94 richard m. latino - 7207278 - electrically-driven computer monitor lift and storage assembly

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1. c12) United States Patent Latino et al. (54) ELECTRICALLY-DRIVEN COMPUTER MONITOR LIFT AND STORAGE ASSEMBLY (75) Inventors: Richard M. Latino, Sterling, MA (US);…
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  • 1. c12) United States Patent Latino et al. (54) ELECTRICALLY-DRIVEN COMPUTER MONITOR LIFT AND STORAGE ASSEMBLY (75) Inventors: Richard M. Latino, Sterling, MA (US); Edward Mello, Franklin, MA (US) (73) Assignee: Wright Line, LLC, Worcester, MA (US) ( *) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days. This patent is subject to a terminal dis- claimer. (21) Appl. No.: 111366,012 (22) Filed: Mar. 2, 2006 (65) Prior Publication Data US 2006/0169188 Al Aug. 3, 2006 Related U.S. Application Data (63) Continuation-in-part of application No. 10/613,183, filed on Jul. 3, 2003, now Pat. No. 7,063,024. (51) Int. Cl. A47B 37100 (2006.01) (52) U.S. Cl. .................................... 108/50.01; 108/147 (58) Field of Classification Search ............. 108/50.01, (56) 108/50.02, 147, 147.19; 312/196, 194, 223.6, 312/223.2, 223.3; 248/188.2, 162.1, 161; 345/905; 361/681, 683 See application file for complete search history. References Cited U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS 4,735,467 A * 4/1988 Wolters ....................... 312/29 111111 1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 US007207278B2 (10) Patent No.: US 7,207,278 B2 *Apr. 24, 2007(45) Date of Patent: 5,020,752 A * 5,526,756 A * 5,682,825 A * 5,763,985 A * 5,778,803 A * 5,797,666 A * 5,927,213 A * 6,007,036 A * 6,463,862 B1 * 6,556,678 B1 * 6,609,465 B2 * 6,612,670 B2 * 6,733,094 B1 * 6,827,409 B2 * * cited by examiner 6/1991 Rizzi eta!. .............. 248/162.1 6/1996 Watson ....................... 108/147 11/1997 Manner ...................... 108/147 6/1998 Asinovsky ............... 312/223.2 7/1998 Machael ..................... 108/147 8/1998 Park ........................ 312/319.5 7/1999 Leday ......................... 108/96 12/1999 Rosen ..................... 248/286.1 10/2002 Kuhlman eta!. ........ 108/50.01 4/2003 Boyce ........................ 379/454 8/2003 Kolavo .................... 108/50.01 9/2003 Liu ............................ 312/312 5/2004 Chang ........................ 312/7.2 12/2004 Michael ................... 312/223.3 Primary Examiner-Jose V. Chen (74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Brian M. Dingman; Mirick, O'Connell, DeMallie & Lougee, LLP (57) ABSTRACT An assembly for selectively lifting a computer monitor, and particularly a flat screen computer monitor, from a storage position below the top of a desk or table, to a use position above the top in which the monitor is visible to the user. The assembly includes a stationary member including a linear slide mechanism, a vertically slideable support member sized and dimensioned to receive a computer display moni- tor and coupled to the linear slide mechanism. The vertically slideable support member is coupled to an electrically- driven positioning device. When the user desires to lift the monitor onto the top of the desk, the user pushes a switch, which enables the positioning device to drive the vertically slideable support member upward along the linear slide, through an aperture in the desk, until the computer monitor rests on or just above the desktop. Monitor retraction to the stored position is accomplished by the push of another switch. 31 Claims, 21 Drawing Sheets
  • 2. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 1 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 0
  • 3. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 2 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 co.....
  • 4. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 3 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2
  • 5. V.s. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 4 of 21 VS 7,207,278 B2
  • 6. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 5 of 21
  • 7. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 6 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 QJ LL
  • 8. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 7 of 21 0) C1 US 7,207,278 B2 ~--------
  • 9. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 8 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 16 FIG. 8 74 FIG. 9
  • 10. Sbeet 9 of 21 U.S. }latent lJS 7~207~278 B2 0 ....... ci u:
  • 11. U.S. Patent Apr. 24,2007 Sheet 10 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 . C!J LL
  • 12. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 11 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2
  • 13. US 1,201,218 B2 Sheet 12 of 21 u.s. }'tatent
  • 14. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 13 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2
  • 15. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 <1 (J ~~~==$=~ J:B-=1~ ·I Sheet 14 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2
  • 16. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 15 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 ~81 16a FIG. "16
  • 17. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 16 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 12a FIG. 17
  • 18. U.S. Patent Apr. 24,2007 Sheet 17 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 FIG. 18
  • 19. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 18 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2
  • 20. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 19 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 100 FIG. 20 FIG. 21
  • 21. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 20 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 FIG. 22 FIG. 23
  • 22. U.S. Patent Apr. 24, 2007 Sheet 21 of 21 US 7,207,278 B2 32a FIG.24 15 FIG. 25
  • 23. US 7,207,278 B2 1 ELECTRICALLY-DRIVEN COMPUTER MONITOR LIFT AND STORAGE ASSEMBLY CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation in part of application Ser. No. 10/613,183 filed on Jul. 3, 2003 now U.S. Pat. No. 7,063,024. Priority is claimed. 2 selectively move the equipment support and the computer monitor between a retracted position and an extended posi- tion. The equipment support is selectively coupled beneath a work surface in the retracted position and raised onto the work surface in the extended position. In another aspect, the present invention provides a com- puter monitor lifting device including a work surface with an aperture, a stationary support provided beneath the work surface, a monitor support moveably coupled to the station- FIELD OF THE INVENTION 10 ary support and sized and dimensioned to receive a com- puter monitor, and a lifting mechanism coupled between the equipment support and the stationary support. In yet another aspect, the present invention provides a computer monitor lifting device for moving a computer This invention relates to an assembly that moves a com- puter monitor from a stored position under a desk to a use position on the desk. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION As the need to access computers has increased, computers are increasingly found in meeting rooms, training rooms, and classrooms, as well as on office desks. While access to computers is important in all of these locations, the ability 15 monitor between a retracted and an extended position. The computer monitor lifting device comprises a stationary support member adapted to be coupled beneath a work surface, a computer monitor support slidably coupled to the stationary support member, a lifting mechanism coupled to 20 the monitor support, and a switch for operating the lifting mechanism. The computer monitor support includes a top horizontal member and a bottom horizontal member, both of which are fixed and spaced apart at a distance that is sufficient to 25 accommodate the monitor between the two. The top and bottom horizontal members are sized and dimensioned to be to provide an unrestricted view to a person sitting across a desk, toward a blackboard, or across a meeting table is also important, especially to allow for eye contact during a meeting, a discussion, or a lecture. Computer monitors, however, often unreasonably restrict this view, making it difficult for the computer user to see or be seen. Further- more, computer monitors add significantly to clutter on a desk, making it difficult to use the work surface and often, 30 therefore, causing a need for additional office furniture. For these reasons, schools, businesses, and offices typi- cally include at least one, and sometimes more, computer training labs or meeting rooms which are dedicated solely to computer training and use. These rooms provide a place for 35 holding a meeting or training session in which a large number ofpeople can each view a computer monitor, and are therefore important to computer training and application presentations, lectures, and meetings. These rooms, how- ever, are also expensive, as they require a great deal of 40 dedicated space, as well as significant maintenance and updating. Furthermore, although requiring a significant amount of resources, these rooms are often underused. It is desirable, therefore, to provide a system in which a com- puter can be selectively retrieved for use and, when not in 45 use, can be easily and inexpensively stowed. Another problem with computing equipment provided in offices, meeting rooms, and labs is that the equipment is portable, is typically not monitored very closely, and is, therefore, relatively easy to steal, providing both a financial 50 and a security problem for schools and businesses. As computing equipment becomes increasingly small, and hid- ing the equipment therefore becomes easier, these problems have increased. It is desirable, therefore, also to provide a method for easily and inexpensively stowing and locking 55 computer equipment. There remains a need, therefore, for a computer desk in which a computer can be selectively provided on the desk, or easily stored and locked. received in an aperture in the work surface. A lifting mechanism provides an upward lifting force directed against the weight of the monitor support when the monitor support is in the retracted position. When the lifting mechanism drives the computer monitor support upward to the extended position, the bottom horizontal surface rests in or just proximate to the aperture in the work surface, and the computer monitor is displayed above the work surface. Featured in the invention is a computer monitor lifting assembly for moving a computer monitor that is coupled to the device between a retracted and an extended position relative to a work surface, the computer monitor lifting assembly comprising a stationary support member coupled beneath a work surface, a computer monitor support move- ably coupled to the stationary support member, the computer monitor support including a fixed top horizontal member and a fixed lower horizontal member spaced below the top horizontal member, the top horizontal member being sized and dimensioned to at least mostly fill an aperture in the work surface when the monitor support is in the retracted position, the top and bottom horizontal members being spaced vertically at a distance sufficient to allow a computer monitor to be coupled to the monitor support between them, a lifting device coupled to the monitor support, the lifting device providing an upward lifting force directed against the weight of the monitor and the monitor support to move the monitor support from the retracted, up through the aperture in the work surface, to the extended position, and a user- operable control for selectively operating the lifting device. The lifting device may be electrically operated. The lifting device may also provide a downward force that returns the monitor support from the extended to the retracted position. The lifting device may comprise a linear actuator. The linear SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In one aspect, the present invention provides a computer monitor lifting device/assembly. The computer monitor lift- ing device comprises an equipment support, sized and dimensioned for receiving a computer monitor, and a lifting mechanism coupled to the equipment support and adapted to 60 actuator may comprise an actuation shaft coupled to the monitor support. The linear actuator may further comprise an electric motor adapted to move the shaft outward and inward with respect to the motor. The linear actuator may further comprise a mechanical coupling that translates motor 65 motion to motion of the shaft. The monitor support may comprise a first mechanical member, and a tilt member that is movably coupled to the
  • 24. US 7,207,278 B2 3 4 lower horizontal member spaced below the top horizontal member, the top horizontal member being sized and dimen- sioned to at least mostly fill an aperture in the top surface when the monitor support is in the retracted position, the top and bottom horizontal members being spaced vertically at a distance sufficient to allow a computer monitor to be coupled to the monitor support between them, an electrically-oper- ated motor-driven linear actuator coupled to the monitor support, the linear actuator providing an upward lifting force first member. The monitor support may further comprise a computer monitor mounting plate to which the monitor is attached. The mounting plate may be coupled to the tilt member. The tilt member may be coupled to the first member with at least one hinge. The monitor support may further comprise a mechanical device for holding the tilt member in a desired position relative to the first member. The mechanical device for holding the tilt member in a desired position relative to the first member may comprise a gas spring. The monitor support may further comprise a mechanical locking device that inhibits removal of the mounting plate from the tilt member. The mounting plate may be coupled to the tilt member with one or more fastener and nut combi- nations. In this case, the locking device may prohibit the nuts from being removed from the fasteners. The locking device may comprise a second mechanical member that is selec- tively coupled to the tilt member by a lock member. 10 directed against the weight of the monitor and the monitor support to move the monitor support from the retracted, up through the aperture in the top surface, to the extended position and also providing a downward force that returns the monitor support from the extended to the retracted 15 position, and a user-operable switch for selectively operat- ing the linear actuator. These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following description. In the description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which 20 form a part hereof, and in which there are shown preferred embodiments of the invention. Such embodiments does not The lifting device may be adapted to move the monitor support a distance essentially equal to the distance between the top horizontal member and the lower horizontal member. The user-operable control may comprise a switch. The work surface may be the top of a desk. The user-operable control may be accessible by a user sitting at the desk. The computer monitor lifting assembly may further comprise a trim piece 25 lining the inside of the aperture. The computer monitor support may be moveably coupled to the stationary support through a linear slide mechanism. The linear slide mechanism may comprise a pair of linear ball bearing slides, one on each side ofthe computer monitor 30 support. The computer monitor lifting assembly may further comprise an enclosure for enclosing the computer monitor when the computer monitor is in the retracted position. The enclosure may be lockable. Featured in another embodiment is a computer monitor 35 lifting assembly for moving a computer monitor that is coupled to the device between a retracted and an extended position relative to a work surface, the computer monitor lifting assembly comprising a stationary support member coupled beneath a work surface, a computer monitor support 40 moveably coupled to the stationary support member, the computer monitor support including a fixed top horizontal member and a fixed lower horizontal member spaced below the top horizontal member, the top horizontal member being sized and dimensioned to at least mostly fill an aperture in 45 the work surface when the monitor support is in the retracted position, the top and bottom horizontal members being spaced vertically at a distance sufficient to allow a computer monitor to be coupled to the monitor support between them, an electrically-operated lifting device coupled to the monitor 50 support, the lifting device providing an upward lifting force directed against the weight of the monitor and the monitor support to move the monitor support from the retracted, up through the aperture in the work surface, to the extended position and also providing a downward force that returns 55 the monitor support from the extended to the retracted position, and a user-operable switch for selectively operat- ing the lifting device. Featured in yet another embodiment is a computer moni- tor lifting assembly for moving a computer monitor that is 60 coupled to the device between a retracted and an extended position relative to the top surface of a desk or table, the computer monitor lifting assembly comprising a stationary support member coupled beneath the top surface of the desk or table, a computer monitor support moveably coupled to 65 the stationary support member, the computer monitor sup- port including a fixed top horizontal member and a fixed necessarily represent the full scope of the invention and reference is therefore made to the claims for understanding the true scope of the invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a computer monitor lift mechanism constructed in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 2 is a view of the computer monitor lift mechanism of FIG. 1, with the lockable enclosure removed, in a retracted position. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the computer monitor lift mechanism of FIG. 2, in an expanded position. FIG. 4 is detail perspective view of the spring coil and linear slide mechanism. FIG. 5 is a detail perspective view of the latching mecha- msm. FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the latching release mechanism of FIG. 1. FIG. 7 is a back view of the computer lifting mechanism of FIG. 3 illustrating the brake. FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the front of the stationary support with the computer monitor support removed to illustrate a stop spring. FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a desk including the computer monitor lifting device of FIG. 1, in a retracted mode. FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a desk including the computer monitor lifting device of FIG. 1 in an expanded mode, with a computer monitor installed. FIG. 11 is a top perspective view of a desk with a second embodiment of the invention installed therein, with the monitor in the stowed or retracted position. FIG. 12 is a view similar to that of FIG. 11 but with the monitor in the extended, use position above the top of the desk. FIG. 13 is a bottom perspective view of FIG. 12. FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the second embodiment of the inventive monitor lift assembly of the invention, which is electrically operated rather than manually operated, with the cover removed and in the retracted position. FIG. 15 is a similar view to that of FIG. 14, but with the monitor in the extended position. FIG. 16 is an exploded view of the stationary support member of the second embodiment.
  • 25. US 7,207,278 B2 5 FIG. 17 is an exploded view of portions of the computer monitor support and the electrically-operated lifting device for this second embodiment. 6 monitor support 12. The rail 23 is sized and dimensioned to be received on and to move along the stationary mounting member 21. The monitor support 12 is further coupled to an end of the torsional coil spring 24 with fasteners 25 and 27.FIG. 18 is a more detailed view ofthe tower portion ofthe computer monitor support of FIG. 17. FIG. 19 is a more detailed view ofthe cover for the tower of FIG. 18. FIG. 20 is a more detailed view of the tilt member for the 5 A strike pin 40, FIG. 4, for activating the latch mechanism 26 extends outwardly from the monitor support 12, as described below. The coil spring 24 is further coupled to the back wall of the stationary support with a threaded fastener second embodiment of the computer monitor support. FIG. 21 is an exploded view of the tilt member, computer 10 monitor mounting plate and locking device for the second embodiment of the computer monitor support. FIG. 22 is a more detailed view of the locking device of FIG. 21. FIG. 23 is a detailed view of the up
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