is convertible between the storage configuration and the in-use configuration regardless of whether the first and second seats are attached to the frame.

13. A buggy as claimed in claim 7, further comprising a tiltable handle attachable to the first section of the frame via one or more connectors, the tiltable handle being configured to selectively rotate relative to the first section of the frame.

14. A buggy as claimed in claim 7, wherein at least one of the one or more of quick release levers comprises a locking mechanism, and the locking mechanism must be unlocked for the one or more quick release levers to be switched between the first and second positions.

15. A buggy for transporting children, comprising: a frame comprising a primary frame and a secondary frame, the primary frame comprising a first section and a second section rotatable about one or more couplings; one or more double action release mechanisms configured to selectively switch between a first position allowing the first section to rotate relative to the second section, and a second position holding the first and second sections at an articulated position; a plurality of wheels that are rotatably mounted relative to the frame to support the frame above a ground surface; a first seat operatively supported by the primary frame; and a second seat operatively supported by the secondary frame at a position at least partly behind the first seat, wherein at least one of the first seat and the second seat is readily attachable and detachable to the frame via one or more quick release connectors.

16. A buggy as claimed in claim 15, wherein the buggy is convertible between an expanded configuration and a storage configuration whether or not the first and second seats are attached to the frame.

17. A buggy as claimed in claim 15, wherein the first seat comprises one or more first seat quick release connectors for readily attaching and detaching the first seat to the frame, and the second seat comprises one or more second seat quick release connectors for readily attaching and detaching the second seat to the frame.

18. A buggy as claimed in claim 15, further comprising a tension adjustor configured to selectively adjust the rotational resistance of the first section of the primary frame relative to the second section of the primary frame.

19. A buggy as claimed in claim 15, wherein the one or more double action release mechanisms comprises a locking mechanism configured to selectively lock the first and second sections of the primary frame relative to one another, and the locking mechanism must be unlocked for the one or more double action release mechanisms to be switched into the first position.

20. A buggy as claimed in claim 19, wherein the one or more double action release mechanisms further comprise a latch externally mounted on at least one of the one or more couplings, the latch being configured to selectively prevent rotation of the first and second sections of the primary frame relative to one another, and the latch must be released while the locking mechanism is unlocked for the one or more double action release mechanisms to be switched into the first position.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/950,803, filed Nov. 24, 2015, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/462,234 (now U.S. Pat. No. 9,205,855), filed Aug. 18, 2014, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/261,209 (now U.S. Pat. No. 8,840,132), filed Apr. 24, 2014, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/180,158, filed Feb. 13, 2014, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/074,515 (now U.S. Pat. No. 8,708,364), filed Nov. 7, 2013, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/735,977 (now U.S. Pat. No. 8,702,118), filed Jan. 7, 2013, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/595,733 (now U.S. Pat. No. 8,371,606), filed Apr. 14, 2010, which is a 371 national phase application of PCT/NZ2007/000264, filed Sep. 7, 2007, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/923,318, filed Apr. 13, 2007, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present disclosure relates to a child's buggy for transporting a baby or toddler, particularly a child's buggy suitable for concurrently transporting two children.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Conventionally, babies and toddlers have been transported in a buggy (sometimes referred to as strollers). Conventional buggies are suitable for transporting only a single child. If parents have another child when the earlier child is still at the toddler stage, it is generally necessary to purchase a new buggy that is suitable for transporting two children. Some of those two child buggies are "baby train" types having two full size fixed in-line seats. Others are twin configurations having two full sized fixed side-by-side seats. Both types are large vehicles that are not very maneuverable. Additionally, those vehicles have fixed seats. That is, while the seats could perhaps be removed from their frames, that would be a time consuming and complex action requiring the use of tools. It is not intended for the seats to be removed from the frames in normal use.

[0004] Another issue is that it is generally desirable that a buggy has a compact collapsed storage configuration, so it can be readily transported when not in use. Some "baby train" buggies can fold, but due to their fixed seat configuration they still take up a large amount of space when folded. That is also an issue with the existing side-by-side buggies.

[0005] An alternative configuration two seat buggy is sold by Phil and Teds Most Excellent Buggy Company Limited of Wellington, New Zealand, as the Sport buggy. The Sport buggy has a fixed primary front seat and a detachable secondary rear seat. The buggy can also be folded for storage. However, the buggy cannot be folded for storage when the secondary rear seat is attached. With that buggy, extra actions are required to remove the secondary rear seat prior to folding the buggy. It is then necessary to reattach the secondary rear seat after unfolding the buggy if a second child is to be transported in the buggy.

[0006] In this specification where reference has been made to patent specifications, other external documents, or other sources of information, this is generally for the purpose of providing a context for discussing the features of the invention. Unless specifically stated otherwise, reference to such external documents or such sources of information is not to be construed as an admission that such documents or such sources of information, in any jurisdiction, are prior art or form part of the common general knowledge in the art.

[0007] It is an object of some embodiments of the present disclosure to provide a buggy for transporting children that provides a compact collapsed configuration with two seats without detaching the secondary seat, and/or to at least provide the public with a useful alternative.

SUMMARY

[0008] Briefly described, embodiments of the presently disclosed subject matter relate to a buggy or stroller and related methods of using, assembling, and storing the same. Specifically, in one aspect, the stroller may comprise a frame having a first section and a second section rotatable about one or more couplings. The one or more couplings may comprise a locking mechanism configured to selectively lock the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another. The stroller may also comprise a latch connectable to the frame. The latch may be configured to selectively prevent rotation of the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another. The stroller may further comprise a plurality of wheels rotatably mounted to the frame, and first and second seats connectable to the frame and configured to support a first child and a second child, respectively. In some embodiments, at least one of the first seat and the second seat may be readily attachable and detachable to the frame via one or more quick release connectors. In further embodiments, when the locking mechanism is unlocked and the latch is unlatched, the stroller may be convertible between a folded configuration and an expanded configuration without removing the second seat.

[0009] In another aspect, a buggy for transporting children may comprise a frame comprising a first section, a second section, and one or more couplings. The first and second sections may be rotatable about the one or more couplings, and the one or more couplings comprising one or more quick release levers configured to switch between a first position and a second position. The buggy may also comprise a latch connectable to the frame. The latch may be configured to selectively lock the first and second sections of the frame relative to one another. The buggy may further comprise a plurality of wheels rotatably mounted relative to the frame to support the frame above a ground surface, and first and second forward-facing seats operatively supported to the frame and configured to support a first child and a second child, respectively, with the second seat being positioned at least partly behind the first seat. In some embodiments, at least one of the first seat and the second seat may be readily attachable and detachable to the frame via one or more quick release connectors. In further embodiments, the buggy is convertible between a storage configuration and an in-use configuration only when the one or more quick release levers are switched into the first position and the latch is unlocked.

[0010] In yet another aspect, a buggy for transporting children may comprise a frame comprising a primary frame and a secondary frame, the primary frame comprising a first section and a second section rotatable about one or more couplings. The buggy may also comprise one or more double action release mechanisms configured to selectively switch between a first position allowing the first section to rotate relative to the second section, and a second position holding the first and second sections at an articulated position. The buggy may further comprise a plurality of wheels that are rotatably mounted relative to the frame to support the frame above a ground surface, a first seat operatively supported by the primary frame, and a second seat operatively supported by the secondary frame at a position at least partly behind the first seat. In some embodiments, at least one of the first seat and the second seat may be readily attachable and detachable to the frame via one or more quick release connectors.

[0011] The foregoing summarizes only a few aspects of the presently disclosed subject matter and is not intended to be reflective of the full scope of the presently disclosed subject matter as claimed. Additional features and advantages of the presently disclosed subject matter are set forth in the following description, may be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practicing the presently disclosed subject matter. Moreover, both the foregoing summary and following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the presently disclosed subject matter as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] Preferred forms of the present invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a preferred form buggy with a secondary seat frame attached in a first position and the buggy in an in use configuration;

[0014] FIG. 2a is a front overhead perspective view of the buggy of FIG. 1;

[0015] FIG. 2b is a front overhead perspective view from a slightly different angle than FIG. 2a, and with the hood support removed;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the buggy of FIG. 1 with the secondary seat frame being moved from an in use position toward a storage position,

[0017] FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the buggy of FIG. 1 with the secondary seat frame in the storage position;

[0018] FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the buggy of FIG. 1 in the collapsed storage configuration;

[0019] FIG. 6 is a front overhead perspective view of the buggy in the collapsed storage configuration;

[0020] FIG. 7 is a front overhead perspective view of the buggy of FIG. 1 with the secondary seat frame attached in a second position;

[0021] FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of the buggy of FIG. 1, but with the primary seat inverted to make way for movement of the secondary seat;

[0022] FIG. 9 is a side view of the buggy of FIG. 8, but with the secondary seat pivoted forward and upward under the primary seat;

[0023] FIG. 10 is a side view of the buggy of FIG. 8, but with the primary seat frame section partly folded around the secondary seat;

[0024] FIG. 11 is a side view of the buggy of FIG. 8, in the fully collapsed configuration; and

[0025] FIGS. 12a to 12d schematically show the various support positions for children in the preferred embodiment buggy, showing how the buggy can "grow" with a family.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0026] The various embodiments of the presently disclosed subject matter are described with specificity to meet statutory requirements. However, the description itself is not intended to limit the scope of this patent. Rather, it has been contemplated that the claimed subject matter might also be embodied in other ways, to include different steps or elements similar to the ones described in this document, in conjunction with other present or future technologies.

[0027] The term `comprising` as used in this specification and claims means `consisting at least in part of`, that is to say when interpreting statements in this specification and claims which include that term, the features, prefaced by that term in each statement, all need to be present but other features can also be present. The terms "comprise", "comprises", and "comprised" should be interpreted in the same way.

[0028] In a first aspect, the buggy for transporting children comprises: a frame; a plurality of wheels that are rotatably mounted relative to the frame to support the frame above a ground surface and which enable the buggy to be moved along the ground surface; a primary seat operatively supported by the frame for supporting a first child; a readily attachable and detachable secondary seat for supporting a second child; wherein the buggy has an in use configuration for transporting children and a collapsed storage configuration, and is convertible between the in use configuration and the storage configuration whether or not the secondary seat is attached.

[0029] As used herein, "readily attachable and detachable" means that the seat can be attached and detached without the use of tools. The attachment could be any suitable form, such as a quick release mechanism, clips, clamps, or sleeves that receive portions of the frame for example.

[0030] The primary seat may be permanently attached, detachable, or readily attachable and detachable.

[0031] The secondary seat is preferably readily attachable to the frame in a first position at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat. The buggy is preferably convertible between the in use configuration and the storage configuration whether or not the secondary seat is attached in the first position.

[0032] The secondary seat is preferably readily attachable to the frame in a second position at least partly above and at least partly in front of the primary seat. The buggy is preferably convertible between the in use configuration and the storage configuration whether or not the secondary seat is attached in the second position.

[0033] The buggy may be configured such that when the secondary seat is in the first position at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat, and the buggy is moved from the in use configuration to the collapsed storage configuration, at least part of the primary seat must move, at least to some extent, to enable the buggy to collapse. The configuration may be such that said at least part of the primary seat is manually moved to enable the buggy to collapse. However, it is preferred that said at least part of the primary seat moves automatically as a result of the secondary seat movement.

[0034] The secondary seat may have a secondary seat frame that pushes against the primary seat during the collapsing, causing the movement of at least part of the primary seat. The secondary seat frame may have a curved configuration to provide a smooth surface that engages the primary seat during the collapsing. Alternatively, the secondary seat itself may push against the primary seat.

[0035] At least part of the primary seat may be invertible to provide clearance for the secondary seat. Alternatively, the primary seat could be supported by an arrangement that enables the primary seat to move out of the way as the buggy is collapsed, such as hinges or pivots for example.

[0036] In some embodiments, the secondary seat is smaller than the primary seat.

[0037] The secondary seat may be pivotally supported by the frame, either directly or via a secondary seat frame. The buggy may be configured such that the secondary seat is selectively pivotable from an in use position to a storage position, without collapsing the remainder of the buggy. Preferably, following the movement of the secondary seat to the storage position, the remainder of the buggy can then be collapsed around the secondary seat.

[0038] The primary seat may be convertible from a sitting configuration for supporting a toddler to a lying configuration for supporting a baby. This, and the option of two attachment positions for the secondary seat, enables the preferred embodiment buggy to "grow" with a family. For example, the buggy can support a newborn or baby in the primary seat in its lying configuration. As the child grows into a toddler, the primary seat can be used in its sitting configuration to support the toddler. If a family then has another baby, the baby can be supported in the primary seat in its lying configuration, and the toddler can be supported in the secondary seat in the second attached position at least partly above and at least partly in front of the primary seat. Once both children reach the toddler stage, the larger child can be supported in the primary seat in its sitting configuration, and the smaller child can be supported in the secondary seat in the first attached position at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat.

[0039] The primary seat may be permanently attached, detachable, or readily attachable and detachable.

[0040] In a second aspect, the buggy for transporting children comprises: a frame; a plurality of wheels that are rotatably mounted relative to the frame to support the frame above a ground surface and which enable the buggy to be moved along the ground surface; a primary seat operatively supported by the frame for supporting a first child; a secondary seat operatively supported by the frame for supporting a second child and that is positioned at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat; wherein the buggy is convertible between an in use configuration for transporting children and a folded storage configuration, without removing the secondary seat.

[0041] The secondary seat may be permanently attached, detachable, or readily attachable and detachable.

[0042] In some embodiments, the secondary seat is readily attachable to the frame in a second position at least partly above and at least partly in front of the primary seat. The buggy is preferably convertible between the in use configuration and the storage configuration whether or not the secondary seat is attached in the second position.

[0043] The buggy may be configured such that when the secondary seat is positioned at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat, and the buggy is moved from the in use configuration to the collapsed storage configuration, at least part of the primary seat must move, at least to some extent, to enable the buggy to collapse. The configuration may be such that said at least part of the primary seat is manually moved to enable the buggy to collapse. However, it is preferred that said at least part of the primary seat moves automatically as a result of the secondary seat movement.

[0044] The secondary seat may have a secondary seat frame that pushes against the primary seat during the collapsing, causing the movement of at least part of the primary seat. The secondary seat frame may have a curved configuration to provide a smooth surface that engages the primary seat during the collapsing. Alternatively, the secondary seat itself may push against the primary seat.

[0045] At least part of the primary seat may be invertible to provide clearance for the secondary seat. Alternatively, the primary seat could be supported by an arrangement that enables the primary seat to move out of the way as the buggy is collapsed, such as hinges or pivots for example.

[0046] In some embodiments, the secondary seat may be smaller than the primary seat.

[0047] The secondary seat may be pivotally supported by the frame, either directly or via a secondary seat frame. The buggy may be configured such that the secondary seat is selectively pivotable from an in use position to a storage position, without collapsing the remainder of the buggy. Preferably, following the movement of the secondary seat to the storage position, the remainder of the buggy can then be collapsed around the secondary seat.

[0048] The primary seat may be convertible from a sitting configuration for supporting a toddler to a lying configuration for supporting a baby.

[0049] Where specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which this invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth.

[0050] Referring to FIGS. 1 to 2b, a preferred embodiment buggy for transporting a baby or toddler as indicated by reference numeral 1 and is shown in an in use configuration. The buggy has a frame having a primary seat frame section 3 and a wheel support section 5. The primary seat frame section 3 has a forward lower section 3a and an intermediate section 3b. The lower section 3a comprises two spaced apart members that taper toward and interconnect with each other at their forward ends to form a nose region 3'. The lower section 3a is articulated relative to the intermediate section 3b via couplings 4 that will be described in further detail below. The intermediate section 3b has members that are generally parallel and extend upwardly and rearwardly from the couplings 4. The upper rearward section 3c of the primary seat frame section 3 frame forms a handle to enable a user to push or pull the buggy.

[0051] The handle 3c is articulated relative to the intermediate section 3b via couplings 6. The couplings 6 enable the handle to be selectively tilted relative to the intermediate section 3b, to obtain a comfortable position for the user. The couplings 6 may have a frictional mechanism that enables the handle to be tilted and to then maintain a tilted configuration. Rather than having a single handle, two spaced apart handles could be provided.

[0052] The primary seat frame section 3 operatively supports a primary seat for supporting a first child. The primary seat will generally be formed of a flexible material such as a woven or non-woven fabric, canvas, or polymeric membrane for example. In most of the figures, the primary and secondary seats are not shown so the movement of the frame can be readily determined. However, FIGS. 8-11 show the collapsing of the buggy including the primary seat 17a and the secondary seat 8. The primary seat is coupled to the frame members of the forward section 3a and intermediate section 3b by any suitable means. For example, fasteners such as screws, clips, or snap domes could be used to attach the primary seat to the primary seat frame section 3. Alternatively, the seat could be formed with sleeves that surround and capture the frame members. As another alternative, part of the seat could be received in slots in the frame members. Any other suitable means could be provided.

[0053] The wheel support section 5 of the frame has a pair of forward struts 5a that are articulated relative to the frame members of die forward frame section 3a and extend downwardly and rearwardly therefrom. A pair of rearward struts 5b are articulated relative to the frame members of the intermediate frame section 3b and extend downwardly and rearwardly therefrom. The articulation could be via hinges or pivots for example. The struts 5a, 5b on each side of the frame converge towards each other distal from the primary seat frame section 3. On each side of the frame, the struts are connected to a wheel support arrangement 11. The connection to the wheel support arrangement enables the struts to articulate relative to one another. Each wheel support arrangement 11 rotatably supports a rear wheel 9. The pair of rear wheels support the frame above the ground. A cross bar 7 extends between the two rear struts 5b toward the lower end thereof.

[0054] A front wheel 9 is rotatably supported from the nose 3' of the frame via a front strut 13 to support the frame above the ground. The wheels are preferably provided with pneumatic tires to provide some "all terrain" capability for the buggy. In the preferred form shown, the front strut 13 is rotatable about a generally vertical axis, so that the front wheel can change direction relative to the frame to enhance maneuverability of the buggy. The strut is provided with an adjuster 15. The adjuster provides a tension adjustment of the front strut 13. Movement of the adjuster alters the amount of force required to rotate the strut 13 about the generally vertical axis. At one extreme of the adjuster, there is very little, if any, tension against the rotation. At the other extreme, rotation of the front strut may be prevented to provide a fixed front wheel orientation which may be preferred by some users. Although not shown in any detail, the front strut will generally have a shaft extending upwardly therefrom that is received in the sleeve in the nose section of the frame. The adjuster 15 will be threaded into the sleeve and will engage against the shaft to control the tension.

[0055] The buggy is provided with a hood support 16 for a hood that provides some level of cover for a toddler or baby in the primary seat. The hood support is preferably angularly adjustable as shown, and may be fully detachable.

[0056] As can be seen most clearly from FIGS. 1 and 2b, the buggy also has a secondary seat frame 17 for supporting a secondary seat. The secondary seat enables the buggy to be used to transport a second child. In the embodiment shown, the secondary seat frame is readily attachable to and detachable from the frame 3, 5 without the use of tools. The secondary seat frame 17 has a generally inverted "U" configuration. The secondary seat will generally be smaller than the primary seat.

[0057] As can be seen most clearly in FIG. 7, each forward strut 5a of the wheel support section is provided with an inwardly directed spigot 19 toward a lower end thereof. A lower end of each side of the secondary seat frame 17 contains a complementary recess for receipt of the spigot 19. The spigot 19 may be configured to snap fit into the respective recess 20. Alternatively, the spigot may be a relatively loose fit The spigot may be biased into a projecting position.

[0058] Reverting to FIG. 2b, each side of the secondary seat frame 17 is provided with a cross bar coupling 21. The cross bar couplings each comprise a first recess 21a that receives the secondary seat frame 17. The cross bar coupling 21 additionally has a transversely oriented recess 21b for receiving the cross bar. The secondary seat frame 17 is rigidly supported between the forward struts 5a and the cross bar extending between the rearward struts 5b. The cross bar couplings 21 provide a pivoting connection between the secondary seat frame 17 and the cross bar/rearward struts; however, the pivoting is prevented when the spigots 19 are received in the recesses 20. This mechanism results in the secondary seat frame being operatively supported by the primary seat frame, which in turn is supported above a ground surface by the wheels.

[0059] The secondary seat frame preferably has some resilience and the transversely oriented recesses 21b may be slidable on the cross bar, so the sides of the secondary seat frame can be compressed towards one another by a user. As that occurs, the recesses 20 will clear the spigots 19, enabling the secondary seat frame to be pivoted upwardly and forwardly relative to the cross bar and rearward struts. Alternatively, if the spigots are biased, providing sufficient upward force to the secondary seat frame 17 will cause the recesses to clear the spigots, so the secondary seat frame can be pivoted upward and forward.

[0060] As a further alternative, one or more actuators may be provided in a position that is readily accessible by a user standing or crouching behind the buggy, to release the spigots from the recesses. For example, there may be an actuator on the outside of each strut 5a, configured such that as the actuators are pulled outwardly, the spigots clear the recesses.

[0061] Any other suitable means could be used for attaching the secondary seat frame to the buggy.

[0062] The secondary seat can be mounted to the secondary seat frame 17 by any of the means described above for the primary seat, or by any other suitable means.

[0063] It is desirable that the buggy is convertible between the in use configuration shown in FIGS. 1 to 2b and a collapsed or folded storage configuration shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The buggy is designed such that it is convertible between the in use configuration and the storage configuration whether or not the secondary seat is attached.

[0064] The steps for collapsing the frame are shown in FIGS. 3 to 5, and including the material of the seats in FIGS. 8 to 11. The secondary seat frame is caused to disengage from the spigots 19. Once the spigots 19 are disengaged from the recesses 20, the secondary seat frame 17 can be pivoted upward and forward about the cross bar as shown in FIG. 3 until it is in a position generally parallel with the rearward struts 5b as shown in FIGS. 4 and 9.

[0065] In the embodiment shown, the primary seat is inverted to the position shown in FIG. 8 before the secondary seat is pivoted upward and forward to the position shown in FIGS. 4 and 9. It will be appreciated that in normal use, the primary seat will generally hang below the primary seat frame section 3a, 3b.

[0066] The couplings 4 can then be released to enable articulation between frame sections 3a and 3b. The couplings 4 comprise quick release levers 4a which provide selective locking and releasing of the coupling. Each coupling 4 comprises a first portion 4b that is fixed relative to one of the frame sections 3a or 3b, and a second portion 4c that is fixed relative to the other of the frame sections 3a or 3b. The two coupling portions 4b, 4c have a locking means that prevents relative rotation between those portions and thereby articulation between frame sections 3a and 3b when the quick release lever 4a is in the position shown in FIG. 2b. For example, the opposed faces of the coupling portions 4b, 4c may have one or more complementary projections and recesses. A biasing means such as a coil spring for example, biases the opposed faces of the coupling portions 4b, 4c away from one another so that the projection(s) and recess(es) are not engaged. However, the leverage from the locked quick release lever 4a; which acts as a cam; will bring the projection(s) and recess(es) into engagement with each other to prevent relative rotation between the coupling portions 4b, 4c. When the frame is to be folded, each quick release lever 4a is moved outwardly, which enables the spring bias to separate the projection(s) and recess(es). That enables relative rotation to occur between the portions 4b, 4c and thereby articulation of the frame section 3a relative to frame section 3b.

[0067] Once the secondary seat frame 17 has been pivoted to the position shown in FIGS. 4 and 9, the quick release levers 4a are released. The upper frame section 3b is provided with a pull bar 23. By pulling the pull bar 23 upwardly, the couplings 4 move upwardly generally in the direction indicated by arrow U. The articulated connection of the forward and rearward struts 5a, 5b relative to the respective primary seat frame sections 3a, 3b, and the articulation between the struts 5a and 5b, causes the struts 5a, 5b to move towards one another on each side of the buggy. The handle end of the intermediate frame section 3b and the nose end of the forward frame section 3a move downwardly relative to the couplings 4, so that the frame is converted into the storage configuration shown in FIGS. 5, 6, and 11. In that configuration, the buggy is fully collapsed such that the upper frame sections 3a, 3b, and forward and rearward struts 5a, 5b are adjacent and generally parallel to one another. The secondary seat frame 17 is positioned generally within the members 3a, 3b, 5a, 5b, and the secondary seat is positioned generally within the primary seat as shown in FIG. 11. The quick release levers 4a can then be moved inwardly to the lock the couplings 4, to prevent unwanted expansion of the frame from the collapsed storage configuration.

[0068] The buggy may be provided with a mechanism that necessitates a double action to be undertaken with a mechanism that necessitates a double action to be undertaken to release the frame from the position shown in FIG. 4. By way of example only, at least one of the couplings 4 may have an externally mounted latch (e.g., latch 4d shown in FIG. 4) that engages another part of the coupling. To collapse the frame, both couplings must be released, and the latch must also be released.

[0069] To convert the frame from the collapsed storage configuration back to the in use configuration, the process is reversed. That is, the quick release handles 4a are moved outwardly to release the couplings 4 to enable rotation between the coupling portions 4a, 4b. The primary seat frame section 3 can then be extended to the position shown in FIG. 4, and the quick release levers 4a engaged to prevent unwanted movement of the primary seat frame section. The secondary seat frame 17 can then be pivoted downward and rearward until it is in the position shown in FIG. 2a, and then the secondary seat frame is caused to engage with the spigots 19.

[0070] It will be appreciated that the above actions can occur whether or not the secondary seat is attached. During movement of the secondary seat frame, at least part of the primary seat must move, at least to some extent, to enable the frame to collapse. In one configuration, said at least part of the primary seat may be manually moved. However, it is preferred that said at least part of the primary seat moves automatically as a result of the secondary seat moving.

[0071] In the embodiments shown, at least part of the primary seat is invertible to provide clearance for the secondary seat frame 17. The entire primary seat may be invertible. As the secondary seat frame is pivoted upward and forward, the frame 17 may push against the primary seat causing the movement of said at least part of the primary seat. The upper end of the frame 17a has a somewhat curved configuration to provide a smooth surface that engages the primary seat causing it to move.

[0072] Other alternative configurations could be used. For example, the primary seat may be supported by an arrangement that enables the primary seat to move out of the way as the buggy is collapsed, such as hinges, pivots, or the like for example.

[0073] In the embodiment shown, the secondary seat is selectively pivotable from an in use position to a storage position, without collapsing the remainder of the frame. The remainder of the frame, and the primary seat, can then be collapsed or folded around the secondary seat frame and secondary seat. It will be appreciated, however, that the quick release levers 4a could be released prior to or during the movement of the secondary seat frame 17, to enable the secondary seat and the remainder of the frame to be collapsed in a more flowing action.

[0074] FIGS. 1 to 6 show the secondary seat frame 17 attached to the frame in the first position at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat.

[0075] In the preferred form, the secondary seat frame is readily detachable from the first position shown in FIGS. 1 to 6, and is readily attachable in a second position shown in FIG. 7 in which the secondary seat is in a second position at least partly above and at least partly in front of the primary seat. To detach the secondary seat from the first position, the secondary seat frame 17 is released from engagement with the spigots. The cross bar couplings 21 are releasable from engagement with the cross bar 7 and/or the secondary seat frame 17. The secondary seat can then be attached in the second position. In that configuration, the pull bar 23 has been removed, and the pull bar couplings 23a are used to couple the secondary seat frame 17 to the intermediate section 3b of the primary seat frame 3. The frame can be collapsed in the manner described above whether or not the secondary seat frame is in the second position shown in FIG. 7.

[0076] It will be appreciated that the secondary seat frame, and thereby the secondary seat, can be supported in the second position by means other than the pull bar couplings.

[0077] The primary seat is preferably convertible from a sitting configuration for supporting a toddler to a lying configuration for supporting a baby. That, and the option of two attachment positions for the secondary seat, enables the preferred form buggy to "grow" with the family. That is shown schematically in FIG. 12a-12d.

[0078] FIG. 12a shows the buggy in the configuration in which the primary seat is in a lying configuration for supporting a newborn or baby. The adjustment of the primary seat from the sitting to lying configuration can occur by adjusting zips, clips, straps, or any other suitable means that enables the portion of the primary seat that forms a back support in the sitting configuration to move toward horizontal to support the child in a lying configuration. Intermediate positions between fully sitting and fully lying may be provided.

[0079] As the child grows into a toddler, the primary seat can be used in the sitting configuration to support the back of the toddler in a more upright position. This is shown in FIG. 12b.

[0080] If a family then has another baby, the baby can be supported in the primary seat in its lying configuration as shown in FIG. 12c, with the toddler supported in the secondary seat in the second attached position at least partly above and at least partly in front of the primary seat. It can be seen that the secondary seat is at least partly in front of the section of the primary seat 8 that will support the lying baby. When both children reach the toddler stage, the larger child can be supported in the primary seat in its sitting configuration, and the smaller child can be supported in the secondary seat in the first attached position at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat, as shown in FIG. 12d.

[0081] The above describes preferred embodiments of the present invention, and modifications can be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention.

[0082] For example, while the secondary seat is described as being readily attachable to and detachable from the frame, that is not essential. Alternatively, the buggy could be provided in the dual in-line configuration having a fixed primary seat for supporting the first child, and a fixed secondary seat for supporting the second child and that is positioned at least partly behind and at least partly below the primary seat. The secondary seat will be attached in a manner such as that described above that allows the buggy to be collapsed. The secondary seat will generally be smaller than the primary seat.

[0083] Additionally, the buggy is described as a three wheel buggy. Rather than having a single front wheel, dual front wheels could be provided in some configurations.

[0084] Various couplings are shown by way of example only, and different couplings or attachment means could be used while still providing the desired functionality. For example, the handle 3c couplings 6 are described as being frictional mechanism to enable tilting of the handle 3c to selected positions relative to the intermediate frame section 3b. Alternatively, the handle could be fixed relative to the frame, or locking couplings of the type described for the frame couplings 4 could be used.

[0085] Similarly, rather than using fully locking frame couplings between the intermediate 3b and forward 3a frame sections, the frame couplings 4 could use a frictional mechanism.

[0086] Rather than having a seat configuration that has a seat frame and a fabric, membrane, or the like mounted to the frame, at least one of the seats may be a more rigid material such as a polymeric material. If the primary seat is a more rigid material, the seat will need to pivot or hinge out of the way of the secondary seat as the secondary seat is moved.

[0087] While the preferred embodiment buggy is shown as an "all terrain" type of buggy that is suitable for some off road use, it will be appreciated that the invention can be applied to any suitable type of pushing vehicle for transporting children. Therefore, the term "buggy" as used in this specification and claims should be interpreted to cover other alternative pushing vehicles, such as strollers, push chairs, and the like.

[0088] The primary seat may be permanently attached, detachable, or readily attachable and detachable.

[0089] Other possible modifications are listed in the "Summary of the Invention" section.

[0090] The preferred form buggy can readily transport two children, yet provides a compact collapsed configuration with two seats without detaching the secondary seat.

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