Interactive exercise apparatus

  • US 5,890,995 A
  • Filed: 02/04/1998
  • Issued: 04/06/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 02/02/1993
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A bicycle simulator exercise apparatus, comprising:

  • (i) a support structure for supporting a user;

    (ii) a pair of cycling pedals coupled to the support structure which a user manipulates to achieve exercise;

    (iii) a pedal resistance mechanism coupled to the pair of cycling pedals for providing pedal resistance to the user;

    (iv) a steering mechanism proximal to the support structure which the user manipulates to indicate direction of motion;

    (v) a processor for generating an interactive simulated environment, for controlling the pair of cycling pedals, and for monitoring user manipulation of the pair of cycling pedals and the steering mechanism to determine user position in the simulated environment, the processor comprising a bicycle transmission module for calculating pedal resistance to be applied to the pair of cycling pedals,wherein the bicycle transmission module simulates a plurality of bicycle gears, andwherein the bicycle transmission module calculates pedal resistance to be applied to the pair of cycling pedals in response to a gear selected by the user and actual user pedal cadence as follows;

    (a) if the actual user pedal cadence is less than a threshold pedal cadence of the user selected gear, the bicycle transmission module calculates the pedal resistance to be approximately zero Newtons,(b) if the actual user pedal cadence is less than a maximum power pedal cadence of the user selected gear, but greater than the threshold pedal cadence of the user selected gear, the bicycle transmission module calculates the pedal resistance to be applied to the pair of cycling pedals in response to a ratio of the threshold pedal cadence to the actual user pedal cadence, and(c) if the actual user pedal cadence is greater than the maximum power pedal cadence of the user selected gear, the bicycle transmission module calculates pedal resistance to be applied to the pair of cycling pedals in response to a maximum torque value of the user selected gear; and

    (vi) a display system providing a visual display of the simulated environment and user position in the simulated environment.

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