US 2974441 A
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March 14, 1961 H. DENNER 2,974,441
SYSTEM FOR THE REMOTE CONTROL OF TOYS Filed March 1, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
ATTORNEK March 14, 1961 DENNER 2,974,441
SYSTEM FOR THE REMOTE CONTROL OF TOYS Filed March 1, 1957 2 SheetsSheet 2 HHHHHHHJ INVENTOR. HELM u r DENNE/E A TTO/P/VEK United States Patent 2,974,441 SYSTEM FOR THE REMOTE CONTROL OF TOYS Helmut Denner, Weierweg 1063, Buchs, Aargan, Switzerland Filed Mar. 1, 1957, Ser. No. 643,365
Claims priority, application Germany Apr. 12, 1956 11 Claims. (Cl. 46-244) The present invention relates to a system for operating toys and more particularly for actuating one or more movements in toys by acoustic signals.
With the system according to the invention, for example, a toy automobile can be made torun forward and' backward and to 'stop. Independent of these operations the direction of the movement of the toy automobile can be changed, i.e., the automobile can be made to run on a straight course or on a left or right curve. All movements are responsive to acoustic signals, for example, as produced by the human voice, by bells, whistles, a buzzer, or other sound producing means.
The system according to the invention affords selection and production of at least two different motions by means of two different sound effects, for example, sounds lasting different periods of time and/or having different frequencies. With the system according to the invention two or more different drives in a toy can be controlled independently of each other by the same microphone.
The novel features which are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself however and additional objects and advantages thereof will best be understood from the following description of embodiments thereof when read in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of a system according to the invention;
Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic illustration of a modified part of the system shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of another modified portion of the system according to Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic illustration of a modified system according to the invention;
Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic illustration of a modification of the system shown in Fig. 4.
Like parts are designated by like numerals in some figures of the drawing.
Referring more particularly to Fig. 1, numeral 1 designates a microphone controlling electric current by means of sound waves. Preferably a carbon microphone is used because of its greater output. The microphone is fed from a battery 2, one pole of which is connected with the metallic frame or body of the toy automobile via a switch 3, i.e., one pole is grounded via the switch 3. If current passes through the microphone 1, a transformer 4 transmits A.C. through a rectifier 5 and energizes a relay 6, closing a switch 7 for energizing a solenoid 8 forming part of first electric control means responsive to short signals received by the microphone 1 and adapted to move a lever 9 clockwise against the action of a spring 12. The lever 9 has a protuberance 13 engaged by an arm 10 when the lever is in its left or open position. The arm 10 extends from a gear 14 which is urged to rotate counterclockwise, for example, by a spring actuated motor, not shown. The gear 14 actuates one of a plurality of different movements for controlling the operation, for example, of a toy automobile. In the illustrated example, the gear 14 actuates a steering mechanism. Rotation of the gear 14 is halted when the arm 10 abuts against the protuberance 13. When the solenoid 8 is energized because the microphone 1 has received a sound, the lever 9 is swung clockwise and the protuberance 13 is disengaged from the arm 10 permitting counterclockwise rotation of the gear 14 until a tooth 11 provided on the lever 9 engages the arm 10 after about three quarters of a revolution of the gear 14. When the sound causing energization of the solenoid 8 stops, the spring 12 releases the tooth 11 and the motor, not shown, can rotate the gear 14 until the arm 10 engages the protuberance 13. The device is now ready to respondagain to sound waves received by the microphone 1. Thestop 11 is provided so that a sound can cause only a fraction of arevolution of the gear 14, preventing undesired quick exhaustion of the motor driving the gear 14. the stop 11 was not provided, the gear 14 would continue to spin counterclockwise until the solenoid 8 is deenergized. The incremental, actuation of the gear 14 when the switch 7 is closed is important for other reasons which will be explained later.
The teeth of the gear 14 are in mesh with the teeth of a gear 15. If the latter has four times as many teeth as the gear 14 the latter will rotate four times to produce one revolution of the gear 15. A pin 16 mounted on the gear 15 is moved through upon each revolution of the gear 14, i.e., at each actuation of the microphone 1. The pin 16 cosecutively assumes the positions I, II, III, IV. A slotted arm 17 extending from a bar 18 straddles the pin 16 which moves the bar 18 from left to right when the pin moves from position I through II to III. The bar 18 is moved to the left upon movement of the pin 16 from position 'III through IV to I. If the bar 18 is used to actuate steering levers 31 and 32 pivoted to the ends of the bar and rocking on pins 20 and 19, respectively, for changing the direction of front wheels C and B of the toy automobile the latter can be steered by suitable sounds directed into the microphone 1.
Since the resistance of the microphone 1 is much smaller when it does not respond to a sound than when it is actuated the battery 2 would'be quickly exhausted when the system is not used. This is prevented by arranging, in series relation to the microphone 1, a cold conductor 21, whose resistance increases when the electric current flowing therethrough increases. A condenser 22 is provided for minimizing sparks on the switch 7.'
The solenoid 8 is also used for controlling second electric control means which are responsive to signals of relatively long duration only. The lever 9 has a contact at its'upper end forming with another contact a switch 23 for controlling supply of electric current to an electromagnet 24. A cold conductor 25 is arranged in parallel relation to the magnet coil 24 and a resistance 26 is arranged in series relation to the coil 24 and the cold conductor 25 for delaying energization of the electromagnet. Therefore, at very short sound impulses, when the switch 23 is closed a very short time only, the magnet 24 is not energized. If the sound impulse lasts longer than the delaying action of the elements 25 and 26, the magnet 25 is energized and actuates a pawl 50 against the action of a spring 54 for advancing a ratchet wheel 51 by one tooth.
In the embodiment illustrated in Fig. l a cam 52 is mounted on the same shaft as the ratchet wheel 51. The cam 52 actuates a double pole double throw switch 53, controlling the electric current to an electric motor 30 for driving the rear axle of the toy automobile. Depending on the angular position of the cam 52 and the position of the switch 53 actuated thereby the automobile may be driven forward, backward, or stopped.
Short or long sound signals control the direction of movement of the automobile whereas only long sound signals control the operation of the motor driving the car. Since closing of the switch 9, 23 is accompanied only by an incremental operation of the steering movement or mechanism, the control of the driving motor 30 is practically independent of the actuation of the steering mechanism.
As shown in Fig. 3, the pawl 50 may be provided with a contact forming with a stationary contact a switch 60* which controls a second electromagnet 61 for actuating a second pawl 62 and a ratchet wheel 63 which may actuate a step switch for controlling, for example, the lights of the toy automobile, a horn, or other expedient.
The delaying action of the magnet 24 may be effected by other conventional means, for example, by providing a short circuit winding on the magnet or by replacing the resistance 26 by a hot conductor and omitting the cold conductor 25, or by interposing a slow acting relay, or by conventional mechanical means.
In order to increase the sensitivity of the microphone an amplifying system may be interposed between the microphone 1 and the relay 6. This is shown in Fig. 2. The relay 6 is arranged in a circuit controlled by a transistor 36 and fed by the battery 2. The transistor is actuated by current passed by the microphone 1 and controlled by a working resistance 33 of the microphone coupled to a base resistance 35 of the transistor by a coupling condenser 34.
In Fig. 4 which illustrates a modified system according to the invention elements are shown only which are es sential for producing the new result. E designates a signal producing device, for example, a microphone which controls directly or by means of an amplifying system or relays a solenoid coil 38 actuating a pawl 64 operatively associated with a ratchet Wheel 40 which is connected with a one-pole drum type switch 39 for controlling the operation of an electric control motor 37. Rotation of the latter is effected by a signal produced by the device E. The motor 37 drives a pinion 14 whose teeth mesh with the teeth of a gear 15 carrying a control pin 16. A four arm contact member 43 is mounted on and rotates with the gear 15. Because the gear 15 should rotate through an angle of only 90 at every impulse received by the microphone E one arm of the member 43 engages a contact spring 41 shortly before the member 43 has rotated through an angle of 90. This causes energization of the solenoid 38 and opening of the switch 39.
'In the meantime the motor 37 driven by forces of inertia drives the arm of member 43 which has engaged the spring 41 beyond the latter so that the solenoid 38 is deenergized and the ratchet wheel 40 stops in a position in which the switch 39 is open. With the system shown in Fig. 4 actuation of the wheel 15 requires only a very short impulse, as in the system according to Fig. l.
At each energization of the solenoid '38 a switch 23 connected with the pawl 64 is closed which, however, transmits current only when an arm of the member 43 contacts a contact spring 42. If the impulse acting on the device E lasts sufficiently long to keep the switch 23 closed until an arm of the member 43 engages the spring 42, a solenoid 24' is energized which actuates a pawl 50 and a ratchet wheel 51 which may control the driving motor of the toy automobile as shown in Fig, 1.
In the modification illustrated in Fig. the current for the control motor 37 and for the solenoid 38 is conducted through the drum switch 39. Therefore, the solenoid 38is de-energized also if for some reason an arm-of the member 43 does not pass the spring 41 but stops on the spring. The solenoid 38 cannot unintentionally remain energized, exhausting the source of current 2'. The same is the case with respect to the solenoid 24'.
If the microphones 1 or E are made waterproof, the systems according to the invention can be used for toy submarines for control by underwater sounds. The
to light rays without departing from the scope of the invention.
The combination according to the invention of clements responsive to sound, frequency, etc., with elements responsive to the duration of impulses make possible or simplifies the solution of many control problems.
I. A system for the remote control of at least two different movements in toys, including, in combination, at least two different means for effecting at least two different movements, an impulse receiving means adapted to control an electric current, electric circuit means in which said impulse receiving means is interposed for controlling said circuit means, a first solenoid interposed in said circuit means, a switch lever forming the armature of said first solenoid, a rotating means operatively connected with and adapted to actuate one of said different means, said switch lever including means adapted to engage and to stop said rotating means when said first solenoid is de-energized and to permit rotation of said rotating means when said first solenoid is energized, said switch lever including means adapted to en gage and to stop said rotating means when said first solencid is energized and to permit rotation of said rotating means when said first solenoid is tie-energized, an electric circuit, a switch interposed in said circuit and connected with and actuated by said switch lever, a. second solenoid interposed in said electric circuit and controlled by said switch, retarding means interposed in said electric circuit for retarding the energiz'ation of said second solenoid relatively to the time neededfor energizing said first solenoid, and means associated with said second solenoid and operatively connected with another of said different means for controlling the latter.
2. A system as defined in claim 1, said retarding means being formed by a cold conductor arranged in parallel to said second solenoid and a resistance interposed in said electric circuit.
3. A system as defined in claim. 1, said retarding means being formed by a hot conductor interposed in said electric circuit.
4. A system as defined in claim 1, said retarding means being formed by a slow acting relay interposed in said electric circuit.
5. A toy including, in combination, at least twodifien ent means for effecting at least two different movements, first electric control means operatively connected to one of said different means for controlling operation of the latter, said first control means being responsive to signals of any duration, and second electric control means operatively connected to a second of said different means for controlling the latter, said second electric control means including delaying means for making said second electric control means responsive to signals only whose duration is longer than a predetermined duration.
6. A toy as defined in claim 5 wherein said first electric control means includes an impulse receiving means adapted to control an electric current, electric circuit means in which said impulse receiving means is interposed for controlling said circuit means, a first solenoid interposed in said circuit means, a pawl forming the armature of said first solenoid, an electric motor operatively connected to one of said different means for actuating the latter, a first electric circuit in which said motor is interposed, a one pole drum type switch interposed in said first electric circuit for controlling the operation of said motor, a ratchet wheel connected to said drum type switch and adapted to be engaged by said pawl for stepwise rotation, a second electric circuit, said first solenoid being interposed in said second circuit, and a switch interposed in said second circuit and operatively connected to said motor for actuation thereby, said second electric control means including an electric circuit, a solenoid interposed in said last mentioned circuit, a first switch interposed in said last mentioned circuit and operatively connected to said motor for actuation thereby, and a second switch interposed in said last mentioned circuit in series relation to said first switch, said second switch being connected to said pawl for actuation thereby.
7. In a toy, at least two different elements, control means individually operatively connected to said elements for individually controlling the latter, first electric actuating means responsive to electric control signals of any duration and operatively connected to the control means of a first of said elements for actuating the control means of said first element, and second electric signal responsive actuating means operatively connected to the control means of a second of said elements for actuating the control means of said second element, said second electric actuating means including means impeding actuation of the control means of the second element by said second electric actuating means until the signal to which said second electric actuating means is responsive has lasted a predetermined minimal period of time.
8. In a toy as defined in claim 7 and wherein the control means of at least one of said elements includes stepwisely operable means and the respective electric actuating means includes a solenoid for efiecting movement of the respective stepwisely operable means by one step at each energization of said solenoid.
9. In a toy as defined in claim 7 and wherein said second electric actuating means includes a solenoid, and said impeding means is formed by a cold conductor arranged in shunted relation to said solenoid.
10. In a toy as defined in claim 9 and wherein the control means of said second element includes the armature of said solenoid, electric actuating means being operatively connected to the control means of a third of said elements and including switch means connected to said armature for operation thereby.
11. In a toy as defined in claim 7 and wherein the first of said elements is the steering mechanism of a toy vehicle, and the second of said elements is the driving motor of the toy vehicle.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS