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Publication numberUS3398950 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 27, 1968
Filing dateJul 26, 1965
Priority dateJul 26, 1965
Also published asDE1603059A1
Publication numberUS 3398950 A, US 3398950A, US-A-3398950, US3398950 A, US3398950A
InventorsRobert L Brass, Feiner Alexander
Original AssigneeRobert L. Brass, Feiner Alexander
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Operator-controlled rotatable spaceship model game
US 3398950 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

7, 1968 R. 1.. BRASS ETAL 3,398,950

OPERATOR-CONTROLLED ROTATABLE SPACESHIP MODEL GAME Filed July 26, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG.

R. L. BRASS M/l E/VTORS. A FEM/ER ATTORNEY g- 1968 R. 1.. BRASS ETAL.

OPERATOR-CONTROLLED ROTATABLE SPACESHIP MODEL GAME 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 26, 1965 FIG. 2

AIR

SUPPLY vFIG. 4

OPERATES 0 TIME SECONDS RL. BRASS INVENTORS. wi

ATTORNEY Aug. 27, 1968 R. L. BRASS ETAL 3,398,950

OPERATOR-CONTROLLED ROTATABLE SPACESHIP MODEL GAME Fild July 26, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 R. L. BRASS INVENTORS- A. FHA/ER A TTOR/VE) United States Patent ce 3,398,950 Patented Aug. 27, 1968 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A'spaceship model game wherein a model spaceship is mounted in a gimbals ring for rotation about two mutually perpendicular axes. The operator attempts to stabilize the spaceship model in a predetermined attitude,

against forces automatically and intermittently applied to the spaceship :model. The game includes scoring means actuated when the operator has succeeded in stabilizing the model in the predetermined attitude.

This invention relates to operator controlled games and more specifically to games for controlling spaceship models.

In an actual spaceship circling the earth in orbit there are certain conditions of motion different from normal or subatmospheric. The responses of the ship to controls, as by a spaceman within the ship, are those of a body in a gravitationless environment. Power given to the ship causes the ship to continue without change when that source of powerthas been removed.

Further, an actual spaceship issubject to motion in three perpendicular directions or axes, namely, pitch, yaw, and roll. In a spaceship attitude control game it is desirable to have the player or operator exercise only two controls, one with each hand, and yet have the same motions and type of control as in actual flight.

It is an object of our invention to provide a spaceship game wherein the spaceship is subject to forces and controls similar to those in an actual flight. It is a further object of our invention to enable an operator or player of the game to test his skill at controlling the attitude of a spaceship which is subject to disturbancesin its flight.

It is a further object of our invention to provide the appearance of actual flight in a spaceship game wherein by only two controls the motions of the spaceship in gravitationless flight can be simulated.

-It is still another object of our invent-ion to provide such a game in a simple and inexpensive manner.

In accordance with specific illustrative embodiments of our invention a player attempts to control the attitude of a spaceship model. The model spaceship is mounted in gimbals so as to have two perpendicular axes of rotation. The gimbals allow the model spaceship to assume any position in space.

The spaceship is set into motion around these two axes, and the operator, by two hand controls, attempts to counter motions of the model caused by the machine and thus to correct the attitude of the spaceship. Scoring is dependent upon both the ability of the player to attain proper attitude for a predetermined period of time and then also upon his being able to maintain this attitude into certain periods of play. During these periods the player is able to press a button to attain a higher score. However the game is arranged so that the machine periodically exerts disturbing motions, not under the players control, upon the model spaceship. This causes the model to tumble erratically and to interrupt the positioning action of the player. The period of this erratic tumbling is sufliciently long that the final position of the spaceship is unpredictable.

Additionally, if the player is able, by a combination of good timing, skill, and lock, to obtain the proper attitude during one of the re-entry or scoring periods and presses the button for the additional score, this also causes an erratic tumbling of the model. Circuitry is 'provided to assure that this button can only be effective when the game is in the particular scoring period of its timing. Scoring, in this specific embodiment of our game, is thus dependent both on the attainment of proper attitude for predetermined periods and on the number of times during play that the button is depressed.

In one specific illustrative embodiment air jets are utilized for the model spaceship control. Actual spaceships have their attitude controlled by jets attached to the ship. When the spaceship starts to tumble or move away from proper attitude or when a re-entry position is desired, these jets may be selectively turned on by the pilot. In this specific embodiment of our invention, this same control is given to the model spaceship by utilizing air jets to control the position or attitude of the model. The mounting ring is hollow as are the rods extending from opposite sides of the ring and actually mounting the model spaceship. The hollow ring and rods provide air tubes which have their ends extending out opposite sides at the base of the model spaceship and which thus provide opposite motions to the model ship to rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise around the axis defined by the air tubes.

In this specific illustrative embodiment the gimbals are supported by two air-sealed bearings, through each of which the controlling air can flow to the jets on the model spaceship. These bearings allow the gimbals, and thus the spaceship within, to rotate in a plane perpendicular to the aforementioned rotation. This rotation, in this embodiment, is controlled by two air jets oppositely and appropriately directed at a turbine wheel.

The purpose of the game in the various embodiments and in accordance with an aspect of our invention is for the player to place the model spaceship in proper attitude position by, in this specific embodiment, use of these controlling air jets. Air from a compressed air supply is provided to these air jets or venturis not only through the tubes under control of the operator but also through tubes under control of the game mechanism and not apparent to the operator. In this embodiment a solenoid controlled valve allows air, at particular times as determined by the control circuitry, to extend to the air jets or venturis to cause apparent random disturbances of the model spaceshi position. The player must then again attempt to correct these disturbances and return the spaceship to proper attitude.

A light beam controlled by the attitude of the spaceship impinges on a photodetector when the model spaceship is in proper position. The photodetector output starts a timing cycle for the scoring mechanism. At any instant that the attitude is changed, the light is removed from the photodetector, and the scoring time cycle is reset.

In still another embodiment of our invention, electric motor control is employed rather than compressed air jets. Small direct current motors are employed; the motors may be of types known in the art, such as employed in small servo mechanisms. Two motors are advantageously employed. One motor is mounted on the gimbals ring itself and controls the rotation of the rod on which the model spaceship is itself mounted, while the second motor controls rotation of the gimbals. Each motor is driven when there is an unbalance at the inputs to a summing or operational amplifier to which it is connected. One input to each amplifier is under control of the player of the game, who can control the position of a brush or contact on a potentiometer; the other input is determined randomly by the operation of the game control circuitry which drives a rotating arm on a second potentiometer.

The scoring and control circuitry for this embodiment may be the same as that for the air jet embodiment, the control of the motor driven rheostat or potentiometer being equivalent to the solenoid air valve.

Specifically in accordance with these particular embodiments of our invention, an interrupter circuit drives 'a stepping switch which sequentially applies ground to its outputs. The game goes through a number of playing cycles during one time of play, which is determined by one complete operation of the stepping switch. This playing cycle starts with ground being applied to the control element to cause tumbling of the model spaceship, the control element being the solenoid valve in the air jet embodiment or the motor driving the potentiometers in the motor embodiment. A number of time periods are then allowed during which the player can attempt to regain control of the attitude of the model. Next the player is alerted that he is approaching the interval when he can press a tire retro button to obtain a maximum score, if he has attainted the required attitude. The next interval of play is this period, following which the game starts another playing cycle by causing random tumbling of the model.

Additionally at any time the player successfully attains attitude for a predetermined time, the control element is energized to cause tumbling of the model, thereby interrupting the attitude or position that the player had attained.

Thus, in accordance with our invention there is an interplay between the control actions responsive to the operator and the machine reactions which are either completely independent of the operators control or initiated by him, but the magnitude and direction of the machine reaction are not susceptible of his control. By this interplay the operator or player of the game is presented with a continuously changing challenge which simulates the actual requirements of spaceship control, as for re-entry.

It is accordingly a feature of our invention that a spaceship model be mounted for rotation around two axes independent of each other and that there be two sets of forces acting on the spaceship model and determining its position around these axes, the one set being under direct control of the operator and the other being independent, in at least magnitude and direction, of the control of the operator.

It is another feature of our invention that the operator is placed in a position of contesting with the machine for control of the model spaceship, the operator controls and the motion of the spaceship giving the operator the impression of actual flight of a spaceship.

Further, it is a feature of our invention that the ability of the operator is measured by scoring mechanism which give indications of the times the spaceship has been placed in proper re-entry or upright position by the operator despite the autonomous reactions of the machine, these times being measured both on a timed basis and on the timed intervals occurring during particular periods of the game cycle. Thus both skill and luck are elements of the scoring.

It is a further feature of one specific embodiment of our invention that air jet control is utilized, the autonomous machine reactions being controlled by a solenoid operated valve which allows air to be applied to the control tubes at particular periods not under the players control, thereby applying the disturbing and perturbing forces to the spaceship model.

It is a further feature of another specific embodiment that control of the spaceship be exercised by electric motors which are each driven by the unbalance of voltages applied from two inputs, the one under control of 4 the player and the other randomly changed periodically by the game control circuit.

It is another feature of our invention that the control circuit employ a stepping mechanism defining a number of playing cycles during which cycles the spaceship position is perturbed at one period and the player is given an opportunity to increase his score by operation of a button a a second period. Further the control circuit employs a timing mechanism measuring the duration of the proper attitude attained by the player, the operation of the button only being effective during the aforementioned second period if the timing mechanism has indicated a sufiicient duration of proper attitude.

It is yet a further feature of our invention that the proper attitude be detected by a light reflected from the base of the spaceship model onto a photodetector which controls the operation of the timing mechanism, removal of the light from the photodetector instantly causing resetting of the timing mechanism.

These and other objects and features of our invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description together with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one illustrative embodiment of our invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagram of the air controls of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of the control circuitry in accordance with one embodiment of our invention;

FIG. 4 is a timing chart of the timing mechanism of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of a second illustrative embodiment of our invention that may also employ the control circuitry of FIG. 3.

Turning now to FIG. 1, as can be seen, a model space ship 10 is supported by a two-part rod 11 appearing to extend through the spaceship, the rod itself being mounted from a gimbals ring 12. The gimbals 12 are supported by two side braces 13. However, attached to the gimbals 12 adjacent one side support 13 is a paddle wheel 14, having paddles or vanes 15 thereon. As will be explained further below with reference to FIG. 2, the ends or nozzles of two air tubes 17 and 18 extend through the base 19 of the game adjacent the paddle wheel 14.

The model 10 is located within a partial simulated radome 21. The controls for the game are enclosed within a housing 22 beneath the base 19, the housing 22 being advantageously mounted on legs 23 so as to be at an appropriate height for the player to control the spaceship manually by up and down motions of control handles 24 and 25, situated through the sloping face 26 of the housing 22. Positioned on the face 26 beneath the handles 24 and 25 is a scoring clock 27. Also positioned on the sloping face 26 are a first group of three lights, including ready for re-entry light 30, yaw stabilized light 29, and attitude A OK light 28. To the other side of scoring clock 27 is an approaching re-entry position light 31, a re-entry position A OK light 32, and a fire retro rocket button 33. These various labels are advantageously set forth on the face 26 next to each element; the meanings of these labels and their operation will be" come apparent from the descriptions, set forth below,

of the operation of the game and of the control circuitry therefor.

For any game it is necessary to create an impression of the conditions of the actual operations which the game is intended to simulate. We have found that a proper appearance is attained by forming, as by painting, a fluorescent coating on the inner surface of the simulated radome 21. An ultraviolet lamp, not shown, is mounted on the bottom surface of the base 19 adjacent a slit 34 so that light is projected through the slit 34 against the inner surface of the simulated radome 21 to give the right outer space effect.

The operation of this specific illustrative embodiment of our invention can be understood from consideration of the schematic diagram of FIG. 2. The game is advantageously coin operated, as described further with reference to FIG. 3. At the moment we need only note that deposit of the appropriate coin causes contacts A-l to close, thereby causing energizationof the solenoid operated valve 35 from the voltage P Energization of the solenoid 35 opens the valve connecting a supply 37 of compressed air to a main feed tube 38. Air from the supply 37 passes through the tube 38 to a tube 39 which is controlled by the solenoid operated valve 40. At various times, with which at the moment we need not be concerned, the valve 40 is energized andopened allowing bursts of compressed air to cause erratic motion of' the model spaceship 10. The various air tubes either may be of flexible tubing or may be solid tubes, as of glass.

Eratic motion in one axis is caused by the air through tube 41 and nozzle 17 being ejected against the paddles on the paddle wheel 14. Erratic motion in the other axis is caused by air through tube 42 through the turbine wheel 14, an air-sealed bearing 43 and through one quadrant of the hollow gimbals ring 12, as indicated by the arrows 44. The air then passes through a second airsealed bearing 45, through the tube 11a and out the air jet hole 46 extending from one side of the base of the model spaceship 10. This air jet gives the spaceship 10 a motion around the axis defined by the two-part rod 11, the motion being indicated by the arrow 48.

The summation of these forces is to give the model spaceship an erratic motion, simulating the tumbling of the spaceship in outer space. Further, in accordance with an aspect of our invention, as described more fully below, these forces are generated by the machine either completely independently of the operation of the player of the game or initiated by him but independent of his control as to magnitude and direction.

In accordance with an aspect of our invention, the operator of the game is placed in a conflict wherein he attempts to counter these actions of the machine, that is, there is a continuous interplay between the autonomous actions of the machine and the responses of the player to them. As pointed out above, the players control is exercised by the two levers 24 and 25. By moving lever 24 upward, the valve 63 is opened to cause air to flow from tube 64 to the nozzle 18 to attempt to stabilize the position of the spaceship model 10 by bringing the gimbals 12 into proper position. By moving lever 24 downward, the valve 63 is again opened; however now air is instead allowed to flow through tube 41 to be impelled from nozzle 17 against the paddles 15.

Similarly, by moving lever upward valve 66 is opened to allow air from tube 67 to flow through tube 49, airsealed bearing 50, the opposite quadrant of the mounting ring 12 of the gimbals, as indicated by the arrows 51, through air-sealed bearing 52 and tube 11b to the air jet hole 53 extending from the opposite side of the base of the model spaceship 10. Air ejected from this jet hole provides a force rotating the spaceship model 10 around the axis of the rod 11 but in the opposite direction to that indicated by arrow 48, which, as discussed above indicates the direction due to the air jet from the other jet hole 46.

The player of the game, by moving the lever 25 downward again opens valve 66, but this now allows the air to flow through tube 42 to the air jet opening 46. These two opposing air jets, from holes 46 and 53, at the sides of the base of the model spaceship 10 attempt to stabilize the position of the spaceship about the axis defined by the apparent rod 11.

In this specific illustrative embodiment of the game, the operators skill at countering the adverse actions of the machine is measured by a scoring device or clock 27 in accordance with the control and scoring circuitry depicted in FIG. 3 and discussed further below. This scoring however is dependent upon the spaceship attaining a predetermined attitude. This is detected by light projected through the base 19 of the game, as through opening 70, seen in FIG. 1. When the spaceship model 10 is in proper re-entry position, this light is reflected from a mirrored surface 72, shown greatly enlarged at the bottom of the model 10 in FIG. 2, and directed through a second opening 71 through the base 19 and against a light detector, which may advantageously be a photoresistor 73, seen in FIG. 3, which may be a cadmium sulphide photoresistor as is known in the art.

In actual space flight a spaceship is maneuvered by bursts of jet power, rather than by a continuous moving force as with more conventional vehicles. The spaceship, being in a frictionless environment, will continue in the direction and at the velocity attained by these bursts. In accordance with aspects of our invention, the model spaceship is similarly controlled by bursts of air, in this embodiment. These bursts are supplied by the machine acting against the player or under control of the player, the machine by its organization being such that any sustained force applied by the player will necessarily overcompensate; accordingly, by the nature of the game the player applies his control in bursts. Further in accordance with our invention the spaceship model mounting minimizes any frictional drag so that the model will similarly continue in the direction caused by the air bursts.

A control circuit in accordance with one specific illustrative embodiment of our invention is depicted in FIG. 3. Power is supplied from a commercial socket through a transformer 75 to a first power terminal P which is connected to all circuits that are powered even when the game is not being operated by a player, such as the ultraviolet light and the coin mechanism. Power is also supplied from transformer 75 through contacts A-2 to a power terminal P which is connected, as indicated in FIG. 3, to all circuits powered only when the game is in use.

The game is started by the player depositing a suitable coin into a coin mechanism, of any of the types known in the art, thereby causing closure of coin contacts 77. C10- sure of contacts 77 closes a circuit from ground through contacts 77, normally closed break transfer contacts A-3, and relay A to power terminal P relay A operates over this circuit. Operation of relay A on momentary closure of contacts 77 opens this energizing path but relay A locks up to ground over the path through now closed make transfer contact A3 and break contacts 78 to ground.

Closure of contacts A-2 applies power to terminal P This causes power to be applied to an interrupter '79 which applies stepping pulses to a twenty position stepping switch 80. The output pulses from interrupter 79 may advantageously comprise a .2 second pulse every 8 seconds. These pulses cause the stepping switch contact arm 81 to step in succession from the initial or reset position 0 through the twenty positions.

The first pulse from interrupter 79 applies ground through the contact arm 81 to terminal position 1. This causes energization of the air blast solenoid 40, priorly described with reference to FIG. 2. Operation of the sole noid should enable the air valve to remain open a few seconds, thereby causing the initial random tumbling of the spaceship model 10, as priorly described.

The player now attempts to gain control of the position of the spaceship model 10 by manipulating the two levers 24 and 25, as described above. For the moment, let us consider the operation of the stepping switch 80 without considering the operation of the circuit when the player counters the machines actions and properly positions the model spaceship. The stepping switch 80 continues to respond to the stepping pulses from the interrupter 79 and steps over the open terminals 2, 3, and 4. Thirty-two seconds after initiation of the game, however, the arm 81 contacts terminal 5. Ground applied through arm 81 at terminal 5 (and at terminals 10 and 15 subsequently) causes operation of a buzzer 83 and lighting of the approaching re-entry position lamp 31. This alerts the player that on the next stepping of switch 81 he will be in one of the time intervals when he can obtain the maximum score by closing the fire retro rocket button 33, if the spaceship has in fact been in proper position for ten seconds.

On stepping of the arm 81 to terminal 6 the relay R is energized. Contacts R-1 close and light the re-entry position A OK lamp 32; contacts R-2 open and contacts R-3 close, as discussed further below. Immediately following the eight second period during which the player can obtain the maximum score by depressing the button 33, the arm 81 contacts terminal 7 and applies ground again to the air blast solenoid 40. This causes another disturbing air blast to be applied to the model spaceship, upsetting any correcting of position that the player may at that moment have been performing.

The player is given three eight second time intervals to maximize his score, when the arm 81 is at terminals 6, 11, and 16. Following the first two of these, at terminals 7 and 12, the model is again randomly tumbled. Following terminal 16, however the machine does not again perturb the model 10. However, at position 19 the stepping switch actuates its reset mechanism, as is known in the art, and returns to its initial position zero. At the same time, an off normal break contact 78 on the arm is opened during the resetting of the stepping switch. Opening of the contact 78 interrrupts the holding path for the A relay, causing it to release, thereby opening its make contacts A--1 and A-2. Opening of contacts A-l, seen in FIG. 2, causes the solenoid valve 35 to close removing the air supply 37 from the game, thereby rendering ineffective the players operation of the levers 24 and 25. Opening of the contacts A-2 :removes power from the power terminal P thereby removing power from the various elements of the control circuit, and specifically from the interrupter 79. Accordingly, the stepping switch 80 remains at its reset or normal position with arm 81 at terminal zero.

Let us now consider scoring in accordance with this specific illustrative embodiment of our invention. As described above, the scoring, which is made apparent to the player of the game by the score indicator or clock 27, is dependent on the ability of the player to place the model spaceship in an upright or other predetermined position for certain time periods and also during certain time intervals. When the model spaceship is in proper attitude, light is reflected from the base of the model onto the photoresistor 73 which energizes transistor 85 thereby operating relay L. Relay L closes contacts L-l causing operation of a geared down small A.C. motor 86 which operates against an internal spring. This spring operation assures that any time power is removed from the motor (contacts L-1 opening on deenergization of relay L caused by the spaceship model losing the proper attitude), the motor shaft snaps back to its initial position.

The operation of the motor 86 can be best understood by reference to FIG. 4. When the motor is operating, i.e., when light from the spaceship model base causes operation of relay L, it sequentially causes ground to appear on output leads 90 through 94. If, at any time during this sequential closing of the contacts, the light is removed and contacts L-1 open, the internal spring against which the motor shaft is driven causes resetting of the motor in less than one second. As seen in FIG. 4, after one second of operation ground is applied to lead 90 and remains applied for nine seconds. This causes lamp 29 to be lit and advises the player that proper attitude has been attained and maintained for one second. Lamp 28 is lit after two seconds when ground is applied to lead 91; lamp 28 may remain lit for 8 seconds.

After the motor has been energized for three seconds ground is applied to lead 92. Lead 92 is connected to the score indicator 27 so as to drive the indicator a small increment, as by driving a small ratchet therein. This can indicate the scoring of one point upon the player maintaining proper attitude for three seconds. If at any time during this three second period the stepping switch should apply ground to terminal 7 or 12, the air blast solenoid 40 would be energized and the machine would perturb the model spaceship, thereby removing the light from the photodetector and resetting the motor 86. However, it is to be recalled that the stepping switch remains at each terminal for 8 seconds so that usually this three second interval will not be interrupted in this manner. This is however, in accordance with our invention, another way in which the machine can defeat the care and skill of the player.

If the motor has been operated for four seconds, as seen in FIG. 4, then ground is applied to lead 93. If this occurs when lamp 32 is lit, indicating re-entry position A OK, then the stepping switch 80 is at terminal 6, 11, or 16 and relay R is operated. Whenever light 32 is lit, the player can fire the retro rocket button 33. When he does this when ground is applied to lead 93, as indicated by ready for re-entry light 30 being lit, a scoring pulse is applied from the motor contacts over lead 93 through the retro rocket button 33, closed make contacts R-3 t0 the score indicator 27. This scoring pulse advantageously is applied to the indicator, as to a large ratchet mechanism, to cause the indicator to advance by a larger amount than before, as by adding five points to the score in place of one point.

Whereas the player can obtain an initial score anytime he causes the model to assume proper attitude for a three second period, thereby having ground potential present on lead 92, he can have ground applied to lead 93 without being able to obtain the score. This is because this score can only be attained during the particular eight second periods, as determined by stepping switch 80, when the arm 81 is at terminals 6, 11, and 16. Accordingly, the player has to watch the lamps 31 and 32, indicating that these periods are about to occur or are occurring, as well as the lamps 28 through 30.

If the player maintains the spaceship in proper attitude during the entire cycle of the motor 86, i.e., for ten seconds, then ground is applied to lead 94, again causing operation of air blast solenoid 40. This perturbs the spaceship model, sending it again into a random tumbling move ment, and of course interrupts the reflection of light onto the photodetector. Relay L therefore releases and the spring loaded motor 86 is returned to its initial position.

If the player of the game should attempt to fire the retro button 33 at any time other than the three 8 second periods when this is permitted, the closing of the button contacts will not only be ineffectual insofar as the scoring is concerned, but will also cause a penalty air blast to be applied to the model spaceship 10, the solenoid valve 40 being operated over a path from ground through the closed back contacts R-2 and the button contacts 33. This penalty is not incurred during these three eight second periods even though scoring may not occur, as scoring can only occur on lead 93 during the six seconds that that lead has ground applied to it by the motor contacts.

The score indicator 27 is reset by a ground pulse applied over lead 96 when the coin contacts 77 are closed upon the deposit of the required coin by the player. Lead 96 is normally at the potential of terminal P upon closure of the contacts 77, however, this potential is applied across the series circuit of the relay A and the resistor 97 and lead 96 assumes ground potential, thereby resetting the score indicator.

While a paddle whee-l operation has been depicted in this specific illustrative embodiment, it is possible to utilize other pneumatic principles for the driving of the gimbals 12. For example, in'place of the paddle wheel, and the air-sealed bearings 43 and 50, depicted in FIG. 2, other embodiments of our invention may employ double air-sealed bearings in which air may pass through an inner hearing, as depicted by the arrows 44 and 51, and through an outer bearing to the other two quadrants of the gimbals ring 12. These air jets are then directed to venturis at the base of the rod 11 so that air jets are projected out from the ring 12 in opposite directions along the axis of the rod 11. These air jets would then provide the motions now provided by the air jets 17 and 18 being impelled against the paddle wheel 14, as depicted in FIG. 2.

Turning now to FIG. 5, there is set forth a second illustrative embodiment of our invention wherein a spaceship model -100 is supported by a rod 101 in a gimbals ring 102 for rotation around two axes dependent on the operation of two small direct current motors 103 and 104 instead of on air jets as in the prior embodiment. Motor 103 is connected by wires 106 to a D.C. summing amplifier 107 While motor 104 is similarly connected by wires 108, along one quadrant of ring 102 to commutators 109 and thence by wires 110 to a similar D.C. summing amplifier 111. The motors may advantageously be small D.C. motors of types known in the art, such as might be employed in small servo systems.

This embodiment of our game may be controlled by the same control circuit of FIG. 3 as the prior embodiment with a few exceptions readily apparent from the following description. When the player of the game deposits the required coin, the relay A is operated; energization of relay A, by closing contacts A-4 and A- applies positive and negative potentials to terminals P and P respectively. Closure of contacts A-2 also applies power to the interrupter 79 which commences operation of the stepping switch 80. In this specific embodiment terminals 1, 7, and 12 of the stepping switch are connected to a motor 113 whose shaft drives rotating contactors 115 and 116 on potentiometers 117 and 118, respectively.

These bursts of power applied to the motor 113 leave the contact arms 115 and 116 at random potentials, determined by their positions on their respective potentiometers. Arm 115 is connected by lead 120 to the input conductor 122 to the operation amplifier 107 while arm 116 is connected by lead 121 to the input conductor 123 to the operation amplifier 111.

The players task is to move the levers 124 and 125, corresponding to the levers 24 and 25 of the prior embodiment, so that, first, the inputs on leads 126 and 127 to the amplifiers 107 and 111, respectively, drive the spaceship 100 to the desired position and, second, maintain the input from lead 126, for example, exactly balanced from lead 120 so that the input lead 122 applies zero potential to the amplifier 107; amplifier 107 has the characteristic, as is known in the art, that the output applied across condoctors 106 is an exact reflection of the input on lead 122. Accordingly, when the spaceship model is placed in proper position by a driving voltage, as determined by lever 124 or lever 125, then the player must change the position of the lever to prevent overcompensation.

Lever 124 controls a contact 130 riding on a potentiometer 131 while lever 125 positions a contact 132 on a similar potentiometer 133. As in the prior embodiments the machine attempts to counter the players skill by perturbing the spaceship model 100, when the stepping switch is at terminals 7 and 12, or when the motor 86 energizes its output lead 94. Accordingly, as in the prior embodiment, the game itself, in accordance with our invention, is the adversary of the player and is attempting to prevent his attaining proper spaceship orientation. Sufficient time is allowed between the erratic tumbling caused by the game to permit the player, with proper skill, to beat the machine and to be properly rewarded by scoring for doing so. However, maximum scoring is dependent on his skill at particular times, which he may be able to control by his ability or in part by luck. All of these factors of skill, the adversary actions of the machine, luck, and timing are involved in games in accordance with our invention and present the player with a stimulating challenge.

It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are merely illustrative of the application of the principles of our invention. Numerous other arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of our invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A model spaceship game comprising a spaceship model, a gimbals ring, means pivotally mounting said model in said ring, control circuitry for automatically and periodically applying bursts of energy to said model to cause erratic motion of said model, control means under control of the player of the game for applying energy to said model to counter said erratic motion to attempt to place said model in a predetermined attitude, and scoring means responsive to said attitude being attained.

2. A model spaceship game comprising a spaceship model, a gimbals ring, means pivotally mounting said model in said ring, means pivotal-1y mounting said ring, first means for periodically applying bursts of energy to said model to cause erratic motion of said model, second means under :control of the player of the game for applying energy to said model to counter said erratic motion to attempt to place said model in a predetermined attitude, scoring means responsive to said attitude being attained, means for detecting attainment of said attitude, said detecting means including a source of light, reflecting means on the surface of said model, and photoelectric means responsive to light from said source reflected from said reflecting means when said model is in said attitude.

3. A model spaceship game comprising a spaceship model, a gimbals ring, means pivotally mounting said model in said ring, means pivotally mounting said ring, first means for periodically applying bursts of energy to said model to cause erratic motion of said model, second means under control of the player of the game for applying energy to said model to counter said erratic motion to attempt to place said model in a predetermined attitude, scoring means responsive to said "attitude being attained, and means for detecting attainment of said attitude, said scoring means including means enabled by said detecting means for actuation by said player and means responsive to said actuatio-ns.

4. A game comprising a model, means mounting said model for rotation around two axes independent of each other, first means for applying forces to said model automatioally and periodically to set said model into motion around said axes to prevent attainment of a particular attitude, and second means under control of the operator of the game for applying forces to said model to attain said attitude, said first and second means including a source of compressed air and valve means for enabling said air to apply said forces to said model.

5. A model spaceship game comprising a model spaceship, a support element, means pivotally mounting said model in said element, means pivotally mounting said element, first means for causing said model to move within said element, second means for causing said element to rotate, means for energizing said first and second means to effect erratic motion of said spaceship model, and means under control of the player of the game for energizing said first and second means to counter said erratic motion, said first and second means including a source of compressed air.

6. A model space-ship game in accordance with claim 5 wherein said means mounting said model within said element includes a pair of hollow air shafts and said first means includes :air jet tubes extending from said model.

7. A model spaceship game in accordance with claim 6 wherein said second means includes paddle wheel means and means for applying jets of air from said source against said paddle wheel means.

8. A model spaceship game comprising a model spaceship, gimbals, means mounting said model within said 1 1 gimbals, a source of air, solenoid controlled valve means for applying bursts of air to cause said model to move erratically, and manually controlled valves for applying air to cause said model to attain a predetermined attitude in opposition to said erratic motion.

9. A model spaceship game comprising a ring having hollow portions, a spaceship model having air jet tubes extending therefrom, hollow shaft means pivotally mounting said spaceship model within said ring and communicating with said hollow portions and said tubes, means pivotally mounting said ring, a source of air, first means for applying bursts of air to cause motion of said ring and also through said ring, said shaft means, and said tubes to cause motion of said model within said ring, and second means under control of the player of the game for applying countering bursts of air through said ring, said shaft means, and said tube and also to cause motion of said ring to enable said player to cause said model to attain a predetermined attitude.

10. A game comprising a model, machine controlled means for erratically moving said model around two axes, manually controlled means for countering said erratic motion and positioning said model in a predetermined position, a source of light, reflecting means on the base of said model, photodetector means responsive to said light from said reflecting means when said model is in said predetermined position, timing means energized by said photodetector means, and scoring means responsive to said timing means.

11. A model spaceship game comprising a spaceship model, means for mounting said model for rotation around two axes independent of each other, means defining a playing cycle, means for perturbing said model erratically at particular periods of said cycle, means under control of the player of the game for applying energy to said model to attempt to place said model in a predetermined attitude, meansfor detecting attainment of said attitude, means responsive to said detecting means for timing the attainment of said attitude, scoring means dependent on said timing means, and means responsive to said timing means for energizing said perturbing means.

12. A model spaceship game in accordance with claim 11 further comprising means responsive to said timing means for obtaining additional scoring at other periods of said cycle, and means responsive to said last mentioned means for energizing said perturbing means.

13. A model spaceship game comprising a base, a simulated radome on said base, a gimbals ring, means supporting said ring within said simulated radome from said base, means pivotally mounting a model in said ring, means for periodically applying energy to cause said model to rotate Within said ring and said ring to rotate, means under control of the player of the game for applying energy to counter said rotations and to cause said model to attain a predetermined attitude, a light source in said base, reflecting means on said model, photoelectric means in said base and responsive to light from said reflecting means, timing means energized by said photo-. electric means, scoring means, means defining playing cycles, indicating means for indicating particular periods in said cycles, and means including manually operated means on said base for effecting said scoring means when said indicator means indicate specific periods in said playing cycle and said timing means has timed the attainment of said attitude for a pedetermined interval.

14. A model spaceship game in accordance with claim 13 further comprising light means within said base for projecting ultraviolet light against a fluorescent coating on said radome.

15. A model spaceship game comprising a spaceship model, a rotatable ring, means mounting said model for rotation within said ring, and a control arrangement, said control arrangement including means defining periods of playing cycles, means responsive to first periods for erratically rotating said ring and said model, manually controlled means for enabling the player of the game to counter said rotatings to attempt to attain a perdetermined attitude, means for detecting and timing said attitude attainment, scoring means responsive to said detecting and timing means, and means responsive to said detecting and timing means for energizing said means for erractically rotating said ring and said model.

16. A model spaceship game in accordance with claim 15 further comprising means operable during second periods of said playing cycles and responsive to said detecting and timing means further to energize said scoring means.

17. A model spaceship game in accordance with claim 16 further including means responsive to said means for further energizing said'scoring means for energizing said means for erratically rotating said ring and said model regardless of the period of said playing cycles.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,342,871 6/1920 Ruggles 272-36 1,825,462 7/1931 Link 35-12 3,332,682 7/1967 Schuller 273-l RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

P. E. SHAPIRO, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1825462 *Mar 12, 1930Sep 29, 1931Link Jr Edwin ACombination training device for student aviators and entertainment apparatus
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5571038 *Aug 15, 1995Nov 5, 1996Halling; RichardModel airplane flight simulator
US20110183744 *Jan 27, 2011Jul 28, 2011Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty LimitedMethod of gaming, a gaming system and a game controller
CN102880193A *Jul 6, 2012Jan 16, 2013波音公司Spacecraft development testbed system
CN102880193B *Jul 6, 2012Jun 13, 2017波音公司航天器开发试验台系统
EP2546150A3 *Jun 28, 2012Aug 10, 2016The Boeing CompanySpacecraft development testbed system
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/442, 273/454, 434/32
International ClassificationB64G7/00, A63F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2250/14, A63F2009/2452, B64G7/00, A63F2009/2472, A63F9/24, A63F2009/2482
European ClassificationA63F9/24, B64G7/00