US20130200025A1 - Transportable Tray System - Google Patents

Transportable Tray System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130200025A1
US20130200025A1 US13/368,946 US201213368946A US2013200025A1 US 20130200025 A1 US20130200025 A1 US 20130200025A1 US 201213368946 A US201213368946 A US 201213368946A US 2013200025 A1 US2013200025 A1 US 2013200025A1
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Prior art keywords
tray
trays
recited
train
operable
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US13/368,946
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Paul L. Sempek
John A. Sempek
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Paul L. Sempek
John A. Sempek
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Priority to US13/368,946 priority Critical patent/US20130200025A1/en
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25HWORKSHOP EQUIPMENT, e.g. FOR MARKING-OUT WORK; STORAGE MEANS FOR WORKSHOPS
    • B25H3/00Storage means or arrangements for workshops facilitating access to, or handling of, work tools or instruments
    • B25H3/06Trays

Abstract

A tray system comprises a tray comprising a bottom portion and sides forming a volume in which junctures of the sides and the bottom portion are rounded to comprise convex exterior surfaces. The tray further comprises two loop members disposed on opposing ends of the tray. A connecting member is configured to removably join to a one of the loop members. A lead device is configured to removably join to the connecting member. The lead device is operable for transferring a motive force to the tray to transport the tray over an uneven terrain comprising obstacles in which the convex surfaces enable the tray to maneuver around or traverse the obstacles.

Description

    FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • Not applicable.
  • REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER LISTING APPENDIX
  • Not applicable.
  • COPYRIGHT NOTICE
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office, patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • One or more embodiments of the invention generally relate to containment devices. More particularly, the invention relates to a transportable tray and tray assembly.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The following background information may present examples of specific aspects of the prior art (e.g., without limitation, approaches, facts, or common wisdom) that, while expected to be helpful to further educate the reader as to additional aspects of the prior art, is not to be construed as limiting the present invention, or any embodiments thereof, to anything stated or implied therein or inferred thereupon.
  • Workers in confined spaces with restricted vertical clearance located in areas such as crawl spaces, under foundations, under computer floors and in attics are often challenged with containing and carrying tools, parts and supplies for performing their work. Tools may be contained is a variety of different shapes and sizes of boxes. Furthermore, workers often find they need to perform several trips to their tool repository in order to transport the tools to the location for performing the job.
  • In view of the foregoing, it is clear that these traditional techniques are not perfect and leave room for more optimal approaches.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements and in which:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an example tray device, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2A illustrates an example tray device connected with a multiplicity of other tray devices to form a tray assembly, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2B illustrates an example tray device connected with a multiplicity of other tray devices to form a stacked tray assembly, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3A illustrates an example coupling for connecting tray devices where the coupling is closed, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3B illustrates an example coupling for connecting tray devices where coupling is open, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 4 illustrates the example tray assembly as described with reference to FIG. 2 maneuvering around and over obstacles and uneven terrain, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Unless otherwise indicated illustrations in the figures are not necessarily drawn to scale.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention is best understood by reference to the detailed figures and description set forth herein.
  • Embodiments of the invention are discussed below with reference to the Figures. However, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein with respect to these figures is for explanatory purposes as the invention extends beyond these limited embodiments. For example, it should be appreciated that those skilled in the art will, in light of the teachings of the present invention, recognize a multiplicity of alternate and suitable approaches, depending upon the needs of the particular application, to implement the functionality of any given detail described herein, beyond the particular implementation choices in the following embodiments described and shown. That is, there are numerous modifications and variations of the invention that are too numerous to be listed but that all fit within the scope of the invention. Also, singular words should be read as plural and vice versa and masculine as feminine and vice versa, where appropriate, and alternative embodiments do not necessarily imply that the two are mutually exclusive.
  • It is to be further understood that the present invention is not limited to the particular methodology, compounds, materials, manufacturing techniques, uses, and applications, described herein, as these may vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include the plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, a reference to “an element” is a reference to one or more elements and includes equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art. Similarly, for another example, a reference to “a step” or “a means” is a reference to one or more steps or means and may include sub-steps and subservient means. All conjunctions used are to be understood in the most inclusive sense possible. Thus, the word “or” should be understood as having the definition of a logical “or” rather than that of a logical “exclusive or” unless the context clearly necessitates otherwise. Structures described herein are to be understood also to refer to functional equivalents of such structures. Language that may be construed to express approximation should be so understood unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
  • Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meanings as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Preferred methods, techniques, devices, and materials are described, although any methods, techniques, devices, or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein may be used in the practice or testing of the present invention. Structures described herein are to be understood also to refer to functional equivalents of such structures. The present invention will now be described in detail with reference to embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
  • From reading the present disclosure, other variations and modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art. Such variations and modifications may involve equivalent and other features which are already known in the art, and which may be used instead of or in addition to features already described herein.
  • Although Claims have been formulated in this Application to particular combinations of features, it should be understood that the scope of the disclosure of the present invention also includes any novel feature or any novel combination of features disclosed herein either explicitly or implicitly or any generalization thereof, whether or not it relates to the same invention as presently claimed in any Claim and whether or not it mitigates any or all of the same technical problems as does the present invention.
  • Features which are described in the context of separate embodiments may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination. The Applicants hereby give notice that new Claims may be formulated to such features and/or combinations of such features during the prosecution of the present Application or of any further Application derived therefrom.
  • References to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “example embodiment,” “various embodiments,” etc., may indicate that the embodiment(s) of the invention so described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but not every embodiment necessarily includes the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Further, repeated use of the phrase “in one embodiment,” or “in an exemplary embodiment,” do not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, although they may.
  • As is well known to those skilled in the art many careful considerations and compromises typically must be made when designing for the optimal manufacture of a commercial implementation any system, and in particular, the embodiments of the present invention. A commercial implementation in accordance with the spirit and teachings of the present invention may be configured according to the needs of the particular application, whereby any aspect(s), feature(s), function(s), result(s), component(s), approach(es), or step(s) of the teachings related to any described embodiment of the present invention may be suitably omitted, included, adapted, mixed and matched, or improved and/or optimized by those skilled in the art, using their average skills and known techniques, to achieve the desired implementation that addresses the needs of the particular application.
  • It is to be understood that any exact measurements/dimensions or particular construction materials indicated herein are solely provided as examples of suitable configurations and are not intended to be limiting in any way. Depending on the needs of the particular application, those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of the following teachings, a multiplicity of suitable alternative implementation details.
  • Embodiments of the present invention will be described which provide a generally square-shaped shallow tray. Alternate embodiments may comprise trays with various other shapes such as, but not limited to, polygon, round, oval or freeform. Furthermore, the tray is configured with rounded corners and with a rounded intersection of the sides of the tray with the bottom of the tray. The tray is configured with loops attached/integrated on opposing sides of the tray. The loops are configured near the mid-point of a side with respect to the vertical and horizontal. In alternate embodiments, the loops may be located at any point laterally or vertically on the tray dependent upon the desired functionality and/or attitude during transport. In a non-limiting example, height of a leading loop may be lower than height of a trailing loop so that the leading edge of the trailing tray will tend to track higher than the trailing edge of the leading tray to aid in transport over soft media such as blown insulation.
  • A coupling may be attached to the loop associated with the tray. A multiplicity of trays may be configured as a string or train of trays by connecting the trays together using couplings. A lead with a looped end or ends may be attached to a tray located at the end of the string of trays in order to provide a means for towing the string of trays.
  • The rounded corners and rounded underside of the trays combined with the arrangement of the loops and couplings associated with connecting the string of trays enables the string of trays to maneuver around and over obstructions.
  • The ratio of the side dimension with respect to the bottom dimension and the length dimension of the loops and couplings enables a string of trays to be pulled or pushed for traversing from one location to another location. In some embodiments, the length dimension of the loops on opposite ends of trays combined with the couplings and depth of trays may be such that they facilitate the stacking of trays and/or inversion of trays to act as lids while maintaining the functionality of towing and maneuverability. In general, placing the loops within the middle ⅓ of the vertical tray height allows for the coupling length to remain relatively short while still allowing for stacking and covering of adjacent trays. In some embodiments with the application of comparatively larger/deeper trays, the vertical alignment of the loops may be held lower or higher to enhance the ability of connected trays to transport heavier loads.
  • The arrangement of the loops and couplings enable an end tray or trays to be flipped upside down and inserted into an adjacent tray or trays in order to cover and protect the contents of the covered tray. Furthermore, the trays may be rotated and stacked onto adjacent trays to form a compact stack of trays. The alignment and size of loops and couplings may allow for the nesting or covering without the need to disconnect adjacent trays.
  • Alignment lips located on two opposing corners of the tray provide alignment of the tray when inverted and inserted into another tray to provide a covering.
  • The loops and couplings are configured in such a way as to enable one tray to be inserted into another tray.
  • A continuous ridge traverses around the outside perimeter of the tray in order to provide alignment and rigidity for stacking a multiplicity of trays to form a stacked tray assembly.
  • In a stacked configuration, a void or empty space is provided for storage of tools, parts and supplies.
  • A strap or a multiplicity of straps may be connected to a stacked tray assembly in order to transport the tray assembly as a single unit. Furthermore, strap or straps may be used for lowering or raising stacked tray assembly through an opening into an enclosed space (e.g. crawl space, attic, etc.)
  • Non-limiting examples of alternative uses for tray include, as a head rest, knee pad or seating device. Furthermore, a multiplicity of inverted trays may be placed on the ground in order to provide a non-contaminated surface. Furthermore, a series of trays may be individually used to distribute or hold parts relating to wheels of a device (e.g. automobile) in order to facilitate maintenance and repairs and/or may be used for storing and transporting old or new components in order to provide a means for finding components and for preventing loss of the components. Non-limiting examples for using trays associated with an automobile include tire rotation, brake repair, brake maintenance, shock repair and suspension repair.
  • For a stacked tray assembly, the top tray may be inverted and void of items in order to provide a covering. Furthermore, the inverted top tray may be removed and used in its inverted orientation as a seating device or knee cushion following transportation of the tray assembly.
  • Trays may be used for a multiplicity of applications. Non-limiting examples for application of trays include building trades, IT, audio/video, phone, data, landscaping, harvesting, spelunking, tailoring, towing and manufacturing. Furthermore, trays may be used by jewelers, medical professionals, laboratories, tailors, garment industry, product assembly, auto repair and emergency response professionals.
  • Tray is proportionally configured with respect to its dimensions and material of manufacture for providing a strong, yet lightweight device. Typical dimension ratios relative to shape, length, width, depth, loop and connector size are related to functionality yet widely flexible according to the particular application or industry. Furthermore, the device may be configured such that its cost for manufacture is relatively inexpensive.
  • A multiplicity of trays may be linked via flexible couplings to form a tray assembly.
  • A first end of a lead connected to a loop associated with a tray assembly enables transport of the tray assembly via application of a force to the lead. Furthermore, a second end of the lead connected to or hand-held by a person provides transport of the tray assembly in the person's direction of travel. Furthermore, the attached tray assembly may be transported through confined spaces and over irregular terrain. Tray assembly may traverse irregular terrain and maneuver around obstacles due to the rounded corners and smooth rounded bottom of the tray and the configuration of the linking mechanism between the trays. The ratio of linking mechanism connector size and overall length relative to a particular tray size or shape may allow the connected trays to be easily rotated and nested or flipped to act as a covering. Non-limiting examples of irregular terrain and obstacles include dirt, plywood, insulation, pipes, hoses, wires, bark, grass, concrete, smooth flooring, table top, roofing material, plastic sheathing and crushed rock, foundation corners, pier blocks, wood posts, building corners and trees. Furthermore, rounded corners and smooth rounded bottom provide for an easy-to-clean device.
  • The coupled trays form a semi-rigid device with hinging provided by the couplings configured between the trays. Furthermore, the configuration of the tray assembly allows for independent movement of individual trays while the trays are connected.
  • A tray may be inverted in order to form a cover for an adjacent tray. Furthermore, with a coupling device connecting the trays, a following tray may form a covering for an adjacent leading tray or a series of following trays may form a covering over a series of leading trays.
  • A multiplicity of connected trays may be stacked or nested. Furthermore, stacking or nesting may be accomplished while the associated coupling devices are connected between the trays.
  • A tray may be disconnected from a tray assembly (i.e. multiplicity of connected trays).
  • A tray may be connected to a tray or a tray assembly (i.e. multiplicity of connected trays).
  • A tray may be used to perform a multiplicity of operations. Non-limiting examples of operations include mixing, sorting and storing.
  • A tray may be used as a seating device providing a place for a person to sit on.
  • A tray may be used as a knee cushion providing a place for a person to kneel.
  • A tray may be used as a head rest providing a place for a person to rest their head.
  • Smooth interior concave corners reduce the tendency of inaccessible areas to large or gloved hands to provide access to items located within a tray.
  • Trays may be configured of different colors. As a non-limiting example different color configurations enable identification/classification of items located within the trays.
  • Trays may be fitted with integral LED lights for illuminating the interior of the trays or outside of the trays for illuminating the work space.
  • Trays may be made from “glow-in-the-dark” material to provide light for illuminating the interior of the trays or for locating the trays in an otherwise dark environment.
  • Coupling devices may be configured of a rod shaped in a half loop with ends of half loop connected via a latch. As a non-limiting example, latch may be configured as a spring-loaded closing hook. As a further non-limiting example, rod may have a diameter of ¼ of an inch. As a further non-limiting example, spring-loaded closing hook may be configured similar to that of a carabiner or swivel snap hook.
  • Trays and couplings may be configured of a variety of materials and may be configured in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Furthermore, trays may be used for a variety of applications. Non-limiting examples for applications of trays include storage of plumbing and electrical components and tools. As a non-limiting example application, trays enable transport of tools and equipment into and through environments with a low vertical clearance environment. Non-limiting examples for users of trays include construction workers, auto mechanics, assembly workers, gardeners/nursery workers, harvesters, electronics installers, tailors, jewelers, artists and crafters.
  • A lead may be attached to a loop for moving a tray or tray assembly. Furthermore, tray or tray assembly may be moved via application of a force to the attached lead.
  • A tray or tray assembly may also be pushed along due to the inherent restricted lateral movement between connected trays.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an example tray device, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • A tray device 100 includes four lips with a sampling noted as a lip 102, two raised corner lips with a sampling noted as a raised corner lip 104, two non-raised corners with a sampling noted as a non-raised corner 105, two loops with a sampling noted as a loop 106, four sides with a sampling noted as a side 108, a cavity 110, a bottom 112 and two couplings with a sampling noted as a coupling 114.
  • Bottom 112 provides support and connects to side 108. Raised corner lip 104 connects to the left end of side 108. Non-raised corner 105 connects to the right end of side 108. Loop 106 connects to a side and is located near the middle of the side. Coupling 114 connects to loop 106. Cavity 110 is located above bottom 112 and interior to sides.
  • Tray device 100 provides storage for items. Non-limiting examples of items include tools, components, parts and assemblies. Furthermore, tray device 100 may be used for transporting items associated with tray device 100.
  • Lip 102 enables stacking and securing a first tray device on top of second tray device.
  • Raised corner lip 104 and non-raised corner 105 enable securely stacking a first inverted tray device on top of second tray device in order to provide a cover for the second tray device.
  • Loop 106 enables connection of first tray device with a second tray device via a coupling.
  • Side 108 provides a barrier to prevent displacement of items contained within tray device 100.
  • Cavity 110 provides a space for storing items. Non-limiting examples of items include tools, components, parts and assemblies.
  • Coupling 114 provides connection from another tray device to tray device 100.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an example tray device where a cavity provides a space for storage of items and a loop and a coupling enables connection of the tray device with other tray devices.
  • FIG. 2A illustrates an example tray device connected with a multiplicity of other tray devices to form a tray assembly, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • A tray assembly 200 includes tray device 100, a tray device 202, a tray device 204 and a tray device 206.
  • Tray devices 202, 204 and 206 are configured in a similar manner as tray device 100.
  • A lead device 208 connects to tray device 100 via coupling 114. Tray device 202 connects to tray device 204 via a coupling 210. Tray device 204 connects to tray device 206 via a coupling 212. Tray device 206 connects to tray device 100 via a coupling 214.
  • Tray devices 100, 202, 204 and 206 enable storage of items. Furthermore, tray devices 100, 202, 204 and 206 enable transportation of items stored within the tray devices. Tray assembly 200 may be transported by application of a force to lead device 208. Application of force to lead device 208 facilitates movement of tray device 100. Furthermore, movement of tray device 100 applies a force to tray device 206 via coupling 214 resulting in movement of tray device 206. Furthermore, movement tray device 206 applies a force to tray device 204 via coupling 212 resulting in movement of tray device 204. Furthermore, movement of tray device 204 applies a force to tray device 202 via coupling 210 resulting in movement of tray device 202.
  • Tray assembly 200, as configured in the illustration, enables transport for items contained within the trays when traversing tight spaces (e.g. crawl space, conduit, drain, etc.). Furthermore, tray assembly 200 may be transported in a straight line, in a curve, around obstacles and/or across uneven terrain.
  • Tray assembly 200 may also be pushed via application of force to tray device 100 or tray device 202. The configuration of the tray devices and associated couplings provides sufficient rigidity such that tray assembly 200 may be pushed. The distance between individual trays that is created by the combination of the size of the loops on the trays plus the coupling allow for train-style tracking when an assembly is pulled and also allows for adequate rigidity when an assembly is pushed. Typically, coupling length inside dimension may be roughly equal to the depth of tray dimension plus diameter of loop rod dimension and fabricated out of material such as, but not limited to, steel.
  • FIG. 2A illustrates an example tray device connected with a multiplicity of other tray devices to form a tray assembly where the tray assembly may be transported by application of a force to a lead device.
  • FIG. 2B illustrates an example tray device connected with a multiplicity of other tray devices to form a stacked tray assembly, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Tray device 202 is oriented in an upright position and resides on the ground. Furthermore, tray device 204 is oriented in an upright position and is stacked onto tray device 202. Tray device 206 is oriented in an upright position and is stacked onto tray device 204. Tray device 100 is oriented in an upside down position and is inserted into tray device 206.
  • Tray assembly 200 may converted from the configuration as illustration in FIG. 2A to the stacked configuration as illustrated in FIG. 2B by folding tray device 100 over tray device 206 and inserting tray device 100 into tray device 206. The partially stacked combination of tray device 100 and tray device 206 may then be rotated 180 degrees in a clockwise or counter clockwise manner and then inserted into tray device 204. The partially stacked combination of tray device 100, 206 and 204 may then be rotated 180 degrees in a clockwise or counter clockwise manner and then inserted into tray device 202.
  • The stacked configuration enables economical storage of tray assembly 200, as stacking of the devices reduces the space consumed by the assembly.
  • The stacked configuration may be provided with any number means for conveying the assembly such as, but not limited to, simple straps or frames.
  • Couplings may remain attached to trays whether the trays are stacked or inverted in order to provide a cover.
  • FIG. 2B illustrates an example tray device connected with a multiplicity of other tray devices to form a stacked tray assembly where one tray device is flipped over and inserted into an adjacent tray device, followed by rotation and insertion of the partially stacked tray devices into the remaining tray devices until the tray devices are configured in a stacked orientation.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates an example coupling for connecting tray devices where the coupling is closed, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Coupling 114 as described with reference to FIGS. 1-2 includes a left loop portion 302 and a right loop portion 304.
  • Coupling 114 enables trays to be connected by insertion of associated loops into coupling 114.
  • Left loop portion 302 connects to right loop portion 304 via a hinge portion 306.
  • Left loop portion 302 connects to right loop portion 304 via a latch portion 308.
  • Latch portion 308 may be configured of any know latching mechanism. As a non-limiting example, latch portion 308 may be configured as a spring latch.
  • Latch portion 308 may be unlatched in order for left loop portion 302 and right loop portion to be separated at the top.
  • FIG. 3A illustrates an example coupling for connecting tray devices where a left loop connects to a right loop via a hinge and a latch, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates an example coupling for connecting tray devices where coupling is open, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Latch portion 308 has been unlatched such that left loop portion 302 and right loop portion 304 are separated at the top forming an opening 310.
  • Opening 310 enables insertion and removal of loops associated with trays and loops associated with a lead into a space 312.
  • After loops have been inserted or removed, the loops may be connected at the top via latching of latch portion 308.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates an example coupling for connecting tray devices where the coupling is open enabling insertion/deletion of loops, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • One skilled in the art will readily recognize the exemplary coupling described above is a simplistic embodiment. One will readily recognize that a variety of means may be used to couple the tray devices in accordance with the teachings herein. Non-limiting examples of such means are spring loaded hooks, carabiner type devices, snap hooks with swivel, etc.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates the example tray assembly as described with reference to FIG. 2 maneuvering around and over obstacles and uneven terrain, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Tray device 100 has moved down due to the lowering of a terrain 401 and to the right to avoid/traverse an obstacle 402. Furthermore, coupling 208 and 214 have shifted in order to accommodate the change in terrain 401 and to avoid/traverse obstacle 402.
  • Tray device 206 has moved down due to terrain 401 and to the left to avoid/traverse an obstacle 404. Furthermore, coupling 212 has shifted in order to accommodate the change in terrain 401 and to avoid/traverse obstacle 404.
  • Tray device 204 has moved up due to terrain 401 and to the left to avoid/traverse an obstacle 406. Furthermore, coupling 210 has shifted in order to accommodate the change in terrain 401 and to avoid/traverse obstacle 406.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates the example tray assembly as described with reference to FIG. 2 maneuvering around and over obstacles and uneven terrain in order to transport items over the uneven terrain and obstacles.
  • All the features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying abstract and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.
  • Having fully described at least one embodiment of the present invention, other equivalent or alternative tray devices and assemblies according to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The invention has been described above by way of illustration, and the specific embodiments disclosed are not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed. For example, the particular implementation of the tray device may vary depending upon the particular type of material used. The tray device described in the foregoing was directed to plastic implementations; however, similar techniques using aluminum implementations of the present invention are contemplated as within the scope of the present invention. The invention is thus to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
  • Claim elements and steps herein may have been numbered and/or lettered solely as an aid in readability and understanding. Any such numbering and lettering in itself is not intended to and should not be taken to indicate the ordering of elements and/or steps in the claims.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A tray system comprising:
a tray comprising a bottom portion and sides forming a volume in which junctures of said sides and said bottom portion are rounded to comprise convex exterior surfaces, said tray further comprising two loop members disposed on opposing ends of said tray;
a connecting member being configured to removably join to a one of said loop members; and
a lead device being configured to removably join to said connecting member, said lead device being operable for transferring a motive force to said tray to transport said tray over an uneven terrain comprising obstacles in which said convex surfaces enable said tray to maneuver around or traverse the obstacles.
2. The tray system as recited in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of additional trays each being configured as said tray, and a plurality of additional connecting members being configured to removably join to said loop members to form a train of coupled trays.
3. The tray system as recited in claim 2, in which each of said sides further comprises a lip structure being operable for securing trays in a stacked position.
4. The tray system as recited in claim 2, in which said connecting members are configured to enable adjacently coupled trays to be stacked.
5. The tray system as recited in claim 2, in which each of said trays further comprises raised corners being operable for securing an inverted tray in a cover position over another tray.
6. The tray system as recited in claim 2, in which said connecting members are configured to enable a first tray to be inverted and positioned over an adjacently coupled tray as a cover.
7. The tray system as recited in claim 1, in which said tray further comprises concave interior surfaces.
8. The tray system as recited in claim 1, in which said tray is configured for a user to sit on said bottom portion.
9. The tray system as recited in claim 1, in which said tray is configured for a user to rest their head on said bottom portion.
10. The tray system as recited in claim 1, in which said tray comprises a rectangular shape.
11. The tray system as recited in claim 1, in which said connecting member comprises a spring latch.
12. The tray system as recited in claim 1, in which said connecting member comprises a carabiner.
13. A tray system comprising:
a plurality of trays each comprising convex exterior surfaces, means being operable for securing trays in a stacked position, means being operable for securing an inverted tray in a cover position over another tray, and means for joining to opposing ends of each of said trays;
means being configured for removably joining said trays to form a train of coupled trays; and
means being operable for transferring a motive force to the train to transport the train over an uneven terrain comprising obstacles in which said convex surfaces enable the train to maneuver around or traverse the obstacles.
14. A tray system comprising:
a plurality of trays each comprising a bottom portion and sides forming a volume in which junctures of said sides and said bottom portion are rounded to comprise convex exterior surfaces and concave interior surfaces, said bottom portion and said sides being configured to laterally retain items placed in said volume, each of said sides further comprising a lip structure being operable for securing trays in a stacked position, said trays each further comprising raised corners being operable for securing an inverted tray in a cover position over another tray, said trays each further comprising two loop members disposed on opposing ends of said tray;
a plurality connecting member being configured to removably join to said loop members to form a train of coupled trays; and
a lead device being configured to removably join to a connecting member removably joined to a loop member of a tray at an end of the train of coupled trays, said lead device being operable for transferring a motive force to the train to transport the train over an uneven terrain comprising obstacles in which said convex surfaces enable the train to maneuver around or traverse the obstacles.
15. The tray system as recited in claim 14, in which said connecting members are configured to enable adjacently coupled trays to be stacked and to enable a following tray or group of trays to be inverted and positioned over adjacently coupled tray or group of trays as (a) cover(s).
16. The tray system as recited in claim 14, in which said trays are configured for a user to sit on said bottom portion.
17. The tray system as recited in claim 14, in which said trays are configured for a user to rest their head on said bottom portion.
18. The tray system as recited in claim 14, in which said trays comprise a rectangular shape.
19. The tray system as recited in claim 14, in which said connecting members comprise a spring latch.
20. The tray system as recited in claim 14, in which said connecting members comprise a carabiner.
US13/368,946 2012-02-08 2012-02-08 Transportable Tray System Abandoned US20130200025A1 (en)

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Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US3269580A (en) * 1965-10-14 1966-08-30 Nvf Company Transportable container
US3346137A (en) * 1965-04-09 1967-10-10 Fausto M Ricci Receptacle
US3653474A (en) * 1970-02-16 1972-04-04 Us Luggage Corp Rolling luggage
US4593841A (en) * 1985-02-15 1986-06-10 Underwater Design Technology Inc. Pack cart
US5184836A (en) * 1990-10-26 1993-02-09 Rubbermaid Commercial Products Inc. Refuse container having stacking and nesting handles
US5344021A (en) * 1993-09-21 1994-09-06 Formall, Inc. Molded crate with interlocking rim appliances
US5653455A (en) * 1994-10-27 1997-08-05 Richards; Mark L. Skiing sled and harness
US5979023A (en) * 1996-03-07 1999-11-09 Nutto; Uwe Connecting element for drink crates
US6273258B1 (en) * 2000-02-01 2001-08-14 Snips S.R.L. System of identical modular containers which can be piled up on top of one another, in particular for foodstuffs
US20020014488A1 (en) * 2000-06-08 2002-02-07 Ferdinand Schermel Tiltable modular recycle container system
US20070194024A1 (en) * 2006-02-21 2007-08-23 Ying-Chieh Liaw Easily connected and installed toolbox
US20090107998A1 (en) * 2007-10-25 2009-04-30 Meissen Cynthia R Container
US20100230408A1 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-16 Yaffa Licari System for interconnecting covered under-bed storage boxes

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3346137A (en) * 1965-04-09 1967-10-10 Fausto M Ricci Receptacle
US3269580A (en) * 1965-10-14 1966-08-30 Nvf Company Transportable container
US3653474A (en) * 1970-02-16 1972-04-04 Us Luggage Corp Rolling luggage
US4593841A (en) * 1985-02-15 1986-06-10 Underwater Design Technology Inc. Pack cart
US5184836A (en) * 1990-10-26 1993-02-09 Rubbermaid Commercial Products Inc. Refuse container having stacking and nesting handles
US5344021A (en) * 1993-09-21 1994-09-06 Formall, Inc. Molded crate with interlocking rim appliances
US5653455A (en) * 1994-10-27 1997-08-05 Richards; Mark L. Skiing sled and harness
US5979023A (en) * 1996-03-07 1999-11-09 Nutto; Uwe Connecting element for drink crates
US6273258B1 (en) * 2000-02-01 2001-08-14 Snips S.R.L. System of identical modular containers which can be piled up on top of one another, in particular for foodstuffs
US20020014488A1 (en) * 2000-06-08 2002-02-07 Ferdinand Schermel Tiltable modular recycle container system
US20070194024A1 (en) * 2006-02-21 2007-08-23 Ying-Chieh Liaw Easily connected and installed toolbox
US20090107998A1 (en) * 2007-10-25 2009-04-30 Meissen Cynthia R Container
US20100230408A1 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-16 Yaffa Licari System for interconnecting covered under-bed storage boxes

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