Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20170326400
Kind Code A1
Brennan; Victoria Jane November 16, 2017

Multi-Layered Fabric Based Climbing Structure

Abstract

A multi-layered climbing apparatus in accordance with embodiments of the invention are disclosed. In one embodiment, a multi-layered climbing apparatus includes a plurality of vertical support members, including a first vertical support member, a second vertical support member, a third vertical support member, and a fourth vertical support member; a plurality of climbing panels, where the plurality of climbing panels includes a first climbing panel and a second climbing panel; where the first climbing panel is attached to the first vertical support member, the second vertical support member, and the third vertical support member; where the second climbing panel is attached to the fourth vertical support member and at least one of the vertical support members that are attached to the first climbing panel; and where the first climbing panel and the second climbing panel are different heights relative to each other.


Inventors: Brennan; Victoria Jane; (Highlands Ranch, CO)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Brennan; Victoria Jane

Highlands Ranch

CO

US
Family ID: 1000002654537
Appl. No.: 15/592206
Filed: May 11, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62335052May 11, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 9/00 20130101; A63B 71/0054 20130101; A63B 2209/00 20130101; A63B 2209/14 20130101; A63B 2208/12 20130101; A63B 2009/006 20130101
International Class: A63B 9/00 20060101 A63B009/00; A63B 71/00 20060101 A63B071/00

Claims



1. A multi-layered climbing apparatus, comprising: a plurality of vertical support members, wherein the plurality of vertical support members includes a first vertical support member, a second vertical support member, a third vertical support member, and a fourth vertical support member; a plurality of climbing panels, wherein the plurality of climbing panels includes a first climbing panel and a second climbing panel; wherein the first climbing panel is attached to the first vertical support member, the second vertical support member, and the third vertical support member; wherein the second climbing panel is attached to the fourth vertical support member and at least one of the vertical support members that are attached to the first climbing panel; and wherein the first climbing panel and the second climbing panel are different heights relative to each other.

2. The climbing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of climbing panels comprises a fabric that can be stretched and reverts to its original shape when released.

3. The climbing apparatus of claim 2, wherein the fabric is a smooth, elastic, stretch woven weave fabric.

4. The climbing apparatus of claim 2, wherein the fabric is made using a polyester-polyurethane copolymer material.

5. The climbing apparatus of claim 2, wherein the each of the plurality of climbing panels further comprises at least one grommet for attaching each of the plurality of climbing panel to the plurality of vertical support members.

6. The climbing apparatus of claim 6, further comprising a plurality of links, wherein each of the plurality of links couples the at least one climbing panel with at least three of the plurality of vertical support members.

7. The climbing apparatus of claim 6, wherein each of the plurality of vertical support members comprises at least one attachment point permanently coupled to each of the plurality of vertical support members for attaching the at least one climbing panel to each of the plurality of vertical support members.

8. The climbing apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a roof structure that is fixed to the top of the plurality of vertical support members.

9. The climbing apparatus of claim 8, further comprising a first safety net fixed to at least one of a plurality of vertical support members, wherein the net wraps around the outer perimeter of the climbing apparatus in order to prevent falls from high positions in the climbing apparatus.

10. The climbing apparatus of claim 9, further comprising a second safety net and a third safety net coupled to the plurality of vertical support members, wherein the second safety net and first safety net are parallel and different heights relative to each other.

11. The climbing apparatus of claim 10, further comprising an intermediate awning structure coupled to an exterior of the plurality of vertical supports such that it prevents users from climbing on the exterior of the plurality of vertical supports above the intermediate awning structure.

12. The climbing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first vertical support members is placed in a center position of the climbing apparatus, and the second, third, and fourth vertical support members are placed along a periphery position of the climbing apparatus.

13. The climbing apparatus of claim 11, wherein the first vertical support member is made using a non-flexible material, and the second, third, and fourth vertical support members are made using a flexible material.

14. The climbing apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of vertical support members are fixed to a ground floor.

15. The climbing apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of vertical support members are each connected at the bottom such that the plurality of vertical support members allows the climbing apparatus to be free-standing.

16. The climbing apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of vertical support members are each connected at a bottom portion such that the plurality of vertical support members allows the climbing apparatus to be free-standing.

17. The climbing apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of vertical support members are each connected at a middle portion such that the plurality of vertical support members allows the climbing apparatus to be free-standing.

18. A multi-layered climbing apparatus, comprising: a plurality of vertical support members, wherein the plurality of vertical support members includes a first vertical support member, a second vertical support member, and a third vertical support member; a first climbing panel, wherein the plurality of climbing panel comprises a fabric that can be stretched and reverts to its original shape when released; and wherein the first climbing panel is attached to the first vertical support member, the second vertical support member, and the third vertical support member.

19. The climbing apparatus of claim 18, wherein the fabric is a smooth, elastic, stretch woven weave fabric.

20. The climbing apparatus of claim 18, wherein the fabric is made using a polyester-polyurethane copolymer material.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The current application claims priority to Provisional Patent Application No. 62/335,052 filed on May 11, 2016, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a climbing structure and more specifically to a multi-layered fabric based climbing structure comprised of fabric climbing panels having therapeutic benefits for climbers such as (but not limited to) children.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Climbing structures are a fun attraction for children of all ages. Not only do they provide children with physical exercise, but climbing structures also confer upon children the added benefit of increasing problem solving, spatial thinking, balance, cooperation, and social interaction skills, all crucial to a developing nervous system. Typically, climbing structures include rope or bars placed strategically in a three dimensional space to allow for users to climb up and through, and are large enough to accommodate multiple users, enabling group play.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The various embodiments of the present multi-layered fabric based climbing structures have several features, no single one of which is solely responsible for their desirable attributes. Without limiting the scope of the present embodiments as expressed by the claims that follow, their more prominent features now will be discussed briefly. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the section entitled "Detailed Description," one will understand how the features of the present embodiments provide the advantages described herein.

[0005] One aspect of the present embodiments includes the realization that existing climbing structures may be limited in that they fail to provide users with deep tactile input, a sensory input crucial to a developing nervous system, and particularly useful in facilitating the development of nervous systems of children who are diagnosed with conditions such as Sensory Processing Disorder. Thus, there is a need for a climbing structure that provides all the benefits of existing climbing structures, and the added benefit of providing users with deep tactile input.

[0006] Multi-layered fabric based climbing structures comprising a plurality of vertical support members, and a plurality of climbing panels, in accordance with embodiments of the invention are disclosed. In one embodiment, a multi-layered climbing structure includes a plurality of vertical support members, wherein the plurality of vertical support members includes a first vertical support member, a second vertical support member, a third vertical support member, and a fourth vertical support member; a plurality of climbing panels, wherein the plurality of climbing panels includes a first climbing panel and a second climbing panel; where the first climbing panel is attached to the first vertical support member, the second vertical support member, and the third vertical support member; where the second climbing panel is attached to the fourth vertical support member and at least one of the vertical support members that are attached to the first climbing panel; and where the first climbing panel and the second climbing panel are different heights relative to each other.

[0007] In a further embodiment, the plurality of climbing panels includes a fabric that can be stretched and reverts to its original shape when released.

[0008] In another embodiment, the fabric is a smooth, elastic, stretch woven weave fabric.

[0009] In a still further embodiment, the fabric is made using a polyester-polyurethane copolymer material.

[0010] In still another embodiment, the climbing apparatus further includes a plurality of climbing panels further comprises at least one grommet for attaching each of the plurality of climbing panel to the plurality of vertical support members.

[0011] In a yet further embodiment, the climbing apparatus further includes a plurality of links, wherein each of the plurality of links couples the at least one climbing panel with at least three of the plurality of vertical support members.

[0012] In yet another embodiment, each of the plurality of vertical support members includes at least one attachment point permanently coupled to each of the plurality of vertical support members for attaching the at least one climbing panel to each of the plurality of vertical support members.

[0013] In yet another embodiment, the climbing apparatus further includes a roof structure that is fixed to the top of the plurality of vertical support members.

[0014] In a further embodiment again, the climbing apparatus further includes a first safety net fixed to the roof structure and the plurality of vertical support members, wherein the first safety net wraps around the outer perimeter of the climbing apparatus in order to prevent falls from high positions in the climbing apparatus.

[0015] In another embodiment again, the climbing apparatus further includes a second safety net and a third safety net coupled to the plurality of vertical support members, wherein the second safety net and third safety net are parallel and different heights relative to each other.

[0016] In a further additional embodiment, the climbing apparatus includes an intermediate awning structure coupled to an exterior of the plurality of vertical supports such that it prevents users from climbing on the exterior of the plurality of vertical supports above the intermediate awning structure.

[0017] In another additional embodiment, the first vertical support members is placed in a center position of the climbing apparatus, and the second, third, and fourth vertical support members are placed along a periphery position of the climbing apparatus.

[0018] In another further embodiment, the first vertical support member is made using a non-flexible material, and the second, third, and fourth vertical support members are made using a flexible material.

[0019] In yet another embodiment, each of the plurality of vertical support members are fixed to a ground floor.

[0020] In another embodiment, each of the plurality of vertical support members are each connected at the bottom such that the plurality of vertical support members allows the climbing apparatus to be free-standing.

[0021] In a further additional embodiment, each of the plurality of vertical support members are each connected at a bottom portion such that the plurality of vertical support members allows the climbing apparatus to be free-standing.

[0022] In yet another embodiment, each of the plurality of vertical support members are each connected at a middle portion such that the plurality of vertical support members allows the climbing apparatus to be free-standing.

[0023] In another embodiment, a multi layered climbing apparatus includes a plurality of vertical support members, wherein the plurality of vertical support members includes a first vertical support member, a second vertical support member, and a third vertical support member; a first climbing panel, wherein the plurality of climbing panel comprises a fabric that can be stretched and reverts to its original shape when released; and wherein the first climbing panel is attached to the first vertical support member, the second vertical support member, and the third vertical support member.

[0024] In a further embodiment, the fabric of the climbing panel is a smooth, elastic, stretch woven weave fabric.

[0025] In yet another embodiment, the fabric of the climbing panel is made using a polyester-polyurethane copolymer material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0026] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular fabric climbing panels, seven solid vertical support members, a roof structure, and first safety net, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

[0027] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular fabric climbing panels, one solid vertical support member, six flexible vertical support members, and a roof structure in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0028] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a five pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular fabric climbing panels and six vertical support members, having five vertical support members on the outer periphery, and one vertical support member within the outer periphery, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0029] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a eighth pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with rectangular fabric climbing panels and eight solid vertical support members in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0030] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a five pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular fabric climbing panels and six vertical support members, having five vertical support members on the outer periphery, and one vertical support member within the outer periphery, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention similar to one introduced in FIG. 3.

[0031] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with rectangular fabric climbing panels and six vertical support members in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0032] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an eight pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with rectangular fabric climbing panels and ten vertical support members in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0033] FIG. 8a is a side view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular fabric climbing panels, six vertical support members, having five vertical support members on the outer periphery, and one vertical support member within the outer periphery, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0034] FIG. 8b is a top view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular fabric climbing panels, six vertical support members, having five vertical support members on the outer periphery, and one vertical support member within the outer periphery, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0035] FIG. 8c is a perspective view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular fabric climbing panels, a first safety net, six vertical support members, having five vertical support members on the outer periphery, and one vertical support member within the outer periphery, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0036] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with both large and small triangular fabric climbing panels and six vertical support members, having five vertical support members on the outer periphery, and one vertical support member within the outer periphery, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0037] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a nine pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with triangular and rectangular fabric climbing panels, nine vertical support members, having eight vertical support members on the outer periphery, and one vertical support member within the outer periphery, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0038] FIG. 11a illustrates a perspective view of the of a six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, having seven vertical support members attached to the ground floor, where six vertical supports make a hexagonal outer periphery, and one vertical support is positioned in the center of the outer periphery in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0039] FIG. 11b illustrates a perspective view of the six pointed multilayered fabric based climbing structure shown in FIG. 11a, further comprising a first safety net, a second safety net and a third safety net.

[0040] FIG. 11c illustrates a perspective view of the six pointed multilayered fabric based climbing structure shown in FIG. 11a, further comprising a plurality of climbing panel attached in different positions at different heights in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0041] FIG. 11d illustrates a side view of the six pointed multilayered fabric based climbing structure shown in FIG. 11c, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0042] FIG. 11e illustrates a top view of the six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure depicted in FIG. 11c, further comprising a first safety net, and an intermediate awning in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0043] FIG. 11f shows a perspective view of the six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure depicted in FIG. 11c, further illustrating, a first safety net, an intermediate awning, and a roof structure in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0044] FIG. 11g illustrates another view of the six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure illustrated in FIG. 11f, further depicting the second and third safety nets, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0045] FIG. 12 depicts a detailed view of the material used for the net, the first safety net and the second safety net that are parallel to and different heights relative to the ground, in accordance with a possible embodiment of the invention.

[0046] FIG. 13 depicts a perspective view of a fabric based climbing panel coupled to four vertical support members, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0047] FIG. 14 is a schematic diagram illustrating a possible fabric based climbing panel, with grommets, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0048] FIG. 15 is a schematic diagram illustrating an attachment point, permanently fixed to a vertical support member, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

[0049] FIG. 16 illustrates a detailed view of a possible link, an anchor shackle, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0050] Turning now to the drawings, climbing structures in accordance with embodiments of the invention are disclosed. In many embodiments, the climbing structure may include a plurality of vertical support members, that comprise upright structures of solid or flexible material, including at least a first vertical support member, a second vertical support member, a third vertical support member, and a fourth vertical support member. The vertical support members may be coupled to a plurality of climbing panels, and provide support for the entire structure. The plurality of vertical support members may further comprise eyelets coupled to the support members at various heights to enable coupling of climbing panels at different heights as further described below. In several embodiments, the climbing structure may also include a plurality of climbing panels, comprising a first climbing panel and a second climbing panel, each configured to be coupled to at least three vertical support members, such that the climbing panels are at differing heights relative to each other. In several embodiments, the first climbing panel may be attached to the first vertical support member, second vertical support member, and third vertical support member. The second climbing panel may be attached to at least one of the vertical support members. The climbing panels may also comprise a smooth, elastic, stretch woven weave fabric that can be stretched and reverts to its original shape when released, such as, but not limited to, a polyester-polyurethane copolymer, as further described below. In various embodiments, the climbing panels may further comprise at least one grommet. In many embodiments, the climbing structure may further include a plurality of links to couple the climbing panels to the vertical support members, comprising a semi-permanent material, such as a screw lock carabiner or carabiner with heat shrink shrunk over the gate and noose and/or D shackles and/or anchor shackles that may be tamper proof.

[0051] In many embodiments, climbing panels may comprise of a fabric that can be stretched and revert back to its original shape when released. In several embodiments, the climbing panels may comprise a fabric that is a smooth, elastic, stretch woven weave fabric. In various embodiments, the climbing panels may comprise of fabric that is made using a polyester-polyurethane copolymer material. Climbing structures utilizing multi-layered fabric climbing panels may provide therapeutic benefits. When users have the ability to jump or fall into layers of fabric as well as bounce and swing in the fabric, their vestibular senses may be stimulated. Also, climbing structures in accordance with embodiments of the invention utilizing climbing panels may provide deep tactile input to users by conforming to body parts and putting pressure on the parts of the body it surrounds. Deep tactile input confers many benefits, such as lowering heartrate, slowing breathing. Increasing blood flow to limbs and higher regions of the brain, such as the cortex, and encourages digestion. Further, by allowing users to climb up and through the climbing structure, the climbing panels may stimulate users' proprioceptive senses.

[0052] Climbing structures in accordance with embodiments of the invention provide inputs that are calming and organizing to the user's nervous system. The nervous system requires extensive vestibular and proprioceptive stimulation, especially in the first few years of life, to ensure it learns how to process sensation correctly so that the individual may respond properly and fluidly to signals received. Further, such senses must be stimulated frequently throughout development in order for the brain to organize its neural networks correctly. The various inputs immediately synapse with each other and the other sensory inputs in the brain, allowing the brain to make sense of sensory inputs as a whole, such as allowing the brain to connect vision to vestibular and proprioceptive inputs to allow for the formation of spatial awareness. As described herein, the climbing panels may comprise fabric that can be stretched and revert back to its original shape when released. Such climbing panels may put firm pressure on the users' skin and provides deep tactile input. Thus, the invention may help keep the nervous systems of users from becoming hyper aroused, allowing the user to focus and avoid meltdowns. Further, by providing deep tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular input, the invention may help users' brains learn to process sensations correctly, and reorganize any faulty neural connections and build new ones.

[0053] These types of inputs are essential for the development of all children, but especially useful for a child diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. Sensory Processing Disorder is a disorder in which the brain does not process sensation correctly. It is the most common comorbid disorder with autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Those with the disorder may find it hard to concentrate when there is a plethora of sensory information around them. They may also get hyper aroused and experience meltdowns or lash out as their brain processes sensation differently compared to neuro-typical individuals. Providing deep tactile input can help calm individuals diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder who are hyper aroused or experiencing a meltdown, or avoid these situations altogether. Multi-layered fabric based climbing structures in accordance with embodiments of the invention, are further discussed below.

Multi-layered Fabric Based Climbing Structures

[0054] Multi-layered fabric based climbing structures in accordance with embodiments of the present invention may provide users such as (but not limited to) children with deep tactile input, a sensory input crucial to a developing nervous system, and particularly useful in facilitating the development of nervous systems of children who are diagnosed with conditions such as Sensory Processing Disorder. In various embodiments, the climbing structures may comprise any number of vertical support members and climbing panels. Some exemplary embodiments for illustrative purposes, are discussed below.

[0055] A perspective view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 1. The multi-layered fabric based climbing structure 100 may include a first vertical support member 102, a second vertical support member 104, a third vertical support member 106, a fourth vertical support member 108, a fifth vertical support member 110, a sixth vertical support member 112, and a seventh vertical support member 114, all fixed to the ground floor on their bottom ends. In many embodiments, the vertical support members 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, 114 may be made from a solid, inflexible material. In various embodiments, the first vertical support member 102 may be positioned such that it is situated in the center surrounded by the other vertical support members. In some embodiments, the vertical support members that surround the center vertical support member may be arranged in a hexagonal shape. In some embodiments, the climbing structure 100 may also include a first climbing panel 116 that may be coupled to the first vertical support member 102, the second vertical support member 104, and the third vertical support member 106. In addition, the climbing structure may also include a second climbing panel 118, coupled to the first vertical support member 102, the third vertical support member 106, and the fourth vertical support member 108. In various embodiments, the first climbing panel 116 and the second climbing panel 118 are at differing heights relative to the ground. Likewise, the climbing structure 100 may include additional climbing panels to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure. In many embodiments, the tops of the vertical supports may be coupled to a roof structure 120. In various embodiments, a first safety net 122 may wrap around the upper areas of the climbing structure, to prevent falls from great heights. In some embodiments, the climbing structure can comprise some vertical support members that comprise solid, inflexible material, and/or a flexible material, as further discussed below.

[0056] A perspective view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 2. The climbing structure 200 may include a first vertical support member 202, a second vertical support member 204, a third vertical support member 206, a fourth vertical support member 208, a fifth vertical support member 210, a sixth vertical support member 212, and a seventh vertical support member 214. In many embodiments, the vertical support members 202, 204, 206, 208, 210, 212, 214 may be fixed to the ground floor on their respective bottom ends. In some embodiments, the first vertical support member 202 may comprise a solid, inflexible material, and the other vertical support members 204, 206, 208, 210, 212, 214 may comprise a flexible, non-rigid material. In some embodiments, the first vertical support member 202 may be positioned such that it is surrounded by the the other vertical support members 204, 206, 208, 210, 212, 214. In various embodiments, the outer support members 204, 206, 208, 210, 212, 214, may be arranged in a hexagonal shape. In some embodiments, the climbing structure 200 may also include a first climbing panel 216, coupled to the first vertical support member 202, the second vertical support member 204 and the third vertical support member 206. Further, the climbing structure 200 may also include a second climbing panel 218, coupled to the first vertical support member 202, the second vertical support member 206, and the fourth vertical support member 208. In various embodiments, the first climbing panel 216 and the second climbing panel 218 may be at differing heights relative to each other. Likewise, the climbing structure 200 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure. In many embodiments, the tops of the vertical supports may be coupled to a roof structure 220. Although a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure are discussed above, the climbing structure may comprise various other numbers of vertical support members, as further described below.

[0057] A perspective view of a five pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 3. In several embodiments, the climbing structure 300 includes a first vertical support member 301, a second vertical support member 302, a third vertical support member 304, a fourth vertical support member 306, and a fifth vertical support member 308. The first vertical support member 301 may be positioned such that it is equidistant from the other vertical support members 302, 304, 306, 308, which may be arranged in a quadrilateral formation. In some embodiments, the climbing structure 300 may also include a first climbing panel 310, coupled to the first vertical support member 301, the second vertical support member 302 and the fifth vertical support member 308, and a second climbing panel 312, coupled to the first vertical support member 301, the fourth vertical support member 306, and the fifth vertical support member 308. The first climbing panel 310 and the second climbing panel 312 are at differing heights. Likewise, the climbing structure 300 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0058] A perspective view of an eight pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 4. The climbing structure 400 may include a first vertical support member 402, a second vertical support member 404, a third vertical support member 406, a fourth vertical support member 408, a fifth vertical support member 410, a sixth vertical support member 412, a seventh vertical support member 414, and an eighth vertical support 416. In some embodiments, the climbing structure 400 may also include a first climbing panel 416, coupled to the first vertical support member 402, the third vertical support member 404, the fifth vertical support member 410, and the sixth vertical support member 412, and a second climbing panel 418, coupled to the third vertical support member 406, the fourth vertical support member 408, the seventh vertical support member 414, and the eighth vertical support member 416. Typically, the first climbing panel 416 and the second climbing panel 418 are at differing heights. In addition, the climbing structure 400 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0059] A perspective view of a five pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 5. The climbing structure 500 may include a first vertical support member 501, a second vertical support member 502, a third vertical support member 504, a fourth vertical support member 506, and a fifth vertical support member 508. In some embodiments, the first vertical support member 501 may be positioned in the center of the other vertical support members 502, 504, 506, 508, which may be arranged in a quadrilateral formation. In some embodiments, the climbing structure 500 may also include a first climbing panel 510, coupled to the first vertical support member 501, the third vertical support member 504 and the fourth vertical support member 506, and a second climbing panel 512, coupled to the first vertical support member 501, the third vertical support member 504 and the fourth vertical support member 506. Typically, the first climbing panel 510 and the second climbing panel 512 are at differing heights relative to the ground. Likewise, the climbing structure 500 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0060] A perspective view of a six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 6. The climbing structure 600 may include a first vertical support member 602, a second vertical support member 604, a third vertical support member 606, a fourth vertical support member 608, a fifth vertical support member 610, and a sixth vertical support member 612. In some embodiments, the vertical support members may be arranged in a hexagonal formation. In many embodiments, the climbing structure may also include a first climbing panel 614, coupled to the second vertical support member 604, the third vertical support member 606, the fifth vertical support member 610, and the sixth climbing panel 614. Further, the climbing structure may include a second climbing panel 616, coupled to the third vertical support member 606, the fourth vertical support member 608, the sixth vertical support member 612, and the first vertical support member 602. Typically, the first climbing panel 614 and the second climbing panel 616 are at differing heights relative to the ground. Likewise, the climbing structure 600 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0061] A perspective view of a nine pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 7. The climbing structure 700 may include a first vertical support member 702, a second vertical support member 704, a third vertical support member 706, a fourth vertical support member 708, a fifth vertical support member 710, a sixth vertical support member 712, a seventh vertical support member 714, an eighth vertical support member 716, and a ninth vertical support member 718. In some embodiments, the vertical support members may be arranged in a nonagonal formation. In many embodiments, the climbing structure 700 may include a first climbing panel 722, coupled to the first vertical support member 702, the third vertical support member 706, the sixth vertical support member 712, and the eighth climbing panel 716. Further, the climbing structure 700 may include a second climbing panel 724, coupled to the second vertical support member 704, the fifth vertical support member 710, the sixth vertical support member 712, and the eighth vertical support member 716. Typically, the first climbing panel 722 and the second climbing panel 724 are at differing heights relative to each other. Likewise, the climbing structure 700 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0062] Perspective views of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, are depicted in FIGS. 8a-c. A side view of a six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure 800 is illustrated in FIG. 8a. The climbing structure 800 may include a first vertical support member 812 that may be positioned centered and surrounded by a second vertical support member 801, a third vertical support member 802, a fourth vertical support member 804, a fifth vertical support member 806, a sixth vertical support member 808, and a seventh vertical support member 810. In many embodiments, the surrounding vertical support members 801, 802, 804, 806, 808, 810 may be arranged around the first vertical support member 812 in a hexagonal formation. In some embodiments, a first climbing panel 814 may be coupled to the first 812, second 801, fifth 806, sixth 808, and seventh 810 vertical support members. In addition, a second climbing panel may be coupled to the first 801, sixth 808, and seventh 810 vertical support members. In various embodiments, the first climbing panel 814 and second climbing panel 816 may be at differing heights relative to each other. In addition, the climbing structure 800 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0063] A top view of the seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure 800 is depicted in FIG. 8b. As described above, the climbing structure 800 may include a first vertical support member 812 in positioned in the center, and a second vertical support member 801, a third vertical support member 802, a fourth vertical support member 804, a fifth vertical support member 806, a sixth vertical support member 808, and a seventh vertical support member 810, arranged around the first vertical support member 812 in a hexagonal formation. In some embodiments, a first climbing panel 814 may be coupled to the first 812, second 801, fifth 806, sixth 808, and seventh 810 vertical support members. In many embodiments, a second climbing panel is coupled to the first 801, sixth 808, and seventh 810 vertical support members. Typically, the first climbing panel 814 and second climbing panel 816 are at differing heights relative to each other.

[0064] A perspective view of the seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure 800 shown in FIG. 8b, along with a first safety net 818, is shown in FIG. 8c. In several embodiments, a first safety net 818 may be placed in a vertical position on an exterior of the climbing structure 800. In various embodiments, the first safety net 818 may be coupled to the second vertical support member 801, the third vertical support member 802, the fourth vertical support member 804, the fifth vertical support member 806, the sixth vertical support member 808, and the seventh vertical support member 810, such that it wraps around the climbing structure 800. In several embodiments, the first safety net 818 may be coupled to the vertical support members such that there are no gaps between the first safety net 818 and the vertical support members or such that any gaps are not large enough for a user to pass through the gap. The purpose of the first safety net 818 is to prevent a user from falling out of the climbing structure 800.

[0065] A perspective view of a five pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 9. The climbing structure 900 may include a first vertical support member 904, a second vertical support member 901, a third vertical support member 902, a fourth vertical support member 906, and a fifth vertical support member 908. In some embodiments, the first vertical support member 904 may be positioned such that it is surrounded by the other vertical support members 901, 902, 906, 908. In various embodiments, the outer vertical support members 901, 902, 906, 908, may be arranged in a quadrilateral formation. As described above, the climbing structure 900 may also include a first climbing panel 910, coupled to the first vertical support member 904, the second vertical support member 901 and the fifth vertical support member 908. Further, the climbing structure 900 may also include a second climbing panel 912, coupled to the first vertical support member 904, the second vertical support member 901 and the fifth vertical support member 908. Typically, the first climbing panel 910 and the second climbing panel 912 are positioned at differing heights relative to each other. In addition, the climbing structure 900 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0066] A perspective view of a nine pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, is illustrated in FIG. 10. The climbing structure 1000 may include a first vertical support member 1002, a second vertical support member 1004, a third vertical support member 1006, a fourth vertical support member 1008, a fifth vertical support member 1010, a sixth vertical support member 1012, a seventh vertical support member 1014, an eighth vertical support member 1016, and a ninth vertical support member 1018. In some embodiments, the vertical support members are arranged in a three by three formation, and includes a first climbing panel 1020, coupled to the second vertical support member 1004, the third vertical support member 1006 and the sixth vertical support member 1012. Further, the climbing structure 1000 may include a second climbing panel 1022, coupled to the second vertical support member 1004, the fifth vertical support member 1010 and the sixth vertical support member 1012. Typically, the first climbing panel 1022 and the second climbing panel 1020 are positioned at differing heights. In addition, the climbing structure 1000 may include additional climbing panels, at varying heights, to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0067] Although multi-layered fabric based climbing structures with a plurality of vertical support members, and a plurality of climbing panels, where at least two climbing panels are at different heights relative to each other, are discussed above with respect to FIGS. 1-10, any variety of multi-layered fabric based climbing structure incorporating a plurality of vertical support members and a plurality of climbing panels, where at least two climbing panels are at different heights relative to each other may be used in accordance with the embodiments of the invention. For example, multi-layered fabric based climbing structures may include any number of vertical support members and/or climbing panels, and in addition, utilizing additional safety features. For further example, the multi-layered fabric based climbing structure may include three vertical support members and a single climbing panel as described herein. In such embodiments, the multi-layered fabric based climbing structure may have additional levels for climbing made from material that is not a climbing panel or it may not include any additional levels for climbing, where the ground floor and the single climbing panel may be considered a multi-layered structure. In addition, one or more of the vertical support members as described herein may be a free-standing structure and not necessarily fixed to a ground floor. For example, in such embodiments, the multi-layered fabric based climbing structures may be free-standing structures whose vertical support members are each connected at the bottom and/or middle sections such that the vertical support members all stay together and standing. A multi-layered fabric based climbing structures with additional safety features are discussed below.

Multi-layered Fabric Based Climbing Structure with Additional Safety Features

[0068] Multi-layered fabric based climbing structures in accordance with embodiments of the present invention may provide users with deep tactile input and a sensory input crucial to a developing nervous system. In use, the multi-layered fabric based climbing structures include various climbing panels at differing heights allowing a user to climb up and down the climbing structure. However, the higher a user climbs up the climbing structure, the more dangerous it may become if that user falls out of the climbing structure.

[0069] Various views of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure at various stages of building completion are illustrated in FIGS. 11a-11g. A top perspective view of a seven pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure 1100 is illustrated in FIG. 11a. The climbing structure 1100 may include seven vertical support members attached to a ground floor. In some embodiments, the vertical support members are arranged in a way that a first vertical support member 1102 may be positioned center to a second 1104, third 1106, fourth 1108, fifth 1110, sixth 1112, and seventh vertical support members 1114. In some embodiments, the outer vertical support members 1104, 1106, 1108, 1110, 1112, 1114 may be arranged in a hexagonal shape.

[0070] A side perspective view of the climbing structure 1100 having a first safety net 1116, second safety net 1118, and third safety net 1120 is illustrated in FIG. 11b. In several embodiments, the first safety net 1116 may be placed in a vertical position, and coupled to the second 1104, third 1106, fourth 1108, fifth 1110, sixth 1112, and sixth vertical support members 1114, such that it wraps around them. In many embodiments, the first safety net 1116 may be coupled to the vertical support members 1104, 1106, 1108, 1110, 1112, 1114 such that there are no gaps between the first safety net 1116 and vertical support members 1104, 1106, 1108, 1110, 1112, 1114 or no gaps large enough for a user to pass through the gap. The purpose of the first safety net 1116 is to prevent a user from falling out of the structure. In some embodiments, the climbing structure 1100 may also include a second safety net 1118 and third safety net 1120, positioned in horizontal position at different heights relative to each other. In some embodiments, the second safety net 1118 may be coupled to the bottom edge 1117 of the first safety net 1116, and the first 1102, third 1108, fourth 1110, fifth 1112, and sixth vertical support members 1114. In some embodiments, the third safety net 1120 may be coupled to the bottom edge 1117 of the first safety net 1116, and the first 1102, second 1104, third 1106, fourth 1108, and seventh vertical support members 1114. The second 1118 and third 1120 safety nets serve to prevent users from falling within the climbing structure 1100 from certain heights whereas the first safety net 1116 may prevent a user from falling out of the climbing structure once the user reaches a certain height.

[0071] A top perspective view of the climbing structure 1100 is shown along with a first climbing panel 1122 and a second climbing panel 1124 in FIG. 11c. In many embodiments, climbing panels may be any shape so long as they provide a surface for a user to climb up and down the climbing structure. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 11c, the first climbing panel 1122 may be triangular in shape, and coupled to the first 1102, third 1106, and fourth vertical support members 1108. In addition, the second climbing panel 1124 may be quadrilateral in shape, and coupled to the first 1102, third 1106, fourth 1108, and fifth vertical support members 1110. Typically, the first climbing panel 1122 and second climbing panel 1124 are at different heights relative to each other, allowing a user to climb between the panels. Further, the climbing structures may include any number of additional climbing panels, in different shapes and sizes, attached at varying heights to different vertical support members.

[0072] A bottom side perspective view of the climbing structure 1100 along with a first climbing panel 1122 and a second climbing panel 1124 is illustrated in FIG. 11d. As described above, the first climbing panel 1122 may be triangular in shape, and coupled to the first 1102, third 1106, and fourth vertical support members 1108. Further, the second climbing panel 1124 may be quadrilateral in shape, and coupled to the first 1102, third 1106, fourth 1108, and fifth vertical support members 1110. Again, the first climbing panel 1122 and second climbing panel 1124 are at different heights relative to each other, allowing a user to climb between panels. Further, the climbing structure 1100 may include additional climbing panels to allow a user to move up and down the climbing structure.

[0073] A top perspective view of the climbing structure 1100 having an intermediate awning 1126 is shown in FIG. 11e. In several embodiments, the intermediate awning 1126 may be coupled to the second 1104, third 1106, fourth 1108, fifth 1110, sixth 1112, and seventh 1114 vertical support members. In various embodiments, the intermediate awning 1126 may project away and outward from the center first vertical support member 1102. In some embodiments, the intermediate awning 1126 may be angled towards the ground floor. In some embodiments, the intermediate awning 1126 may be positioned to prevent users from climbing to the first safety net 1116 from outside the six pointed multi-layered fabric based climbing structure 1100. In this manner, the intermediate awning 1126 (and the first safety net 1116) may be placed at a height relative to the ground floor where injuries below the height of the intermediate awning 1126 would be less severe.

[0074] A side view of the climbing structure 1100 further including a roof structure 1128 is illustrated in FIG. 11f. In many embodiments, the roof structure 1128 may be coupled to the tops of the first 1102, second 1104, third 1106, fourth 1108, fifth 1110, sixth 1112, and seventh 1114 vertical support members. Along with providing a shade and protection from the elements to a user climbing inside the climbing structure 1100, the roof structure 1128 may function to prevent users from climbing out of the climbing structure 1100 and/or climbing over the first safety net 1116 from the inside of the climbing structure 1100.

[0075] A bottom side perspective view of the climbing structure 1100 is shown in FIG. 11g. In some embodiments, the intermediate awning 1126 may be coupled to the second 1104, third 1106, fourth 1108, fifth 1110, sixth 1112, and seventh 1114 vertical support members at a position higher than both the second safety net 1118 and the third safety net 1120. This may function to prevent users of the climbing structure 1100 from climbing the first safety net 1116.

[0076] A diagram illustrating a safety net 1200 is shown in FIG. 12. In many embodiments, a safety net may take the shape and configuration of any netting that prevents a user from climbing past it. For example, the safety net1200 may include netting 1204 coupled to reinforced edges 1202.

[0077] Although multi-layered fabric based climbing structures with seven vertical support members and a plurality of climbing panels, safety nets, a roof structure, and an intermediate awning, are discussed above with respect to FIGS. 11a-12, any of a variety of multi-layered fabric based climbing structure with any number of vertical support members, a plurality of climbing panels, safety nets, a roof structure, and an intermediate awning may be used in accordance with the embodiments of the invention, including using a different number of vertical support members or climbing panels, or other variations of safety nets. Coupling of climbing panel to at least one vertical support member in climbing structures, further discussed below.

Climbing Panel Coupling to a Vertical Support Member

[0078] A climbing panel may be coupled to one or more vertical support members in many different ways. For example, this may be accomplished through use of a climbing panel that further comprises at least one grommet. In another example, a vertical support member may comprise at least one attachment point. In another further example, a link may be used to attach to both a grommet and an attachment point, coupling the climbing panel to the vertical support member.

[0079] A top perspective view of a climbing panel 1302 coupled to a plurality of vertical support members is depicted in FIG. 13. In some embodiments, the climbing panel 1302 may be coupled to a first 1304, second 1306, third 1308, and fourth 1310 vertical support members using attachment points as further described below. However, the climbing panel 1302 and one or more vertical support members may be coupled in a variety of ways known to one of ordinary skill in the art.

[0080] A schematic diagram illustrating a climbing panel 1400 is shown in FIG. 14. In many embodiments, a climbing panel 1400 may be square in shape can include a first grommet 1402 in one corner, a second grommet 1404 in another corner, a third grommet 1406 in yet another corner, and a fourth grommet 1408 in the last corner. In several embodiments, each grommet 1402, 1404, 1406, 1408 may be further attached to one or more links as described below. Although specific grommets are described above with respect to FIG. 14, any number of attachments made be utilized in accordance with embodiments of the invention. For example, in some embodiments, one or more loop of fabric may be sewn onto the end of the climbing panel and tied to the vertical support members.

[0081] A schematic diagram illustrating an attachment point is depicted in FIG. 15. In many embodiments, the attachment point 1502 may be fixed to a vertical support member 1500. The attachment point 1502 may be used to couple a climbing panel. In some embodiments, each attachment point is further attached to a link as further described below.

[0082] A detailed view of a link used to attach a climbing panel to a vertical support member is shown in FIG. 16. In many embodiments, the link may be an anchor shackle 1600, comprising a crown 1602 and a bolt 1604. In some embodiments, as described above, the link 1600 may be attached to both a grommet and an attachment point, effectively coupling a climbing panel to a vertical support member.

[0083] Although specific processes for coupling climbing panel to one or more vertical support members are discussed above with respect to FIGS. 13-16, any of a variety of processes for coupling climbing panels to one or more vertical support members may be used in accordance with the embodiments of the invention, including using different material to comprise a climbing panel, or a link, or coupling the climbing panel to a vertical support member in a different manner known to one of ordinary skill in the art.

[0084] While the above description contains many specific embodiments of the invention, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an example of one embodiment thereof. It is therefore to be understood that the present invention may be practiced otherwise than specifically described, without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention. Thus, embodiments of the present invention should be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.