Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2890535 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 16, 1959
Filing dateMay 2, 1955
Priority dateMay 2, 1955
Publication numberUS 2890535 A, US 2890535A, US-A-2890535, US2890535 A, US2890535A
InventorsKenworthy Charles C
Original AssigneeKenworthy Charles C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lip actuation of dummies by electrical signals
US 2890535 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 16, 1959 c. c. KENWORTHY 2,890,535l

LIP ACTUATION OF DUMMIES BY ELECTRICAL SIGNALS Filed May 2,L 1955 5 sheets-smeet 1 4, c, naa/2 Bibi/KW i June 16., 1959 Filed May 2, 1955 @MPU/VEZ c. c. KENWQRTHY 2,890,535

LIP ACTUTION OF' DUMMIES BY ELECTRICAL SIGNALS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENToR. cfr/,422055 c. Kawa/aen# s sheets-sheet s C. C. KEN WORTHY LIP ACTUATION OF DUMMIES BY vI:`.LEC'IRICAI'.. S-IGNALS June 16, 1959 Filed May 2, 1955 .m .QQ

' are Paitented June 16, 1959 tice LIP ACTUATION F DUMIMIES BY ELECTRICAL SIGNALS Charles C. Kenworthy, Los Angeles, Calif.

Application May 2, 1955, Serial No. 505,354

1 Claim. (Cl. 402S.3)

This invention relates to the actuation of the Ilip or lips of dolls, dummies, puppets, and the like, in synchronism with signals, such as voice or music, which have been translated into electrical currents.

The use of a solenoid which is energized with actuating currents to move an armature connected to the lips of a doll or dummy, together with a relay interposed between the current source and the solenoid is well known. United States Patents Nos. 2,247,329 and 2,270,142, show such systems, while United States Patent No. 2,700,250, shows a somewhat diierent construction for the same purpose. These systems are all directed to certain types of electrical circuits and mechanisms for controlling a single puppet.

The present invention is directed to a system which permits a sound record on a photographic or magnetic lm to control one or more dummies, selecting the proper dummy and accurately moving its lip or lips in synchronism with the recorded dialogue or music. Any one or more of a number of dummies may be controlled simultaneously, the sound film or track itself doing the selecting. Also, a circuit is provided which not only obtains syllabilization of words but stabilization of operation at all times.

The principal object of the invention, therefore, is to facilitate the actuation of the lips of dummies to vsimulate speech or music.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved method of and system for the synchronization between currents representing voice signals and the lips of a dummy.

A lfurther object of the invention is to provide an improved system of controlling the selection of one or more dummies from a group of dummies and actuating the lips of the selected dummy or dummies from a single sound track.

The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of this invention, both as to the manner of its organization and the mcde of its operation, will be better understood from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. l is a diagrammatic drawing of one system embodying the invention;

Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic drawing of another system embodying the invention; and

Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic drawing of a third modification of the invention.

Referring now to the drawings wherein the same numerals identify the same elements, and particularly to Fig. l, a dolly, dummy, or puppet head 5 is shown having a movable lower lip or jaw 6 pivoted at 7 and connected to a rod or wire 8 at 9. The rod 8 is connected to an armature 12 of a solenoid 13, energization of the solenoid moving the lip 6 in synchronism with voice currents. Energy is impressed on the solenoid 13 over conductor 15, conductor 16, thyratron tube 17, conductor 18, swinger 19, and conductor 20. The thyratron 17 is connected to an A.C. power source over transformer 22 which energizes its lament 25 and anode 23 over condenser 24.

The input to the Athyratron is over a matching transformer 26, amplitude adjusting resistor 27, condenser 28, and rectier 29, the latter improving operation by stabilizing the circuit. The primary of transformer 26 is connected to the output of an amplifier 31 across which is bridged a speaker 32 in which the Voice currents are translated into sound waves. The input of amplifier 31 is connected to a photoelectric cell 33 or to a magnetic reproduce head 34. This permits a sound track 36 on a perforated iilm 37 to be either photographic or magnetic. If the track is photographic, an exciter lamp 38 `is used with cell 33. The hlm 37 is notched along one edge, adjacent which is a microswitch 40 having a roller 41 adapted to be moved into and out of the notches to make and break an electrical contact in series with a D.C. power supply and a coil 42 of a relay 43.

In addition to the puppet head 5, two other heads are illustrated solely by their lower lips 45 and 46 and their actuating solenoids 47 and 48, respectively. Lips 45 and 46 are actuated when the thyratron 17 -is connected to solenoids 47 ,and 48 over respective conductors 49 and 51 when the swinger 19 is connected thereto. This system permits the automatic selection of the puppet to be actuated and actuates the selected puppet as now will be described.

The sound track 36 -has three different voices recorded .thereon and at the beginning and end of each voice sequence, :the lm is notched with either one or two notches. One notch will move the swinger 19 a distance of one contact, and two notches will move the swinger a distance of two contacts. Thus, the thyratron 17 can be switched to any one head as the sound track is being reproduced by speaker 32 and the lip of the head is moved according to the voice currents as rectified and triggered by rectier 29 and thyratron 17, respectively. If desired, the swinger 19 may be manually manipulated yto select any head to be activated.

Referring now to Fig. 2, the same thyratron 17 with its transformers 22 and 26 are shown along with loud speaker 32, amplifier 31, photocell 33, and exciter lamp 38. It is to be understood that the photographic sound track 53 on lm 54 could also be magnetic as in Fig. 1. Three heads are represented by the lips or jaws 6, 4S, and 46, and solenoids at 13, 47, and 43, respectively, as in Fig. l. In this modification, a relay 56 with its coil 57 is used to control the connection of solenoid 13 to 'thyratron 17, a relay 58 with its coil 59 is used to control the connection of the thyratron 17 to solenoid 47 and relay 61 with its Icoil 62 is used to connect the thyratron 17 `to solenoid 4S. The relays 56, 58, and 61 close switches 64, 65, and 66, respectively, when momentarily energized and open them when next momentarily energized.

The energy pulse for the relays may be obtained in several suitable ways, the one shown in Fig. 2 being lamps 68, 69, and 70, the light from which is reilected by light reflective paint or patches such as shown at 71, 72, '73, and '74, to respective photocells 76, 77, and '78. The pulses are amplified in respective amplifiers 79, 81, and 82. To select a head to be actuated, a patch is placed at the beginning of a sound sequence for that head at a certain transverse position on ilm S4 to actuate the relay and close its switch controlling that head. At the end of the sound sequence for that head, another patch is placed at the same transverse position on the lm, this patch disconnecting the head from Ithe thyratron by opening the switch. Since each set of lamps and cells are effective for patches at different positions transversely of lilm 54, each of switches 64, 65, and 66 are independently controlled. Furthermore, this modification lends itself to permitting any one or more of the lips to be actuated simultaneously since all switches may be closed over the same period of 'time the sound is being reproduced at 32. Thus, group singing of the heads may be simulated.

Referring now to Fig. 3, again the lthyratron and speaker circuits are the same as in Figs. 1 and 2. vAlso, the same heads and solenoids are shown. In this system, all selection controls are embodied in the sound track S5 of a narrow hlm S6 which could be an 8 mm. photographic film or a 1A inch magnetic non-perforated tape. As shown, the lrn is photographic with. its exciter lamp 88 and photocell S9 connected to an amplifier 91 which feeds a high-pass lter'92 connected to speaker 32 and transformer 26 and to a low-pass lter 93. The output of lter93 is connected to relays 95, 96, and 97, each of which is tuned by the inductance of its winding and respective shunting condensers 99, 101, and 102, to a different acceptance frequency. The relays may be the momentary 'type'as shown in Fig. 2 or of the simple holding type whereby to maintain their respective contacts 104, 105, and 106 closed, they are energized with a constant tone.

This modification functions by the use of three control tones such as 30, 40, and 50 c.p.s., each tone energizing a respective relay 95, 96, and 97. That is, a tone is recorded at the beginning and end of a sequence, this tone passing filter 93 but not filter 92 to close one of the contacts 104, 105, or 106, provided the relays areof the momentary type. If not of this type, the tone may be only at the beginning of a sequenceV and maintained throughout the sequence .to hold the desired contact closed. This system also permits `one or more lips of vone -or more heads to be actuated from a narrow n`ln1 not suitable to carry reective light patches or to be notched.

The above system, therefore, permits manual .or automatic selection of one or more heads from among several and to thus provide dialogue and group voices as Idesired for dolls, dummies, puppets or animals. Furthermore, although only three heads have been vused for illustra- 4 tion, it is to be understood that any number of heads can be added and controlled in the same manner. Furthermore, the actuating of the lips may be through the manipulative strings or wires of a puppet. The particular rectier-thyratron circuit illustrated is especially effective to permit perfect syllabilization of words from voice signals. Although the invention has been illustrated in connection with lm sound records of the photographic and magnetic types, it is to be understood that other types of signal sources may be used, such as phonograph records of the disc type or microphones.

I claim:

In a system for 4actuating the lips of one or more of a plurality of dnmrnes one at a time or in any combination the improvement comprising means for generating electric signal currents representing the voices of said dummies transducer means for reproducing said signal currents as sound waves, an individual solenoid for the movable lip of .each dummy, other means responsive to said signal generating means for energizing said solenoids, selecting means including a lter associated with said signal `generating means for selecting the solenoid or Ysolenoids to be operated, said selecting means also including frequency responsive relay means and switch `means connecting the solenoid or solenoids to said other -means, said other means including a thyratron and a series connected rectifier combination to provide stabilization and vsyllabilization of the lip or lips of said dummies in accordance with the amplitude of said signal currents and the connection made by said selecting means.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,096,020 Adair Oct. 19, 1937 2,152,296 Weis et al. Mar. 28, 1939 2,213,512 Bailer Sept. 3, 1940 2,247,329 Deitz June 24, 1941 2,250,916 Magruder July 29, 1941 2,270,142 Robinson et al lan. 13, 1942 2,603,912 Gruber July 22, 1952 2,704,417 Evans Mar. 22, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 420,361 Great Britain Nov. 28, 1934

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2096020 *Feb 21, 1936Oct 19, 1937Alexandra JenkinsMethod of making a record
US2152296 *Sep 21, 1936Mar 28, 1939Talking Advertising CorpAdvertising device
US2213512 *Mar 7, 1939Sep 3, 1940Bailer OttoRecord, animated-object, and reproduction control system
US2247329 *Oct 5, 1939Jun 24, 1941Richard E BeckTalking doll and action driven circuit therefor
US2250916 *Feb 28, 1938Jul 29, 1941Automatic Instr CompanyRobot lip action
US2270142 *Dec 21, 1938Jan 13, 1942Robinson Theodore BElectrically controlled figure or doll
US2603912 *Jun 26, 1948Jul 22, 1952Gruber Mathew BSound for figures or puppets
US2704417 *May 24, 1952Mar 22, 1955Evans Samuel HPuppet actuating apparatus
GB420361A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3131497 *May 20, 1960May 5, 1964Wed Entpr IncAnimated talking figures
US3277594 *Nov 1, 1963Oct 11, 1966Wed Entpr IncAnimating apparatus
US3767901 *Jan 11, 1971Oct 23, 1973Walt Disney ProdDigital animation apparatus and methods
US3898438 *Sep 28, 1972Aug 5, 1975Walt Disney ProdProgrammable method for digital animation apparatus for assembling animation data
US4207704 *Jul 13, 1977Jun 17, 1980Tokyo Design Kogei Co., Ltd.Movable sound producing model
US4622771 *Jul 1, 1985Nov 18, 1986Spengler Charles WCommunication display device
U.S. Classification40/457, 369/70, G9B/33.23, 40/416
International ClassificationG11B33/06, A63H13/00, G09F27/00, A63H3/00, G09F19/08, A63H3/28, A63H3/33, G09F19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/28, G09F27/00, A63H13/005, G09F2019/086, G11B33/06, G09F19/08
European ClassificationA63H3/28, G09F19/08, G09F27/00, A63H13/00B, G11B33/06