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United States Patent Application 20180104534
Kind Code A1
Erkelenz; Bernd ;   et al. April 19, 2018

TREADMILL BELT OF A TREADMILL TRAINER, AND A TREADMILL TRAINER

Abstract

A treadmill belt for a treadmill trainer has slats arranged one behind the other. Each slat has a carrier with a tread, the carrier detachably receiving a cover strip, and the tread being disposed on the cover strip.


Inventors: Erkelenz; Bernd; (Calden, DE) ; Ebert; Markus; (Grebenstein-Berguffeln, DE)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Hubner GmbH & Co. KG

Kassel

DE
Family ID: 1000002958192
Appl. No.: 15/787516
Filed: October 18, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 22/0285 20130101; A63B 22/0235 20130101
International Class: A63B 22/02 20060101 A63B022/02

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Oct 19, 2016DEDE102016119885.4

Claims



1. A treadmill belt for a treadmill trainer, comprising: a plurality of slats arranged one behind the other, each slat having; a carrier; and a cover strip having a tread defined thereon, the carrier detachably receiving the cover strip.

2. The treadmill belt according to claim 1, wherein the cover strip is lockable on the carrier.

3. The treadmill belt according to claim 1, wherein the cover strip comprises as a rail having a C-shaped cross-section.

4. The treadmill belt according to claim 2, wherein the carrier has a resiliently yielding locking catch on at least one end of the carrier, the resiliently yielding locking catch operable to lock the cover strip on the carrier

5. The treadmill belt according to claim 4, wherein the carrier has the resiliently yielding locking catch on both ends of the carrier.

6. The treadmill belt according to claim 4, wherein one end of the cover strip abuts one of the ends of the carrier when the cover strip is received onto the carrier, the locking catch engaging the cover strip on the end in abutment.

7. The treadmill belt according to claim 4, wherein a portion of the locking catch projects from an the cover strip when the cover strip is received onto the carrier.

8. The treadmill belt according to claim 1, further comprising: at least two circumferential straps laterally spaced apart from each other; each of the carriers has a fixing element attaching the respective carrier on the respective straps.

9. The treadmill belt according to claim 1, wherein each carrier is stiffened in a center of the carrier.

10. The treadmill belt according to claim 1, wherein each tread is vulcanized, glued or foamed on the respective cover strip.

11. The treadmill belt according to claim 1, wherein the treads of a plurality of the cover strips arranged one behind the other define a continuous running surface with peaks and valleys.

12. The treadmill belt according to claim 11, wherein the peaks and valleys are defined such that there are no abrupt edges in transition between two adjacent cover strips.

13. The treadmill belt according to claim 1, wherein the materials of the carriers and the materials of the cover strips are different from each other.

14. A treadmill trainer, comprising: rollers or cylinders spaced apart from each other in a running direction for receiving a treadmill belt; and a treadmill belt according claim 1.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority from German Application No. DE102016119885.4 filed Oct. 19, 2016, the entire content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates on the one hand to a treadmill belt of a treadmill trainer, wherein the treadmill belt comprises several slats arranged one behind the other, wherein each slat comprises a carrier with a tread, and on the other hand to a treadmill trainer with rollers or cylinders spaced apart from each other in running direction for receiving a treadmill belt.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Treadmill trainers are sufficiently known from the State of the Art. Thus, in particular treadmill trainers are known, where two cylinders spaced apart from each other are provided, on which a treadmill belt is arranged in a circumferential manner. For this purpose, at least one cylinder is driven by an electric motor.

[0004] Furthermore, treadmill trainers are known, where the treadmill belt consists of individual slats. The individual slats are arranged on a circumferential strap on both ends, wherein the two straps are mounted on cylinders or rollers spaced apart from each other in running direction, wherein at least one pair of rollers or one cylinder is driven by an electric motor. If the treadmill belt of a treadmill trainer is configured in the manner of a rotary conveyor belt, between the cylinders or rollers spaced apart from each other, between which the treadmill belt is spanned, a table is provided underneath the treadmill belt over which the treadmill belt is lead. Such a table is required in order to bear the weight of the runner on the treadmill belt. Compared with this, the advantage of a so-called slat-belt treadmill is that such table is not required because the weight of the runner is directly borne by the slats, if they have the corresponding stability and/or stiffness.

[0005] A treadmill belt of a treadmill trainer is known from the DE 296 15 912 U1. Two straps lead via deflection rollers are provided here, wherein tread plates are fastened to the straps which comprise a coating.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] As has already been explained elsewhere, each strap comprises a carrier with a tread. The tread can comprise a profiling on its upper side, hence on the running side in order to prevent a slipping of the individuals running on the treadmill belt. The tread with such a profiling is made from a plastic material. Now, the desire has often been expressed to offer different treads for the slats of such a slat-belt treadmill in particular, if such treadmill trainers are used in the field of therapy, hence, are used, for example, for groups of persons where the sense of balance must be practiced. The exchangeability of the slats can also become necessary within the scope of maintenance or repairs.

[0007] In order to be able to provide a treadmill belt for a treadmill trainer which meets the requirements of different groups of persons regarding surface design of the tread and is easy to maintain, it is suggested according to the invention that the carrier detachably receives a cover strip with the tread being arranged on the cover strip. By detachable it is meant here that the cover strip is not materially connected in any manner with the carrier but rather that the cover strip can be received by and removed from the carrier as often as desired, in particular that the cover strip is slidably received by the carrier. The cover strips can be designed with different treads so that there is the possibility, when the cover strips can be detachably received by the carrier, to arrange, depending on the requirements, cover strips with different treads on the carriers of the slats of the treadmill belts in order to be able to offer a plurality of different treads for treadmill belts of treadmill trainers in this way. In the case of the slat-belt treadmills according to the State of the Art, a modification of the tread, in particular a modification in the structure of the tread, could not so easily be made, since the slats with the tread are firmly arranged on the driving belts on both ends, for example, by the fact that the slats are riveted or screwed with the straps.

[0008] Advantageous features and embodiments of the invention result from certain embodiments described herein.

[0009] It is provided here in particular that the cover strip is lockable on the carrier, this means that the cover strip is detachably and lockably arranged on the carrier. In detail, it is furthermore provided in this connection that the cover strip is formed as a rail C-shaped in cross-section, which can advantageously be slid onto the carrier laterally, hence in parallel to the longitudinal axis. For locking the cover strip on the carrier, the carrier comprises at least on one end, preferably on both ends, a resiliently yielding locking catch, wherein the locking catches abut the front ends of the cover strip, this means that the locking catches engage the cover strip on the end in abutment, this means, the distance of the locking catches corresponds approximately to the length of the cover strip. In order to be able to detach the cover strip from the carrier, according to another feature of the invention, the respective locking catch projects the cover strip on the end in order to be able to manually disengage the locking catch from the front side of the cover strip. If only one locking catch is provided on one end of the carrier, a fixed abutment can be provided on the other opposite end.

[0010] For arrangement of the treadmill belt on the drive cylinders and/or drive rollers of the treadmill trainer, the treadmill belt comprises at least two straps laterally spaced apart from each other, wherein the carriers comprise means for fixation of the carrier on the respective strap, this means that the carrier, for example, is connected with the respective strap by rivets or screws.

[0011] It has already been pointed out that by the carrier and/or the plurality of carriers the weight of the person running on the treadmill trainer must be borne. Insofar it is advantageously provided that the carrier is stiffened in the center, hence, is formed, for example, in the manner of a framework construction.

[0012] The tread arranged on the cover strip is in particular made from plastic, for example, TPU, PU, TPE etc. and advantageously vulcanized, foamed or glued on the cover strip. A material can be selected for the cover strip, which is particularly suitable for vulcanization and/or foaming or glueing and, if required, differs from the material of the carrier. Possible are other materials such as, for example, wood, rubber and stones, which are connected with the cover strip, for example, are screwed with the cover strip.

[0013] For therapy purposes, it can be provided according to another advantageous feature of the invention that the tread of at least one, preferably a plurality of cover strips arranged one behind the other comprises on the running side a structured surface with peaks and valleys. A treadmill belt provided with such a surface is particularly suitable for the use for therapy purposes, if, for example, patients for practicing the sense of balance shall learn again to walk on uneven ground.

[0014] In this connection it is in particular provided that at a plurality of cover strips arranged directly one behind the other, arrangement of the peaks and valleys is such that the tread in transition between the cover strips does not comprise any abrupt edges but that gentle transitions exist in the contouring between two adjacent cover strips. This means that there is no risk of stumbling or that the foot bends over since the contouring of the tread of the individual cover strips in terms of a continuous transition is adjusted to each other.

[0015] The subject matter of the invention is likewise a treadmill trainer with rollers or cylinders spaced apart from each other in running direction for receiving a treadmill belt, wherein the treadmill belt is characterized by the features of one or several of the above described belts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0016] By means of the drawings, the invention is explained in more detail by way of an example.

[0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective schematic view of a treadmill trainer;

[0018] FIG. 2 is a perspective schematic view of a treadmill belt according to an embodiment of the invention;

[0019] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a slat of a treadmill belt according to an embodiment of the invention;

[0020] FIG. 4 is a view of a slat, wherein the cover strip is not yet entirely slid onto the carrier;

[0021] FIG. 4a is a view of the cover strip in sectional view with the tread;

[0022] FIG. 5 is a view of the cover strip and carrier according to FIG. 4 in a side view;

[0023] FIG. 6 is a view of the slat from below; and

[0024] FIG. 7 is a view of a treadmill belt, wherein the tread of the slats comprises a contouring with peaks and valleys.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0025] The treadmill trainer designated in general with 1 comprises the treadmill belt designated with 2 which has several slats 10 arranged one behind the other.

[0026] The formation of the treadmill belt results in detail when viewing FIG. 2; the treadmill belt 2 shown in FIG. 2 has two straps 3 laterally spaced apart from each other, wherein the carriers designated with 12 of the slats 10 are arranged on the straps. For fixation of the carriers 12 on the straps 3 serve two screws or rivets 13 each arranged next to each other. The cover strips designated with 15 can be laterally slid onto the individual carriers 12. The formation of the cover strips 15 and the connection of the cover strips 15 with the carrier 12 results in particular from FIG. 3 and the following figures. At first, one can see from FIG. 4a that the cover strip designated with 15 is formed as a C-shaped rail 16 in cross-section which comprises the tread 17 on its upper side. The carrier 12 shows a carrier rail 12a which, as results from FIG. 3 and FIG. 4, is positively encompassed by the C-shaped rail 16 of the cover strip 15 on the longitudinal sides. The carrier rail 12a of the carrier 12 has a locking catch 20 on both ends (see in particular FIG. 4, FIG. 6), wherein the distance of the two locking catches 20 to each other corresponds approximately to the length of the C-shaped rail 16 of the cover strip 15. As a consequence, the C-shaped rail 16 is unmovable on the carrier rail 12a of the carrier 12 by the locking catches 20. In order to be able to remove the cover strip 15 from the carrier rail 12a of the carrier 12, it is sufficient to manually bend downwards the resiliently yielding locking catch 20 pursuant to the arrow 22 according to FIG. 5. Hence, it results from FIG. 6 as to how the cover strip 16 is removed from the carrier 12 and/or slid onto the carrier 12. In order to increase its stiffness, the carrier 12 has a reinforcement 25 in the form of a framework construction on its underside in order to minimize deflection of the carrier 12 in the case of burden due to individuals standing on the treadmill belt.

[0027] Subject matter of the invention is also the formation of the tread. Insofar, reference is made to FIG. 7. Individual slats 10 are provided here, wherein a plurality of the slats 10 arranged one behind the other comprises a tread 17 on the cover strip, which has a plurality of peaks 19 and valleys 19a, wherein transition of the valleys and peaks between the individual slats does not occur abruptly but continuously. By such a contoured surface of the treadmill belt there is the possibility, by way of therapy, for example, to train individuals who have balance disorders.

[0028] As will be clear to those of skill in the art, the herein described embodiments of the present invention may be altered in various ways without departing from the scope or teaching of the present invention. It is the following claims, including all equivalents, which define the scope of the present invention.

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