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Publication numberUS3287849 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 29, 1966
Filing dateDec 15, 1964
Priority dateDec 15, 1964
Publication numberUS 3287849 A, US 3287849A, US-A-3287849, US3287849 A, US3287849A
InventorsWeiss Louis F
Original AssigneeLife Like Doll
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Talking doll having synchronized mouth movement
US 3287849 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


FIG. 2.


INVENTOR. LOUIS F. WEISS BY 4 17 K li/Mu AGENT Nov. 29, 1966 L. F. WEISS 3,287,849


United States Patent 3,287,849 TALKING DOLL HAVING SYNCHRONIZED MOUTH MQVEMENT Louis F. Weiss, North Hollywood, Calif., assignor to Life-Like Doll, Los Angeles, Calif., a fictitious firm, composed of Robert D. Krupnick Filed Dec. 15, 1964, Ser. No. 418,435 7 Claims. (Cl. 46-232) This invention relates to a talking doll and particularly one in which the lips move according to the speech and which has a simple and versatile operating arrangement.

Talking dolls heretofore have been relatively complicated, fragile or diflicult for the young owner to operate. Also, many such dolls have lacked lip movement synchronously related to the speech emitted.

In the present invention an endless tape is wound and unwound upon a single reel that is contained in a cartridge also having a pinch wheel. The cartridge is inserted or removed from the back of the doll torso by manipulating a single U-shaped spring loaded lock arm. In this way any number of different speech and/ or singing selections can be selectively played. The spring loaded lock arm urges the tape and the resilient pinch wheel against the drive capstan contained within the doll and many also complete contact in an on-otf switch for the mechanism. Thus, one needs only to insert a tape cartridge and the doll performs, remove it and the performance ceases.

An object of this invention is to provide a talking doll having mouth movement.

Another object is to provide a talking doll having selective programming.

Another object is to provide a talking doll having a simple cartridge insertive and on-off arrangement.

Another object is to provide a talking doll having only one reel and a continuous tape loop mechanism.

Another object is to provide a talking dool which is relatively simple, rugged and inexpensive.

Other objects will become apparent upon reading the following detailed specification and upon examining the accompanying drawings, in which are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of this invention.

FIG. 1 shows a partial side elevation of the doll partly in section.

FIG. 2 shows a top plan view of the tape deck and cartridge lock arm with a cartridge in position for playing, and

FIG. 3 shows the schematic electrical diagram of the electrical circuit of the talking doll.

In FIG. 1 numeral 1 indicates the body of a doll. This may be of any size that is large enough to contain the mechanism, normally disposed within the torso and may be of any type or kind of doll. A removable section 2 of the torso is provided for the insertion and removal of the mechanism in manufacture and for servicing, which is provided with retaining means 3 at, say, the corners of section 2 for fastening the same securely for normal use. A rectangular aperture 4, having its major axis horizontal, it provided'at the upper end of the mechanism in the rear of the torso for the insertion and removal of tape cartridges. Lock arm 5 has handle 6, which extends through aperture 4. The lock arm is raised by the operator to position 5', 6' for the removal and/or insertion of a tape cartridge 7. Since the clothing of the doll can easily be arranged to normally cover aperture 4 and yet be displaceable for the mechanical manipulation required the illusion of life-likeness is not impaired.

The use of known magnetic tape for carrying the spoken Word is typical and such a medium and such apparatus "ice is illustrated herein. Alternately, other means may be employed, such as an optical sound track, or deformation of a plastic tape. In such case an appropriate optical head is employed instead of the known magnetic head to be subsequently described, while other aspects of the mechanism can remain the same.

The elements having to do with the path of the tape are best described by reference to both FIGS. 1 and 2.

A single (spliced) loop of tape 8 unwinds from the inner convolution on reel 9, passes around a guide 10 located at the front-left corner of cartridge 7, pases magnetic head 11, is pulled by frictional engagement between driving capstan 12 and resilient pinch wheel 14 at the front center of the cartridge-tape deck assembly, passes around a second guide 15 and back upon reel 9 at the outer convolution. The reel revolves clockwise as a result of this tape movement. It will be noted that no threading of any sort is required by the operator. The pinch wheel 14 is mounted upon cartridge 7 and tape 8 is always in position at the front periphery of the pinch wheel. Tape 8 may be of the well known A" wide variety and head 11 may sense magnetic variations from the full width of the tape. Alternately, two or more separate tracks may be recorded (by means not shown) and a narrower head employed by selective positioning transverse to the motion of the tape to play one track at a time.

The cartridge may be essentially enclosed save for the front edge where pinch wheel 14 is located and preferably at cut-out 16, where space is provided for a curl of the tape in coming out of the inner convolution. The cartridge may be made of a mechanically stable and strong plastic or of metal.

The cartridge slips into a deck plate 17, which forms the upper surface of the tape apparatus and which has a trough-like configuration with up-turned sides. Magnetic head 11 is attached to plate 17, on the upper surface thereof, while capstan 12 extends upwardly through it. On the forward end of plate 17 and on the opposite side from head 11, on-otf switch 18 is attached. This switch has an actuating plunger 19, or an equivalent, which is pressed inwardly upon a cartridge being inserted to the playing position. This switch, which may close more than one circuit, supplies energizing electric power to the tape driving motor and amplifiers to be later described.

Electric motor 21 is mounted on the bottom of deck plate 17 under the position occupied by reel 9 when a cartridge is in playing position. The motor preferably includes an outer metal shield to provide electrostatic and magnetic shielding for isolation from the magnetic head and amplifier input elements. The motor is of the direct current type (typically including brushes) and having a loaded speed of 1,000 revolutions per minute. The electrical supply is typically two C flashlight cells, giving 3 volts, and contained in battery pack 22 at the lower torso, as shown in FIG. 1. Conductors 23 connect pack 22 to motor 21 through switch 18.

Motor shaft 24 drives intermediate idler disk 25 by frictional contact. The idler, in turn drives flywheel 26 by frictional contact. The idler is urged against shaft 24 and flywheel 26 by a spring-loaded arm mounting 27. Flywheel 26 typically weighs one pound and has a diameter of 2 /2". It is journaled in bearing column 28, which is mounted on the under side of plate 17. Capstan (shaft) 12 passes therethrough and extends above the surface of plate 17 to drive tape 8.

U-shaped lock arm 5 terminates at the open ends of the U with outwardly bent tabs 30. Similar tabs 31 are cut and bent outwardly from the turned-up sides of plate 17 and compression springs 32 are fastened between the two tabs on corresponding sides. These springs compress when lock arm 5 is raised to position 5, as shown in FIG. 1 and when the cartridge is in playing position the springs are initially selected to provide a pressure of 150 grams upon the cartridge. This pressure is exerted upon the capstan 12, tape 8, pinch wheel 14 combination for proper tape drive and magnetic head 11 is positioned on plate 17 such that a suitable force exerted by the taut tape 8 provides the required pressure of the tape upon the head for satisfactory sound reproduction. It will be understood that this structure enables the simplified operation that has been mentioned.

In FIG. 1, rectangle 34 represents the outer case of the amplifier of the sound-reproducing apparatus. This is typically a four transistor amplifier suited to amplify the input from head 11 to a level suflicient to operate loudspeaker 35. The former is connected to the amplifier by conductors 36 and the latter by conductors 37. The loudspeaker is typically mounted inside the chest of the torso. A relatively large plurality of holes 38 are provided in the chest through which sound can be emitted. A thin costume is preferably employed over this area to hide the holes but not to appreciably attenuate the sound. The loudspeaker may be mounted in other places, if desired, such as the top of the head, the upper rear of the torso, etc. While a permanent magnet dynamic cone loudspeaker has been shown, another type may be used, as a capacitative speaker, since the lower audio frequencies are not important in reproducing a juvenile voice.

Rectangle 40 represents the outer case of the electrical circuit which includes a rectifier and is detailed in FIG. 3. It is connected to amplifier 34 by means not shown in FIG. 1. Both elements 34 and 40 are connected to battery pack 22 for energization through switch 18. The output of circuit 40 connects to lip actuator 41 through conductors 42. These conductors connect directly to solenoid 43 of actuator 41. A permanent magnet 44 is disposed within the solenoid, which magnet may be made of Alnico with a length of the order of /2" and a diameter of the order of A", such as to fit within the solenoid 43. Means 45 connects the magnet to the lower lip of the mouth 46 of the doll. Means 45 may be a light- Weight metal link and the mouth area of the doll may either be formed of a resilient material such as synthetic rubber, or the lower lip may be hinged with internal hinges. It will be understood that an auxiliary link may also be arranged to give limited movement to the upper lip of mouth 46. Also, while the actuator has been shown as horizontally mounted with respect to the mouth, it may be disposed at an angle to the horizontal and link 45 may be shorter.

In the electrical circuit of FIG. 3, tape 8 is shown in motion past magnetic pickup head 11 as the source of electrical voice variations. The head may be of the known Michigan manufacture. It connects to amplifier 34, which has been previously described. The output thereof, in addition to connecting to loudspeaker 35, connects also to input capacitor 48 of electrical circuit 40. Capacitor 48 may have a capacitance of 50 microfarads and may be of the dry electrolytic type. It connects to the junction between resistor 49 (20,000 ohms) and resistor 50 (100,000 ohms). The second terminal of re- Sister 49 connects to ground, that is, a common terminal which preferably includes rectangular case 40. The second terminal of resistor 50 connects to the negative terminal 51 of a transistor-energizing battery (not shown) that is housed in battery pack 22 (FIG. 1). The two resistors set the bias upon the base of first transistor 52, which may be of the PNP germanium type. The collector thereof is connected directly to negative terminal 51, while the emitter is connected through primary 53 of transformer 54 to ground. Transformer 54 is a 3 to 1 step-up small sized transformer, which may have a cubical volume /2 square on a side. Low fidelity to audio frequency signals can be tolerated, since these signals are not used per se in this circuit.

Secondary 55 of transformer 54 is connected to ground and to a solid state rectifier 56; the anode thereof. The cathode thereof connects to filter capacitor 57, of 50 microfarads, typically, which acts as a filter to rectified audio frequency energy to form an approximate rectified envelope of the output of the rectifier. It will be understood that this type of Waveform is most effective and most desirable for energizing actuator 41 to provide simulated lip movement. The second terminal of capacitor 57 connects to ground. The cathode of rectifier 56 also connects to the junction between resistors 58 and 59 (having resistances of 20,000 and 47,000 ohms, respectively). As before, the second terminal of resistor 58 connects to ground and the second terminal of resistor 59 connects to negative power supply terminal 51. The positive terminal of the battery supply connects to ground. Also as before the junction connection connects to the base of a transistor, in this case transistor 60, which may be of the same type as previously mentioned. However, the emitter of transistor 60 connects directly to ground, while the collector connects through the solenoid winding 43 to negative power terminal 51. Solenoid 43 has an internal diameter slightly in excess of A", a length of the order of a resistance of 40 ohms, and is comprised of approximately 1,000 turns of No. 38 wire. Magnet 44, link 45 and the lip of mouth 46 have been previously described.

When the lip is not resilient per se it is desirable to provide a relatively weak return spring 62 to position the lip inward when the actuator does not push it outward. With the circuit, structure and values mentioned the movement of the mouth is life-like. In addition to the filtering effect upon the rectified audio frequency output of the circuit it will be appreciated that the inductance of the actuator solenoid and the inertia of the magnet and link tend to give an envelope motion, as is desired, rather than a tendency to follow the individual pulses of the rectified audio frequency energy. The amplifier comprised of transistor 60 is direct coupled to rectifier 56 and to solenoid 43, thus low frequency impulses are handled by this part of the circuit.

Although the invention has been described in its preferred form and with particularity, it is to be understood that this disclosure has been made by way of example only and that various changes in the details of construction, arrangement of parts and circuit connections may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed below.

Having thus fully described my invention and the manner in which it is to be practiced, I claim:

1. A talking doll comprising;

(a) a doll having a mouth,

(b) a sound-reproducing tape apparatus for reproducing sound only disposed within said doll,

(c) a removable tape cartridge adapted to coact with said tape apparatus,

((1) resiliently loaded means to retain said cartridge in operable relation to said tape apparatus,

(e) an electrical circuit, including an amplifier, and further including means to form a rectified envelope of the output signal from said amplifier, said circuit being, electrically connected to said sound-reproducing tape apparatus, and

(f) actuating means electrically connected to said electrical circuit and mechanically connected to the mouth of said doll to move said mouth in synchronous relation to the sounds reproduced by said tape apparatus.

2. The doll of claim 1 in which;

(a) said tape apparatus includes a capstan,

(b) said cartridge includes a pinch wheel, and

(c) shaft means attached to said cartridge whereby said pinch wheel is disposed with respect to said capstan to drive the tape carried by said cartridge between said pinch wheel and said capstan when said said cartridge is retained in operable relation to said tape apparatus by said resiliently loaded means.

3. The doll of claim 1 in which;

(a) a single reel is disposed within said cartridge,

(b) said reel contains an endless loop of tape, and

(c) said cartridge has an aperture in the path of said tape adjacent to said reel.

4. The doll of claim 1 in which said resiliently loaded means includes;

(a) a U-shaped frame formed to surround said c-artridge on three sides, and

(-b) resilient means to fasten said resiliently loaded means to said tape apparatus.

5. The doll of claim 1 in which said electrical circuit includes;

(a) an amplifier,

(b) means to electrically connect said amplifier to said sound-reproducing tape apparatus,

(0) said means for forming said rectified envelope including a rectifier and filter means to form an approximate rectified envelope of the output of said rectifier,

(d) a direct current amplifier connected to said filter means, and

(e) means to electrically connect said direct current amplifier to said actuating means.

6. The doll of claim 1 in which said actuating means includes;

(a) a solenoid connected to receive the output of said electrical circuit,

(-b) a magnet movably disposed within said solenoid,


(c) means to mechanically connect said magnet to the mouth of said doll.

7. The doll of claim 1 in which there is additionally included;

(a) an on-off electric power switch connected to control operating power to said tape apparatus and said electrical circuit, and

(b) means to mount said switch upon said tape apparatus to cause said switch to close electrical contact upon a said tape cartridge being inserted into said tape apparatus and retained therein by said resiliently loaded means.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS References Cited by the Applicant UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,309,542 1/ 1943 Rothberg. 2,668,059 2/ 1954 Roberts. 2,933,319 4/ 1960 Proctor. 2,954,940 10/ 1960 Hermann. 2,973,156 2/ 1961 Draheim. 3,080,679 3/ 1963 Hardigan.

FOREIGN PATENTS 646,668 11/ 1950 Great Britain.

RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner. LOUIS I. BOVASSO, Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3912694 *Feb 5, 1974Oct 14, 1975Dominguez Loreto MMechanical dolls which are controlled by signals on a recording medium
US4107462 *Jun 9, 1977Aug 15, 1978Satya Pal AsijaElectroventriloquist
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U.S. Classification446/299, 369/64, 360/79
International ClassificationA63H3/00, A63H13/00, A63H3/33, A63H3/28
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/28, A63H13/005
European ClassificationA63H13/00B, A63H3/28