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Publication numberUS2942378 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1960
Filing dateJan 24, 1957
Priority dateJan 24, 1957
Publication numberUS 2942378 A, US 2942378A, US-A-2942378, US2942378 A, US2942378A
InventorsRobert Ellis
Original AssigneeRobert Ellis
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Walking figurine
US 2942378 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 28, 1960 R. ELLls v i I 2,942,378 WALKING FIGURINE v Filed Jan. 24, 1957 `2 Sheets-Sheet 1 June 28, 1960 R. ELLIS 2,942,378

WALKING FIGURINE Filed Jan. 24, 1957 2 sheets-sheet 2 IN V EN TOR.

2,942,378 WALKING FIGURINE Robert Ellis, 3355 Country Club Road, Bronx 65, N.Y. Filed aan. a4, 1957, ser. No. 636,173

4 Claims. (Cl. 46-149) vThis invention relates toanimation simulators andthe principal object ofthe invention is the provision of an amusement device in which live or naturally moving objects such as .human beings, animals, birds, insectsve hicles,uetc.,` havetheir movements simulated with practical exactness. 3 l

Another `object, of the invention is the provision of a device of this character in which the customary visible center post, which propels the figurine, is entirely eliminated and the motive power for moving thefigurine is applied directly and invisibly to each leg thereof, inci- .dentally more accurately simulating the act of walking.

A still further object of the invention is `the'provision l of means within the figurine itself for maintaining it constantly in a vertical position even without any direct means of support from the propelling mechanism.

A still further object of the invention is the provision of mechanism which-will impart directly to the legs of the figurine a natural alternating forward step by'step motion free 4from jerks, yet giving the body of the figurine an unvarying uniform and continuous forward motion asin walking. f

And a still further object of the invention is the provision of means for supporting the floors between the moving walkways made necessary by the rotary or ellip tical runways over which the figurines are caused to travel.

And a still further -but important object of the invention is the provision of means for translating simple rotary motionas delivered to the device, into uniform step by step alternating forward motion with automatic braking means during the stop intervals. Y

Other and yfurther objects will appear in the specifications and be specifically pointed out in the appended claims, reference being fhad to the accompanying drawings exemplifyingthe invention and in which:

Fig. 1 is a top view of the device taken on the line 1-1 of Fig. 2. Y

Fig. 2 is :a vertical section on the line '2 2 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a vertical section on the line 3-3 of Fig. 4.

Fig. 4 is a vertical section on the line 4-4 of Fig. 3.4

Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic View of the gears used in translating rotary motion into uniform step by step forward motion.

Referring to the drawings in `which like characters and numerals of reference refer to similar parts throughout the several views, the numeral A9 denotes an open box housing and having on its inner bottom a centrally disposed boss A10 which serves as a thrust bearing for the aired States @arent f 2 14 and the stationary disc A12 and another similar clearance 17 between the liange 14 and its associated encompassing disc '18 which has its `flange 36 turnedoutwardly as illustrated and which also has an equal number of spaced holes ISR around its circumference. The disc 18 is press-fitted to the hollow shaft 19, this shaft acting as v a hearing for central shaft A11 as illustrated in Fig. 2.

To the lower` ends of shaftsAll and 19 are press fitted the gears 22 and 23 respectively, which gears mesh with the pinions 20 and 21 respectively, both of said pinions being press-fitted to the common shaft 24 and i therefor rotating in the same direction as one, as better illustrated in Figs. 2 and 5. The shaft 24 has a bevel 'gear'25 press-fitted thereto which in turn is rotated by the 'bevel gear 26 and which latter is press-fitted to shaft 21 'and which shaft rotates by means of the crankrZS and handlef29 as will bereadily understood. Ofncourse it is apparent that instead of the manual operation of turn- Y flanges or platforms will revolve in the opposite direction. However, arranged Vto be removably fitted into the holes 15L and ISR is a gurine having the depending I p pins 32L and 32K respectively, see Figs. 3 and 4, which pins are pivotally attached together with the shoes .ESL

and 33K and lower ends of the legs SSL and SSR respectively. There is` no standard or vertical center post necessary tol Vhold this figurine in erect position and it is walked along the roadway Vcomposed by flanges 14 and 36,)solely by the alternate forward movements of the legs. Consequently, the pan-shaped discs 13 and. 18

must rotate in the same direction butv as one disc is rotating the other disc isstopped or dwells for an equal period of time, and so on continually. This alternating for-` ward rnotion is attained by means of the gearing illustrated di-agrammatically in Fig. 5, wherein the crank handle 29 is turned in the direction of arrow 86, both pinions 20and 21 being attached to the same shaft 24, rotate together in the 'direction of arrow 37 and their meshing gears 22 and 23 respectively, in the direction of arrows 38, but `while gear 22 is rotating, having Yat that time its teeth in mesh with the teeth of pinion 20, the gear 23 is motionless, its teeth` not being in mesh at the same time with its driving pinion 21. Instead, oneof the convex surfaces 39 of the pinion 21 lits closely into one of the concave surfaces 40 between the tooth spaces on gear 23 as they are successively turned to'this position,

land consequently the gear 23 `does not rotate but inci-v dentally is held in braked position until the tooth t1-of pinion 21 will enter the tooth interstice 42 of gear 23 at which instant one of the convex curved parts 39 of lower end of the vertical shaftAxll, the upper end of pinion 20 engages one of the concave parts 40 of 'gear 22 which stops its rota-tion while gear 23 rotates, and so on alternating continuously. In this manner the discs 113 and '18 are alternately driven forwardly exactly simulating the leg motions offra person walking. As yherein illustrated, Fig. 5, for each complete revolution of the crank handle 29, there will be two complete steps by each leg of the iigurine, including dwells. lf a pitman Y were used as an intermediary in the translation of rotary motion to rectilinear motion, as here required, no uniform speed could be attained as, during the middle portion of the movement, the rectilinear motion` would be greater than at either end, thus imparting jerky motion to the legs.

In addition to the inner walkways 14 and 3-6, I also illustrate an outer walkway and 96V which are the annular anges of the pan-shaped discs 44 and 45 Yrespectively which encircle the stationary platform 54 and have spaced holes 15L and ISR similar to flanges 14 and 36. The discs 44 and 45 are press-fitted to the hollow shafts 46 and 47 respectively and which are press-fitted to the gears 48 and 49 respectively. These gears mesh with pinions 50 and 51 respectively in the same manner as previously described with gears 2t) and 21, 'butin this instance revolve in the opposite direction, namely as shown by arrow 43, thus permitting persons -to walk vin opposite directions as is natural. To attain this result, the pinions 50 and 51'are'press fitted to Yhollow shaft 52 to which bevel gear 53 Ais attached and which meshes with bevel gear -26. It will thus be: apparent that while shaft 24 is rotating in one direction, its encompassing hollow shaft 52 revolves in the opposite direction. In order tosupport-the circular platforms 12 and 541m a level with top of Ybox A9, an overhead 4bridge ortrestle 55 spans the entire width of the'box as illustrated, thescrews 56 securing the "bridge'piers 'to the platforms. 'Arches 57 are thus provided for'the figurines to pass "through, the bridge 55 being easily disguised to represent'mountains, buildings, etc. It will thus be apparent that VI haveV provided av method Vof using a plurality of walkways, one within the other, in a natural setting. V t

The figurine may'depict any walkingzor moving object such as a human being, lion, horse, chicl''en,I cater-` pillar, or even an object on .wheels or a hopping animal' such as a kangaroo or rabbit'aswill be described later. In Figs. 3 and 4 a man figurine is illustrated wherein the thus normally holding the upper and lower legs in straight alinement but yielding to a certain predetermined degree of pressure to bend the springs as shown by the dotted lines. This bending starts at the time the step starts in natural simulation of walking. Another but rigid plate 73 is attached to the lower legs at the front thereof below the knee and extends upwards a similar distance as illustrated, thus preventing the lower leg from bending frontwards, an unnaturalcondition. The pins 32 which removably enter the holes ISL and ISR of the `alternating rotary platforms 14 and. 36 as .previously mentioned, are pivoted to the shqe33 and lower leg 58 by means of the lateral pins 74. This gives to the shoe pins 32 are pivotally attached to the shoes 33 together with the lower leg members SSL and SSR and these are pivoted at the knees at 7l to the upper leg members ttiLV tion and alternating forward motion need be applied toV the feet only to simulate a man walking, all mechanism being totally concealed from theviewer. v

Between the shafts 61 and 64 and the lower and upper ends of the slots 66 are located small springs 67. 'These function to equalize and diminish the bobbing of the head and body 34 and 35 which occurs naturally when a person is walking because, `as one leg passes the other leg, both legs momentarily vassume a vertical position as will be readily understood. However, in actual walking by a person, the knees and hip .joints take up a small amount of this bobbing and to counteract this effect in a figurine, the springs 67 will be compressed from both directions as the legs assume a vertical position, this re' ducing the bobbing practically in half, as will be readily.

understood. By using the spring 67 only at the bottom of the slot 66, there will be 'nor'bobbing 'It will be noted that the holes l15L and LER are in equally staggered relation in respect to the'flanges 14 and 36.

The lazy-tong arms 62 are upwardly extended a short distance past the pivot point 64. This extension has the function of striking the lower ends of the arm levers 68 y so that, as the legs move more vertically, the shaft '64 will also rise a short distance against the tension of springs 67, thus enabling the ends of the lazy-tong levers 62 to strike the lower ends of the arm levers .63.and thus move the arms 69 as in walking, the arm-69 and `lever `68ibeing solidly attached to their respective shafts 7rd. The lower legs SSL and SR can be bent slightly backwards at the knees .at .joint 7l. as in actual walking. K plished yby means Vof the iiat spring 72 attached at its lower end to the lower legs '53 at the vrear thereof but extending Vupwards slightly beyond the kneerjoint 71 and This 'is accornj a certain Ilooseness to adjust itself vwithin predetermined restraining limits, not shown, to simulate actual walking. In use, the legs would be covered by cloth trousers shown by the dotted lines 75. Referring again more particularly to Figs. l and 5, a quarter turn of the pinion 20 with the teethv meshed would cause the figurine yto take the step, see Fig. l, from the hole 76L to the hole 77L, shown by shoe, while the right shoe would be .at hole 78R.' The next quarter turn of pinion 20 would hold :the shoe at '77L while the teeth of pinion 21 would be in mesh with gear 23 and move right shoe to hole 79R andv so on.' The same is true of lthe outer Walle, ways 95 and 96, the shoes 80 and 81 being illustrated.

To prevent the shoe 33 from dragging along the walkway as the rearmost leg begins to take a forward step and naturally assumes a more vertical position and also Vto slightly bend the knee in a natural manner, an undulating strip 82 is provided under each runway, see Figs. 2, 3 and 4, these strips being attached as by soldering, to the undersdes of the stationary platforms A12, 54, etc. and extend around the entire circumference directly beneath the holes 15L and 15R. Referring more, particularly to Fig. 3, it will be noted that the pin 32R, which is permanently magnetized and magnetically attractive to the iron undulating strips 82, is caused to rise as the pin 32K is dragged forward, the pin 32L remaining stationary. This will cause the leg SSR to bend slightly at the knee against tension of spring 72 while leg SSL remains rigid at its knee, thus simulating 1 natural walking. Furthermore, on account of the magnetic attraction between the pin 32K and the undulating strip 82, the pin cannot become stuck or .dislodged and chattering is prevented.

In the actual operation of this simulating device the depending permanently magnetized pins 32R and 32L K :f of the figurine are merely placed into .any of .the adjoining holes 15K and ISL respectively. The rotating means is lthen applied and the Vligurine walks over the walkway in a simulating natural manner. A four legged animal such asa horse would be provided with a pin 32 for each leg and the animal would ywalk on all -fours as will be readily apparent. In fact, there is no limit tothe variety o'f figurines that may be used in connection with thisde vice, besides a complete menagerie, such figurines as caterpillars, chickens and even boats and Wheeled 4vehicles.

I From the foregoing description it Will be apparent that I` .have evolved an animation simulator which will more faithfully imitate the motions of moving objects, especially legged creatures, in that the required locomotion given to the body is transmitted directly Iandinvisibly to the feet of the creature or figurine, the two legged objects beingcaused to remain in natural, upright position by an invisible lazy-tong mechanism within the hollow Vbody thereof, simple rotary motion being transferred into forward alternating motion in exact simulation of walking, all with means for permitting `a plurality of walkwaysone within the other and vrotating in opposite directions if-defrmy or other propelling mechanism.

armar-37's -aving thu-s described my invention, I claim;V

1. An amusement device for simulating animative Walking creatures comprising two adjoining circular concentrcally arranged platforms with the Vupper surfaces thereof in the same horizontal plane, means for imparting equal predetermined rotary movements in one direction of each of said platforms alternately, vertically positioned adjacent 'holes in the peripheries of said platforms, said holes 'being staggered a uniform distance apart relative to each platform, an associated Walking tWo-legged figurine removably mounted on the upper surfaces of said platforms, each leg of said gurine terminating in a pin adapted to slidably fit into one of said vertically disposed holes in each respective platform.

2. lAn amusement `device as in claim 1, land a magnetizable strip located underneath a portion of each platform at the line of travel of said figurine, the lower tip of aforesaid pin attached to :the legs of said figurine being magnetized and adapted to contact the upper surfaces of said magnetizable strips during the intermittent rotative movements of said platforms.

3. An amusement device for simulating animative walking creatures comprising a rotatable circular horizontally disposed platform, a ring-shaped rotatable platform adjoining and encircling the .said circular platform and on the same horizontal plane therewith, figurine attaching means located in staggered relationon -said respective platforms, an associated two-legged figurine each foot of which is adapted to be attached to said respective staggered attaching means on said platforms, means for imparting equal predetermined rotary movements in one direction to each of said platforms alternately, meansl for braking each of said of said plat-forms Iwhile the adjoining platform is in motion, a tor-so and head onsaid iigurine, and a lazy-tong mechanism of rwhich the legs of said figurine are a part for keeping the torso in constant upright position While said figurine is walking through the alternating step by step movements of said platforms.

4. An amusement device for simulating walking Vcreatures comprising two adjoining rotatable platforms on the same horizontal plane, a walking figurine, means for removably attaching one foot of said figurine onto one of `said rotatable platforms and the other foot to the adjoining platform, .and means for applying alternating stop and go forward motion to said platforms.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNTTED STATES PATENTS Milligan j. oct. 26, 1954

Patent Citations
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US1523154 *Apr 3, 1924Jan 13, 1925Wilem YuskiewiczMovable figure toy
US2119046 *Jul 22, 1936May 31, 1938Henrietta EhretRace course game
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3143826 *Oct 15, 1962Aug 11, 1964Robert EllisFigurine and means for animating same
US3672082 *Oct 20, 1970Jun 27, 1972Topper CorpWalking mechanism for a doll
US4344243 *Jul 7, 1980Aug 17, 1982Leon ReszkaAnimated Christmas display device
US5501628 *Feb 14, 1994Mar 26, 1996Link Group InternationalEntertainment system
US6062938 *Oct 7, 1996May 16, 2000Mr. Christmas, Inc.Magnetically driven animated display
U.S. Classification446/138, 446/332
International ClassificationA63H13/00, A63H11/00, A63H11/18
Cooperative ClassificationA63H13/00, A63H11/18
European ClassificationA63H13/00, A63H11/18