US 20010024973 A1
A simulated laser light sword is linked to a computer for display of sword movements. The sword includes a handle having accelerometers, a joystick, a light source and microswitch controls which sense and control movements of the handle. A translucent blade engages the handle and is illuminated by the light source. A gyroscope can provide a positional reference. Power is supplied internally or by connection to the computer. The computer interacts with the sword components to display movements on the screen. Light intensities can vary with the activity of the sword.
1. A simulated laser light sword comprising:
a pair of dual axis accelerometers mounted within the handle for sensing sword movements;
a joystick control positioned along one end of said handle for controlling sword movements;
a light source positioned at said one end;
a receptacle opening at said one handle end adjacent said light source;
a microswitch mounted on said handle, said microswitch having control buttons for controlling program functions;
a source of power for actuating said light sword;
a circuit board within said handle having connections to said microswitch, accelerometers and joystick;
a translucent simulated blade engaging said receptacle opening and extending outwardly from said handle for a given length, said blade being illuminated by said light source upon actuation of said power source; and
connection means extending from the other end of said handle for connecting said circuit board, microswitch, accelerometers and joystick to a computer having a software program and display screen for interaction with the sensing and control elements of said light sword and displaying said movements on said screen.
2. A laser light sword comprising:
sensing means mounted within said handle for sensing and generating signals representing sword movements;
position control means mounted along one end of said handle for manually controlling sword movements;
a light source positioned at said one end;
switching means mounted on said handle for controlling sword program functions;
power supply means for actuating the components mounted in said handle;
circuit connection means within said handle for connecting together said sensing means, position control means and switching means;
a translucent simulated blade engaging said one end of said handle and extending outwardly for a given length, said blade being illuminated by said light source upon actuation of said power supply means; and
connection means for transmitting signal information from said sensing means, position control means and switching means to a computer having a software program and display screen for interaction with said sensing, position control and switching means and for displaying said sword movements on said screen.
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 The disclosures of U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,542,672, and 5,730,655, are hereby incorporated by reference.
 The disclosures of application Ser. No. 08/903,100 filed Jul. 30, 1997, and Ser. 09/176825 filed Oct. 27, 1998 are hereby incorporated by reference.
 The foregoing patents and applications have the same inventor.
 The present invention relates to electronic toy swords and in particular, to those swords which are connected to a computer for simulating play on the computer screen.
 It is an object of the present invention to provide a simulated laser light sword to generate motions of the sword in real time to personal computer (PC) software for display on a computer screen.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a simulated laser light sword which increases in luminescence upon contact during a sword fight.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a simulated laser light sword with a thumb joystick positioned on a handle for the sword to facilitate quick reflexive action during sword play.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a simulated laser light sword having a gyroscope mounted therein for promoting game play and the feel of sword activity.
 The simulated laser sword of the present invention includes a PC game controller that transmits signals of real time sword motions in all directions to a PC software game. The sword, as a controller, is connected to a computer so that the signals generated from the sword controller can be transmitted to the software for display on the computer screen to simulate the sword fighting in real time.
 Some of the features of the present invention include:
 1. A joystick that permits character movement and many selections for sword fighting on the computer screen.
 2. Microswitch buttons on the sword handle for program control of the particular sword fight.
 3. A removably mountable foam blade which is illuminated by a halogen lamp.
 4. Variable intensity lighting for the sword to simulate the degree of contact established during the sword fight.
 5. A length of the sword closely representing that of a real sword and having the weight and balance for children, teenagers, and adults to use.
 For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference may be had to the following description of the preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the drawing Figures of which:
 FIGS. 1-3 show different views of a first preferred embodiment of a simulated laser light sword according to the present invention; and
FIG. 4-6 show different views of a second preferred embodiment of a simulated laser light sword according to the present invention.
 Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a simulated laser light sword according to the present invention is shown generally at 10.
FIGS. 1 and 2 show top views of the disassembled and assembled sword 10 while FIG. 3 shows a side view of the sword 10.
 The length of the sword from end to end is approximately 24 to 30 inches. It is understood that this is by way of example only and other lengths can be employed depending upon the size of the sword necessary for the individuals involved in the sword play.
 A first part of the sword 10 is the handle portion 12, and a second part is a threaded light extension 14 simulating a sword blade.
 The handle portion 12 houses two known types of dual axis accelerometers (such as shown in FIG. 4), with the accelerometers sensing the X and Y axis velocity and directional movements of the sword for display on computer screens. Such accelerometers are available from Analog Devices, Inc.
 One accelerometer is mounted horizontally at a flat end and the other along the shaft at a right angle to the first one.
 A microswitch 16 is mounted to the handle and includes a plurality of buttons, preferably three, for controlling the program software functions. A joystick 18 is mounted to the handle portion 12 for operation. The joystick 18 is preferably a known type of eight position (8 PO) thumb joystick which is immediately accessible when the handle 12 is being gripped. In other words, proper gripping of the handle 12 finds the user's thumb laying over the top of the joystick 18 which is adapted for movement in all directions.
 The joystick 18 is used to control program, menu-selection and also to move opposing characters on the computer display screen.
 The combination of the microswitch 16 and the joystick 18 coaching with the accelerometers which can include a tilt sensor, permits the user to control and sense all of the movements of the sword in all directions as it is displayed on the computer screen.
 A suitable lamp 20, such as a halogen lamp, is mounted in the handle proximate to where the handle joins the sword extension 14.
 The sword extension is constructed as a threaded hollow translucent foam core light extender. It is manufactured from a piece of reflective foam having a threaded end 22 which is received in a complementary threaded portion 24 of the handle 12. The sword extension 14 is therefore threaded into the handle 12 to be illuminated by the halogen lamp 20 automatically when the sword is actuated by the software. It is preferred that, upon actuation, the sword extension is illuminated a particular color, such as blue, the intensity of the color changing or even going to a different color to indicate swords striking or contacting other objects.
 Referring to FIGS. 4-6, the simulated laser light sword is shown generally at 100 and includes all the features operable in the same fashion as that in FIGS. 1-3 unless stated otherwise.
 In this embodiment, one of the accelerometers 126 is shown wired internally to the microswitch 116 and a controller circuit board 128 connected to the computer software for display of the sword movements on the screen.
 A gyroscope 130 is mounted at a base of the handle 112 which is actuated when the lighted sword is illuminated as well. The gyroscope provides a positional reference and will continue rotating as long as the laser light sword 100 is being actuated by the software for the program. The gyroscope 130 is connected to a miniature motor 131 for rotation of the gyroscope 130.
 Both embodiments are provided with a belt clip 32,132 which is mounted to a base of the handle 12,112 at a cushion able bumper 34,134.
 Hand guards 36,136 are mounted to the end of handles 12,112 where the handles are removably mounted to the sword extenders 14,114.
 The sword may contain an internal source of power, such as batteries, or may be powered through the connection 38, 138 to the PC.
 It will be understood that the embodiments described herein are merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art may make many variations and modifications without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included within the scope of the invention as described and claimed herein.