US20110009239A1 - Control Pod For Controlling The Resistance Level And Electricity Output Level Of An Exercise Bike - Google Patents

Control Pod For Controlling The Resistance Level And Electricity Output Level Of An Exercise Bike Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110009239A1
US20110009239A1 US12/560,905 US56090509A US2011009239A1 US 20110009239 A1 US20110009239 A1 US 20110009239A1 US 56090509 A US56090509 A US 56090509A US 2011009239 A1 US2011009239 A1 US 2011009239A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
control pod
resistance
exercise machine
side
housing
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Abandoned
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US12/560,905
Inventor
James F. Whelan, JR.
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Green Revolution Inc
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Green Revolution Inc
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Priority to US9732208P priority Critical
Application filed by Green Revolution Inc filed Critical Green Revolution Inc
Priority to US12/560,905 priority patent/US20110009239A1/en
Assigned to THE GREEN REVOLUTION, INC. reassignment THE GREEN REVOLUTION, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WHELAN, JAMES F., JR.
Publication of US20110009239A1 publication Critical patent/US20110009239A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0062Monitoring athletic performances, e.g. for determining the work of a user on an exercise apparatus, the completed jogging or cycling distance
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0087Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of groups A63B21/00 - A63B23/00, e.g. controlling load
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0087Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of groups A63B21/00 - A63B23/00, e.g. controlling load
    • A63B2024/009Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of groups A63B21/00 - A63B23/00, e.g. controlling load the load of the exercise apparatus being controlled in synchronism with visualising systems, e.g. hill slope
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/06Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with support elements performing a rotating cycling movement, i.e. a closed path movement
    • A63B22/0605Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with support elements performing a rotating cycling movement, i.e. a closed path movement performing a circular movement, e.g. ergometers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/20Other characteristics of sports equipment with means for remote communication, e.g. internet or the like

Abstract

A device and system for regulating resistance and reporting information related to the generation of consumable electricity is disclosed. Some devices and systems include the following: a housing having a first side and a second side, the first side adapted to be operated by a user and the second side adapted to be joined with an exercise machine, a switch positioned on the first side of the housing, a resistance knob positioned on the first side of the housing, the resistance knob enabled to adjust a resistance level of the exercise machine, a data module located within the housing, the data module being adapted to measure the amount of energy generated by a user and a display screen positioned on the first side of the housing adapted to display the amount of energy generated.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/097,322, filed Sep. 16, 2008, which is incorporated by reference as if disclosed herein in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Stationary bicycles are common pieces of exercise equipment. There are a variety of exercise bikes manufactured that can give a user a specific type of exercise experience. For example, spinning bicycles, incline bicycles, upright bicycles, and recumbent bicycles all give a user a unique workout. Some bicycles today are equipped to generate consumable energy while a user is riding. These bicycles combine a workout routine with an economic benefit.
  • In addition to the type of exercise bike used, a user can control their exercise experience by adjusting the resistance level of the bicycle. On many exercise bikes, the resistance is controlled through the use of brake pads that can be tightened or loosened depending on the level of resistance a user would like to experience. The level of resistance is typically adjusted by turning a knob located on the bike stand that is mechanically attached to a brake mechanism.
  • With society's focus on conserving energy, renewable energy, and recycling, exercise bicycles that are equipped with devices to convert the energy output of a user to useable electrical output are becoming more common. In order to account for the energy generated, and for a user to be in control of the amount of energy generated, a device that regulates the resistance of the exercise bike while providing information to a user is required. In addition to serving as a control mechanism, such a device can act as motivational tool to users to help motivate the users to utilize the exercise equipment on a more frequent basis, thereby creating more energy.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • A control pod for regulating resistance and reporting information relating to the generation of consumable energy is disclosed. Some control pods include the following: a housing having a first side and a second side, the first side adapted to be operated by a user and the second side adapted to be joined with an exercise machine, a switch positioned on the first side of the housing, a resistance knob positioned on the first side of the housing, the resistance knob enabled to adjust a resistance level of the exercise machine, a data module located within the housing, the data module being adapted to measure the amount of energy generated by a user and a display screen positioned on the first side of the housing adapted to display the amount of energy generated.
  • A system for reporting information relating to the generation of consumable energy is disclosed. Some systems include the following: an exercise machine having an energy generation module, the energy generation module being adapted to generate consumable energy and capture information related to the consumable energy generated; a control pod joined with the exercise machine positioned to be operated by a user while the exercise machine is in use, the control pod in electric communication with the energy generation module; and a data module located in the control pod adapted to capture the information related to the consumable energy generated and display the information related to the consumable energy generated.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The drawings show embodiments of the disclosed subject matter for the purpose of illustrating the invention. However, it should be understood that the present application is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown in the drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is an enlarged view of a control pod according to some embodiments of the disclosed subject matter;
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a system according to some embodiments of the disclosed subject matter; and
  • FIG. 3 is a view of a portion of a system according to some embodiments of the disclosed subject matter.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring now to FIG. 1, some embodiments of the disclosed subject matter include a control pod 100 for reporting information related to the amount of energy generated by a user on an exercise bicycle. Control pod 100 includes a housing 102, a switch 104, a resistance knob 106, a data module 108 that is positioned within the housing, and a display screen 110. While control pod 100 is described for use on an exercise bicycle (not shown in FIG. 1), it is contemplated that the control pod can be adapted for use with any manually operated piece of exercise equipment.
  • Still referring to FIG. 1, housing 102 includes a first side 112 and an opposite second side 114. First side 112 is adapted to be controlled by a user while second side 114 is typically joined with an exercise bicycle. Control pod 100 is can be joined with an exercise bicycle before or after market and can be configured to varying specifications as necessary. Control pod 100 can be positioned on an exercise bicycle at a level that can be easily seen and accessed by a user while on the bicycle. The size of housing 102 can vary. In one embodiment, housing 102 is approximately the size of a handheld device. Housing 102 is typically comprised of a material such as plastic or the like.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, switch 104 is typically located on first side 112 of housing 102, but can be adapted to be located anywhere on the housing. Switch 104 can be in the form of a button as shown in FIG. 1, or can be any type of mechanical switch effective to activate control pod 100. In addition to controlling the power to control pod 100, switch 104 can recalibrate the control pod to a zero position each time it is turned on, enabling a user to accurately see the amount of energy generated in a single workout session.
  • In some embodiments, resistance knob 106 is located on first side 112 of housing 102, but also can be located on any part of the housing. Resistance knob 106 effectively controls the resistance of the exercise bicycle. On a typical exercise bike, the resistance is varied through use of brake pads that can be tightened or loosened, depending on the level of resistance desired. In the present disclosure, the brake pads are no longer utilized. They will remain in the bike but will usually never be engaged. Instead, resistance knob 106 is in electrical communication with alternator 107 (not shown in FIG. 1) of the exercise bike. As resistance knob 106 is tightened, the amount of energy called for by alternator 107 increases thereby making the resistance greater and making it more difficult to turn the alternator wheel 109 (not shown in FIG. 1). An increased resistance in turn makes a user work harder to turn the wheel of the bicycle, resulting in the creation of a greater amount of consumable energy. Alternator 107 is joined with bike wheel 111 via a roller 113, therefore, as the resistance is increased, the alternator wheel becomes more difficult to turn, making the roller more difficult to spin, which makes bike wheel 111 more difficult to turn as well. It is contemplated that any mechanism that would allow for a mechanical connection between alternator 107 and bike wheel 111 can be used, such as a gear arrangement or a chain arrangement. The type of mechanism used to mechanically connect alternator 107 and bike wheel 111 can depend on the type of exercise equipment being used. As resistance knob 106 is turned in the opposite direction, the energy called for from alternator 107 decreases, thereby reducing the resistance and making bike wheel 111 easier to turn.
  • It is contemplated that a variety of resistance mechanisms could be utilized and control pod 100 could be adapted to accommodate any such variety. For example, in other embodiments (not shown), rather than resistance knob 106, a button or series of buttons can be used that digitally increase or decrease a number representing increasing and decreasing of the resistance of the exercise bicycle. Typically, control pod 100 will allow for varying levels of resistance, that are numerically represented, e.g., in some embodiments, the resistance ranges from about zero to ten. Each number has a different amount of resistance associated with it. For example, level zero represents the lowest amount of resistance and each increasing number represents a slightly increased level of resistance until the maximum resistance is reached. The level of resistance is displayed on display screen 110, as discussed below. As the resistance level is increased, the resistance the user feels will increase accordingly. Generally, higher resistance levels are associated with increased energy output. Typically, there are two factors that determine energy output from alternator 107, a cadence level and the amount of energy asked for by control pod 100. The cadence level is the speed at which a user turns the cranks of the bicycle, measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). The amount of energy asked for by control pod 100 is determined by the resistance level selected. Therefore, a user spinning very rapidly at level 1 may have the same energy output as a different user spinning slower at level 5. For example, in many indoor cycling classes a cadence level of 90 revs per minute is maintained and the resistance is at a maximum to simulate climbing hills versus cycling on a flat surface. In this example, a greater amount of energy will be produced by a user. In contrast, if a user maintained a cadence level of 40 revs per minute and a resistance level of zero, less energy would be generated.
  • Data module 108 is configured to capture information from the exercise machine and calculate the amount of energy a user has generated. In use, as a user pedals on an exercise machine, consumable energy is being generated. The consumable energy can be captured and reused or resold to the electric utility. Control pod 100 allows a user to see how much consumable energy they are producing and also allows the user to control the amount generated by regulating the resistance of the exercise machine or changing the speed of spinning. Data module 108 captures and temporarily stores the information relating to the amount of consumable energy generated. Data module 108 accomplishes this by capturing data produced by an energy generation module 115 (shown in FIG. 2 and discussed below).
  • Located on first side 112 of housing 102 is display screen 110. Display screen 110 displays information captured by data module 108. The amount of energy generated is typically measured in watts and can be communicated to a user in watts produced. This serves as a gauge for a user to see how much energy they are producing and can also act as a motivational tool to a user. For example, the faster a user pedals, the more energy will be generated and a greater number of watts will be displayed on display screen 110. Likewise, the higher the resistance and the faster the user pedals, the even more energy will be produced. Both speed and resistance levels increase the level of energy output as they are increased individually or together. This in turn will encourage a user to work out harder in order to produce more energy, thereby effectively being more beneficial to the user for creating more consumable energy and by motivating the user to work harder and longer.
  • Also located on first side 112 of housing 102 are display lights 116. Display lights 116 can be any type of light emitting device (led) or similar. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, there are three types of display lights 116. The three types of display lights 116 can be in three different colors such as green 116A, yellow 116B and red 116C to mimic a standard stoplight. Display lights 116 are enabled to display an instantaneous level of energy output being produced by the user. The output will change multiple times per second based on the instantaneous level of power being generated by the user. For example, if only one light is lit, that translates to mean that a lower level of energy is being generated. As the user increases the speed of spinning, a second display light 116 will illuminate, and so on. Display lights 116 are logarithmic in that the energy generated is being used to illuminate the display light, such that it take twice as much energy being produced to light two display lights as it does to light one.
  • In some embodiments, control pod 100 automatically shuts down after a set period of non-use, such as 30-60 seconds. When control pod 100 is shut down, no display lights 116 will be illuminated. To activate control pod 100, a user engages switch 104 and display lights 116 will illuminate indicating that the control pod is powered.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, an exploded view of some embodiments of a system 118 according to the disclosed subject matter is shown. System 118 includes an exercise machine 120 having energy generation module 115 and control pod 100 joined with the exercise machine. Energy generation module 115 is in communication with data module 108, which is positioned in control pod 100. Control pod 100 is adapted to display the energy generated.
  • Energy generation module 115 can be adapted to generate consumable energy and capture information related to the consumable energy generated. In some embodiments (not shown), a radio frequency identification writer is attached to energy generation module 115 for capturing and conveying information related to the consumable energy generated by the energy generation module. A radio identification tag including a users identification number is provided to a user and is automatically conveyed to the energy generation module via the radio frequency identification writer. The energy generated is then passed through an electric meter for measurement. The information captured is then sent to data module 108. The energy generated can be used locally or can be sold back to the electric utility.
  • Energy generation module 115 is in electric communication with control pod 100. Control pod 100 is typically located on handlebars 124 of exercise machine 120, or in a different location that is easily accessible and viewable by a user. Referring now to FIG. 3, control pod 100 can be joined with handlebars 124 of exercise machine 120 by a bracket 126. Control pod 100 can also be joined with handlebars 124 using a clamp, screws, solder, or any other device that securely fastens the control pod with the exercise machine. Referring now to FIG. 2, a series of wires 128 run from control pod 100 down a shaft 130 of exercise machine 120 and connect with energy generation module 115, where the energy generation occurs.
  • Data module 108 is adapted to capture the information from energy generation module 115. The information can then be displayed to the user via control pod 100. As shown in FIG. 2, exercise machine 120 can be a stationary bicycle. A user can adjust the level of resistance of the exercise machine and consequently adjust the amount of energy generated. The speed of a user's pedaling is directly related to the amount of energy generated.
  • The disclosed subject matter offers advantages and benefits over known systems. The use of the control pod is highly beneficial. Since the exercise machine is used to produce consumable energy, the control pod allows a user to accurately measure the amount of energy generated.
  • The control pod also acts as a motivational tool. A user is able to visually see the energy generated is directly related to the intensity of their workout, thereby encouraging increase the level of the workout to create more energy. This benefits the user on two levels. First, the user is benefiting from generating more consumable energy. Second, the user is benefitting from a better workout.
  • Although the disclosed subject matter has been described and illustrated with respect to embodiments thereof, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that features of the disclosed embodiments can be combined, rearranged, etc., to produce additional embodiments within the scope of the invention, and that various other changes, omissions, and additions may be made therein and thereto, without parting from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Claims (18)

1. A control pod for controlling the resistance level and electricity output of an exercise bike comprising:
a housing having a first side and a second side, said first side effective to be operated by a user and said second side joined with an exercise machine, said exercise machine being configured to turn an alternator wheel via a roller;
a switch positioned on said first side of said housing;
a resistance knob positioned on said first side of said housing, said resistance knob being enabled for adjusting a resistance level of said alternator wheel and said exercise machine via said roller; and
a data module located within said housing, said measuring device being adapted to measure watts produced.
2. A control pod according to claim 1, further comprising a display screen positioned on said first side of said housing adapted to display said watts produced.
3. A control pod according to claim 1, wherein said switch is enabled to power on said control pod.
4. A control pod according to claim 1, wherein said switch is enabled to recalibrate said measuring device to zero.
5. A control pod according to claim 1, wherein said resistance knob is in electric communication with an alternator of said exercise machine.
6. A control pod according to claim 5, wherein said resistance is electronically controlled by said resistance knob.
7. A control pod according to claim 1, wherein said control pod replaces an existing resistance knob on said exercise machine.
8. A control pod according to claim 1, wherein said exercise machine is a stationary bicycle.
9. A control pod for controlling the resistance level and electricity output of an exercise bike comprising:
a housing having a first side and a second side, said first side effective to be operated by a user and said second side joined with an exercise machine, said exercise machine being configured to turn an alternator wheel via a roller;
a switch positioned on said first side of said housing;
a resistance knob positioned on said first side of said housing, said resistance knob being enabled for adjusting a resistance level of said alternator wheel and said exercise machine via said roller;
a data module located within said housing, said measuring device being adapted to measure watts produced; and
a display screen positioned on said first side of said housing adapted to display said watts produced.
10. A control pod according to claim 0, wherein said switch is enabled to power on said control pod.
11. A control pod according to claim 0, wherein said switch is enabled to recalibrate said measuring device to zero.
12. A control pod according to claim 0, wherein said resistance knob is in electric communication with an alternator of said exercise machine.
13. A control pod according to claim 11, wherein said resistance is electronically controlled by said resistance knob.
14. A control pod according to claim 0, wherein said control pod replaces an existing resistance knob on said exercise machine.
15. A control pod according to claim 0, wherein said exercise machine is a stationary bicycle.
16. A system for reporting information relating to a resistance level and electricity output of an exercise bike comprising:
an exercise machine having an energy generation module, said energy generation module being adapted to generate consumable energy and capture information related to said consumable energy generated;
a control pod joined with said exercise machine positioned to be operated by a user while said exercise machine is in use, said control pod in electric communication with said energy generation module, wherein said control pod includes a resistance knob effective to increase or decrease the resistance of said exercise machine, wherein as said resistance increases, the energy generated increases; and;
a data module located in said control pod adapted to capture said information related to said consumable energy generated and display said information related to said consumable energy generated.
17. A system according to claim 16, wherein said control pod includes a resistance knob effective to increase or decrease the resistance of said exercise machine, wherein as said resistance increases, the energy generated increases.
18. A system according to claim 16, wherein said user can adjust the amount of consumable energy generated.
US12/560,905 2008-09-16 2009-09-16 Control Pod For Controlling The Resistance Level And Electricity Output Level Of An Exercise Bike Abandoned US20110009239A1 (en)

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US9732208P true 2008-09-16 2008-09-16
US12/560,905 US20110009239A1 (en) 2008-09-16 2009-09-16 Control Pod For Controlling The Resistance Level And Electricity Output Level Of An Exercise Bike

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140106936A1 (en) * 2012-10-02 2014-04-17 Andreas Fischer Stationary training bicycle
US9162102B1 (en) 2013-01-28 2015-10-20 IncludeFitness, Inc. Fitness machine with weight selection and weight indicator
CN105080051A (en) * 2014-05-03 2015-11-25 青岛瑞箭机电工程技术有限公司 Electric rehabilitation bicycle

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140106936A1 (en) * 2012-10-02 2014-04-17 Andreas Fischer Stationary training bicycle
US9314667B2 (en) * 2012-10-02 2016-04-19 Andreas Fischer Stationary training bicycle
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CN105080051A (en) * 2014-05-03 2015-11-25 青岛瑞箭机电工程技术有限公司 Electric rehabilitation bicycle

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Owner name: THE GREEN REVOLUTION, INC., CONNECTICUT

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WHELAN, JAMES F., JR.;REEL/FRAME:024191/0498

Effective date: 20100325

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION