Control system for household appliance

 

The invention relates to the field of systems software controls for household electrical appliances. The technical result is to increase functionality. The control system of the household appliance includes an electronic control unit and the selector means located, in particular, on the control panel, designed to select pre-defined basic functions of the appliance in the specified electronic control unit to enable execution of the specified appliance these basic functions depending on the selection made using the specified selector means, codified the first set of data. In accordance with the invention, in the electronic control unit codified the second data, which allow the appliance to perform additional functions in addition to functions that can be selected via the specified selector means, in addition, the electronic control unit can be connected with an external electronic device that is designed to provide opportunities and choice in a simplified way to perform these additional functions. 2 C. and 15 C.p. f-crystals, 4 Il.

the first control unit and the control means for selecting a pre-defined basic functions of this appliance.

As you know, the main opportunities offered through the use of electronic technology controls for household electrical appliances, the preference for product development with an increasing number of functions, but at the same time, with ever greater complexity.

For example, it is believed that the ability to perform several procedures of heat treatment in the same oven gives the user a large number of possible optimal heat treatment, and in fact these ovens provide several application procedures, for example the conditions for performing heat processing when vented, microwave frequencies, couple, infrared radiation, and so forth, as well as the possible combinations of such technologies.

For this reason, while, on the one hand, the use of ovens increase, on the other hand it is obvious that to make full use of such opportunities, complex sequences of times, temperatures and combinations of technological operations baking (as usual, a couple in the microwave frequencies), the user has to control the heat treatment using the keyboard.

Similar problems vasini, dishwashers, refrigerators, and it is desirable to use most of the features that they can offer.

Attempt to simplify procedures for the use of household appliances actually requires the appropriate dialog tools, such as displays and keyboards that can simplify the use of such appliances through interactive programming.

However, such dialogue means being expensive themselves, also require manufacturing complex electronics that can withstand the harsh working conditions, leading, thus, to additional increase the value.

Other known solutions provide for the Assembly of complex automatic programming systems (based on use in a domestic appliance machines for reading a bar code or magnetic cards), which are user-friendly, but make the final cost appliance forbidding high. For this reason, multi-function appliances, as a rule, have a really high cost, which limits their distribution and reduces the element of "user friendliness".

The purpose of this new appliance repulsive to a high level.

In accordance with the present invention the above problem is solved by means of electrical household appliance, having the characteristics specified in the attached claims, which are an integral part of this description.

Additional objectives, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, made with reference to the accompanying drawings, which are only an illustration of a non-limiting example.

Fig. 1 is a schematic representation of the electrical household appliance, corresponding to the first variant implementation of the present invention.

Fig. 2 is a schematic representation of the appliance corresponding to the second variant of implementation of the present invention.

Fig. 3 is a schematic representation of the appliance corresponding to the third variant of implementation of the present invention.

Fig. 4 is a schematic representation of the electrical household appliance, corresponding to the fourth variant of implementation of the present invention.

The main purpose of the present invention is to provide a household appliance, which in normal operating conditions keychest is they are already installed or planned to perform additional or complex functions, operating parameters or operating programs. In accordance with the present invention these additional functions, operating parameters or programs can be obtained through the data input in the household appliance (e.g., via a physical connection or by using a system of infrared or high-frequency radiation) from an external electronic device, which is not mandatory and is able to provide system management appliance data necessary for this purpose.

In accordance with the present invention, the system management appliance at least partially is electronic and includes an electronic control unit is a microcontroller, programmable properly and having storage means in which data to perform various functions of the appliance coded (the fact that the control system of the household appliance is an electronic, should not be construed as limiting the invention, since this feature is in accordance with current natural evolution of systems upravliaemym).

This control system can be clearly associated with the above-mentioned external electronic device, whose task is to guarantee the user a simpler management procedures integrated application of the appliance. For this reason, the system management appliance corresponding to the present invention, must be associated with a corresponding interface module, which is inexpensive and simple to implement, which forms an optional peripheral device to the appliance.

The control panel of the household appliance in accordance with the present invention has a conventional appearance and for this reason contains classic buttons, keys, lights and so on, in order to give the user the ability to have easy access in a known manner to the basic standard functions and programs of the unit.

Regarding programming system management appliance corresponding to the present invention, the first condition is the division of its possible functions (or programs) on basic or standard functions (or programs) and additional functions (or programs).

The main functions ablaut case of the oven, reference may be made, for example, on a conventional infrared heat treatment, with a choice of programmes heat treatment (among those available, which usually has five to six), the appropriate temperature and likely time of heat treatment, using the appropriate keys and buttons.

In the case of low-temperature household refrigerator (freezer), reference can be made, for example, the key and the reference light rapid freezing, the set temperature button and control light alarm (dangerous temperature).

In the case of washing machines, reference may be made, for example, the selector model programs, the install button temperature selector speed and keys for various options (prewash, without pressing, small download, and so on).

Similarly, in the case of dishwashers, reference may be made, for example, the selector programs and some keys for different options (small download, wetting the clay or earthenware tableware and so on).

As described above, in accordance with the present invention the above features and installation tools prégny additional functions or programs relevant to the present invention.

With reference to the oven these additional functions can be implemented using the dynamic changes to the configuration of the heating elements within the heat-treatment process that defines, therefore, a large number of new programs that differ from the basic programs that allow you to get the required temperature profile corresponding to special recipes, or the possibility of obtaining special furnaces equipped with mixed systems of heat treatment (for example, infrared and microwave), to ensure the best contribution associated with each of these systems and prevent problems for the user associated with the scheduling of certain sequences of manufacturing operations.

With reference to the low-temperature household refrigerator optional feature may be, for example, the control file for the stored food with a forecast for a user when the product gets closer to the date of its expiration date.

With reference to the washing machine (washing machine or dishwasher) additional functions may include, noprivacy cheap electricity or washing or washing within stipulated in the schedule of periods of lower electricity consumption, planning thus, the daily energy consumption and avoiding prolonged power outages in the vast territory due to the excess of the maximum installed capacity for household appliances, which use the appliance.

Thus, in accordance with the present invention the control system of the appliance is pre-set so as to be able to use all of the programs or functions, i.e. as a normal or standard programs or functions, and additional programs or functions, as provided in accordance with the present invention.

For this purpose, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention commands that allow household appliance to perform normal functions, through management, normally provided in the appliance properly coded in the ROM associated with the microcontroller of the control system. In addition, in this permanent storage device modifitsiruetsya software or data that allows the control system to adjust the parameters associated with the compared to additional features, selected through an optional external device, can be stored for some time, i.e. depending on the selected additional functions in the temporary memory (RAM or erasable programmable ROM) of the control system. As should be clear, the basic version of the appliance in accordance with the present invention is able to perform is usually known functions, but its cost is low compared with ordinary household appliance of the middle class.

In fact, contrary to the known electrical household appliance, in which only used a borrowed technology management (e-management instead of Electromechanical control), is that it does not entail a significant increase in cost, as it always happens with cheap electronics that are specific to the functional aspect (use of well-known cheap microprocessors) and does not contain the expensive front-end tools (displays, keyboards, and so on); on the other hand, additional software practically does not increase the cost, because the cost of its development is distributed among a large cisease invention, based on the use of a microcontroller allows the reception outside in codified form the corresponding values or data relating to the operational parameters (temperature, timing, thermal gradient and active configuration values temperature-loading and so on) to use all the extra features, as shown in the above examples relating to the application with oven, low temperature household refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher.

Pre-installation also does not lead to any significant increase in cost, because it can be obtained by simple selection of the microprocessor, which is able to communicate with external devices. For this purpose, for example, would be any suitable microprocessor with standard asynchronous serial communication line (ELA-RS232) and an adequate area of the storage device containing a control program, which provides control routines, to prevent erroneous and improper programming. Budget (cost, usually not more than 2-3 USD) microprocessors of this type can be simply found in the market.

the first electrical device with the above-mentioned external electronic device shall be provided for the corresponding module. This interface module consists of an adapter of limited complexity and cost, which vary depending on the nature and complexity of the external electronic device. It should be noted, that such an adapter may be available as an option and is not absolutely necessary household appliance to perform their own basic functions in the usual way.

An essential requirement for an external device that sends control data to the control system to improve and expand the functions of the appliance, there must be ease of use and versatility, and possibly programmability; the ideal electronic device to perform the above functions may be, for example, a personal computer.

In this case, pairing appliance can be of two types, i.e. either direct coupling or via a corresponding serial bus database.

The case of direct coupling is shown using the example illustrated in Fig. 1, where the household appliance in accordance with the present invention is indicated by the reference number 1, which is in this special is alonim number 2, which has a microcontroller and associated memory device, indicated by the letter M, as described earlier. In the relevant field N of the specified storage device M stored data required to perform basic functions, while in a special area And the storage device M is stored corresponding programs for interpretation and conversion steps of data coming from external devices.

The usual control panel of the household appliance 1 with the selector tool, indicated by the reference number 3, designed to select and bring it into working condition of its major functions or programs of the appliance.

The above optional interface module electrical household appliance 1, the specified reference number 4, contains in this example, the appropriate serial port, connected in a known manner with a microcontroller system 2 control.

External device, a personal computer, specify the reference number 5, for which appropriate software is provided on a corresponding magnetic or optical media for 6 management for more programs or functions dinene personal computer 5 interface module 4 and therefore, system 2 control.

As you can see, the direct coupling appliance with an external electronic device shown in Fig. 1 as an example, is the simplest and cheapest solution. In fact, it will be enough to connect the personal computer 5 household appliance 1 having the appropriate communication port 4 through the cable 7. To provide this capability, the user should preferably be portable personal computer to access household appliance.

Pair over a serial data bus shown in Fig. 2, where similar reference numbers are indicated like elements shown in the preceding drawing.

Obviously, this front-end system is much more attractive from a practical point of view when using a personal computer, even if it requires the availability of appropriate home bus as indicated by reference number 8 in Fig. 2, as is known in itself.

This bus 8 can be used to exchange data between the main device (in this case, the personal computer 5) and various domestic electropl the hypoxia means for data transmission, for example, a high frequency transmission system, a telephone cable, coaxial cable, radio frequency, infrared rays, and other tools.

Topic related to home on the bus is limited to the broader themes of home automation, which is currently the object of special attention, especially in connection with the rationalization of energy consumption. Taking into account the different technical solutions that are currently available to obtain home automation with the corresponding data bus and communication protocols, it guarantees that the present invention may also be specified in a simple way.

In the simplest case, the practical application of bus 8 data may be a high frequency bus data transmission system (or high-frequency communication by wire), also known as type, where the data exchange between a personal computer and various household appliances receive, using the home power network.

As mentioned above, a personal computer, in order to expand the functions of the household appliance in accordance with the present invention, will be combined with the control program, bespak indicated by the reference number 6 in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2.

Several utility programs or service programs can also be preferably made available in the medium 6 programs to use appliance.

For a refrigerator can be found in the database for storing food with a warning to the user about the approaching expiration date of the food.

For ovens can be found in the data related to the preset baking recipes and the possibility of permanent storage of personal recipes users. Characteristically, for the oven this program for your personal computer may have the following main elements: - visual playback and probable correction on the display screen of the personal computer settings baking process related to various recipes; - management of new recipes developed by the user using the same program, which is beneficial designed for interactive area of the user in their writing and their adequate codification; management complete cookbook on the floppy as the model database, simple to use, and in this case, the cookbook can be supplied on magnetic the quantities of ingredients, baking time, temperature and so on) depending on the number of portions, on which it is calculated, in fact, taking into account the fact that the basic recipe is designed for a certain number of portions, this program may be provided (by the user) to modify the necessary control parameters so that the baking results were corrected for the different number of servings; - planning weekly menus for various recipes, and the advantage in this case is the automatic issuance of a list for grocery shopping for the week and/or month.

It is obvious that by means of the additional program software package can be performed other functions corresponding to the degree of its development, for example, there may be provided a function that provides an indication of the fact that the recipes are stored on disk, can be implemented with some limited ingredients specified by the user (we can assume, for example, that during the weekend or later than the time of day the user is not able to make any purchases, while only a few ingredients).

In any case, in addition to the above utilities, dost is the psi will greatly simplify for the user the planning activity. For this purpose, a program designed to control for home appliance using a personal computer must be designed to be user friendly, i.e. easy to use by the user, and provides for easy programming of additional functions, for example through the use of menus for targeted consultation and programming. This program also will provide a positive control routines to prevent the user did not make mistakes when programming, which could lead to unsatisfactory results.

A possible alternative personal computer may be, for example, a device for remote control, with which the control system of the household appliance can accept control signals to perform complex functions, not included in the standard. In this case, the user obviously seems to be able to more easily manage.

In Fig. 3 illustrates a variant example of implementation of the present invention, in which the external electronic device instead of a personal computer ispahany module, the specified reference number 4A and connected with the control unit of the household appliance comprises a receiver of infrared signals, and in the constant storage unit system 2 control device is already available the appropriate software decoding.

As shown in Fig. 3, household appliance in accordance with the present invention is an oven 1 (for example, combination oven, for example, the combination of a conventional oven with a microwave or conventional oven with the possibility of heat treatment on the couple and so on) with the above system 2 based control of a microprocessor having some elements that were previously described.

As indicated above, the system 2 control provided for control of standard management tools that allow the user to use the oven 1 also in addition to the remote control 9. Such standard management tools contain the usual keys, keyboards, displays, and so forth, which are known per se and are available on the panel 3 control of the oven 1.

In the case illustrated in Fig. 3, system 2 has required additional software is as), able to interpret control signals from the external device 9 for the remote control so that the control system itself could was able to carry out additional programs that have been codified in the storage device M In the case of the control system described with reference to Fig. 3, in fact, preferably, also the information required to perform the additional functions of the household appliance, contained in the ROM of the control system, because the limited resources of memory standard device for the remote control does not allow you to store large amount of data.

In any case, this limitation can be overcome by applying additional storage devices such as magnetic cards or solid state electronic storage devices (e.g., such as used in cellular phones).

In Fig. 4 illustrates a device for remote control, the specified reference number 9A, which has a card reader for additional storage devices such as magnetic card on which is stored a few recipes.

In this configuration the manage additional features a number of different appliances in accordance with the present invention, for which will be designed corresponding card 10, or for the case in which the various work programs for one household appliance (e.g., associated with different recipes for cooking when using the oven) can be found on multiple cards 10.

In any case, regardless of the option chosen, if the device for the remote control is used to bring in the work programme status (heat treatment), to which you have access storage device for remote control(approx. translated in the original text descriptions in English, probably mistakenly written "device 2 for remote control"), will be enough to gain, for example, a numeric code associated with the program of the respective device and press the confirm key to allow transfer of codified management data from this program to the infrared receiver 4A of the oven and thence to the system 2 control. As an alternative implementation, the remote control can be provided by some dedicated keys, causing additional special functions or programs. Features the additional advantage of the present invention, which is also its most significant element, enclosed in increasing the convenience for the user and refers to the ease of use of the procedures of application of the electrical household appliance, as additional functions or programs that inherently tend to increase the complexity for the user's control, simplified thanks to the use of an external electronic device (such as a personal computer or other specialized devices, such as a remote control).

Another advantage for the user is the ability to last first to buy the basic version of the appliance, and then add additional features by purchasing the appropriate "control tools".

In addition, if the user already has an electronic device capable of managing the data associated with the additional features of these appliances (e.g., personal computer), the costs required to convert the basic version of the appliances in upgraded, will be minimized, as they include only the cost of acquisition front-end module designed for Sopra the th of the invention lies in its commercial aspect and refers to the ability to control household appliances, which is more attractive in their basic version due to their "extensible" functions and for this reason more competitive in comparison with known household electrical appliances with the same performance (as pre-installation of expansion functions does not increase the cost), which in the extended version perform additional functions, which provides greater competitiveness in the market as electrical high-class.

Qualified specialists in the technical field of household electrical appliances will be obvious there are many changes (described embodiments), which can be made without deviating from the essence of the present invention.

For example, in a preferred embodiment, the external electronic device can be used to adjust the clock generator appliance.

In the case of the oven, for obvious reasons, thermal stress is not recommended in accordance with the prior art to equip the electrical clock generator with a battery power supply for protection against prolonged interruption in power supply on the extensive TEC long interruption in power supply in daily practice, the display clock generator will systematically flash expecting return the user to the original state.

In accordance with the present invention, such an inconvenience can be eliminated in a very simple way by using an external electronic device provided with its own battery (regular items of personal computers and devices for remote control), and a clock generator. This means that the return clock the oven to its original state will be enough to enter into the personal computer simple command or press the corresponding key on the device for remote control.

In accordance with an additional embodiment of the present invention, the management system 2 can also be connected with the data transmission system designed to transmit relevant data related to the status of the technological operations of the personal computer 5 or the device 9 or 9A for the remote control (which will be equipped with an appropriate receiver and display), for example, parameters identifying the state of advancement of the executable (for example, always in the case of thermal processing such data can relate to thecodeishere heat treatment, the assessment of the level of heat treatment, the likely recommendations to the user, if required manual operation, diagnostic messages for maintenance and so on).

Finally, may also provide a special device for the remote control is specifically designed for technical assistance, allowing technical staff to supervise the special diagnostic functions of the appliance, adequately codified in a storage device of the control system, for example, to test the operation of the internal devices appliance.

However, a qualified expert in this field of technology an electronically appliances described in this application for the respective examples will be apparent, many other changes that can be made without deviating from the essence and scope of the present invention.

Claims

1. Control system for an appliance, intended for the treatment of household products, such as food, clothes, pottery or faience ware, and specified household appliance (1) contains e is assigned to select the set of basic programs specified appliance (1), in accordance with what, as part of the specified control system, the first set of data is stored in the specified electronic unit (2) control, which is used by a given electronic unit (2) control functions from the choices made using the specified selector means (3), to control the execution of these main programs, characterized in that as an additional part of this management system, the second set of data stored in the specified electronic unit (2) control to enable each specified appliance to perform additional programs in addition to the basic programs, which can be selected by the specified selector means (3), and e block (2) control pre-installed for interfacing with an external electronic device (5; 9; 9A), which provides the ability to select and perform the additional programs.

2. Control system under item 1, characterized in that the electronic unit (2) contains a storage device (M), and in the first region (N) of the specified storage device (M) store said first data set and a second region (A) specified C the interpretation and/or conversion steps of data from the specified external electronic device (5; 9; 9A).

3. Control system under item 1, characterized in that the interface means (4; 4A) is provided to enable connection of the specified electronic unit (2) control with the specified external electronic device (5; 9; 9A).

4. The control system according to p. 3, characterized in that the said interface means include a front-end module (4; 4A) that is designed to communicate with the specified electronic unit (2) control.

5. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-4, characterized in that the electronic unit (2) control contains a microcontroller, having a channel of communication with external devices.

6. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-5, characterized in that the electronic unit (2) control is provided for transmitting data relating to the operating state of the household appliance (1).

7. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-6, characterized in that the external device (5; 9; 9A) is provided for receiving the specified data relating to the operating state of the household appliance (1).

8. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-7, characterized in that the external device (5; 9; 9A) contains a device for visual display of data.

9. Cysteate on the specified device to display the visual data of the specified data, related to the operating state of the household appliance (1).

10. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-9, characterized in that the said household appliance (1) contains a clock generator, the specified external device (5; 9; 9A) contains a battery and a corresponding clock generator, the specified external device (5; 9; 9A) is provided for adjusting a clock generator electrical household appliance (1).

11. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-10, characterized in that the external device (5; 9; 9A) is a personal computer (5).

12. The control system according to p. 11, characterized in that the personal computer (5) is connected with the specified household appliance (1) through the data bus, in particular in the system frequency communication.

13. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-9, characterized in that the external device (5; 9; 9A) is a device (9; 9A) for remote control, in particular infrared or high frequency type specified interface tools contain a receiver (4A) of the signals from the specified device for remote control.

14. The control system according to any one of paragraphs. 1-13, characterized in that for the specified external device is reducerea control program, provided on the media (6).

15. The control system according to p. 14, characterized in that the control program provides the control routines to prevent erroneous or incorrect programming of the household appliance (1).

16. The control system according to p. 15, characterized in that the control program contains service program for the application of the electrical household appliance (1), for example cookbook for using the oven or a database for products stored in the refrigerator.

17. The programming method of electronically controlled appliance (1), intended for the treatment of household goods, for example food, clothes, pottery or faience ware, and specified electrical device (1) able to perform basic functions and additional functions, the main functions can be selected using the selector means (3) contained in the specified household appliance (1), the first set of data is stored in the electronic unit (2) control, which is used by a given electronic unit (2) control depending on the choices made through the selector tool (3) to manage the implementation of the ke (2) control to enable the specified device to perform additional programs in addition to the basic programs, which can be selected by the specified selector means (3), characterized in that the selection of additional programs carried out by using an external electronic device (5; 9; 9A) associated with the specified electronic unit (2) control, and selection of a specified additional software is only possible by applying a specified external electronic device (5; 9; 9A).

 

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