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Publication numberUS3319884 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1967
Filing dateMar 11, 1966
Priority dateMar 11, 1966
Publication numberUS 3319884 A, US 3319884A, US-A-3319884, US3319884 A, US3319884A
InventorsFranklin David L
Original AssigneeFranklin David L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Touch-actuated control for multifunction machines
US 3319884 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 16, 1967 o. L. FRANKLIN 3,319,384

TOUCHACTUATED CONTROL FOR MULTI'FUNCTION MACHINES Filed March 11, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. DAV/0 L. FEA/VK/L //\4 M v wm May 16, 1967 FIG. 3.

D. L. FRANKLIN TOUCH-ACTUATED CONTROL FOR MULTI-FUNCTION MACHINES Filed March 11, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I NVENTOR.

47 TOE/VE'YSI United States Patent 3,319,884 TOUCH-ACTUATED CONTROL FOR MULTI- FUNCTION MACHINES David L. Franklin, 1233 N. Campbell Ave, Tucson, Ariz. 85719 Filed Mar. 11, 1966, Ser. No. 533,718 Claims; (Cl. 235-145) This invention relates to manual control devices, and more particularly to an input device for a multi-function system or mechanism which can be operated totally by the touch method using only one hand, the device including respective control elements operated responsive to the direction of movement of the entire hand, as well as by movement of the fingers of the hand.

A main object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved manual control device for a multifunction system or mechanism, the device being relatively simple in construction, providing a wide range of different control elements; each capable of starting or controlling a different operation, and being activated by pressure from the hand or fingers acting in any one of a large number of different directions.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved manual control device wherein the operators hand is surrounded by the device and wherein the device contains respective control elements operated responsive to the direction of'movement' of the entire hand, as well as by movement of the fingersof the hand, the device being compact in size, being inexpensive to manufacture, and operating in response to simple hand or finger movements so that the method of use thereof can be readily taught to an operator.

A still further object of the inventionis to provide an improved manual control device adaptable for use with a wide range of mechanisms or systems such as for use an input device'for a digital computer or for any other machine or system requiring rapid and definite communication between the; operator and the system in the form of hand or finger movements.

A still furthergobject of the invention is to' provide an improved touch-activated control device for multi-function machines or systems, the device being applicable for use with computing machines, such as adding machines, bookk eping machines, calculators, and cash registers, and being likewise applicable for use with a wide range of other mechanisms or systems wherein the input symbols or commands may or may not be of an arithmetic nature, the improved device being operated by simple but precise movements of the operators hand or fingers, the required movements being easy to learn and being unambiguous in nature.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims, and from the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a typical manual control device constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view, to an enlarged scale, of the manual control device shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a front elevational view of the manual control device shown in FIGURE 2.

' FIGURE 4 is a longitudinal vertical cross-sectional view taken through the manual control device substantially on the line 44 of FIGURE 2.

Referring to the drawings, the typical embodiment of a manual control device according to this invention shown in FIGURE 1 is designated generally at 11. The device 11 comprises a generally rectangular housing 12 which is open at its front and top and which thus consists of the parallel vertical side walls 13 and 14, the horizontal bottom wall 15 and the upstanding transverse vertical rear wall 16. The enclosure thus defined is of sufiicient size to comfortably receive a hand, shown in dotted view at 17 in FIGURE 4, with ample clearance for horizontal, vertical or longitudinal movements of the hand.

Designated at 18 is a transversely extending handle member of inverted U-shape having the hollow horizontal cross arm portion 19 and the depending vertical legs 20 and 21. The legs 20 and 21 are respectively secured rigidly to the outer surfaces of the side walls 14 and 13. The transversely extending handle member 18 18 located in a transverse vertical plane spaced forwardly from the transverse median vertical plane of the housing 12 and located approximately one-third of the distance from the front vertical plane of said housing to the rear wall 16. The respective vertical walls 13, 14 and 16 may be of hollow construction, for a purpose presently to be described. The bottom wall 15 may likewise be of hollow construction. Mounted on the forward portion of the bottom wall 15 in a position easily accessible to the fingers of the users hand 17 is a standard keyboard assembly 22, said keyboard assembly being located more closely adjacent to the side wall 14 than the side wall 13, for a right-handed operator, as shown in FIGURE 2. The placement of the unit 22 for a left-handed operator would, of course, be more closely adjacent to the side wall 13 than the side wall 14. The keyboard unit 22 comprises vertically movable depressible buttons 23, for example, nine buttons numbered 1 to 9, adapted to be selectively operated by the fingers of the users hand, a tenth depressible button 24 spaced laterally from the buttons 23, as shown in FIG- URE 2, and adapted to be operated by the users thumb. The buttons 23 and 24 on the keyboard assembly 22 may be similar to those found on conventional adding machines, cash registers, or the like.

Designated at 25 is an additional push button member which is mounted on the rear wall 16 in the path of forward movement of the operators hand 17 when the hand is positioned over the keyboard 22, so that the push button element 25 may be actuated by the users knuckles by moving the hand forwardly. The push button element 25 may be the operating member of the control switch 26 mounted in the hollow rear wall 16, as shown in FIGURE 4, so that the switch 26 is operated responsive to the force exerted on the button element 25.

Mounted on the forward portion of side wall 13 substantially in the same horizontal plane as the push button element 25 is another push button element 27 adapted to be operated responsive to lateral movement of the operating hand 17 to the right, as viewed in FIGURES 2 and 3. The push button element 27 operatively controls a switch similar to the switch 26, or similar system-com trolling element. Mounted in a similar manner on the side wall 14 in the same horizontal plane as the push button elements 25 and 27 and substantially transversely aligned with the push button element 27 is a third additional push button element 28 located so as to be actuated responsive to movements of the hand 17 to the left, as viewed in FIGURES 2 and 3. The push button element 28 is likewise associated with a suitable switch or other equivalent control assembly mounted in the hollow side wall 14.

Mounted on the bottom wall 15 substantially in the transverse vertical plane of push button elements 28 and 27 is an upstanding push button element 29 located in a position to be engaged by the palm of the operators hand 17 and to be actuated responsive to downward movement of the hand. The push button element 29 is operatively associated with a switch or equivalent system-controlling mechanism mounted in the hollow bottom wall 15.

As shown in FIGURE 4, the three push button elements 27, 28 and 29 are preferably located in substantially the same transverse vertical plane, said transverse vertical plane being spaced forwardly from the transverse vertical plane of the handle member 18 and being located approximately adjacent to the heel portion of the operators hand 17 when the hand is arranged in operating relationship to the keyboard assembly 22, as shown in FIGURES 2 and 4. Thus, the side buttons 27 and 28 may be operatively engaged by the side edges of the users hand by lateral movements of the hand, whereas the bottom button element 29 may be actuated by simply moving the hand or wrist downwardly while it is in its normal operating position.

Mounted on the bottom surface of the hollow transverse cross bar I19 substantially in the same longitudinal vertical plane as the push button elements 29 and 25 is a depending further push button element 30 which is located over the upper knuckle joint portion of the users hand in a position to be engaged responsive to upward movement of the users hand while it is in its normal operating position, shown in dotted view in FIGURE 4. The push button element 30 is operatively associated with a switch assembly 131 provided in the hollow cross bar 19, so that the switch is actuated responsive to the upward force exerted on the push button element 30 as the operator raises his hand 217 to engage the push button.

It will thus be seen that when the operator has his hand 17 positioned in the enclosure or shell defined by the housing 12, and in the space defined within the push button elements 27, 29, 28, 30 and 25, with his fingers located over the keyboard 22, the users fingers are positioned so that they can selectively actuate any one of the keys 23 or the thumb key 24, providing a selection of ten ditferent inputs or commands by the fingers, and the users hand can furnish any one of five additional inputs or commands by moving the hand in any one of five different directions, namely, forwardly, laterally to the left, laterally to the right, downwardly or upwardly. Thus, if the control device is employed in connection with an arithmetical computing machine, the control device 11 may be used to furnish numerical inputs, employing keys 2'3 and 24, and can also be used to command specific arithmetical operations such as add, subtract, multiply, divide, and subtotal or total. Similarly, the auxiliary control elements may be employed in the case of a cash register to identify item-s, departments, or to insert other data pertinent to the particular function of the system with which the control device is employed.

As will be readily apparent, the control device is applicable not only to computing or calculating machines and registers such as adding machines, bookkeeping machines, calculators and cash registers, but is also applicable to a wide range of other mechanisms which require various types of input commands or orders, for example, complex machine tools, vehicles, conveyors, or other automated equipment.

While the specific embodiment illustrated herein utilizes only five auxiliary control elements, corresponding to five simple hand movements, it will be readily apparent that any number of control elements may be employed corresponding to additional possible hand movements. For example, controls may be included for inclined or oblique hand movements as well as simple vertical or lateral hand movements. Thus, a substantial number of control elements may be incorporated in the device as required for different applications of the device. Different movements of the whole hand serve to operate the respective different control elements, in addition to the specific digital control inputs afforded by the use of the ten-key finger board assembly 22.

As will be readily apparent, the operators hand 17 is surrounded by the control device 11 so that communication between the operator and the associated mechanism or system being controlled is simple and direct, being affected by specific movements of the operators hand 17 or its fingers. The input commands are thus direct and unambiguous, and involve relatively simple hand and finger movements. For this reason, the use of the control device may be readily and quickly taught to an operator. Because of the fact that the hand is surrounded by the control elements, the required movements of the hand are relatively easy and the input commands can be transmitted efficiently with minimum exertion or fatigue on the part of the operator.

As will be readily apparent, in the typical embodiment of the invention illustrated herein, input data may be transmitted to a digital computing device by means of the control assembly of the present invention whenever the data may be represented by fifteen symbols or commands or less. Of course, when additional controls for corresponding additional directional hand movements are employed, the number of input symbols or commands may be correspondingly increased.

The various electrical wires connected to the switches operated by the push button elements of the device -11 are housed in a suitable cable 40 leading to the associated control apparatus.

While a specific embodiment of an improved manual control device has been disclosed in the foregoing description, it will be understood that various modifications within the spirit of the invention may occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it is intended that no limitations be placed on the invention except as defined by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A manual control device comprising a housing adapted to receive an operators hand, said housing having a bottom wall, opposite side walls, a rear wall and transverse support means connecting the top margins of said side walls, a keyboard mounted horizontally on said bottom wall and having a plurality of operating keys located in positions to be actuated by the fingers of the operators hand when the hand is received in the housing in an operating position, and respective push button control elements mounted on the opposite side walls, said bottom wall, said rear wall and said transverse support means, said push button control elements being operatively engageable by the operators hand responsive to lateral, downward, forward and upward movement respectively from said operating position while contained in said hous- 2. The manual control device of claim -1, and wherein said push button control elements on the side walls and bottom wall are located substantially in the same transverse vertical plane.

3. The manual control device of claim 2, and wherein said transverse vertical plane is located forwardly of said keyboard in said housing.

4. The manual control device of claim 3, and wherein said push button control elements mounted on the side walls and rear wall are substantially in the same horizontal plane.

5. The manual control device of claim 4, and wherein said transverse support means comprises a transversely extending handle bar having depending end arms secured to the external surfaces of the upper marginal portions of the side walls.

-6. The manual control device of claim 5, and wherein said handle bar is located in a transverse vertical plane located between the keyboard and the transverse vertical plane of the push elements on the bottom and side walls.

7. The manual control device of claim 6, and wherein said transverse vertical plane of the push button elements on the bottom and side walls is located adjacent the front end of the housing.

8. The manual control device of claim 7, and wherein said handle bar, side walls, bottom wall and rear Wall are hollow, and respective control switches mounted in said handle bar and hollow walls, said push button control elements being operatively connected to said control switches.

9. The manual control device of claim 6, and wherein said push button control elements on the bottom wall, rear wall and on the transverse support means are located substantially in the same longitudinal vertical plane.

10. The manual control device of claim 9, and Wherein the keyboard is located in the housing between the transverse vertical plane containing said transversely extending handle and said rear wall.

6 References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,391,881 1/1946 Clay. 2,727,689 12/1955 Heindorff 2=35-145 3,271,532 9/1966 Lopez 200-6 OTHER REFERENCES Keyboard, by R. Seibel and N. Rochester, IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, vol. 3, No. 6, November 1960, p. 16.

STEPHEN J. TOMSKY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2391881 *Jun 3, 1944Jan 1, 1946Murray G ClayCrane controlling system
US2727689 *Jan 21, 1953Dec 20, 1955Brunsviga Maschinenwerke AgTen digit keyboard for calculating machine
US3271532 *Feb 18, 1965Sep 6, 1966Lopez Armando EThree-axis finger tip controller for switches
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3824354 *Mar 17, 1972Jul 16, 1974Anderson NOperator means associated with multiple switch array and signal to function correlator means
US3950634 *Feb 19, 1974Apr 13, 1976Meyer SpeiserKeyboards
US4005388 *Jul 31, 1975Jan 25, 1977Termiflex CorporationHand-held interactive terminal
US4065650 *Sep 21, 1976Dec 27, 1977Lou Kwong LiElectronic calculator with switches in solid V- and U-shaped groups
US4332493 *Jun 12, 1980Jun 1, 1982Harvey EinbinderTen-finger typewriter keyboards
US4654647 *Sep 24, 1984Mar 31, 1987Wedam Jack MFinger actuated electronic control apparatus
US5411341 *Mar 3, 1994May 2, 1995Ullman; Johan M.Keyboard for choice of symbols having hand supports
US5883346 *Mar 17, 1997Mar 16, 1999Mannesmann Vdo AgMultifunctional switching device for a motor vehicle
WO1991008113A1 *Nov 22, 1990Jun 13, 1991Johan UllmanKeyboard
Classifications
U.S. Classification235/145.00R, 200/6.00A
International ClassificationG06C7/00, G06C7/08
Cooperative ClassificationG06C7/08
European ClassificationG06C7/08