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Publication numberUS3142132 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1964
Filing dateJan 17, 1961
Priority dateJan 24, 1955
Publication numberUS 3142132 A, US 3142132A, US-A-3142132, US3142132 A, US3142132A
InventorsJohnson Thomas M
Original AssigneeJohnson Thomas M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sound actuated toy
US 3142132 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 28, 1964 T. M. JOHNSON souuo ACTUA'I'ED TOY 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed Jan. 24, 1955 INVENTOR.

THOMAS M. JOHNSON ATTORNEY m- VX July 28, 1964 'r. M. JOHNSON 3,142,132

souun ACTUATED TOY Original Filed Jan. 24. 1955 s She e ts-Shaet 2 INVENTOR. THOMAS M. JOHNSON av'z ATTORNEY y 28, 1964 T. M. JOHNSON 3,142,132

SOUND ACTUATED TOY Original Filed Jan. 24,' 1955 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG 8 INVENTOR. T HO MA 8 M. JOHNSON ATTOR NEY United States Patent and this application Dian. 17, 1961, Scr. No. 83,247

l- Claims. (61. 46-244) This invention relates to remote control toy vehicles and more particularly to electrically powered remotely controlled toy vehicles wherein a remotely actuated switch serves to control the steering of the vehicle.

The present application is a division of my copending application Serial No. 483,511, filed January 24, 1955, now US. Patent No. 2,995,866.

It is of primary importance, in toy vehicles of this type to reduce manufacturing costs so that the articles can be produced and sold at a reasonable and attractive price. Since the major cost of the toy vehicle is for the control mechanism and the prime mover, it would be desirable to provide a device wherein but a single motor is used to serve the function of both steering and locomotion. Further, since the prior art control mechanisms have usually been either bulky or expensive, or both, it is desirable to reduce the complexity and weight thereof.

In the past, the control mechanism of toys of this type has included radio receivers in tune with a remote transmitter for controlling the steering or the direction of travel of the vehicle. These radio transmitters, the receivers and the mechanism to which the receivers are connected, have been complicated and expensive, the control arrangement for the actuation and steering requiring a plurality of motors, solenoids and the like to provide both means for steering and means for controlling the direction of travel of the vehicle.

Other methods for controlling a toy vehicle have included hand switches connected through appropriate sources of current and through cables to motors and solenoids in the vehicles for reversing the direction of travel of the vehicle and for steering the same. More recently, limited control of steering in the hand switch type toy vehicle has been accomplished by utilizing a single motor for driving one of the front wheels of the toy vehicle whereby, upon rotation of the motor to impart forward motion to the vehicle, the steering assembly swings so that the vehicle travels in an arc in one direction and upon tie-energizing of the motor, the same acts as a brake on the one front wheel to steer the vehicle in an arc in the other direction.

To provide a toy vehicle which is inexpensive to manufacture and yet is fully steerable in any direction, actuatable both in the forward and reverse directions and is capable of starting and stopping as desired, without physical contact or remote connections, I have devised a toy vehicle which, described briefly, includes a front wheel assembly capable of rotation through a 360 arc in one direction only. To accomplish complete steering and driving, one wheel of the front wheel assembly is driven by a motor in one direction or the other, while the other wheel is capable of rotation in only one direction. Thus it will be seen that by controlling the direction of rotation of the driven wheel, the front wheel assembly is caused to actuate the vehicle in a predetermined path or in the alternative to pivot the front wheel assembly about the other wheel. The control mechanism is connected to the driving wheel and, as will more readily be seen hereinafter, includes a prime mover with a sound switch for reversing the direction of rotation thereof.

Incorporated with my toy vehicle, as an optional feature, is a mechanically actuated switch which, when the axis of the front wheel is in a predetermined position, will ice de-actuate the prime mover until the sound switch is closed.

Accordingly, it is an object of my invention to provide an inexpensive toy vehicle wherein a single motor controls the direction of travel of the vehicle and the steering thereof.

Another object of my invention is to provide a toy vehicle wherein a sound actuated switch controls the steerage of the vehicle.

Another object of my invention is to provide a toy vehicle which will automatically stop and start upon actuation of a sound switch.

Another object of my invention is to provide a toy vehicle which is provided with a front wheel assembly which is controllable by the direction of rotation of a wheel thereon.

Another object of my invention is to provide a toy vehicle wherein the steering may be controlled from a remote station.

Another object of my invention is to provide a fully controllable toy vehicle which is inexpensive to manufacture, durable in structure and eflicient is operation.

Other and further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like characters of reference designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a partially broken side elevational view of a toy vehicle constructed in accordance with my invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the toy vehicle illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the toy vehicle illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a partially broken perspective view of the sound switch shown in the vehicle in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a partially broken perspective view of an alternate sound switch which may be substituted for the sound switch shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram for the toy vehicle shown in FIG. 1.

Referring now in detail to the embodiment chosen for purpose of illustration and to FIG. 1 in particular, the casing of my toy vehicle comprises a platform 10 which is a flat rigid member having a hood 11 and a body 12. The shape of the casing of my vehicle is immaterial but in the present embodiment the casing simulates a conventional truck. The casing, itself, may be constructed of plastic or metal or the like, but it should be of sufiicient size to house the equipment hereinafter to be described.

The rear wheels 13 are freely rotatable on an axle 14 which in turn is carried by a bracket 15 extending down from the rear lower surface of platform 10. The axle 14 is disposed perpendicular to a vertical plane passing through the longitudinal axis of the casing as is conventional in most toy vehicles.

According to my invention, the front wheel assembly of my toy vehicle includes a simulated steering wheel 16 which is rigidly connected to an upright standard 17 which serves as a simulated steering shaft and projects adjacent to hood 11 down through platform 10. Standard 17 is in a vertical plane passing through the longitudinal axis of the casing and is journaled substantially in the forward part of the casing by platform It An appropriate indicia such as a line or arrow 18 is placed on the upper surface of steering Wheel 16 so that by observing the direction of pointing of the arrow, the radial position of standard 17 may be ascertained.

Projecting radially from the central portion of standard 17 are a pair of diametrically opposed fingers 19, 19 which, upon rotation of standard 17 about its axis, will alternately strike and pivot a downwardly projecting arm 20 carried by a horizontal shaft 21. Shaft 21 is journaled for rotation about its axis by an upstanding journal member 22 which is anchored beneath hood 11 to platform 10. The free end of shaft 21 is provided with a normally closed mercury switch 23 which is opened when arm 20 is rotated by either of fingers 19 or 1%. A spring 24 connected between journal member 22 and shaft 21 urges shaft 21 to its original position with mercury switch 23 closed. The function of mercury switch 23, as a means of starting and stopping the vehicle, will be described in more detail hereinafter. Of course other switch means may be substituted for mercury switch 23 without departing from the scope of my invention.

Fixed to the lower end of standard 17, below platform 10, is the front wheel carriage comprising an inverted U-shaped yoke 25 which supports rectangular frame 26. Bolts 27 or other means pivotally connect the ends of yoke 25 to the midsection of the longitudinal members of frame 26 whereby the frame may pivot with respect thereto.

The transverse members of frame 26 are pierced centrally to receive the front axle 23 of my toy vehicle and a prime mover such as reversible motor 29 is positioned at one corner of frame 26 so that small gear 3i? fixed on shaft 31 of motor 29 protrudes past frame 2-6. Motor 29 is preferably a 3-volt D.C. motor of the type having a constant magnet field with brushes leading to the commutator of the armature so that upon reversal of the current flowing to the motor, the direction of rotation of the armature will be reversed.

Freely rotatable wheel 32 and unidirection wheel 33 are provided on the ends of axle 23 to form the front wheels of my toy vehicle. concentrically fixed on the inside of wheel 32 is a gear 34 which is driven from gear 30 through appropriate reduction gears 35. Thus it is seen that motor 29 drives wheel 32 in either direction of rotation. It is readily apparent that many other means of driving wheel 32 may be employed without departing from the scope of my invention.

The other front wheel 33 is provided with a ratchet wheel 37 which is concentrically fixed to the inside of the same. A pawl member 38, which is fixed to frame 26, extends diagonally down from one corner of frame 26 to engage the serrations of ratchet wheel 37 to thus permit rotation of wheel 33 in only one direction.

To prevent rotation of the front wheel assembly about its vertical axis when wheel 32 is rotated in the direction in which wheel 33 is capable of rotating, a fiat circular ratchet 39 is concentrically fixed on standard 117 between yoke 25 and platform lit and is engaged by pawl 4i) which is mounted to the bottom of platform 16. For purposes to be described later, the top of ratchet 39 is insulated by insulating material 41 and carries a slip ring 42 which is contacted by a collector brush 43 mounted to platform 10.

It is now seen that the front wheel assembly will rotate in only one direction about its vertical axis and wheel 33 will rotate in only one direction about its axis; thus, when motor 29 drives wheel 32 in such a direction as to tend to rotate the front wheel assembly in the direction opposite the direction in which it will rotate, and wheel 33 is freely rotatable in the direction of rotation of wheel 32, the front wheel asesmbly will move along a surface 44 in a direction at right angles to front axle 23.

In order to change the position of the front wheel assembly, the direction of rotation of motor 23 is changed to drive wheel 32 in the opposite direction. When wheel 32 is driven in this opposite direction, wheel 33 is not capable of rotation in that direction and hence, the front wheel assembly will pivot about wheel 33 with pawl it) riding over the serrations on ratchet 39.

Mounted centrally within the body on platform 10 is a 6-volt battery 45 having terminals at either end thereof and a center tap. Mounted adjacent battery 45 is a double pole, single throw relay comprising a solenoid 47 and a switch 48 operated thereby. A small condenser d9 and a resistor 56 are located adjacent battery 45 while on-off, double pole, single throw switch 51 is positioned appropriately on body 12.

In the rear of the body is a substantially square box which constitutes a Helm-Holtz resonator 52 mounted on sponge rubber 53 and 54. A sound switch is mounted in resonator 52, one suitable sound switch being shown in FIGS. 1 and 6 with an alternate structure sound switch in FIGS. 7 and 8. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 6, resonator 52 is provided with a switch actuator such as diaphragm 55 which is cone-shaped and extends across the open mouth of resonator 52. A pillow block 36 of substantially the same depth as diaphragm 55 is mounted at one side within the resonator 52 and a flexible, cone alignment member 57 extends between pillow block 56 and the apex of diaphragm 55. A contact adjustment member 58 extends parallel to alignment member 57 and is spaced beneath the same by metal bridge 59 and a set screw 6i). Set screw 66 is journaled for rotation by pillow block 56 and threadably engages one end of contact adjustment member 53 while bridge 59 is affixed to the lower side of alignment member 57 at the apex of diaphragm 55 and extends to a position intermediate of alignment member 58.

From an examination of FIG. 1, it will be seen that cone alignment member 57 is substantially three-fourths the length of contact adjustment member 58. The tip of contact adjustment member 5'8 is provided with an electrically conductive contact finger 61 which is preferably tipped with silver or other had high melting point metal. A reed 62 projects parallel to contact adjustment member 56 from the end of cone alignment member 57. This reed 62 terminates immediately above finger 61 to form a sound actuated switch which, upon vibration of the reed, will close.

In the preferred embodiment, cone alignment member 57 is selected to have a resonant frequency of .9 to .16 of the frequency at which the sound switch is to operate, contact adjustment member 58 should be constructed with sufficient stiffness so that it can follow the movement of the cone without moving the contact finger. Further, the Helm-Holtz resonator 52 and the reed 62 are tuned to the pitch at which the sound switch is to operate.

Members 57 and 58 may be constructed of wood, plastic or the like while reed 62 may be constructed of metal provided with a hard conductive coating adjacent to finger 61.

In FIG. 7 and FIG. 8, an alternate structure of the sound switch is shown wherein the switch actuator or vibrator 63 is a substantially flat piece of metal or the like which is supported from one edge 64 by a flange 65 which is fixed to the top of resonator 52. An examination of FIG. 7 will disclose that vibrator 63 is spaced from the opening at the top of resonator 52 and extends over the entire opening to absorb the sound vibrations emanating from the box when it is in resonance with a sound vibratron.

I would like to state that the alternate version of the sound operated switch is capable of discrimination of pitch so that several cars may be operated at the same time, and the range of effective use is from 200 to 450 cycles per second.

Extending centrally from edge 64 is a flat metal reed 66 which projects beyond the edge of resonator 52. Below the projecting end of reed 66 is an adjustment member comprising a U-shaped tong 67, the ends of which are adjustably held together by a screw 68 which threadably contacts one arm of tong 67 and is rotatably carried by the other. Tong 67 is appropriately mounted by a pillow block 69 adjacent resonator 52 in such a position that a cat whisker contact member 74) may be project up from the surface of tong 67 then down to contact reed 66 when vibrator 63 is vibrating.

It will be apparent that, while I have described a sound actuated switch and an alternate structure which are sensitive to sound in the frequency of from about 200 cycles per second to say 450 cycles per second, other sound actuated switches, radio operated switches or a remotely connected switch could be substituted for the switches described above.

In FIG. 8, it will be seen that the center tap of battery 45 is connected by wire 71 to one brush of motor 29. The other brush of motor 29 is connected by means of wire 72 to switch 48 of relay 46.

To supply current in either one direction or the other to motor 29, the throw terminals 73, 73 of switch 48 are respectviely connected to the terminals of battery 45 with terminal 73 being conneced thereto through wire 74 and on-off switch 51 and terminal 73 being connected thereto through mercury switch 23, wire 75 and on-oir switch 51. It is to be remembered that switch 48 is normally in contact with terminal '73 and hence, when onofi? switch 51 and mercury switch 23 are closed, current is supplied to rotate motor 29 and wheel 32 in the same direction in which wheel 33 is capable of rotating; however, if switch 48 is thrown to contact terminal 73, current flowing in the opposite direction is supplied to reverse the motor 29.

For throwing switch 43 upon the sounding of a noise of proper frequency, one lead from solenoid 47 is connected through wire 76 to wire 75, and the other lead is connected through wire '77 to one terminal of the sound switch. The other other terminal of the sound switch is connected through wire 7 8 to wire 74. To prevent oscillation and thereby provide for substantially a constant flow of current, when the sound switch is closed, condenser 49 and a resistor 50 are arranged in series with each other and in parallel with the sound switch. Therefore, when a noise or sound of proper frequency is sounded solenoid 47 pulls switch 48 to contact terminal 73 for supplying current to motor 29 in a direction opposite to the flow of current through terminal 73'.

From the foregoing description, the operation of my toy vehicle will be apparent. The first step is to tune the sound switch. For maximum sensitivity over a substantially wide range, finger 61 or contact member 70, as the case may be, is brought very close to reed 62 or reed 66. Probably the most practical method of tuning is to turn on-off switch 51 on and rotate the front wheel assembly until mercury switch 23 is opened. This prevents current from being supplied to motor 29 until the sound switch is closed. Thereafter, rotate set screw 60 or screw 68 until motor 29 begins to rotate, then rotate the screw about 15 in the reverse direction to just slightly open the sound switch.

My toy vehicle is now ready for operation and is placed on a flat surface 44. If the mercury switch 23 is open, a noise or sound of the appropriate frequency will actuate motor 29 to cause the front wheel assembly to rotate about wheel 33 and then move in its predetermined direction as soon as the noise or sound is stopped. If mercury switch 23 is closed, motor 29 normally rotates wheel 32 in the same direction in which wheel 33 will rotate to drive my toy vehicle. It is thus apparent that my toy vehicle may be driven forward and backward depending on the position of the front Wheel assembly, or in any other direction desired.

By making a sound for a sufiicient time to rotate the front wheel assembly to one of the two predetermined positions where mercury switch 23 is open, my vehicle may be stopped. Of course, when the on-off switch 50 is opened, the toy is de-actuated and may be stored.

It is to be noted that my toy vehicle is well adapted to travel over rugged terrain since frame 26 is pivotally carried by yoke 25 so that wheels 32., 33 will always contact the surface 44.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many variations may be made in the single embodiment chosen for purpose of illustration without departing from the scope of my invention as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a toy having a body, electro-mechanical means of propulsion connected to said body, said electro-mechanical means being capable of selectively actuating said toy in diiierent manners upon supplying current to said electromechanical means, a source of direct current connected to said body, said source of current having a center tap and end terminals, a circuit connected from said center tap to said electro-mechanical means, a switch electrically connected respectively to said terminals on said source, said switch being so constructed and arranged as to contact one of its terminals in one position and the other of its terminals in another position, means urging said switch into contact with one of said terminals, a solenoid constructed and arranged upon being energized to urge said switch out of contact with said last mentioned terminal and into contact with the other of said terminals, a circuit connecting said solenoid to said source of current, and a switch means in said last mentioned circuit for opening and closing said circuit.

2. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein said last mentioned switch means includes a resonator, and a sound responsive switch within said resonator.

3. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein said last mentioned switch means is enclosed in a resonator mounted on said body, and a sound sensitive reed is con- :nected to said switch to vibrate with said resonator to .close said switch.

4. The structure claimed in claim 2 including a cone within said resonator, an alignment member connected to the vertex of said cone, a contact adjustment member spaced substantially parallel to said alignment member, and a vibratable reed connected to said alignment member, said switch being connected between said reed and said alignment member.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,488,464 Arpin Nov. 15, 1949 2,718,729 Giardina Sept. 27, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 998,83Q France r Sept. 26, 1951

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2488464 *Jan 29, 1949Nov 15, 1949William Arpin JohnRemotely controlled toy
US2718729 *Mar 3, 1953Sep 27, 1955Giardina Andrew NRemotely controlled toy vehicle
FR998830A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3458950 *Apr 3, 1968Aug 5, 1969Remco Ind IncSound controlled toys having a time delay motor circuit
US4085542 *Dec 30, 1976Apr 25, 1978Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Sonic responsive toy vehicle steering system
US4086724 *Jan 16, 1976May 2, 1978Mccaslin Robert EMotorized toy vehicle having improved control means
US4221927 *Aug 8, 1978Sep 9, 1980Scott DankmanVoice responsive "talking" toy
US4230317 *Feb 10, 1978Oct 28, 1980Marvin Glass & AssociatesSound actuated competitive game apparatus
US5512001 *Feb 3, 1995Apr 30, 1996Stephen Schwartz DesignToy vehicle
US6663463Jun 7, 2002Dec 16, 2003Mattel, Inc.Sound activated toy vehicle
U.S. Classification446/175, 200/61.1
International ClassificationA63H17/00, A63H30/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H17/00, A63H30/00
European ClassificationA63H17/00, A63H30/00