US20030033666A1 - Hydro massage system - Google Patents

Hydro massage system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030033666A1
US20030033666A1 US09/929,113 US92911301A US2003033666A1 US 20030033666 A1 US20030033666 A1 US 20030033666A1 US 92911301 A US92911301 A US 92911301A US 2003033666 A1 US2003033666 A1 US 2003033666A1
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Prior art keywords
nozzle
apparatus
user
computer
water
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US09/929,113
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Richard Hutsell
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Hutsell Richard L.
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Priority to US09/929,113 priority Critical patent/US20030033666A1/en
Publication of US20030033666A1 publication Critical patent/US20030033666A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H9/00Pneumatic or hydraulic massage
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H9/00Pneumatic or hydraulic massage
    • A61H9/0021Hydraulic massage
    • A61H2009/0035Hydraulic massage with cabin for the whole body
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/16Physical interface with patient
    • A61H2201/1602Physical interface with patient kind of interface, e.g. head rest, knee support or lumbar support
    • A61H2201/1645Physical interface with patient kind of interface, e.g. head rest, knee support or lumbar support contoured to fit the user
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/16Physical interface with patient
    • A61H2201/1657Movement of interface, i.e. force application means
    • A61H2201/1664Movement of interface, i.e. force application means linear
    • A61H2201/1669Movement of interface, i.e. force application means linear moving along the body in a reciprocating manner
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/50Control means thereof
    • A61H2201/5007Control means thereof computer controlled
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/50Control means thereof
    • A61H2201/502Card operated, e.g. pre-paid card, credit card or ID card
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2203/00Additional characteristics concerning the patient
    • A61H2203/04Position of the patient
    • A61H2203/0443Position of the patient substantially horizontal

Abstract

The present invention provides a system and apparatus for delivering a hydro-massage operation using a water jet that moves over a user in both a longitudinal direction (lengthwise) and a traverse direction (widthwise). A robotic arm maneuvers a water jet over a user's body to spray water at various locations according to user inputs such as voice commands or a prerecorded program. The program can be tailored to specific preferences of the individual user, using body measurements and pre-selected preferential locations for water delivery. The program is carried out by a microprocessor in the apparatus to control the movement of the robotic arm.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0001]
  • This invention relates generally to hydrotherapy equipment and more particularly to a robotic system for precision jet spray personalized to the individual user. [0002]
  • 2. Description of Related Art [0003]
  • Hydrotherapy refers to the use of water, particularly at varying temperatures, to treat various ailments and physical conditions. Many conditions will benefit from hydrotherapy, which is particularly beneficial to sufferers of arthritis, neck and back pains, sports injuries, work-related injuries and for post-surgical convalescence. It can be used to improve circulation, stress management, pain relief, strengthening of muscles, relaxation, improved fitness levels and to develop coordination. [0004]
  • The most popular apparatus for effecting the benefits of hydrotherapy is the spa. However, spas are limited in the versatility of the treated areas. Even with movable nozzles the user must reposition himself to increase coverage, and some areas may simply be inaccessible in a spa. Therefore, other apparatus have been attempted to solve the problems associated with spas. [0005]
  • Guzzini, U.S. Pat. No. 4,797,958 discloses a bathtub equipped with a water supply tap and a hydromassage system. Henkin et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,715,071 describes a method and apparatus for discharging a fluid stream. Gabmeier, U.S. Pat. No. 3,880,154 discloses a underwater massage treatment apparatus in which a user is reclined in a tub on a carrier frame of mesh, and jets from below direct streams of water through the mesh. Nicollet, U.S. Pat. No. 3,964,472 describes a tub for subaqueous massage, where individual valves are selected to treat individual regions of the body. [0006]
  • The prior art lacks a system as disclosed in the present invention that embodies the benefits and objects of the present invention as presented below. [0007]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention generally comprises a longitudinal booth for an individual comprising a bed for accommodating a supine user, the bed mounted over compartments for housing pumping equipment and electronics for the apparatus. The invention typically will include a pivoting cover or door that closes over the platform and, along with the bed, forms a space for performing the hydromassage operation. The apparatus includes a translating water jet that moves over the user along the length of the booth (longitudinally) as well as across the booth's width (traversely) while spraying pulses of water onto the user's body. In the preferred embodiment a robotic system is used to position the water jet and move it over the user's body, whereby a computer controls the movement of the water jet using one or more drive systems. In a preferred embodiment, voice commands or various other input means may be used to control the spray characteristics (velocity, temperature, spray pattern) and spray direction and location. Further, custom massage programs can be created by the user with specialized software to tailor a unique hydromassage session using personal body dimensions and predetermined spray programs. The system may include music, warm body mist, and cool breathing air via an aircraft type nozzle[0008]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The exact nature of this invention, as well as its objects and advantages, will become readily apparent upon reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof, and wherein: [0009]
  • FIG. 1 is an elevated perspective view of the booth of the present invention, partially cut-away to show a bed with an alpha-numeric grid; [0010]
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of the present invention, shown partially in phantom, illustrating a user's position with respect to a movable nozzle; [0011]
  • FIG. 3 is an arm adapted to carry the nozzle carriage of the present invention over the user; [0012]
  • FIG. 4 is an elevated perspective view of the nozzle carriage of the present invention; [0013]
  • FIG. 6 is a top view of the nozzle carriage of FIG. 4; [0014]
  • FIG. 7 is a side view, partially cut away, of the nozzle carriage of FIG. 4; [0015]
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic view of the pumping operation of the present invention; and [0016]
  • FIG. 9 is a schematic view of the various possible input and outputs of the present invention.[0017]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The following description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention and sets forth the best modes contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention. Various modifications, however, will remain readily apparent to those skilled in the art, since the general principles of the present invention have been defined herein specifically to provide a hydro-massage system that employs programmable instructions or real-time commands to personalize the hydro-massage program to the individual. [0018]
  • The present invention provides a system and apparatus for delivering a hydro-massage operation using a water jet that moves over a user in both a longitudinal direction (lengthwise) and a traverse direction (widthwise). A robotic arm maneuvers a water jet over a user's body to spray water at various locations according to user inputs such as a hand held pennant or joystick, voice commands, bio-feedback or a recorded program. The recorded programs from different users can be shared and tailored to specific preferences of the individual user by replacing the original user's measurements with those of the new user. The program data is interpreted by a microprocessor in the apparatus to control the movement of the robotic arm, water pressure, temperature and other parameter settings. [0019]
  • A preferred embodiment of the present invention can be operated in one of at least five different modes. The first mode is a direct real time operation. The user's pre-selected preferences for input devices are activated and the microprocessor interprets the inputs and makes real time changes to the robotic arm position, water temperature, nozzle pressure, and other parameters. Input options may include input via: a hand held pennant or joystick; voice recognition; bio-feedback control with pennant or joystick; and bio-feedback control with voice recognition. Settings can include changing the temperature, the force of the jets, the movement of the jets, the direction of the spray, the spray pattern, and the like. [0020]
  • In a second mode, the user may recall a recorded previous hydromassage session. In this mode, the commands of the previous session are followed in the same order to recreate the previous hydro-massage session. [0021]
  • In a third mode, massage jet pattern and parameter settings are created using specialized software on a home personal computer and stored to a portable personal data disk. The disk is inserted into the disk drive of the apparatus, and the program data is then interpreted by a microprocessor in the apparatus to control the movement of the robotic arm, pressure, temperature and other parameter settings. [0022]
  • In a fourth mode, the user may use an “interrupt” command to pause an active recorded hydro-massage to enter the real-time operation. This operation may be recorded as a separate program or merged as a modification of the original recorded hydro-massage. [0023]
  • In a fifth mode, the specialized software on a home personal computer may be used to review or alter a recorded hydro-massage session. [0024]
  • Performing a hydro-massage operation that is tailored to the individual user preferably requires that information pertaining to the user be entered in the system. In the initial session, the user is prompted to enter a user name and a set body dimensions and personal preference information. Voice patterns may be entered at this time for subsequent voice control commands. The system stores these voice patterns and custom data to the user's personal data disk for subsequent sessions. All personal data may be stored on a removable disk and keep by the user. [0025]
  • The user may then be prompted to run real-time hydro-massage patterns or to select a recorded hydro-massage pattern. The initial disk may include one or more hydro-massages examples based on Shatsu massage techniques modified to the dimensions of the particular user. The basic hydro-massage programs include spray patterns for both the front of the user as well as the back. In the alternative, new custom massage programs can be created by the user using a home computer and software adapted for this purpose. [0026]
  • The apparatus may also include a set of programmable parameters that are controlled by each individual user. These parameters preferably include: massage jet path, massage jet pattern, water temperature, water pressure, nozzle diameter, jet pulse off/on, jet pulse frequency, music play, mist/steam option, and data recorder off/on. Real-time changes to these parameters may be entered using voice recognition software, a hand held pennant, or various other input modes. [0027]
  • To properly position the user on the apparatus for precision massage, there are at least three options. First, body markers or cushions are positioned on the bed according to an alpha numeric grid that is marked on the bed section of the apparatus. By inputting the coordinates of the grid corresponding to the cushion placement, the computer can establish the location of the user and deliver the massage operation accordingly. Second, the program pauses and prompts the user to position a locating body point into the jet stream. Third, the system includes an acoustic sensing device for locating the user's body position. The acoustic sensing device uses the robotic arm in a programmed grid pattern, recording the sound feedback and distinguishing between the feedback of the water contacting the bed and the feedback of the water contacting a user. The system thus maps out the position of the user without further input from the user. In another preferred embodiment, a pressure sensor between the bed and the lower compartment of the apparatus can establish the presence of a user in the user's compartment and the location of the user. [0028]
  • Additional preferred features of the present invention include the option of cool air delivered to the user inside the apparatus through tubes connected to an adjustable aircraft type mask. User selected stereo music can be heard during the hydro-massage, and a body warming mist may be introduced into the user's compartment. [0029]
  • FIG. 1 illustrates the apparatus [0030] 100 from an elevated perspective view. The apparatus 100 comprises a platform or bed 110 that a user can rest on. The bed may include a plurality of holes 140 in a grid formation to allow water to drain. In a preferred embodiment, the holes 140 have a corresponding coordinate label to distinctly identify each hole 140. As an example, an alphanumeric grid is shown in FIG. 1. The grid coordinates in conjunction with body cushions permit the computer to locate the user for recorded hydro-massage sessions. The apparatus will usually include compartments 120 that contain both the electronics as well as the pumps and valves connected with the water delivery. A cover 130 pivots from an open position to a close position, where the close position prevents the escape of water from the apparatus 100.
  • In FIG. 2 the position of the user is shown in relation to the bed [0031] 110 and the cover 130. A user lies horizontally on the platform that may include one or more cushions 150 such as a headrest to provide a comfortable and relaxing bed. The bed 110 that the user lies on includes a plurality of holes 140 that allow the water to drain through so that the user does not lie in a pool of collecting water. The bed 110 rests on a series of supports 160 thereby creating a drainage area 170 below the bed 110 where the water can collect and drain. Further, in a preferred embodiment the holes 140 in the panel form a grid that can serve to locate the user on the bed 110. For example, if the headrest 150 includes a pair of cylindrical projections 180 that are inserted into two of the holes 140 to secure the headrest 150, by identifying the holes 140 to the computer the computer can identify the user's head location. Using other cushions such as kneerests or back supports with similar projections positioned in the holes 140 used for drainage, the apparatus can determine the location of the specific body regions to be massaged leading to a more accurate massage program.
  • The compartments [0032] 120 for housing the electronics (not shown) and pumps and valves (not shown) are below the bed 110. A spray nozzle 190 on an arced track is disposed above the user where the nozzle 190 can be moved across the arced path as required by the particular hydro-massage program. Further, the arced track is connected to a motorized unit (not shown) which travels generally the length of the apparatus. By moving the nozzle 190 across the arced track while simultaneously moving the motorized unit up and down the length of the apparatus, an “X-Y” coordinate system of coverage can be obtained to spray the user from a variety of positions and angles.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the nozzle [0033] 190 is moved across the arced path of the system by a belt 200 made of a semi-rigid plastic. The belt 200 has enough rigidity that it can carry the nozzle carriage 210 across the arced path without buckling, while maintaining the flexibility to bend or flex in order to travel in a curved path along the nozzle carriage support 250. Other methods for moving the nozzle carriage 210 over the user in the traverse direction, such as a chain or gear system, are possible without deviating from the scope of the invention.
  • A wall [0034] 220 protruding from the bed 110 isolates the user from the belt drive 230 and protects the machinery from the spray 240 of the nozzle 190. The system includes a second drive system (not shown) to move the nozzle 190 longitudinally (from the head of the apparatus to the foot). This drive system can preferably be a timing belt or lead screw arrangement for moving the nozzle carriage support 250 along the length of the apparatus, although again other drive systems are possible without deviating from the scope of the invention.
  • The nozzle carriage [0035] 210 houses the nozzle 190 and traverses the width of the apparatus 100 via the belt drive system. The carriage 210 is carried along the arced path using a nozzle carriage support or arm 250 such as that shown in FIG. 3. The arm 250 preferably is mounted to an underside of the pivoting door 130 and pivots with the door 130. The arm 250 includes a slot or raceway 260 that the nozzle carriage 210 resides in and moves across the apparatus. Belt 200 moves along the raceway 260 and moves the nozzle carriage 210 according to the drive system 230. The drive system 230 in turn is controlled by a computer housed in compartment 120.
  • The nozzle carriage [0036] 210 is shown in FIGS. 4 through 7. A feed tube 270 connects to a hose (not shown) that delivers water from the pump to the nozzle carriage 210. The feed tube 270 is mounted on a T-shaped valve 280 using bearing 390. The water passes through the T-shaped valve 280 and enters the nozzle 190 where it is expelled. The nozzle 190 is held by a collar 290 that includes a pair of small cylindrical projections 300 that each mount a roller 310. The rollers 310 contact a track 320 on a pie-shaped frame 330 within the nozzle carriage 210 and cooperate with the lever B to raise and lower the nozzle 190. The shape of the roller track 320 is eccentric, i.e., the distance between the track 320 and the T-Shaped valve 280 is less at one end 340 than at the other 350, and the distance gradually increases between the two ends. The nozzle 190 is selected so that the height of the nozzle 190 with respect to the T-shaped valve 280 varies the spray pattern of the nozzle 190 from, for example, a disperse weaker spray pattern to a more concentrated, intense flow pattern. Lever B manipulates the height of the nozzle 190 by rotating clockwise and counterclockwise to raise and lower the nozzle (see FIG. 7). In a preferred embodiment lever B is controlled by a stepper motor (not shown) using a cable system to move lever B accordingly.
  • Lever A is used to maintain the nozzle [0037] 190 directed in a particular orientation, especially vertical. If the nozzle's orientation was fixed within the carriage 210, the nozzle 190 would always be directed perpendicular to the arced path of the arm 250 and the spray would only hit the centerline of the bed. Thus, the apparatus could not obtain full coverage of the user's body. By using lever A to insure that the nozzle is always pointed straight down, when the nozzle carriage 210 travels across the arced path the nozzle 190 will provide full coverage of the spray in the traverse direction. Lever A is also preferably controlled by a stepper motor using a cable connection.
  • The nozzle carriage [0038] 210 includes a cradle 360 for holding the nozzle assembly and for connecting the nozzle carriage 210 to the arm 250 and the belt drive system. The cradle 360 cooperates with a mating hemispherical clamp 370 to secure the nozzle carriage. A control wheel C on a bearing 380 may also be provided to manipulate an interrupt member comprising a cylinder 400 with an alignable water passage 410 for pulsing the water flow. Wheel C is connected to the cylinder 400 that rotates within the T-shaped valve 280, where the cylinder 400 includes a passage 410 for the water to flow through. However, if the cylinder 400 is rotated in such a manner as to misalign the passage 410 with the flow of water through the T-shaped valve 280, the flow of water through to the nozzle 190 is interrupted. Accordingly, rotation of wheel C intermittently interrupts the flow of water to the nozzle 190 creating a pulsing phenomena which can be altered to suit the preferences of the user. Once again, a stepper motor (not shown) preferably drives wheel C. As with levers A and B, wheel C is adjusted using either pre-programmed instructions fed into the computer or using realtime commands.
  • FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the nozzle [0039] 190 and nozzle carriage 210 from two viewpoints. In FIG. 6, the top of the nozzle carriage 210 shows the cradle 360 and the opening of the pie-shaped frame 330 that seats the nozzle 190. In FIG. 7, the nozzle 190 is shown within the collar 290 and the action of the rollers 310 against the track 320 of the pie-shaped frame 330 cause the nozzle 190 to raise and lower within the collar 290 as the track 320 curves toward the T-shaped valve 280.
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic of the operation of the apparatus. Cold water from a water supply enters the system at the feedline [0040] 420 through the valve 430, and flows into a water mixing tank 440. The mixing tank 440 includes two sensors, a water level sensor 450 and a water temperature sensor 460. Other additives may added to the water using reservoirs 470 connecting the tank 440 through valves 480, where additives may be lotions or scented oils as preferred by the user.
  • When the water level sensor [0041] 450 indicates that a sufficient water level in the tank 440 has been achieved, the system initiates a heating phase of the cold water. The water in the mixing tank 440 is pumped through a heating line 490 by a pump 500 to a water heater 510. The water heater 510 preferably includes a temperature control 520 to moderate the temperature of the water entering the water tank 440. A valve 530 controls the water entering the water tank 440 from the water heater 510.
  • A drain line [0042] 540 is connected to the water tank 440 to prevent the water tank from overfilling. The drain line 540 may be a simple overflow line that drains water after the tank 440 reaches a predetermined level.
  • When the water tank temperature sensor [0043] 460 indicates that the water has been heated to the predetermined temperature, the line 550 to the nozzle 190 is opened using valve 560. In a preferred embodiment, valve 560 is a self controlled scald protection valve to independently prevent water above a predetermine temperature from flowing through the nozzle 190. The nozzle 190 includes connections from three stepper motors M, as discussed previously to control the direction, flow pattern, and pulse period of the nozzle flow.
  • The control of the program that directs the nozzle may be orchestrated using several different methods. FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram of several possible input methods for inputting nozzle control instructions. In a first input, a pennant keypad [0044] 600 allows the user to manually control the nozzle and enter data into the computer 700 such as username, height, water temperature, etc. The pennant keypad may be connected using a direct link, or the connection may be achieved using an infrared or radio frequency connection with a receiver 710 on the computer 700.
  • In a second embodiment, control of the X-Y arm position can be controlled with a biofeedback band [0045] 610 worn by the user. In this embodiment, the user's physiological outputs are entered into the computer using a transmitter 630 on the headband 61 in communication with a receiver 720. A program in the computer 700 varies the X-Y arm position based on these inputs.
  • In a third embodiment, voice recognition software converts voice commands entered through a microphone [0046] 640 to nozzle commands, which may control each of the stepper motors as well as water temperature, nozzle location, and duration of the sequence of flow operations. In a fourth embodiment, a link 650 from the computer 700 to a laptop 660 is provided to perform maintenance and diagnostic functions on the system. In a fifth embodiment, a user may input controls from another computer using specifically adapted software to tailor the program to the user's particular needs. The software allows each user to experiment with different sessions and then communicate those session to the apparatus using a diskette.
  • Credit card reader and the internet link allow the computer to establish a billing account. Routine maintenance based on hours of operation and/or equipment failure modes may be monitored remotely via the internet link. [0047]
  • The system further includes a series of motors connected to the computer [0048] 700 for performing the operations required to provide the hydro-massage. A first motor 800 drives the main pump that circulates the water throughout the system. A second motor 810 is provided to power the longitudinal drive system that moves the nozzle arm along the length of the bed. A third motor 820 controls the traverse drive, i.e., the belt system that moves the nozzle along the arm in its arced path. (motor for lever A maintains nozzle angle as X-axis belt is moved) A fourth motor 830 is connected to the nozzle carriage and manipulates the nozzle at lever B to control the flow pattern of the nozzle as discussed above. A fifth motor 840 controls wheel C to adjust the pulse pattern of the nozzle, and a sixth motor 850 may be provided to control water pressure.
  • Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various adaptations and modifications of the just-described preferred embodiment can be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described herein. [0049]

Claims (37)

What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for delivering a hydro-massage comprising:
a bed to support a user thereon;
a cover for enclosing the bed; and
a nozzle supported over the bed, the nozzle translating in the longitudinal and traverse directions.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the translation of the nozzle is controlled by a computer.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the computer controls the translation of the nozzle according to real-time commands provided by the user.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the temperature of the water is controlled by the computer according to real-time commands provided by the user.
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein a spray pattern of the nozzle is controlled by the computer according to real-time commands provided by the user.
6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the real-time commands provided by the user are voice commands.
7. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the real-time commands provided by the user using a keypad.
8. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the nozzle translates in the traverse direction along an arced path.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the translation of the nozzle in the traverse direction is driven by a belt drive.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the belt is made of a semi-rigid plastic.
11. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the nozzle is directed vertically as it travels along the arced path.
12. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the computer controls the translation of the nozzle according to recalled instructions from a previous hydromassage session.
13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the temperature of the water is controlled by the computer according to recalled instructions from the previous hydromassage session.
14. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein a spray pattern of the nozzle is controlled by the computer according to recalled instructions from the previous hydromassage session.
15. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the computer controls the translation of the nozzle according to preprogrammed instructions input to the computer by the user.
16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the temperature of the water is controlled by the computer according to preprogrammed instructions input to the computer by the user.
17. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein a spray pattern of the nozzle is controlled by the computer according to preprogrammed instructions input to the computer by the user.
18. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the preprogrammed instructions are input to the computer by a user's personalized diskette
19. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the bed includes a plurality of holes for passing water to a collection region below the bed.
20. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein bed is mapped by a coordinate system recognized by the computer.
21. The apparatus of claim 20 wherein the coordinate system coincides with a plurality of holes for passing water to a collection region.
22. The apparatus of claim 21 further comprising a marker adapted to align with at least one hole to locate a portion of the user to the computer.
23. The apparatus of claim 22 wherein the marker comprises a cushion.
24. The apparatus of claim 20 further comprising an acoustic sensor for evaluating a location of the user on the bed.
25. The apparatus of claim 20 further comprising pressure sensitive sensors for evaluating a presence of the user on the bed.
26. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein a spray pattern of the nozzle is adjustable.
27. The apparatus of claim 26 wherein the nozzle is located in a carriage, and the spray pattern of the nozzle is controlled by the position of the nozzle within the carriage.
28. The apparatus of claim 27 wherein the carriage includes an eccentric track that determines the position of the nozzle within the carriage.
29. The apparatus of claim 28 wherein a motor moves the nozzle along the eccentric track.
30. The apparatus of claim 2 further comprising a pulsing mechanism for intermittently interrupting the flow of water through the nozzle.
31. The apparatus of claim 30 wherein the interruption of the flow of water is controlled by the computer.
32. The apparatus of claim 31 further comprising a motor to operate the pulsing mechanism under the control of the computer.
33. The apparatus of claim 30 wherein the pulsing mechanism can be controlled using real-time commands.
34. The apparatus of claim 2 further comprising a biofeedback acquisition sensor for measuring a user's biological function and delivering the data to the computer.
35. The apparatus of claim 34 wherein the computer adjusts a hydromassage program according to the personal data.
36. An apparatus for moving a water spray nozzle comprising:
an arm defining an arced path to be traversed by the water spray nozzle, the arm including a slot extending generally a length of the arced path;
a belt movable along the arm;
a nozzle carriage supported on the arm at the slot and movable along the slot, wherein said nozzle carriage is moved along the slot by the belt;
a nozzle housed within the nozzle carriage;
a nozzle direction control for controlling the direction that the nozzle sprays;
a nozzle spray pattern control for controlling a spray pattern of the nozzle; and
a nozzle pulsing mechanism for intermittently interrupting a flow of water through the nozzle.
37. A movable water spray delivery system comprising:
a nozzle support for positioning a nozzle at predetermined locations over a two-dimensional surface area;
a computer operably connected to the nozzle support for controlling the positioning of the nozzle by the nozzle support;
a water supply piping providing water from a water supply to the nozzle support; and
input means for inputting commands to the computer to control the positioning of the nozzle.
US09/929,113 2001-08-14 2001-08-14 Hydro massage system Abandoned US20030033666A1 (en)

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US09/929,113 Abandoned US20030033666A1 (en) 2001-08-14 2001-08-14 Hydro massage system

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110035870A1 (en) * 2007-01-12 2011-02-17 Gecko Alliance Group Inc. Spa system with flow control feature
CN104337440A (en) * 2013-08-05 2015-02-11 陈俊行 Automatic massage bath
CN105011824A (en) * 2015-06-28 2015-11-04 张国庆 Intelligent voice-controlled movable bath facility
US10548764B2 (en) * 2016-08-22 2020-02-04 MAZ Medical LLC Cooling bed system

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110035870A1 (en) * 2007-01-12 2011-02-17 Gecko Alliance Group Inc. Spa system with flow control feature
CN104337440A (en) * 2013-08-05 2015-02-11 陈俊行 Automatic massage bath
CN105011824A (en) * 2015-06-28 2015-11-04 张国庆 Intelligent voice-controlled movable bath facility
US10548764B2 (en) * 2016-08-22 2020-02-04 MAZ Medical LLC Cooling bed system

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STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

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