An improved limb brace joint includes a band that operates in tension to rotationally bias first and second longitudinal members of the joint.
FIELD OF THE INVENTIONThe present invention relates to improvements concerning a bubble humidifier used to humidify oxygen prior to dispensing the oxygen to a patient for medical purposes.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTIONOxygen is supplied to patients for a variety of medical reasons.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTIONThe present invention generally relates to devices used for mowing lawns and turf. The joint of claim 1, wherein the upper assist engages each of the pair of side plates by surrounding a portion of each of the pair of side plates. The joint of claim 1, wherein the lower assist includes two longitudinal prongs that surround a portion of the second longitudinal member, wherein each prong has a distal end and a proximal end, wherein the lower assist includes a band receiving hook at the proximal end and a screw receiving portion at the distal end, wherein the lower assist further includes a screw engaging the screw receiving portions of the two longitudinal prongs to clamp the lower assist to the second longitudinal member. The orthosis of claim 5, wherein the band is positioned posterior to the hinge between the first and second longitudinal members. The orthosis of claim 5, wherein the band is positioned anterior to the hinge between the first and second longitudinal members. The orthosis of claim 5, wherein the upper assist engages each of the pair of side plates by surrounding a portion of each of the pair of side plates. The orthosis of claim 5, wherein the lower assist includes two longitudinal prongs that surround a portion of the second longitudinal member, wherein each prong has a distal end and a proximal end, wherein the lower assist includes a band receiving hook at the proximal end and a screw receiving portion at the distal end, wherein the lower assist further includes a screw engaging the screw receiving portions to clamp the lower assist to the second longitudinal member. The orthosis of claim 5, wherein the orthosis is a knee ankle foot orthosis; wherein one of said limb engaging members is a foot plate and the other of said limb engaging members is a tibial strut having at least one lower leg engaging band, said tibial strut being connected, via knee joint mechanism, to a femoral strut having at least one upper leg engaging band.
The orthosis of claim 5, wherein the orthosis is an ankle foot orthosis; wherein one of said limb engaging members is a foot plate and the other of said limb engaging members is a tibial strut having at least one lower leg engaging band. Field of the InventionThe present invention is directed to the art of orthotic limb brace joints.
The bubble humidifier has a humidifier base, for containing a quantity of liquid, and a cover for the humidifier base.
The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the bubble humidifier is used in combination with an oxygen source and an outlet of the oxygen source is connected with the oxygen inlet of the bubble humidifier; and the moisturized oxygen outlet of the bubble humidifier is connected, via a moisturized oxygen supply conduit, to an oxygen dispensing device for supplying the humidified oxygen to a patient. The bubble humidifier according to claim 2, wherein the oxygen dispensing device is a cannula and a water trap is provided in the moisturized oxygen supply conduit for removing liquid conveyed along with the oxygen to minimize the amount of liquid conveyed to the cannula. The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein a first end of a humidifier conduit is connected to the oxygen inlet, to receive the oxygen conveyed by the oxygen source, while a second opposed end of the humidifier conduit is connected to the diffuser. The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the cover engages with the humidifier base in a manner such that a substantially gas and water tight seal is achieved between the cover engages and the humidifier base. The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the humidifier base is sized to hold between 100 and 350 cubic centimeters of the liquid to facilitate adding a sufficient amount of humidity to the oxygen being supplied, via the bubble humidifier, to the patient. The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the diffuser comprises a diffuser housing and a remote end of the diffuser housing flares outwardly and is closed by an end wall, and a plurality of peripheral discharge passages are formed in the remote end of the diffuser. The bubble humidifier according to claim 7, wherein the plurality of peripheral discharge passages are equally spaced about a periphery of the diffuser and arranged so that the oxygen to be moisturized flows along a longitudinal axis of the diffuser housing, impacts against the end wall and is emitted out through one of the peripheral discharge passages substantially at a right angle to the longitudinal axis defined by the bubble humidifier.
The bubble humidifier according to claim 7, wherein the oxygen, emitted out through the plurality of discharge passages, forms oxygen bubbles, and the formed oxygen bubbles disperse within the liquid as the oxygen bubbles permeate and filter up through the liquid contained with in the humidifier base of the bubble humidifier. The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the pressure relief device comprises a pressure relief housing which has the relief port formed in a base thereof which communicates directly with an interior compartment of the bubble diffuser, and the slug is accommodated within the pressure relief housing, the slug normally seals the relief port but is movable relative to the relief port to relieve the excess pressure generated within the bubble humidifier. The bubble humidifier according to claim 10, wherein the pressure relief device defines a longitudinal axis and the slug is movable along the longitudinal axis defined by the pressure relief device, and a downwardly facing surface of the slug accommodates valve element which is conically shaped to sealingly engage with the relief port.
The bubble humidifier according to claim 11, wherein the slug has a weight of about 0.285 ounces, and the valve element normally provides a gas tight seal with the relief port to prevent the flow of any oxygen or liquid therethrough.
The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the pressure relief housing is provided with a first guidance member and the slug has a complimentary guidance member, and the two guidance members facilitate reseating of the valve element over the relief port follow separation of the slug from the relief port. The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the slug has a diameter which is slightly smaller than an internal diameter of the pressure relief housing so that, in the event that the valve element is biased out of engagement with the relief port, oxygen will be allowed to pass between an exterior surface of the slug and an interior surface of the pressure relief housing and exit via an exhaust port formed in the pressure relief housing. The bubble humidifier according to claim 14, wherein the exhaust port generates a sound, when oxygen is exhausted therethrough, to indicate that the pressure relief device is operating. The bubble humidifier according to claim 11, wherein the valve element has an inclined conical surface which forms an angle of about 15° with the longitudinal axis of the pressure relief device. The bubble humidifier according to claim 11, wherein a top wall of the pressure relief device is provided with a stop which is located to abut against a rear surface of the slug when the slug is moved to a fully open position, and the stop is generally a cylindrical member which is coincident with the longitudinal axis of the pressure relief device. The bubble humidifier according to claim 1, wherein the bubble humidifier operates at an oxygen flow rate of between about 6 to 15 liters per minute. The bubble humidifier according to claim 20, wherein at least one side exhaust port is provided in a side wall of the pressure relief device, and the at least one side exhaust port communicates with an is covered by a side wall of a slug when the slug sealing engages with a relief port, and when the excess pressure is generated within the bubble humidifier, the slug is biased axially away from the base of the pressure relief device and the excess pressure is at least partially vented via the at least one side exhaust port. The conventional techniques for generating oxygen typically remove essentially all of the moisture from the generated oxygen so that the oxygen essentially has zero percent relative humidity. After being cut, the grass clippings are propelled through a discharge chute into a cuttings basket by air pressure created by the flail blades and vanes attached to the blade rotor. In particular, the invention is directed to an improved limb brace joint that rotationally biases the limbs of the wearer.2. The bubble humidifier has an oxygen inlet for supplying oxygen to the bubble humidifier and an moisturized oxygen outlet for connection to a moisturized oxygen supply conduit for supplying humidified oxygen to a patient, and the oxygen inlet being connected to a diffuser for diffusing the supplying oxygen within the bubble humidifier. Prior to supplying the generated oxygen to a patient, the oxygen is generally sent through a bubble humidifier, or some other humidifying apparatus, where a suitable amount of humidity is added to the oxygen prior to supplying the same to the patient for a medical application.Standard humidifiers typically operate well for humidifying oxygen at an oxygen flow rate of from about 2 to 4 liters per minute. Additional suction may be provided by a blower system which blows air into the discharge chute. These devices fall into various general categories, including a category according to the type of blade used by the device. Description of Related ArtPatients with physical conditions or injuries sometimes require the use of an orthotic limb brace, such as an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) or knee ankle foot orthosis (KAFO). The bubble humidifier has a pressure relief device for relieving excess pressure generated within the bubble humidifier during operation thereof.
However, when the flow rate of the supplied oxygen is increased to 6 liters per minute or greater, the currently available bubble humidifiers do not work satisfactorily. The width of the flale blade mower assembly and the large volume of cuttings which may be held in the cuttings basket make the disclosed device particularly beneficial for mowing large areas of grass and turf, including athletic fields, belt ways and airstrips.
These orthoses aid several functions in ambulation, including control of dorsiflexion and plantarflexion in both the stance and swing phases of gait. The bubble humidifier defining a longitudinal axis and the diffuser is arranged to discharge the oxygen from the diffuser substantially at an angle normal to the longitudinal axis of the bubble humidifier to minimize flow of liquid, contained within the humidifier base, from entering the moisturized oxygen outlet during operation of the bubble humidifier. In particular, the currently available bubble humidifiers have a tendency to jiggle and shake excessively due to the increase in the oxygen flow rate through the bubble humidifier. Each of these blade types has a variety of advantages and disadvantages according to the particular application. AFOs also stabilize the ankle in the frontal and transversal planes during balance and gait activities.Some individuals are afflicted with a condition that does not permit the individual to have full control over muscles that raise and lower the foot. Such jiggling or shaking of the bubble humidifier, in turn, has a tendency to cause a valve component of the pressure relief device for the bubble humidifier to become unseated and vent a portion of the moisturized oxygen from the bubble humidifier to the surrounding environment rather than the supplying the same to the patient.
One condition for which an individual does not have full control over the muscles is known as “drop foot”. Such venting of the supplied oxygen, via the pressure relief device, also causes the pressure relief device to emit a “whistling” sound. Many of the devices used for mowing large areas of turf are towed behind a tractor with a three-point hitch.
Other cutting devices used for large turf areas have blade assemblies, usually rotary blades, which are an integral part of a self-propelled vehicle.Included among the towed types of mowing devices are flail blade machines, including those manufactured or distributed by Verismo, Tri-Corp and Alamo. Flail blade machines utilize a large number of individual knives which are mounted in overlapping rows to a cutter shaft or rotor. However, when the flow rate of the oxygen is increased to 6 liters per minute or greater, the conventional pressure relief devices have a tendency to malfunction as the valve of the pressure relief device does not always properly reseat itself to ensure that all of the supplied moisturized oxygen is again conveyed to the patient, via the moisturized oxygen supply conduit, rather than being vented to the surrounding environmentThe increased oxygen flow rate also has a tendency to cause the oxygen bubbles to coalesce and when the coalescing bubbles filter up through the liquid contained in the bubble humidifier and break the liquid surface. Flail blade machines may be constructed to have a large cutting width, making the devices appropriate for large turfed areas.The grass clippings, cuttings and other debris produced by mowing must be removed if the lawn or turf is to be both visually pleasing and healthy.
As a result, the individual may end up dragging the foot or may find themselves tripping when walking. Upon breaking the liquid surface, liquid is splashed and sprayed toward the outlet of the bubble humidifier and into the moisturized oxygen supply conduit. If cut grass is not removed, a heavy thatch will accumulate on the lawn, which will smother new grass growth, provide a nesting place for destructive insects, and can provide an environment which encourages the rapid growth of mold, fungus and other lawn diseases.
Therefore, the individual may stumble and fall while attempting to walk.Various conventional devices attempt to remedy a drop foot condition by providing an L-shaped ankle and foot orthosis that biases the ankle joint such that the toe or ball portion of the foot is raised.
For large areas of lawn or turf, which are usually mowed with tractor-type lawnmowers, manually raking the lawn after it has been mowed is obviously not a satisfactory method for removing grass cuttings.
A water trap is installed, along the moisturized oxygen supply conduit, to remove small quantities of liquid from the moisturized oxygen.
Although rake attachments are available for tractor-type lawnmowers, this method requires additional manpower and equipment usage because it requires the tractor to make another pass after mowing. 1 is a diagrammatic view showing an application for the bubble humidifier of the present invention;FIG. 5,908,398 to DeToro discloses an adjustable ankle and foot orthosis brace that includes an incrementally adjustable hinge assembly. 2 is an exploded diagrammatic perspective view of the cover for the bubble humidifier of FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view showing the pressure relief device incorporated within the cover of the bubble humidifier shown in its normally closed position;FIG.
4 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view showing the pressure relief device incorporated within the cover of the bubble humidifier shown in its normally opened position with the slug being lifted from its seating engagement with the relief port to remove excess pressure from bubble humidifier;FIG.
6,102,881 discloses a hinged drop foot brace thatAnother conventional dorsiflexion assist ankle joint uses a ball bearing and a spring in a posterior channel of the ankle component that pushes against the posterior edge of the stirrup as the spring is compressed. 5 is a diagrammatic exploded view of the slug incorporated within the pressure relief device of FIG. The spring tension is varied by the use of a set screw at the top of the channel that compresses the spring. The vacuuming components of the devices disclosed within these patents consist primarily of a container mounted on the rear of the tractor-type lawnmower, a blower powered by the engine of the lawnmower, and a duct system for conveying cut grass from a side discharge opening in the cutting deck of the lawnmower to the refuse container.


The spring must be loose enough to allow the foot to be flat on the floor after heel strike, but tight enough to prevent a foot “slap.” The adjustment is also critical to produce enough dorsiflexion during the swing of the foot so that the foot clears the floor without dragging and potentially causing a fall.
6 is a diagrammatic elevational view of the diffuser incorporated within the bubble humidifier for diffusing the oxygen prior to moisturizing the oxygen;FIG. One problem with this design is that as the spring wears out during its use, it is necessary to continually increase the tension on the set screw. Eventually, the tension is increased to such a high level that the spring breaks inside the channel. 3,969,876 is a tractor-type lawnmower used in combination with an apparatus for continuously removing cut grass while the lawn is being mowed.
A duct system conveys cut grass from a rearwardly projecting discharge opening in one side of the cutting deck to a refuse container mounted on the rear of the lawnmower. This device does not have a blower or other air pressure source to assist in conveying the cut grass through the duct system. The only source of air pressure for transporting grass cuttings through the duct system is the air movement created by the rotation of the rotary blade in the housing of the cutting deck.The mower-vacuum devices discussed above, being rotary blade machines, have a limited cutting width which limits the efficiency of the machines for use in mowing large areas of turf. 1 is a side elevation view of a first knee ankle foot orthosis incorporating a first exemplary embodiment of the joint in accordance with the invention being worn by a patient;FIG. A flail blade machine does not have the same width limitations as a rotary machine and may be designed to have a larger cutting width. However, cuttings from a flail blade machine are not usually collected by the machine, but are either left on the ground or must be collected by a vacuuming device or by raking.Another limitation of the rotary blade machines described above, and for most of the known flail blade machines, is that the cutting blades are located behind the front wheels of the tractor or drive vehicle. 1, a brief description concerning the basic components of the present invention will now be discussed.
There are several advantages of having the blades of the mower mounted in front of the drive vehicle. As can be seen in this Figure, the bubble humidifier 2 generally comprises a removable cover 4 which sealingly engages with a humidifier base 6 of the bubble humidifier 2 either by a pair of mating screw threads (not shown) carried by the cover 4 and the humidifier base 6 or any other coupling arrangement which is conventional or well known in the art. Having the blades in front of the front wheels of the vehicle allows greater visibility for the operator to observe the mowing operation. A front-mounted blade allows provides a better cut because the blade encounters the turf before the wheels or other part of the drive vehicle which will otherwise flatten the turf. The cover 4 has a centrally located oxygen inlet 8 and an oxygen outlet 10 as well as pressure relief device 12, the function of which will be discussed below in further detail. A flail mower having the mowing assembly mounted in front of the drive vehicle is disclosed in U.S. The oxygen source 16 generates a sufficient supply of oxygen and conveys the generated oxygen to the bubble humidifier 2. A diffuser 18 is located within the bubble humidifier 2 and a first end of a humidifier conduit 20 is connected to the oxygen inlet 8, to receive the oxygen conveyed by the flexible oxygen source conduit 14, while a second opposed end of the humidifier conduit 20 is connected to the diffuser 18.A first end of a moisturized oxygen supply conduit 24 is connected to the oxygen outlet 10 while an opposed second end of the moisturized oxygen supply conduit 24 is connected to an oxygen dispensing device or apparatus, such as a cannula 26.
6 is a partially exploded view of a second exemplary embodiment of the joint in accordance with the invention;FIG. The cannula 26 has a pair of prongs 28 that are generally positioned in the nostrils of the patient to supply the moisturized oxygen to the patient. 7 shows a plan view of an assembled third exemplary embodiment of a joint in accordance with the invention;FIG. A conventional water trap 30 is positioned in the moisturized oxygen supply conduit 24, between the oxygen outlet 10 and the cannula 26, to remove any liquid conveyed along with the supplied and moisturized oxygen to the patient.The important aspect concerning the engagement between the removable cover 4 and the humidifier base 6 is that those two components achieve a substantially gas and water tight seal is therebetween. The self-propelled flail mower and vacuum comprises a drive vehicle having a frame, an operator compartment supported by the frame, an engine, a flail mower housing, a flail rotor assembly, coupling means connecting the engine to the flail rotor assembly, and a discharge chute for transferring cuttings from the flail mower housing to a cuttings basket attached to the drive vehicle. A conventional oxygen supply system supplies a gas which has an oxygen content of between 93 percent to 95 percent with the balance of the supplied gas being nitrogen and other elements commonly found within air. The self-propelled drive vehicle has a front and a back and wheels operably attached to the vehicle. The humidifier base 6 is typically sized to hold between 100 and 350 cc of liquid 22 to facilitate adding a sufficient amount of humidity to the oxygen being supplied, via the bubble humidifier 2, to the patient.As can be seen in FIGS. 6-10, the diffuser 18 generally comprises an exterior diffuser housing 32 which has an open first end which is sized and shaped to receive or mate with a remote end of the humidifier conduit 20 conveying the supply of oxygen to the diffuser 18 from the oxygen inlet 8. The remote end of the diffuser housing 32 generally tapers or flares outwardly and is closed or covered by a generally planar end wall or cap 36.
The flail rotor assembly comprises a rotor, a plurality of vanes attached to the rotor, and a plurality of flail blades pivotally attached to the rotor.
10 shows an ankle foot orthosis with an anterior pre-tibial band in accordance with the invention; andFIG.
The discharge chute has an intake end and a discharge end, with the intake end connected to the flail mower housing and the discharge end connected to the cuttings basket. 11 shows an ankle foot orthosis with a posterior proximal band in accordance with the invention.DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTFIG. The vanes provide positive pressure into the discharge chute, propelling cuttings from the flail mower housing into the discharge chute and out the discharge end into the cuttings basket.A blower may be connected with duct works to the discharge chute, with the duct works terminating with a nozzle.
1 shows a knee ankle foot orthosis (KAFO) 10 that incorporates a first exemplary embodiment of a joint 12 in accordance with the invention being worn by a patient 14.
Due to this arrangement, as the oxygen to be moisturized flows along the longitudinal axis LD of the diffuser housing 32, the oxygen impacts against the end cap 36 of the diffuser 18 and is forced and emitted out through one of the discharge passages 38 substantially at a right angle to the longitudinal axis L defined by the bubble humidifier 2. The discharge chute may an air boost inlet located between the intake end and the discharge end adapted to receive the nozzle.
The KAFO 10 has a solid core graphite shell that result in a rigid, durable bracing solution that achieves effective and consistent control.
The longitudinal axis LD defined by the diffuser housing 32 is substantially coincident with the longitudinal axis L defined by the bubble humidifier 2.
A venturi is formed within the nozzle creating a vacuum for assisting cuttings through the discharge chute into the cuttings basket.
The KAFO 10 is ultra light, extremely low profile and exceptionally comfortable.The KAFO 10 includes a second joint 16 positioned proximate to the knee and may also incorporate the features of the invention.
The oxygen emitted out through the discharge passages 38 has a tendency to form oxygen bubbles which are directed at and generally impact against the inner side wall of the humidifier base 6. Power means, such as belt drive off the engine, provide the means for powering the blower.The cuttings basket may be pivotally attached to the frame of the drive vehicle.
The oxygen bubbles, emitted out through the discharge passages 38, tend to disperse within the liquid 22 as the oxygen bubbles permeate or filter up through the liquid 22 contained within the humidifier base 6 of the bubble humidifier 2.The relative high velocity of the oxygen bubbles, emitted out through the discharge passages, is reduced and partially absorbed as the oxygen flows through the liquid 22 toward the side wall of the humidifier base 6.
A hydraulic ram may be attached at one end to the frame and the other end attached to the cuttings basket, so that the cutting basket may be pivoted and emptied by operation of the hydraulic ram.
The velocity reduction and energy absorption by the liquid 22 contained within the humidifier base 6 as well as the humidifier base side wall, minimizes the amount of liquid 22 which has a tendency to be splashed or sprayed into the inlet of the moisturized oxygen supply conduit as the moisturized oxygen bubbles permeate upward through the liquid 22 and break the liquid surface.With reference now to FIGS. Likewise, a hydraulic ram may extend from the flail mower housing to the drive vehicle, so that the flail mower housing may be raised or lowered by operation of the hydraulic ram.The engine may be used to drive hydraulic pumps, the hydraulic pumps providing power fluid for operating the wheels. 3 through 5, a detailed description concerning the pressure relief device 12 for use with the improved bubble humidifier 2 of the present invention will now be provided.
As can be seen in these drawings, the pressure relief device 12 generally comprises a pressure relief housing 40 which has a relief port 42 formed in a base 58 of the pressure relief housing 40 which communicates directly with an interior compartment of the bubble diffuser 2.
1 is an isometric view of the disclosed self-propelled flail mower and vacuum from the right front.FIG. A movable slug 44 is accommodated within the pressure relief housing 40 and the slug 44 is axially movable along a longitudinal axis LP defined by the pressure relief housing 40. A downwardly facing surface of the slug 44 accommodates a conical shaped valve element 46 and the valve element 46 is sized and shaped to sealingly engage with the relief port 42 provided in the base 58 of the pressure relief housing 40. 3 is a front cut-away view of the flail blades mounted on the rotor, and the flail mower housing.FIG.
5 is a detailed view of the air ducting, venturi and drive mechanism for the flail rotor.FIG. The KAFO includes a thigh shell 18 and two straps or bands 20 holding the thigh shell 18 to the thigh 22 of the patient 14. The elongate rib and the mating slot engage with one another to facilitate axial sliding movement of the slug 44 along the longitudinal axis LP of the pressure relief housing 40 while preventing rotation or misalignment of the slug 44 within the pressure relief housing 40. The KAFO also includes a below knee shell 24 which is held onto the lower leg 26 of the patient 14 using bands 20. This guidance mechanism 50, 52 also facilitates reseating of the valve element 46 with or over the relief port 42 should the slug 44 be biased away from engagement with the relief port 42 due to the generation of excess pressure within the bubble humidifier 2, and a further detailed description concerning such relief will follow below.The diameter of the slug 44 is slightly smaller in size than an internal diameter of the pressure relief housing 40 so that, in the event that the valve element 46 of the slug 44 is biased out of engagement with the relief port 42 of the pressure relief housing 40, the oxygen will be allowed to pass between the exterior surface of the slug 44 and the interior surface of the pressure relief housing 40 and exit via an exhaust port 54 formed in the pressure relief housing 40. Lastly, the KAFO includes a foot plate 28 connected to the below knee shell 24 using the joint 12. The exhaust port 54 of the pressure relief device 12 is designed to generate a “whistling” sound, when a gas such as oxygen is exhausted therethrough, to indicate that the pressure relief device 12 is operating.
8 is a schematic showing the direction of rotation of the rotor, blades, and vanes with respect to the direction of motion of the drive vehicle.DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTSReferring now specifically to the drawings, FIG. The thigh shell (femoral strut) 18, below knee shell (tibial strut) 24 and the foot plate 28 are molded to the shape of the patient for comfort. It is to be appreciated that when the pressure relief device 12 is operational, this indicates to the medical personnel that a kink or some sort of blockage or occlusion is contained somewhere along the moisturized oxygen supply conduit 24.
1 shows the disclosed self-propelled flail mower and vacuum 10, the major components comprising a drive vehicle 12 having a frame 14, an engine 16, a front 18, driver compartment 19, a back 20, drive wheels 22, rear wheels 24 a cuttings basket 26 attached to the drive vehicle 12, and a flail mower housing 28 pivotally attached to the front 18 of the drive vehicle 12. To ensure that the valve element 46 properly reseats itself each time over the relief port 42 the pressure relief device 12 is activated, the valve element 46 is provided with an inclined conical surface 56 which forms an angle of about 15° with the longitudinal axis LP of the pressure relief device 12. Bearing means such as rotor bearings 32 support the rotor assembly 30 within the housing 28. The flail rotor assembly 30 comprises a rotor 34, a plurality of vanes 36 and a plurality of flail blades 38. Coupling means, such as a plurality of transfer cases, connect the engine 16 to the flail rotor assembly 30, providing a drive mechanism for the rotor assembly. These side exhaust ports 60 have a diameter of about 0.10 of an inch and are both generally located in the side wall of the pressure relief device 12 at a position so as to communicate with and be covered by a side wall of the slug 44 when the slug 44 in its lowermost position with the valve element 46 sealing engaging with the relief port 42. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, a number of different drive train assemblies may be used for driving the rotor assembly and supplying power to the different components of the invention.


Once this occurs, the side exhaust ports 60 directly communicate with the oxygen entering into the pressure relief device 12, via the relief port 42, and some of this oxygen can be vented through the side exhaust ports 60 directly to the atmosphere while a remainder of the oxygen is vented through the exhaust port 54 and generates the “whistling” sound. 11), or even incorporated into therapeutic footwear to name just a few of the various options available for use of the joint 12.The joint 12 includes a first longitudinal member 30 connected to a second longitudinal member 32 by a hinge 34.
The exhaust side ports 60 also facilitate proper reseating of the valve element 46 of the slug 44 with the relief port 42, as soon as the medical personnel removes the kink, occlusion or other blockage contained in the moisturized oxygen supply conduit, since atmospheric air can enter through the side exhaust ports 60. The side exhaust ports 60 thus allow the pressure of the pressure relief device 12 to be quickly equalized and this pressure equalization facilitates proper seating of the valve element 46 with the relief port 42.A top wall 62 of the pressure relief device 12 is provided with a stop 64 which is located to abut against a rear surface 66 of the slug 44 when the slug 44 is moved to its fully open position.
4, the coupling means connecting the flail rotor assembly 30 to the engine 16 comprises a first transfer case 40, a second transfer case 42, a centrifugal clutch 44, a right angle drive 46, drive pulley 48, and drive belts 50. Each side plate 36 includes rivet receiving holes 38 which match rivet receiving holes 40 on the first longitudinal member 30. The stop 64 is a generally cylindrical member which is coincident with the longitudinal axis LP of the pressure relief device 12.The slug 44 is generally designed to relieve the pressure contained within the bubble humidifier 2 once the pressure contained therein is between 3 and 6 psi, for example. Rivets 42 extend through the rivet receiving holes of each side plate 36 and the first longitudinal member 30. The side plates 36 each include a truss rivet receiving hole 44 that aligns with a matching truss rivet receiving hole 46 in the second longitudinal member 32. The relief port 42 provided in the base 58 of the pressure relief device 12 is only operational when excessive pressure is generated within the internal compartment of the bubble humidifier 2 and the improved the pressure relieve device 12 facilitates more accurate and reliable reseating of the valve element 46 with the relief port 42.Since certain changes may be made in the above described improved bubble humidifier, diffuser and the pressure relief device, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention herein involved, it is intended that all of the subject matter of the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted merely as examples illustrating the inventive concept herein and shall not be construed as limiting the invention. The intake end 54 is connected to the flail mower housing 28 and the discharge end 56 is connected to the cuttings basket 26. The side plates 36 enclose portions of the first longitudinal member 30, the second longitudinal member 32 and a pair of washers 48. When the rotor 34 is rotated at high rpm, the vanes 36 and the blades 38 provide positive pressure into the intake end 54 of the discharge chute 52, propelling cuttings from the flail mower housing 28 into the discharge chute 52 and out the discharge end 56 into the cuttings basket 26.A blower 60 may be connected to the discharge chutes 52 to provide additional energy for propelling the cuttings through the discharge chutes 52 into the cuttings basket 26. A truss rivet 50 extends through the truss rivet receiving holes 44, 46 and receives a truss screw 52. An air boost inlet 58 is fabricated into the discharge chutes 52 to allow attachment of duct works 61, which connect blower 60 to the discharge chutes 52. The first longitudinal member 30 and second longitudinal member 32 rotate relative to each other about a central axis of the truss rivet 50.
Of course the male and female configurations of the ends of members 30, 32 could be reversed and then the side plates would be mounted to the member 32 instead of the side member 30.The first longitudinal member 30 also includes an upwardly extending band receiving hook 54 and the second longitudinal member includes a downward extending band receiving hook 56. Air boost inlet 58 is simply an opening fabricated in discharge chute 52 adapted to receive and seal around nozzle 74. A latex band 58 extends around the hooks 54 and 56 and acts in tension to try to bring the two hooks 54 and 56 together.Should the latex band 58 fail, the patient may easily replace the band 58 using a band application tool 60, an example of which is shown in FIG.
The blower 60 may be run as an auxiliary unit off power means such as engine 16, as shown schematically in FIG. 4, or other power means known in the art.A suitable drive vehicle 12 may be obtained by modifying a JOHN DEERE cotton picker, Model No. The band application tool 60 includes a hook receiving notch 62 and a band receiving platform 64 at a proximal end 66. The band application tool 60 operates by placing a replacement band 58 around the hook 56 on the second longitudinal member 32 and around the band receiving platform 64. The drive vehicle 12 of the present device may use substantially the same frame 14, engine 16, operator compartment 19, cuttings basket 26 and blower 60 as the Model No. The user then positions the hook receiving notch 62 on the hook 54 on the first longitudinal member 30 and rotates the distal end 68 of the tool 60 upwardly until the band 58 transfers to the hook 54 on the first longitudinal member 30.As shown in FIGS. 1 & 2, the latex band, the hooks 54, 56 and the latex band 58 are positioned anterior to the truss rivet 50 such that the band 58 operates to assist in the dorsiflexion of the foot of the patient 14. The discharge chutes 52 of the present device may be fabricated from cotton ducts existing on the Model No. Although not shown in this drawing, it is understood that the hooks 54, 56 and the latex band 58 may be positioned posterior to the truss rivet 50 to provide plantarflexion assist in the manner shown for joint 212 in FIG. The cuttings basket 26 of the present invention is pivotally attached to the drive vehicle 12, or, more specifically, to the frame 14 of the drive vehicle 12, allowing the cuttings basket 26 to be emptied by lifting and pivoting the basket 26 with hydraulic rams or other actuating means.The present drive vehicle 12 also has a number of distinctions from the Model No. 6 show the details of a second exemplary embodiment of a joint 112 in accordance with the invention.
As described above, the drive train of the present device 10 is substantially different from the drive train of the Model No. The joint 112 is double adjustable because the range of rotation is adjustable in both rotation directions. The joint 112 adjusts the limit of rotation by including a stop (not shown) on the second longitudinal member that abuts an adjustable stop screw (not shown) that is captured between the side plates 136 that are connected to the first longitudinal member.
A pair of rear wheels 24 of the disclosed device provide steering for the unit, as compared to a single rear wheel used on the Model No. The upper assist 70, the lower assist 72 and the band 58 transform the conventional double adjustable joint 112 into a double adjustable joint which includes an assist function. The upper assist 70 incorporates an upwardly extending band receiving hook 54 and is adapted to surround a portion of the side plates 136. The upper assist 70 also includes a band guide 71 that prevents the band 58 from interfering with the motion of the joint. 9900.The flail mower housing 28 comprises, among other components, the flail rotor assembly 30. The lower assist 72 includes two longitudinally extending prongs 73 that extend from a proximal end having a downward extending band receiving hook 56 to a distal end having a screw receiving portion 75. The flail mower housing 28 further comprises a left side plate 62 bounding the left side of the housing 28, a right side plate 64 bounding the right side of the housing 28, a left plenum chamber 66, a right plenum chamber 68, roller 70, roller bearings 72, and a scavenger plate, not shown, which is installed above, to the rear and parallel to the axis of the rotor 34. The lower assist 72 is clamped in position on the second longitudinal member 32 using a clamping screw 74 that engages the screw receiving portions 75 of the two longitudinally extending prongs 73.FIG. The flail blades 38, when new, should have at least ? inch clearance below the scavenger plate.
7 shows a side view of a third exemplary embodiment of a joint 212 in accordance with the invention. 1 through 3, the left plenum chamber 66 and the right plenum chamber 68 are funnel-shaped for gathering the cuttings into the intake end 54 of discharge chute 52, where intake end 54 is connected to the top of each plenum chamber. Alternatively, it is easily appreciated that a single funnel-shaped plenum chamber (or a plurality of plenum chambers) might be used instead of the left plenum chamber 66 and the right plenum chambers 68 depicted in the figures herein.The flail rotor assembly 30 may incorporate certain components of flail mowers manufactured by VERISMO, TRI-CORP or ALAMO. The flail rotor assembly 30 of the present invention 10 comprises a rotor 34, a plurality of vanes 36 and a plurality of flail blades 38, the vanes 36 and blades 38 attached to the rotor 34.
Rotor bearings 32 mounted to the left side plate 62 and right side plate 64 support the rotor assembly 30 within the housing 28. The single adjustable joint 212 may be adjusted to limit the rotation in only one direction.
Similarly, roller 70 is supported by roller bearings 72, the roller bearings mounted to the left side plate 62 and the right side plate 64 of the housing 28.
For example, the rotational range of the second longitudinal member 32 of the joint 212 is limited in the counterclockwise direction relative to the first longitudinal member 30 as shown in FIG. The rotor 34, rotor bearings 32, flail blades 38, left side plate 62, right side plate 64, roller 70 and roller bearings 72 of the present device may be obtained from a VERISMO flail blade mower. However, the vanes 36, the left plenum chamber 66, the right plenum chamber 68, and scavenger plate are additional components which are not present in the VERISMO or similar flail mower.The blades 38, also referred to as flailing blades, scoop blades or cup knives, are pivotally attached with links 39 to the rotor 34. Additionally, the band 58 pulls the second longitudinal member 32 in the counterclockwise direction relative to the first longitudinal member 30.FIGS. 8 & 9 show the joint 212 incorporated into a second exemplary embodiment of a knee ankle foot orthosis 210 being worn by a second patient 214.
The vanes 36, which radiate outwardly from the rotor 34, and the blades 38 create a vacuum effect which allows the present device to collect grass cuttings as they are being mowed. The vacuuming is assisted by the Venturi effect created by nozzle 74 at the air boost inlet 58 when blower 60 is activated. 1 & 2, which is designed to assist in dorsiflexion, the band 58 of the joint 212 on the KAFO 210 of FIGS. 8 & 9 is positioned posterior to the joint so that the joint assists in plantarflexion.While the exemplary joints described above were all in relation to a knee ankle foot orthosis, it is understood that the joint of the invention may be used in any type of orthosis where an assist may be useful. It has been found that rotor 34 should spin at approximately 1600 to 1700 rpm to prevent leaving cuttings on the turf. 8, the direction of rotation of rotor 34 is clockwise with respect to the normal direction of travel of the drive vehicle 12.While the above is a description of various embodiments of the present invention, further modifications may be employed without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The application or use of the joint of the invention is not limited by this specification.It is also to be understood that the inventive features of the joint of the invention may be incorporated into any type of joint. As shown above, the features of the invention may be incorporated into a non-adjustable joint as shown in FIGS.
Thus the scope of the invention should not be limited by the specific structures disclosed. 7-9.Additionally, it is understood that the bands of the invention may be made from any material that generally operates in tension. The bands may also be made available with different levels of tensile strength or of a different durometer measurement to provide a predetermined level of assist to the joint.
Also, multiple bands may be used to vary the tension.Lastly, while the exemplary embodiments of the joint of the invention described above provide assist in only one direction, it is understood that the joint of the invention may include bands on both sides of the joint to provide an assist in both rotation directions. Such a joint may have the strength of the bands and the positions of the hooks designed such that the joint has a preferred position in which the tension on each side of the joint is substantially balanced. An embodiment of the joint of the invention having a double assist may provide for a preferred rotational position between the limbs of a patient and will assist the patient in returning the limb to that position regardless of the rotational direction.While this invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments outlined above, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations are apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the exemplary embodiments of the invention as set forth above are intended to be illustrative and not limiting.



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