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Publication numberUS3421258 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1969
Filing dateMar 28, 1967
Priority dateDec 13, 1965
Publication numberUS 3421258 A, US 3421258A, US-A-3421258, US3421258 A, US3421258A
InventorsGardel Robert, Gorsky Egon
Original AssigneeLettam Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Walking doll mechanism
US 3421258 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1969 R. GARDEL ETAL- WALKING DOLL MECHANISM v INVENTOR s W Sheet Filed March 28, 1967 Jan. 14, 1969 GARDEL ETAL 3,421,258

WALKING DOLL MECHANI SM Filed March 28, 1967 Sheet 2 of i1 2 lo 'L k l4 a \I O 30 30 i L6 INVENTOR5 a vi xu EWQ BY than 1969 R. GARDEL ETAL WALKING DOLL MECHANISM Sheet Filed March 28, 1967 INVENTORS M J f 7 O 1 4 raw- A ATTORNEY Jan. 14, 1969 R. GA RDEL ETAL 3,421,258

WALKING DOLL MECHANISM I Filed March 28, 1967 Sheet 4 of 6 (q F1040 V ZOOLLMECH/ 4 INVENTORS 'ATTQRNEW Jan. 14, 1969 R. GARDEL ETAL 3,421,258

WALKING DOLL MECHANISM Filed March 28, 1967 Sheet 5 of6 I INVENTOR$ ma BY 53w Lye-why I, '7 ibr wh r x vzu i ATTORNEYS Jan. 14, 1969 R. GARDEL ETAL 3,421,258

WALKING DOLL MECHANI SM Filed March 28, 1967 Sheet of 6 3T 51 l D O a} 54% DOLL/ 56 2 TORSO L b L- PENDULUM ACTUATING MECHANISM 4 INVENTORS 1-1 M BY 2 444' Hwww r ya, ATTORNEYS H020 FIG 2| United States Patent 3 Claims Int. Cl. A63h 33/26 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A spring or electric motor powered mechanism for installation in the body of a doll or other toy figure, in cluding a weight (preferably located as high as possible) which is reciprocated from side to side to unbalance the body alternately in opposite directions due to reaction of the body to the inertial turning movement of the weight assembly, and leg mounting members which cause the legs to swing forward alternately in response to the unbalancing of the body. When the motor is operating, the figure takes steps, i.e., walks, and when the motor is not operating the figure will stand alone and can be hand walked by manually rocking the body from side to side- This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 513,380, filed Dec. 13, 1965.

Field of invention The invention represents a carrying forward of and improvement over the type of motor driven walking doll mechanism disclosed in said application Ser. No. 513,380. As in that case, the mechanism is a unit, adapted for installation as such in a doll body designed to receive it.

The prior art includes certain mechanisms which have to be built or molded into the legs and body of a doll, said parts being integral with the mechanism, as in the Ryan Patents Nos. 3,243,916, 3,267,607 and 3,267,608, the legs being generally positively driven to make stepping motions, and such mechanisms not embodying the inverted pendulum feature. Examples of inverted pendulums are found in Kraus Patent No. 1,854,202 where a pendulum is motor driven to reciprocate between stops which jolt the body from side to side, and in Ostrander Patent No. 2,739,417 where a pendulum (not motorized) is coupled to a rocker positively connected to both legs, to assist in producing a stepping motion as the doll is hand-walked.

Summary The invention comprises, typically, a frame. or frames supporting a motor and suitable gears, designed to be firmly fixed within the torso of a doll. The gear train terminates in a cam or eccentric or the like arranged to reciprocate smoothly an inverted pendulum, the shaft of which may extend as far upward as the interior of the dolls head and the upper end of which carries a weight. Leg mounting members at the bottom of the mechanism support each leg for swinging movement about an axis preferably located forward of the center of gravity of the leg (when the doll is standing) so that each leg, when not supporting the weight of the doll, tends to swing forward. It is desirable to interconnect the legs in a suitable manner so that forward motion of one coincides with rearward motion of the other, as in most doll Walking mechanisms, and with this interconnection the doll will walk even if the axis of swinging is not appreciably forward of the center of gravity.

The mechanism is a unit and is designed for installation in any suitably shaped and proportioned body, and


the legs used with the mechanism are conventional in all respects.

Practical embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 represents a vertical fore-and aft section of a doll body containing the mechanism;

FIG. 2 represents a horizontal section on the line IIII of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 represents a horizontal section on the line III-III of FIG. 1, parts being broken away;

FIG. 4 represents an internal elevation, on a larger scale, of the parts comprising a gravity switch, from the line IV-IV of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 represents a detail vertical section on the line VV of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 represents an exploded view of the mechanism alone, with the addition of the supper part of one leg;

FIG. 7 represents a detail vertical section through the upper part of a leg and an attaching means therefor;

FIG. 8 represents an elevation of the parts shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 represents a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of the connection between the leg and the leg mounting means;

FIG. 10 represents a detail elevation of an alternative form of inverted pendulum;

FIG. 11 represents a detail vertical section showing the upper part of a further modified form of inverted pendulum;

FIG. 12 represents a detail front elevation of the inverted pendulum shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 represents a detail transverse vertical section through the doll body showing an alternative form of bracket for mounting the mechanism in the body;

FIG. 14 is a wiring diagram showing motor, batteries, gravity switch and manual switch;

FIG. 15 represents a side elevation of the motor, gear box and gear train with another modified form of pendulum mounted thereon;

FIG. 16 represents a detail rear elevation, as viewed from the line XVI-XVI in FIG. 15, showing the interengagement between parts of the pendulum support;

FIG. 17 is a diagrammatic representation of conventionalized parts illustrating the principle of operation of the mechanism;

FIG. 18 is a transverse elevation, partly in section, showing the parts of FIG. 17 at rest (standing);

FIG. 19 is a side view of the parts shown in FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a view similar to FIG. 18 showing the same parts moved by the action of the inverted pendulum;

FIG. 21 is a side view of the parts shown in FIG. 20.

Referring to the drawings, the doll in which the mechanism is illustratively installed includes a torso T, a head H and legs L. The neck portion N of the head is intended to be mounted in or attached to the neck opening 0 of the torso in any suitable or customary manner, constituting no part of the invention, except as may be specifically set forth below (as in connection with FIGS. 11 and 12).

The mechanism comprises a gear box 10 containing a train of gears 12 designed to reduce the rapid rate of rotation of the drive gear 14 on the drive shaft (not shown) of the electric motor 16 to a slower rate of rotation of the crank pin 18, conveniently formed as an extension of the shaft 20 of the last gear in the train. The motor 16 is fixed, as by the bracket 22, to the back plate 24 of the gear box 10, and the motor and gear box are shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, as being fixed on a U-shaped or semi-circular bracket 26 the end portions of which have holes 28 for riveting the whole assembly to the torso T, as by the rivets 30 (FIG. 2).

3 An alternative form of bracket is shown in FIG. 13, the bracket 32 being of a flat U shape, with its ends turned up and riveted to the sides of the torso by rivets 34 corresponding to the rivets 30. The flat middle portion of the bracket 32 lies beneath the motor bracket 22,

between it and the leg bracket 36, said parts being securely assembled by means of rivets 38 or the like.

The body unbalancing means is shown in FIGS. 1 and 6 as comprising a weight 40 mounted on the upper end of a shaft 42 which is pivoted at its lower end on the pin 44, conveniently constituted by an extension of a gear axle. Above its pivot point the shaft 42 has a vertical slot 46 adapted to receive the crank pin 18, whereby rotation of the crank will cause reciprocation of the shaft 42 and weight 40.

The leg bracket 36 (secured directly to the motor bracket 22 in FIGS. 1 and 6, but with the interposition of the alternative bracket 32 in FIG. 13) is in the form of an inverted channel having depending parallel flanges 48 each of which is perforated near its front end to receive a transverse axle 50, and each flange being provided, near its rear end, with a short vertical slot 52 adapted to receive a rocker bar 54, said bar being arranged to pass loosely through a hole 56 in an intermediate flange 58 located midway between the flanges 48.

Each leg mounting means includes a box-like element 60 comprising outer and inner parallel strips 62, 64, respectively, provided near the front with properly aligned holes 66, 68 to journal the element 60 on an end of the axle 50, and provided near the rear end with a hole 70 in the outer strip 62 and a vertical slot 72 in the inner strip 64 to receive an end of the rocking bar 54. Each strip 62 also has, near its center, a tapered slot 63, a pair of oppositely disposed indentations 65 in its inner surface and three small lugs 67 on its outer surface. The bar 54 fits loosely enough in the hole 70 to permit rocking movement within the limits determined by the height of slots 52 and or 72. A suitable means for attaching each leg to its mounting means is described below.

Batteries to actuate the motor 16 are contained in a molded plastic battery box 73, rectangular in form and adapted to hold two flashlight batteries B with contacts at the top and bottom of the box for placing the batteries in series in the motor circuit. A manually operated switch 74 may conveniently be located at the lower edge of the box for closing or opening the circuit by sliding, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 14 or otherwise, if desired. The box 73 has a removable door or lid 75 for inserting or removing the batteries. The inner wall 76 of the box 73 is shown as carrying a bracket 78 having parallel vertical sides to which may be secured, as by welding, the upper side edges of the motor back plate 24 as well as an upward extension 11 of the gear box 10, so that the mechanism and battery box are firmly and immovably fixed in the torso T.

It is desirable, but not essential, to provide a gravity switch, to permit actuation of the motor only when the doll is in a position to walk, i.e., erect. One form of such a switch is shown in FIGS. 1, 4, and 14. Weights 80 are mounted on the ends of a T-shaped plate 81 which is supported on a headed pin 82 passing slidably through the wall 76 of the battery box 73 and biased toward said wall by a small spring 83. The plate is maintained substantially in the upright position shown in FIG. 4 by the provision of a pair of projections 84 which can easily be molded integral with the wall 76. The motor circuit includes a pair of contacts 85, 86, above and below the pin 82, the gap between said contacts being closed only when the vertical stem of the plate 81 rests against both of them (FIGS. 1 and 5) whereas the circuit is broken when said stem is rocked forward or backward (broken line positions in FIGS. 5 and 14) or moved away from one or both of the contacts in any other manner.

The simple form of inverted pendulum shown in FIGS. 1 and 6 has been found to operate satisfactorily for its intended purpose, but it may be convenient, in certain forms of dolls or other walking figures, to use the alternative form shown in FIG. 10 wherein the pendulum is jointed. A lower portion is pivoted at 91 and driven by a crank (not shown) in the slot 92, exactly as in the form of FIGS. 1 and 6, but the portion 90 is relatively short and carries an upper portion 93, pivoted at 94, provided with a weight 95 at its upper end, and free to oscillate with respect to the lower portion within limits determined by a pair of stops 96 (shown as being adjustable). With this construction it is apparent that a small angular movement of the lower portion 90 can result in a substantially amplified oscillation of the upper portion 93 and its weight 95. Stops could be provided at a different point on the portion 90 or, alternatively, at any suitable points on the portion 93 (above or below the pivot 94 in either event), as a matter of mechanical preferance or convenience. It must be noted that this type of jointed pendulum may operate with a distinct jolt at the end of each stroke, so that it is less desirable than other forms designed to operate smoothly.

The alternative form of inverted pendulum shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 has certain special advantages, both in convenience of assembly and in sturdiness, which may make its use desirable. In this form the neck opening of the torso is closed by a disc or bridge 97 (-made integrally with the torso, as shown, or made separately and secured in the neck opening) having a transverse slot 98 through which passes the pendulum shaft 99, supported on a pivot 100 which is mounted on the disc or bridge 97. The shaft 99 has a weight 101 at its upper end and is forked at its lower end (FIG. 12) to form a slot 102. The lower pendulum portion 103 corresponds in form and function to the lower parts of the shaft 42 (FIGS. 1 and 6) or the portion 90 (FIG. 10), being pivoted at 104 (corresponding to pivots 44 and 91) and slotted at 105 (corresponding to slots 46 and 92). The portion 103 is provided, near its upper end, with a pin 106 adapted to fit freely in the slot 102.

A somewhat stronger pivot construction and other operating advantages can be obtained by the arrangement shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, wherein the motor 16, gear box 10 and gear train 12 are the same as in FIGS, 1 and 6, while the weight 41 is mounted on the upper end of a shaft 43 which terminates just below the top of the gear box and is pivoted near its lower end on a pin 45 passing through the back plate 24. The lower portion of the shaft 43 is reinforced by the provision of a short link 47 also pivoted on the pin 45 on the opposite side of the plate 24, the link 47 having its upper end firmly connected to the shaft 43 by a headed pin or bolt 49 the shank of which passes through a spacer 51, through the shaft 43 and through a nut or the like 53. The pin or bolt 49 projects rearwardly a sufficient distance to pass through a vertical slot 55 in an actuating plate 57 which is pivoted, most conveniently, on the drive shaft 59 of the motor. At a point about midway between its pivot point and the slot 55 the plate 57 is provided with another vertical slot 61, comparable to the slot 46 in FIG. 6, in which the crank pin 18 is engaged.

In the arrangement just described a very small throw of the crank 18 will cause the shaft 43 to oscillate through a much larger are (indicated by a in FIG. 16). The oscillation is smooth as in the case of FIGS. 1, 6, 11 and 12, with no possibility of jolting, but the turning moment at the start of each stroke is strong enough to rock the doll body so that most of its weight is on one leg and the other leg takes a step forward.

The attachment of each leg to its mounting means 60 is shown in detail in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. The upper end of the leg is turned inward and provided with an opening, lying in a vertical plane and bounded by an annular flange 107. A dished washer 108 is inserted in the opening with its periphery resting against the inner surface of the flange, and a strong spring 109 exerts its expansion force between the washer 108 and the enlarged head 110 on the inner end of the locking piece 111. A cap 112, provided with a somewhat diamond-shaped central slot 113 and three indentations 114, fits over the leg opening with its periphery overlying the outside of the flange 107, and the enlarged outer end of the locking piece 111, having shoulders 115 on its stem, is passed through the slot 113 and turned so that the shoulders will catch on the sides of the slot (FIG. 8). With the leg in this condition, the end of the piece 111 is passed through the slot 63 in the mounting means, is turned 90 to bring the barbs 116 into register with the indentations 65 and is then moved to disengage the shoulders 115 from their engagement with the sides of the slot 113; the spring 109 then forces the barbs 116 into the indentations (FIG. 9) and the leg is securely locked on its support 60. The lugs 67 and indentations 114 are disposed at suitable points around the axis of the locking piece 111 so that they will be in engagement when the leg is in standing and walking position but can be disengaged, as desired, when the leg is forcibly turned to sitting position or the like.

FIGS. 17 to 21 illustrate diagrammatically the operation of the mechanism, with reference particularly to the form shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, and with corresponding parts bearing the same numerals. With the mechanism at rest, the doll stands straight on both legs (FIG. 17), the legs being pivoted for rotation around the axle 50, and interconnected by the rocking bar 54 which passes loosely through the hole 56. The toes and heels on the legs may be regarded as providing a 4-point support for the leg assembly, while the pivot points with axle 50 and the engagement of bar 54 in hole 56 provide a stable 3-point support for the torso and mechanism with respect to the leg assembly. Upon oscillation of the pendulum (FIG. 20) the Whole doll will be rocked to one side by the inertial turning moment at the pivot point 44 of the pendulum, removing sufficient weight from the opposite foot to permit it to swing down and forward around the axle 50. This motion can, under some conditions, result from gravity even without the bar 54 (see Gardel and Gorsky Patent No. 3,300,892) but the stepping movement is made positive, limited 'and controlled by the provision of the interconnection, as is apparent from FIGS. 18 and 19. As the pendulum starts its swing in the opposite direction the reaction of the body causes the foot which has lifted and advanced to receive most of the weight of the whole assembly and the other foot lifts and takes a step.

The invention is described with particular reference to dolls but the mechanism can readily be installed, with or without special adaptation, in other figures, such as those of animals, which are otherwise capable of taking steps.

It will be understood that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the several parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and hence we do not intend to be limited to the details shown or described herein except as the same are included in the claims or may be required by disclosures of the prior art.

What we claim is:

1. A Walking doll mechanism of the type in which a doll having a body and legs journaled thereto for forward and back movement is recipro'oated from side to side by the oscillation of an inverted pendulum and in which the legs are so mounted on the body and interconnected that the changes of weight distribution resulting from said reciprocation cause the legs to take steps forward alternately, characterized by the provision of a motor, frame and driving connections, constituting the power train, fixedly secured within the doll body, a weight mounted for side-to-side oscillaion above said power train, a weightmoving shaft pivotally mounted on an axis fixed with respect to said power train, an upper shaft mounted for oscillation about a pivot higher than the motor drive shaft and having the weight mounted on its upper end, the weight-moving shaft being mounted for oscillation about a lower pivot and drivingly engaged with said upper shaft, a crank engaging said weight-moving shaft and drivingly connected to said power train, means continuously connecting said weight to said shaft, and said crank being substantially continuously in driving contact with said shaft.

2. A walking doll mechanism according to claim 1 in which the pivot of the upper shaft is at least as high as the upper part of the power train.

3. A walking doll mechanism according to claim 1 in which the pivot of the upper shaft is at approximately the level of the dolls neck.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,764,330 6/1930 Marx 46-150 1,854,202 4/1932 Kraus 46-150 1,897,670 2/1933 Melville 46-150 1,986,446 1/1935 Powleson 46-150 2,310,037 2/1943 Reno 46-169 XR 2,739,417 3/1956 Ostrander 46-149 3,243,916 4/ 1966 Ryan 46-150 FOREIGN PATENTS 171,844 7/ 1952 Germany.

LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.

S. NATTER, Assistant Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
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US1854202 *Mar 21, 1930Apr 19, 1932Bernard KrausWalking toy
US1897670 *Oct 22, 1929Feb 14, 1933Melville Herbert JMechanical toy
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US2310037 *Sep 9, 1941Feb 2, 1943Esther W RenoDoll
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3543435 *Feb 23, 1968Dec 1, 1970Germain GiroudWalking doll
US3583098 *Jun 2, 1969Jun 8, 1971Mattel IncDancing walking doll
US3597878 *Jun 2, 1969Aug 10, 1971Mattel IncAnimated toy
US3660931 *Sep 22, 1970May 9, 1972Mattel IncSide-stepping doll
US4244141 *Feb 18, 1977Jan 13, 1981Mattel, Inc.Walking turning doll mechanism
US4302903 *Mar 10, 1980Dec 1, 1981Kusan, Inc.Stepping device
US5147238 *Nov 9, 1990Sep 15, 1992Mattel, Inc.Tap dance doll
US5158493 *May 30, 1991Oct 27, 1992Richard MorgreyRemote controlled, multi-legged, walking robot
US5224896 *Jan 24, 1992Jul 6, 1993Breslow, Morrison, Terzian & Associates, Inc.Ambulatory doll
US7073614 *Oct 10, 2001Jul 11, 2006Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaBipedal robot with storage battery
US7328087Jul 10, 2006Feb 5, 2008Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaBipedal robot with storage battery
US8956198Sep 27, 2011Feb 17, 2015Mattel, Inc.Walking toy
US20060265104 *Jul 10, 2006Nov 23, 2006Honda Giken KogyoBipedal robot with storage battery
U.S. Classification446/351, 446/355
International ClassificationA63H7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H7/00
European ClassificationA63H7/00
Legal Events
Feb 7, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: DELGAR, INC.
Effective date: 19860203
Feb 7, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19860203