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Publication numberUS3201899 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 24, 1965
Filing dateMar 30, 1962
Priority dateMar 30, 1962
Publication numberUS 3201899 A, US 3201899A, US-A-3201899, US3201899 A, US3201899A
InventorsBacsanyi Thomas J, Toteff George A
Original AssigneeAmt Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Remotely controlled toy and track arrangement therefor
US 3201899 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1965 G. A. TOTEFF ETAL 3,201,899



REMOTELY CONTROLLED TOY AND TRACK ARRANGEMENT THEREFOR Filed March 30, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 STEERINGB 40 44 45 2| |2 iZ/ [All l //f I 32 54 3O a 2O l I32 34 STEERING A a o 3 FIG. 4B

INVENTORS. GEORGE A. TOTEFF 6 mo BY THOMAS J BACSANY KEORNEY United States Patent 0 3,291,899 REMOTELY CGNTRULLED TOY AND TRACK ARRANGEMENT THEREFQR George A. Toteti, Birmingham, and Thomas J. Bacsanyr, Livonia, Mich, assignors to AMT Corporation, Troy, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Mar. 30, 1962, Ser. No. 183,837 1 tjlaim. ((Il. 4%624d) This invention pertains to the art of remotely controlled toys, and more particularly to a remotely controlled miniature vehicle adapted to follow along a trackway.

This invention is particularly adapted for use in controlling a miniature automobile, hereinafter referred to as a car, as it travels along a trackway; however, it is to be appreciated that the invention has much broader applictions and may be used for a wide variety of remotely controlled toys adapted to travel along a trackway or similar guide means.

It has been known to provide remotely controlled cars which travel along a trackway extending in a predetermined path whereby the speed of the vehicle could be controlled by a manual rheostat. By providing two or more side-by-side trackways, one car could be driven on each trackway and the speed of the cars could be independently controlled so that the toy was adapted for use as an auto racing game. Although these auto racing car were traveling in the same trackway, they were, by

necessity, driven at the same speed; and variation in the speed of one car resulted in a corresponding variation in the speed of any other car in the same trackway. A further limitation of prior remotely controlled toys of the type having a car traveling along a trackway, is that the cars followed along the exact path of the trackway in a manner similar to the cars of a toy train. Consequently, the operation of these prior remotely controlled toys did not require a substantial degree of skill, and after a short time, the novelty was lost and the toy no longer held the attention of the operator.

The present invention is directed to a remotely controlled car not subject to the above-mentioned limitations wherein two or more cars moving along the same trackfor controlling two separate cars traveling on the same trackway. By this construction, no electrical rails are exposed and the car is adapted to ride on a surface above the trackway in which the dolly rides. A swivel connection between the dolly and the car permits the car to swivel 180 in either direction without reversing the direction of rotation of a drive motor provided on the car or interrupting current to this motor.

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a remotely controlled \toy comprising a car, a trackway extending in a predetermined path and having at least two separate sets of electrical rails, and a dolly movable in the trackway and having a set of rail engaging electrical contacts. The dolly is so constructed that it "Ice can be oriented in the trackway with the contacts thereon engaging either set of electrical rails; therefore, two identically constructed dollies may be positioned in the same trackway while being electrically connected to separate rails. This allows individual control of each car in the trackway.

The primary object of the present invention is the provision of a remotely controlled toy of the general type described having a car adapted to ride along a trackway wherein two dollies riding in the same trackway can be used to independently control separate cars.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of a remotely controlled toy of the type having a car adapted to ride along a trackway wherein two or more cars may ride along one trackway and still be in dependently controlled without requiring design changes in the separate cars or the driving structures for these cars.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a remotely controlled toy of the general type having an electrically operated car adapted to ride along a trackway with a dolly riding in the trackway and connected to the car to pass electrical signals from the trackway to the car wherein the dolly may be reversed in the trackway to connect the car with one of two separate electrical circuits on the trackway. Accordingly, by providing only one dolly construction which may be reversed in the trackway, independent control of two or more separate cars is possible while the dolly of each car is riding along the same trackway.

Still a further object of the present invention is the provision of a remotely controlled toy comprising a trackway and a control dolly riding in the trackway for transmitting electrical signals from the trackway to control circuits on a car, wherein the dolly has a set of contacts and the trackway has two sets of rails, one set of rails is engaged by the dolly contacts when the dolly is in one position in the trackway, and the other set of rails is engaged by the dolly contacts when the dolly is reversed in the trackway.

These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description used to illustrate the preferred embodiment of the invention as read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view illustrating a remotely controlled toy of the type to which the invention is directed;

FIGURE 2 is a partial cross sectional view illustrating the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 2A is a partial enlarged view of the connection between the post and cap;

FIGURE 2B is a partial cross sectional view taken along line 2B2B of FIGURE 2A;

FIGURE 3 is a somewhat schematic view illustrating the underside of a remotely controlled car constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIGURE 4A is a schematic view illustrating the dolly in a first position in the trackway;

FIGURE 43 is a schematic view illustrating the dolly in a reversed position from that shown in FIGURE 4A; and,

FIGURE 5 is a somewhat schematic wiring diagram for controlling the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for the purpose of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only and not for the purpose of limiting same, FIGURE 1 shows a remotely controlled toy constructed in accordance with the invention wherein vehicles A, B, hereinafter referred to as cars, are operably associated with a base 10 which in the preferred embodiment comprises a number of separate sections which are aligned azaleas to provide 'a continuous base having at least two trackways 12, 14. To allow crossover'from one trackway to another, at least one crossover'16 is provided between theseparate trackways, By electrical control of cars A, B,

the cars are propelled en the baselo and generally along the traclcways 12, 14-. The present invention is directed toward the mechanisms for controlling the movement of these cars. I

V other means could be provided for, securing the cap onto Referring to FIGURES 2and 2A each track-Way-1'2,

14 is substantially identical in construction and, for the purposes of simplicity, the construction of trackway 12 will be discussed in detail; however, it'is appreciated that this discussion will apply equally tothe construction 'of trackway 14. Although two side-by-side trackways are illustrated-inthe preferred embodiment,;the number 'o'ft'rackways may be changed without departing from the intended scope 'of'the present invention. Trackway 12 comprises a generally rectangular-1y shaped recessed channel 20 which is closed by atwo-piece *cover 21 having downwardly depending flanges 22' with shoulders 23. V The channel and cover are preferably constructed of a molded electrical insulating material; and adjacent the bottom of the channel 20 there is provided upwardly extending ribs 24, 26 spaced downwardly from'depending flanges 22 at opposite sides of the channel. Molded integrally with the channel, are a'pluralit'yof rail supports 28, 29 spaced transversely along the bottom of the channel; opposite sides of the channel 20, electrically conductive rails 30, 32 are so positioned to extend'along the gen- 'eral pathwayfollowed by the channel; These rails are positioned below 'should'ers'23 and coact with three lo'ngi:

tudinally extending base-rails 34,- 36'and 38 securedbetween the supports' 28, 29 to provide-electric energization of the cars A, B in a manner to be hereinafter described in detail. i a a To connect the electrical rails '30, 38 with electrically controlled devices within the cars, there is provided a dolly "40 adapted to ride along the'tra'ckway 12 and comprising :a carriage 42, an upwardlyextending pest 44 protruding outwardly through a slot '45 betweenthe two pieces of the cover 21,"a set ofsupp'ort wheels 46located at the corners er the carriage and adaptedto ride between the fiange 22 and rails 24,26, and sliding contacts '50,- 52 and'54 adapted to engage two of the bottom rails and one ofthe side'rails in a manner shown in FIGURE 2." Although the wheels have been shown belowflanges23, it is within the con.

' over 16, thereis provided a follower mea'nsfor forcing the Along the Y the post without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Adjacent the upper portion of cap 62 is a longitudinally extending swingable member 80 which can assume'an infinite number .of angular" positions with respect toipost 44 of the dolly40. The swingable rnember80 is, connected with the center base rail 36 by an electrical connection 82 on the biased contact74 Adjacent the uppermost end of this swingable member there isprovided a swivel joint 83 which connects the member 'onto the under portion of car A; It is to be appreciated that the swivel connection could be made'with car B since these cars are identical in construction'.

couldbe provided forthis purpose, in accordance with the preferred embodiment, the cap and post 44 are interconnected -by-'the spring 76 Which isU-shapedand engages a cam bloclc84. provided in the groove 57. See FIGURE 2B! fThus the action of the camlblock 84 and the spring 76 biases the movement of member 80with respect to the post 44 so that the post tends to follow the angular movement of the member. The member, or link 80 allows transverse movement of car A with "respect t'ojthe trackway 12 soathat the car may be steered in a manner to be described'later. Although a link swiveled onto the dolly and the car is preferred, various other link members may be used, For instance, a chain, cable, rope, wire, etc., could ,be used to allow transverse'movement' of'the car with'respect'tothe trackway. Itjis'even within the scope of theinvention'to use a slot or guide channel adjacent the lower portion .of the car A or on the dolly and a pin or similarprotruding element'extendingfrom the dolly or car into the slot or guide channel. This follower means is, the claimed subject matter of copending application Serial 'No. 186,550 filedAp'ril 10, 1962, by Philip A. Sheltemplation ofthe invention to have the wheel's-ride under I coveripieces 2 1"so that the wheels could bear againstthe underside of one cover piece during turning of the dolly. "Adjacent the upperfportionof'p'ost 44 is a center stud 56 l 0 which is connected to the sliding 'contact 52 by an appro-- priate means which is represented schematically as lead '56. Also, there is fprovided 'o n thestud :56 a generally circumferentially extending groove 57, ;the functions er -which are described later.

Adjacent the upper; portion of post 44 are side spring contacts 58, 60'spaced axially dolly contacts 50, 54 through'thedolly as is schematically represented by leads 58 and 60.

- A cap -62 isjadaptedT-to be slipped over the outwardly don and assigned to the same assignee as this application. To direct the electrical signals of the rails 32, 34 and'36 to the car A,.there is provided a 112111168886 made up of wires 87, 88 connected to terminals'lt), 72respectively ,andtwowires 89 connected onto-the link 80. It is appreciated thatthe connection of wires 89 with the Contact 74 could be made without using the link-80. As will be ex- {.plainedlater, the;center base rail 36 is a common rail for .grounding or otherwise'completing anelect-rical circuit from-each other and electrically connected "onto sliding through all electrically responsive elements on the car A;

therefore, in accordance with'the preferredembodiment,

two wires'89 are provided for completing the electrical circuit through the two electrically responsive devices to 'be described later. 'Acco'rding to the constructionso far extending end of post 44 and isprovided with an inner -;bore,-or recess, 64 havingaxially spaced slip. rings 66', 68 -whichride against contacts 58,.60'irrespectiveof the angular position of cap 62 with respect to the post 44. Extending putwardly'from the cap 62 'are' a pair of terminals- 70, 72 electricallyconnected with slip rings 66, 68 respectively.

Consequently, the terminals'70, 72 are in continuous electrical contact with the rails- 34, 32 respectively through the .described,-thecar .is connected onto the swin'gable link .80 at a point spaced from the pivot point of the link and a harne'ss86 directs .theelectricalsignals to the car A.

To better understand the operation of the car A; FIG- UREj3-shows the under'side of the car whereiritwo elecelectrical connection-in the cap and dolly; Adjacentithe 7 upper portion of cap -62, a biased contact 74 is urged into engagement with'the stud 56 to complete an electrical 'connection'vbetween the contact 74-and-the base railj36.

are provided, such as a snap ring or other'spring means "-76 adapted to be received within groove 57. Offcourse,

.86. A drive pulley set -104'positioned opposite idler pulley set-106, and-connected therewith'by a drivebelt108,ffur- ,nishespower tothe idlershaft-100 which driv'es'the axle -98 by an appropriate' pulley and belt arrangement 110.

. Accordingly, the speed of the 'whe'els 94, 96- is determined To'secure the cap over the post-44, appropriate means trical responsivedevices,drive device 9 0 and steering de- .vice 92,'are provided forcontrol. of the caras'it passes -along theupper surface of base 10 "and in general proximity with the trackways 12, 14. The drive device comprises drivewheels 94,96 fixedly secured onto the opposite ends ofian axle -98, antidler shaft'100 and a DC. motor 102connectedfwith wires 87f89 from'the harness by the electrical signal recieved from base rails 34, 36 in the lower portion of channel 20 of the trackway 12. By changing belt 108 from one pair of pulleys to the other pair of pulleys in sets 104, 106, the speed ratio of the car may be conveniently changed. It is believed that there has never been a two speed drive train in a car adapted to ride along a trackway.

Referring now to the steering device 92, it is provided with an actuator 112 having an outwardly extending swinging control arm 114. The actuator is so constructed that the direction and magnitude of the current received through wires 88, 39 electrically connected with rails 32, 36, determines the direction and amount of displacement of the arm 114. Dirigible wheels 116, 118 are actuated by steering knuckles 120, 122 interconnected by an appropriate tie rod 124. By providing a sliding connection 126 between the tie rod 124 and the control arm 11d, movement of the control arm determines the steering of the dirigible wheels. Adjacent the base of the car A, it is possible to provide stops 128, 129 to limit the amount of angular movement between the swingable link 80 and the car A. Of course, these stops can be eliminated without departing from the intended scope of the invention and when a chain or cable connection is provided between the dolly and car, no stops are used.

Various constructions may be used for the steering actuator 112, and in the preferred embodiment the actuator is responsive to a change in the polarity and magnitude of a voltage across rails 32, 36. It is appreciated, that the particular rails through which the signal is directed for the steering and drive devices could be reversed without seriously limiting or changing the operation of the car; however, the particular arrangement described in connection with the preferred embodiment has proven quite satisfactory in practice.

It is within the scope of the invention to provide an actuator 112 which is responsive to a current magnitude only.

Referring to FIGURES 4A, 4B, one important aspect of the present invention is schematically illustrated. In these figures, the speed control 130 for car A is connected across base terminals 34, 36 which are engaged by contacts 50, 52 of the dolly 40. Variations in the voltage across the'speed control 130 changes the speed of the car by changing the speed of motor 102. It is possible to reverse the polarity of the speed control 130 to reverse the motor 102. Steering control 132 for car A is connected across side rail 32 and base rail 36. The steering control is characterized by providing an electric current having variable magnitudes and reversible polarity so that movement of arm 114 is controlled to steer car A. The speed control 134 for car B is connected across rails 36, 38 and the steering control 136 for car B is connected across side rail 30 and base rail 36. The controls 130-136 are simultaneously connected onto the five rails extending along the channel 20. The arrangement of the contacts 50-54 on the dolly 40 is such that the dolly may be rotated 180 with respect to the channel 20 and thus engage a diiferent set of speed and steering controls. In this manner the dollies 40 for the cars A, B are identical in construction and the only difierence is that they are reversed when placed within the channel 20 of the trackways 12, 14. The center rail 36 is a common rail for the control of both the speed and steering of both cars. 'Itis appreciated, that the use of five rails is a convenient means for providing simultaneous control of separate cars traveling in one channel 20; however, it is Within the contemplation of the invention to provide various numbers of rails positioned in the channel 20 as long as they allow a common dolly to be reversed in the trackway to provide separate control of two cars traveling in the same trackway. Essentially, the channel is provided with two sets of electrically conductive rails and a guide means, which in this case is the channel itself, and the dolly is provided with one set of electrical contacts adapted to engage a selected set of electrically conductive rails according to the position of the dolly within the channel 20.

The reversibility of the dollies 40 and the simultaneous control of the dollies A and B in one trackway is the inventive subject matter of this application and is an improvement over the invention claimed in the Toteff et al. application Serial No. 183,511 mentioned above.

Referring to FIGURE 5, a representation of one power supply unit for the rails 30-38 is disclosed. It is to be appreciated that various other devices could be used to obtain the desired characteristics of the speed and steering control devices. In accordance with the schematic representation, a full wave rectifier device 140 is powered by a secondary winding 141 of a transformer and the center tap of the secondary winding is connected onto the common rail 36 by a lead 142. The negative terminal of the full wave rectifier device is connected to lead 144 and the positive terminal is connected to lead 146. Speed controls 130, 134 for the cars A, B respectively comprise a rheostat having a manual, or foot operated, actuator 152 which changes the voltage across the rheostat and thus changes the current through the D.C. motor 102. This changes the speed of the cars in any commonly known manner. The actuators 152 are connected onto the positive lead 146; however, it is possible to connect the actuators 152 onto the negative lead 146 and thus reverse the direction of the motor 102.

The steering controls 132, 136 provide a reversible, variable magnitude current for steering the cars A, B respectively. Each of these devices comprises an appropriate electrical means for accomplishing this result; however, in the schematic representation a positive rheostat 156 and a negative rheostat 158 are contacted by one of the set of pointers 160 mounted on a spring centered arm 162 and angularly controlled by steering wheel, or similar device, 164. Movement of the steering wheel 164 changes the polarity and magnitude of the current to the steering device 92 of the particular car being controlled so that steering of the car is possible.

The present invention has been discussed in connection with a particular embodiment thereof; however, it is to be appreciated that the invention is not intended to be limited thereby. To the contrary, various structural changes may be made in the preferred embodiment without departing from the intended spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

Having thus described our invention, we claim:

A remotely controlled toy comprising, a track, a guide groove in said track and extending in a predetermined path, a first and second set of rails extending parallel to said groove, first and second members movable in said groove, contacts on said first member and sliding on said first set of rails, contacts on said second member and sliding on said second set of rails, a self-propelled car connected to each member and receiving control signals from said contacts on said member, and means for independently energizing said separate set of rails.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,631,853 3/53 Haynes et al 46-206 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,025,769 3/58 Germany.

474,432 9/52 Italy.

RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2631853 *Jun 9, 1950Mar 17, 1953Haynes Phillip JRacing game apparatus
DE1025769B *Nov 21, 1955Mar 6, 1958Heinz MuellerElektrisch fernsteuerbare Entkupplungseinrichtung fuer Spielzeuglokomotiven
IT474432B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3295848 *Feb 28, 1964Jan 3, 1967Marvin Glass & AssociatesMechanically actuated game for opposing players
US3422770 *Oct 19, 1964Jan 21, 1969San Roy Dev Co IncAutocourse raceway system
US3579906 *Dec 19, 1969May 25, 1971Forge David H LaMiniature steerable vehicle and track system therefor
US4388036 *Nov 25, 1980Jun 14, 1983Yonezawa Toys Co., Ltd.Toy car and roadbed unit
USRE39011Feb 26, 2003Mar 14, 2006Cattron Intellectual Property CorporationRemote control system for a locomotive
USRE39210Feb 26, 2003Aug 1, 2006Cattron Intellectual Property CorporationRemote control system for a locomotive
USRE39758Nov 14, 2005Aug 7, 2007Cattron Intellectual Property CorporationRemote control system for a locomotive
U.S. Classification104/140, 246/415.00A, 104/295, 463/63
International ClassificationA63H18/16, A63H18/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/16
European ClassificationA63H18/16