US 2846813 A
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Aug. 12, 1958 I A N. GIARDINA REMOTELY CONTROLLED TOY VEHICLE uuuuuuuuum Filed Dec. 1'7, 1954 IN VEN TOR.
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Unite States Patent REMOTELY CONTROLLED TOY VEHICLE Andrew N. Giardina, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Application December 17, 1954, Serial No. 475,907 1 Claim. (Cl. 46-244) This invention relates to a toy vehicle, such as an automobile, truck, fire engine or the like, and more particularly to an electrical remote control system for controlling forward and rearward movements and steering of the vehicle and for controlling lifting and lowermg movements of an object carried thereby, such as a ladder on a fire engine truck, all of which operations are controlled by only one hand of the operator. The present application is a continuation-in-part of my earlier filed application Serial No. 340,076, filed March 3, 1953,
now Patent No. 2,718,729, of the same title.
An outstanding disadvantage of most electrically powered toy vehicles is that it is relatively difficult to control the vehicle, and particularly power operated obects carried thereby, such as a ladder on a fire truck, a hoist or boom on a work truck, a steam shovel, or similar lifting device.
In the past, switch controls have been used which are held by the operator and connected by a flexible cord to the vehicle to control the direction of movement thereof. But such controls have not been satisfactory since they do not control a sufficient number of operations of the, vehicle to give complete satisfaction to the child operating the toy. Furthermore, such controls cannot be operated quickly enough to obtain the quick response or quick change in operation of the vehicle which is desired.
An object of my invention is to provide a novel electrically operated and controlled toy vehicle having a remote control unit which can be operated easily and quickly with one hand and which provides a variety of controls, such as forward and reverse movements of the vehicle, lifting and lowering movements of a ladder or other power operated device carried thereby, as well as steering movements of the vehicle.
Another object of my invention is to provide a remote control unit for an electrically powered toy vehicle, wherein forward and reverse movements of either the vehicle or ladder, or similar object carried by the vehicle, may be very quickly and easily effected, and wherein a change from vehicle to ladder control, or vice versa, may be obtained by the mere twisting of the wrist of the operator, therefore reducing to a minimum the number of switches necessary for a variety of controls, and whereby a maximum number of control functions, including steering, are provided by various combinations of wrist twisting and push button operations to give the utmost of pleasure to the child operator.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent from a study of the following description taken with the accompanying drawing wherein:
Figure l is a perspective view of a toy fire truck wherein the rear portion is shown broken away, which truck is remotely controlled by a system involving the present invention;
Figure 2 is a schematic view of the fire truck shown in Figure 1 with parts omitted to show only fragmentary "ice portions of the wheel drive and ladder drive and the associated electrical circuit diagram; and
Figure 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of Figure 2.
Referring more particularly to Figure 1 of the drawing, numeral 1 denotes an electrically powered tractor and numeral 2 denotes a trailer of a toy fire truck. The forward end of the trailer is pivotally connected to the rear end of the tractor so as to permit relative pivotal movement in a horizontal plane. On the trailer is mounted a ladder 3 which is pivotally mounted on a pedestal bearing 4 and powered electrically by dry cells to effect lifting and lowering of the ladder about such pivot in a manner to be described hereinafter.
The fire truck is remotely controlled through a flexible electrical cable 5, shown broken away, and a hand carried, remote control unit 6 having push buttons 7 and 8 to eifect either forward and reverse movements of the truck or lifting and lowering movements of the ladder 3, depending upon the position unit 6 is held.
The control system for operating the tractor 1 and ladder 3 will become more apparent from a study of Figures 2 and 3. A vehicle driving electrical motor 10 is provided which may be a D. C., reversible motor of any well-known type as used in toy vehicles, wherein reversal is effected by reversing the direction of flow of current through the armature coil to obtain forward or rearward movement of the vehicle. A motor of this type is shown and described in U. S. Patent No. 2,465,446 dated March 29, 1949. Motor 10 drives, through reduction gearing 13, the axle 14 and rear driving wheel 15 of the tractor 1.
A similar reversible D. C. motor 16 is provided which drives, through reduction gearing 17, a shaft 18 which frictionally drives an arcuate segment 19 about the pivotal shaft 19a, which segment is rigidly connected to the ladder. A helical spring 20 normally biases the shaft 19a and arcuate segment 19 downwardly to bring the latter into tight frictional engagement with the driving wheel 18. By providing such frictional drive, it is impossible to drive the ladder in either direction beyond a certain point. That is, when the ladder is moved upwardly to a vertical position there will be slippage between drive shaft 18 and segment 19 to prevent further rotatable movement of the ladder about shaft 19 as a pivot. Likewise when the ladder is moved to the horizontal position, any further tendency to lower it will be resisted by slippage between frictional drive wheel 18 and segment 19. Selective lifting and lowering movements of the ladder are obtained by selectively energizing terminals 21 and 22 to cause current flow in one direction or an opposite direction through the motor armature coil.
The control unit 6 is a two-part plastic case, divided along the longitudinal center of the case and held in the palm of the hand. It encloses one or more dry cells to form a battery 24. A reversing switch 25 is mounted thereon in portion 6a and operated by push buttons 7 and 8 for reversing either motor 10 or motor 16. A reversing switch 26 is mounted in portion'6b of the casing and operated by lateral tilting movements of a ball 27- for selectively bridging either contacts 28, to complete a circuit to the ladder operating motor 16, or
for bridging contacts 29 to complete a circuit to the wheel driving motor 10. Thus by twisting of thewrist of the operator so as to roll the ball 27 laterally between contacts 29 and 28 it is possible to selectively choose either the vehicle driving motor or ladder operating motor as to bridge contacts 28 as shown in Figure 2, it will complete a circuit through the ladder operating motor 16 and subsequent depressing of push button 7 will cause the ladder to move in one direction, and depression of push'button 8 will cause the ladder to move in an opposite direction. If, on the other hand, unit 6 is tilted by a twist of the wrist so as to bridge contacts 29 instead, a circuit will be completed through the driving motor 10 of the rear wheels of the vehicle, so that subsequent depression of push buttons 7 and 8 will cause forward or reverse drive of the vehicle.
The above operation will be apparent from tracing the circuit as follows. Assume that ball 27 bridges the upper contacts 28, as shown, for ladder operation and that one of the push buttons 7 is depressed so as to bridge the upper contact 7a of the reversing switch 25. A circuit will then be completed extending from battery 24 to the right upper contact 75, conductor 30, bridged contacts 28, conductor 21, through the armature coil of the ladder driving motor 16, conductor 22, the left upper contact 7a of reversing switch to the opposite terminal of battery 24. The ladder operating motor 16 drives in a direction so as to lift or pivotally move ladder 3 about shaft 19a as an axis toward the vertical position.
Should it then be desired to lower the ladder 3, ball 27 will be held in the same position, but the other of the push buttons, 3, is depressed so as to bridge the lower contacts 7!). The circuit will then be completed from one terminal of battery 24 to the lower right contact 7b of switch 25, conductor 22., the armature coil of motor 16, conductor 21, bridged contacts 28, conductor to the lower left terminal 7b, and to the opposite terminal of battery 24. Since the current flow through motor 16 is now opposite to the previous direction, it will cause reversal of motor 16 and lowering of the ladder. In the meanwhile the vehicle is at rest.
if it is desired to drive the towing vehicle 1 of the fire truck, the control unit 6 is twisted slightly about its longitudinal axis so that ball 27 will move from the position shown in Figure 2 to a position whereby it bridges the lower contacts 29. This completes the vehicle driving motor circuit, and depending upon which of the push buttons 7 and 8 is depressed the vehicle driving motor will drive the toy in either a forward or a reverse direction. Depressing of push button 7 actually causes two spring leaf contacts to engage the upper contacts 7a, similar to the double throw switch shown schematically; and depressing of push button 8 is equivalent of causing two other spring leaf members to engage the lower contacts 7b.
The circuit may be traced as follows, assuming reversing switch25 to be in the upper position; from the lower terminal of the battery 24, to right upper contact 7a, conductor 32, bridged contacts 29, conductor 12, vehicle driving motor 18, conductor 11, upper left contact 7a, to the opposite (upper) battery terminal. This will drive the vehicle in a forward direction. In order to drive the vehicle rearwardly, the other push button is depressed so as to move reversing switch 25 to the opposite or lower position wherein a circuit will be established through the bridged contacts 29 and through motor 10, but the flow of current being in an opposite direction so as to drive the vehicle rearwardly.
While there is no specific control circuit for steering the vehicle to the right or left, steering may be accomplished by causing the towing vehicle to move rearwardly until it becomes angularly disposed in a horizontal plane with respect to the trailer, that is until the jackknife, the tractor or towing vehicle 1 will thus point in a new direction either to the right or left of its former direction. Thereupon bydepressing the opposite push button to obtain forward movement, such forward-movement will be in the direction toward which the towing vehicle 1 pointed.
If the initial rearward movement of the vehicle doesnot cause the tractor to point in the direction desired, this can be remedied by merely causing forward movement and then another reversing movement, and continuing these operations until the tractor turns to the desired direction.
Thusit will be seen that I have provided an efficient, electrically operated toy vehicle which may be driven in a forward or reverse direction, and which carries a ladder or similar lifting element which can be raised or lowered by operation of a single remotely controlled unit, by selective depressing of two push buttons; and wherein the mere twisting of the wrist of the operator changes the circuit from that which will cause drive of the vehicle to that which will cause drive of the ladder or similar lifting element, thereby permitting rapid control of both the vehicle and ladder at a position remote from the vehicle; furthermore I have provided an electrically operated fire engine or similar vehicle including a tractor and a trailer pivotally mounted thereto wherein the tractor has a remotely controlled reversible driving motor which not only provides forward and reverse movements of the vehicle but causes jack-knifing of the tractor and trailer so as to obtain steering movements of the vehicle; furthermore I have provided a frictionally driven ladder which causes the ladder to be moved to predetermined limits in both directions irrespective of continued rotation of its driving motor.
While I have illustrated and described one embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that this is by way of illustration only, and that various changes and modifications may be made within the contemplation of my invention and within the scope of the following claim.
A toy vehicle comprising a tractor and a trailer, the latter having its front end pivotally mounted on the rear portion of the tractor to provide relative pivotal movements in a horizontal plane, a reversible electric motor mounted on said tractor, a separate remote control unit comprising a housing enclosing dry cells electrically connected by flexible electric wires to said motor, said trailer having mounted on the forward end thereof a pedestal bearing in the form of two parallel vertical walls having aligned notches formed in the top edges thereof, a pivotal shaft supported in said notches, a spring having one end connected centrally of said shaft and the other end being connected to a base portion of the forward end of said trailer for holding said shaft in said notches, a ladder having one end pivotally mounted on said shaft, said end having an arcuate segment portion substantially concentric with said shaft and extending vertically downwardly in the space between said vertical walls, a drive shaft in tangential, frictional engagement with said arcuate segment portion, and means for turning said drive shaft in either direction, whereby turning of said drive shaft in one direction will cause pivotal raising movement of said ladder, and turning of said drive shaft in an opposite direction will efiect lowering of said ladder, and whereby after the ladder has reached either its limit of raising or lowering movement, further turning of said drive shaft will effect slippage thereof relative said arcuate segment portion.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,182,266 Gibson a May 9, 1916 1,810,250 Loving June 16, 1931 1,848,315 Gage Mar. 8, 1932 2,151,938 Ramsey Mar. 28, 1939 2,488,464 Arpin Nov. 15, 1949 2,602,266 Preston July 8, 1952