US 3425154 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 4, 1969 I K. w. LINDSAY ET AL 3,425,154
WALKING MECHANISM Filed oct. 11. 1965 sheet of s FIG. l. F1162;
Feb. 4, 1969 K, W, UNDSAY ET AL 3,425,154
WALKING MECHANI SM Sheet Filed Oct. ll, 1965 Feb. 4, 1969 K, W, L lNDsAY ET AL 3,425,154
`WALKING MECHANI SM Sheet 3 of 5 Filed Oct. 1.1, 1965 "llillll 1N- armen/err vl 4. M J my d VMM N# 15M .v i W. W, 7M l px a f a 707.07 B w o 4W zu o d. E. l :9M f 4 Q HM@ @Ufa o w /o ,mv Nw/ a n... uw 1|\ ,.0 m 7 M M 2 7 il 6 I m. F
United States Patent O 3,425,154 WALKING MECHANISM Kenneth W. Lindsay, Great Neck, and Burt W. Ensmann,
Jamaica, N.Y., assignors to Ideal Toy Corporation,
Hollis, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 11, 1965, Ser. No. 494,627
U.S. Cl. 46-150 Int. Cl. A63h .7l/14 1 Claim ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to dolls, and in particular to a doll capable of walking with a lifelike motion.
Throughout the years, many and varied attempts have been made to articulate the legs of a doll to cause the doll to walk along a supporting surface with a lifelike motion. For Various reasons best known to those skilled in this art, such attempts have not met with commercial acceptance. Included among the requirements for an acceptable walking doll is the ability to incorporate a walking mechanism into the usual molded doll body having articulated arms and legs without affecting the appearance of the doll, the facility for manufacture of the walking mechanism on a mass production basis, the a'bility to incorporate the walking mechanism into the doll without requiring a doll of complicated or expensive construction, and the ultimate reliability of the walking mechanism when put into use. -It is particularly important from the standpoint of continued play value to the child that the walking mechanism imparts a natural gait to the doll which simulates a toddler learning to walk, that the child can initiate the walking mechanism without undue dexterity as by simply placing the doll on the oor and starting it forward, and that the doll will walk for a reasonable interval without toppling over.
Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a -walking doll which realizes one or more of the aforesaid objectives. Specifically, it is within the contemplation of the present invention to provide a doll which will walk with a lifelike motion simulating a young child learning to walk.
Among the further objectives of the present invention is the provision of a walking doll which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture, comparatively rugged in construction, reliable in operation, and relatively easy to place into use.
In accordance with an illustrative embodiment demonstrating objectives and features of the present invention, there is provided a walking doll which comprises a doll body 'having a plane of symmetry extending fore and aft thereof and a pair of legs depending from the doll body at opposite'sides of this plane. A walking mechanism is operatively connected to the doll body and to the legs so as to impart walking movement to the doll. 'Ilhis walking mechanism 'includes first and second rocker members journaled at a weight-shift pivot which is disposed in the plane of symmetry', the rst rocker member being connected to the doll body and the second rocker member being connected to hip pivots which are each in turn op- 3,425,154 Patented Feb. 4, 1969 lCe eratively connected to and mount each of the legs for stepwise motion. Stepwise motion is imparted by an actuating device operatively connected to the second rocker member causing relative rocking movement between the lirst and second rocker members which results in a shifting of the center of -weight of the doll body from side to side in relation to the plane of symmetry. Thus, a stepwise motion is imparted to the legs in coordinated relation to the weight-shift of the body thereby providing a simulated lifelike walking motion to the doll.
The above brief description as well as further objectives, features and additions of the present invention will Ibe more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a doll embodying features of the present invention, with the front wall of the doll body broken away to show the internal walking mechanism;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view o-f the doll when viewed from the left side thereof;
FIG. 3 is a timing diagram showing the relative forward and backward movement of the legs of the doll in relation to the center of gravity thereof during a typical walking cycle;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view, on a large scale, taken substantially on the line 4--4 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows and showing the details of the walking mechanism;
FIG. 5 is a sectional `view taken substantially along the line 5 5 of FIG. 4 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 6 6 of FIG. 4 looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary elevational view of the upper back region of the doll body showing the details of the electrical circuit for the motor of the Walking mechanism and the position of the associated gravity switch when the doll is in the upright position;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 7 showing the switch position when the doll is in a prone position lying on its back; and l FIG. 9 is a simplified schematic of the energization circuit for the battery-operated motor.
Referring now specifically to the drawings, there is illustrated a walking doll embodying features of the present invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 10 which includes a body 12, a head 14, right and left arms 16, 18 and right and left legs 20, 22. The legs 20, 22 terminates in respective feet 24, 26 congurated to simulate shoes and having respective soles 24a, 24b which are adapted to move in alternation along the floor F. The details of the construction of the doll are well known to those skilled in the art and require no further description. Various modifications and changes in the basic doll construction will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in this art.
In accordance with the present invention, a walking mechanism, generally designated by the reference numeral 28, is operatively connected to the doll body 12 and right and left legs 20, 22 respectively for imparting walking movement to the doll 10. Generally, the walking mechanism 28 operates to shift the center of weight of the doll body and related components including the head 14 and the arms 16, 18 from side to side in relation to the lon-gitudinal plane of symmetry of the doll body which extends fore and aft thereof and .is illustrated diagrammatically by the dot-dash line P inA FIG. l. Such side to side shift movement alternatively relieves the body weight from first one leg and then the other such that the legs may be stepped forwardly and rearwardly in coordinated relation to the foregoing weight shift such as to cause the doll to walk with an action closely simulating that of an infant taking its first steps. The sole 24a, 24b of each leg includes resilient means adapted to engage the surface along which the doll walks to assist in establishing the foregoing weight shift.
Specifically, the doll body 12 is provided in the region corresponding to the small of the back with a removable cover 30 which affords access to a battery chamber 32 defined by upper and lower housing walls 34, 36 and front housing wall 38. The battery housing 34, 36, 38 is symmetrically disposed in relation to the plane of symmetry P and receives two dry cell -batteries B which are adapted to be connected in series, as illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 9.
Mounted on the front housing wall 38 as by appropriate rivots, screws or the like is the supporting frame 40 of the Walking mechanism 28. The supporting frame 40 together with the body 12 and associate body components including the head 14 and arms 16, 18 serve as a first rocker member in the walking mechanism for the doll 10. The supporting frame 40 may be fabricated of molded plastic and is seen to include a lower rear wall section 42a, an upper rear wall section 42b which is offset forwardly of the lower rear wall 42a and an intermediate connecting section 42C which extends at right angles to the offset wall sections 42a, 42b. The connecting wall section 42c underlies and abuts the lower housing wall 34, while the upper front wall section 42b abuts against the front housing wall 38 and is attached thereto. Projecting forwardly of the rear wall 42 are opposite side walls 44, 46 (see FIG. 6). Extending forwardly of the upper section 42b of the rear wall are integral mounting posts 42a', 42e which terminate substantially in the plane of the forward edge of the side walls 44, 46 and serve as a convenient means for mounting the first rocker plate 48 on the supporting frame 40 and on the doll body 12. Conveniently, the first rocker plate 48 may be fabricated of a metal stamping and serves along with the rear wall 42 and the side walls 44, 46 to afford a housing for the motor 50 and actuating cam 52 of the walking mechanism 28.
As seen best in FIG. 4, the motor 50, which is of the fractional horsepower type usually employed in toys, is sandwiched between the lower wall section 42a and an appropriate bearing section 48a of the rocker plate 48 and has its motor shaft 50a projecting forwardly of the first f rocker member 48. The actuating cam 52 is secured to a cam shaft 54 which extends parallel to the motor shaft 50a and is appropriately journalled on the upper rear wall section 42b and the first rocker plate 48. The cam shaft S4 extends forwardly of the rocker plate 48 and carries a driven gear 56 having internal gear teeth 56a. Disposed in a common plane behind the driven gear 56 are a drive pulley 58 which is secured to the motor shaft 50a and a driven pulley 60 which is journaled on the post 42e. A belt 62 is trained over the pulleys 58, 60. The driven pulley 60 carries a driving gear 64 which is within the driven gear 56 and is in engagement with the teeth 56a thereof. Thus, a driving chain is completed from the motor S0 via the motor shaft 50a, the pulley 58, the belt 62, the pulley 60 the gear 64, and the gear 56 to the cam shaft S4 for rotating the same at a rate determined by the pulley and gearing ratios, as is generally understood.
Disposed rearwardly of the first rocker plate 48 is a second rocker plate 66 which includes a front rocker section 66a which extends in spaced parallel relation to the first rocker plate 48, first and second bearing sections 66b, 66e which extend rearwardly from and at right angles to the front rocker section 66a and a rear rocker section 66d which interconnects the bearing sections 66b, 66e, and extends parallel to the front rocker section 66a. The second rocker plate 66 is disposed symmetrically of the plane P, with the rocker plate 48 and the front rocker section 66a extending at right angles to such plane of symmetry. The first and second rocker plates 48, 66 are operatively connected to each other for relative rocking movement to shift the center of weight of the doll body and associate components in side-to-side relation to the longitudinal plane of symmetry P by a weight-shift pivot 68 which is disposed in the longitudinal plane P and journals the rocker members. Stability is imparted to the second rocker member 66 by a provision of a stub shaft 42f integral with the rear wall 42 which supports the rear section 66d of the rocker plate 66 (see FIG. 4).
Relative rocking movement is imparted to the rocker plates 48, 66 by the provision of a first cam or eccentric 52a on the cam 52 (see FIGS. 4 to 6 inclusive) which is engaged within a first cam follower on the second rocker plate 66 which follower takes the form of a cutout 66e. The rocker plate 66 is disposed in coplanar relation with the first cam 52a, with the cutout 66e embracing the same and being of a width to follow the motion derived from rotation of the eccentric 52a.
Mounted on the rst and second bearing sections 66b, 66e of the second rocker plate 66 is a leg axle or hip pivot 70 upon which the respective legs 20, 22 are journaled. Specifically, the legs 20, 22 are provided with inwardly directed hollow cylindrical hubs 72, 74 which are secured to the adjacent upper ends of the legs 20, 22 internally thereof and Vare journaled on the hip pivot 70 outwardly of the adjacent bearing sections 66b, 66C. Interposed between the end walls 72a of the hub 72 and the adjacent bearing section 66b is a cam follower 76 for the leg 20, a similar cam follower 78 being interposed between the end wall of the hub 74 and the .adjacent bearin-g section 66C. As seen best in FIGS. 5 and 6, each of the cam followers 76, 78 are of identical construction and include a mounting section 76a, 78a journaled on the hip pivot 70, upwardly projecting follower arms 76b, 78b and inwardly directed follower fingers 76C, 78C. The follower fingers 76C, 78C are diametrically opposed in relation to the actuating cam 52 and are engaged in a circumferential cam track 52b (see FIG. 5) which is appropriately configurated to alternately impart walking motion to the legs 20, 22. In order to couple the walking motion to the legs 20, 22 via the cam followers 76, 78,
yet permit the legs to be swung to a sitting position, the mounting sections 76a, 78a of the cam followers are coupled to the adjacent hubs 72, 74 by appropriate releasable detent mechanisms. The identical detent mechanisms are best seen by considering the showing at the left of FIG. 5 wherein it is seen that a detent ball 80 is carried on the outward side of the mounting section 76a and is received within a detent hole or seat 80b formed in the adjacent end wall 72a of the hub 72. Accordingly, stepwise motion is imparted by the followers 76, 78 to the legs 20, 22 in timed relation to the weight-shift of the body and legs relative to each other to bring about the desired walking action.
Reference will now be made in FIGS. 7 to 9 inclusive for a description of the energization circuit for the walking mechanism 28 which includes both provisional for manual operation and automatic disrgption of the walking action when the doll is placed 'in a prone position. As seen in FIG. 9, two batteries B1, B2 are connected across the motor terminals by wires 82, 84. Wire 82 is connected to a switch 86 which includes a fixed contact 86a and a movable contact 86b which is normally biased against the fixed contact 486a to close the switch 86. The fixed contact 86a engages the center terminal of the battery B2, with the case of the battery B2 being connected to the center terminal of the ybattery B1 by the bridging contact 88. Finally, the case of the battery B1 is connected vla contact 90 to the lead `84 connected to the other side of the motor 50. The switches and contact shown diagram` matically in FIG. 9 are likewise seen in the remaining drawings, and in particular are seen best in FIGS. 4, 7 and 8. The switch 86 is mounted on the upper end of the supporting frame 40 of the walking mechanism, with the fixed and movable contacts 86a, 86b extending horizontally when the doll is the upright position. An on-off knob 92 is journaled on the back of the doll a'bove the removable cover 30 lby means of the shaft 94 and the backup washer 96. The knob 92 carries a switch actuator 98 having a laterally offset finger 98a which is adapted to engage the movable contact 86b of the switch 86 to displace the same out of contact with the fixed contact 86a, as may be appreciated by progressively inspecting the full and broken lines in FIG. 7. Thus, the child can turn the doll on or off. In addition to the foregoing manual control, there is provided a gravity-operated switch 100 which includes a switch shaft 102 carrying a depending weight 104. The shaft 102 extends between the contacts 86a, =86b and includes a cam sector 106 which is configurated to physically displace the contact 86b away from the contact 86a in response to the doll being moved from the upright position shown in FIG. 7 to the reclined or prone position shown in FIG. 8.
The bridging contact 88 which series connects the batteries B1, B2 is Iphysically placed within the battery housing 32, being attached to the bottom housing wall 34 'as seen best in FIG. 4. The contact 90 shown in simplified form in FIG. 9 is seen in FIG. 4 to be in the form of a piece of bent metal whichis attached, -as by being riveted, to the supporting frame 40 and extends into the battery chamber 32 in a position to overlie the adjacent battery B1. A latitude of modification and change is intended within the contemplation of the present invention with resp'ect to the motor energization circuit and associated switches.
In order to better understand the present invention a typical sequence of operations will now be described in detail, reference being made to the illustrative doll and to the timing diagram of FIG. 3.
The child places the doll 10 in position to walk along the floor F being certain that the legs 20, 22 are engaged with the respective cam followers 76, 78 by the detent mechanisms. Thereupon, the control knob 92 is turned to allow the on-off switch 86 to return to its normal closed position wherein the energization circuit Ifor the motor 50 is completed. Energization of the motor 50 imparts drive 'va the belt `and pulleys and gearing to the cam shaft 54 and to the cam 52. The first cam 52a is effective to `achieve the rocking movement of the rocker members relative to each other about the weight-shift pivot 68 and the coordinated walking movement of the legs under the control of the cam proper having the cam track 52b. As seen in FIG. 3, the cam developments and timing is such that in each 360 of rotation of the cam shaft 54 and the cams, the center of gravity or the center of the weight shifts from the one leg to the other leg and back. The walking motion imparted to the right and left legs respectively is timed to the weight-shift such that the leg which is to be physically displaced to cause the walking motion is relieved of body weight for at least a portion of its operative stroke. The dotted line showing at 360 in FIG. 3 corresponds to the position of the doll illustrated in FIGS. l and 2, to wit, |wherein the right leg 24 is in full forward position and the weight or center of gravity is shifted relative to the plane of symmetry P onto the right leg, as illustrated diagrammatically by the line P, in FIG. 1. In approximately 90 of rotation, the right leg 20 is in its full back position, the body 12 having shifted forwardly relative to the stationary right leg bearing on the oor F. Correspondingly, the center of gravity begins to switch over from the right leg onto the left leg. At approximately 180 in the cycle, the center of gravity is fully shifted onto the left leg whereupon the left leg is in its full forward position relative to the body. Thereafter, the action is such that the body 12 moves forwardly relative to the supporting left leg. The weight-shift rela- 6 tive to the plane of symmetry onto the left leg is illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. l by the dot-dash line PL.
In this manner, there is a rocking -back-and-forth of the center of weight of the doll from side-to-side in relation to a vertical central plane, and concurrently there is stepwise motion imparted to the legs in coordination to such weight-shift to bring about a realistic and lifelike walking action. This continues until the child manipulates the control knob 92 or the doll is brought to a prone position, as 'by being knocked down or by coming into contact with an object, or indeed, by toppling over as might be the case with a relatively young child learning to walk. Thereupon, the gravity-operated switch disrupts the energization circuit until the doll is restored to its upright or walking attitude.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure and in some instances some features of the invention will be used without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the invention be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention herein.
What we claim is:
1. A walking doll comprising a doll body having a longitudinal plane of symmetry extending -fore and aft thereof, a pair of legs depending from said doll body on opposite sides of said longitudinal plane, each of said legs terminating in a foot having a sole and a walking mechanism operatively connected to said doll body and legs for imparting walking movement to said doll, said walking mechanism including a first rocker member extending in a transverse plane substantially at right angles to said longitudinal plane, a second rocker member including a rocker section extending in spaced parallel relation to said first rocker member and first and second bearing sections extending substantially at right angles to said rocker section, means including a weight-shift pivot disposed in said longitudinal plane for journaling said rocker members for relative rocking movement, means operatively connecting said first rocker member to said doll body, a hip pivot shaft mounted on said first and second bearing section, said legs being jour-naled on the opposite ends of said hip pivot shaft in stepwise motion fore and aft of said doll body relative to each other, and an actuating device operatively connected to said second rocker member for causing relative rocking movement between said first and second rocker members to shift the center of Weight of said doll body from side to side in relation to said longitudinal plane and to impart stepwise motion to said legs in coordinated relation to the weight-shift, said actuating device including an electric motor disposed symmetrically of said longitudinal plane and below said hip pivot shaft and including a motor shaft extending parallel to said hip pivot shaft, a cam shaft journaled on said first rocker member in spaced parallel relation abdve said hip pivot shaft and in said longitudinal plane, first and second cams on said shaft, means coupling said motor shaft to said cam shaft for imparting rotary motion to said cams, first follower means on said second rocker member and engaging said first cam for causing said weight-shift and a pair of second follower means respectively connected to said legs and engaging said second cam for imparting said stepwise motion to said legs.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,010,729 11/ 1961 Tomosy 46-150 1,764,330 6/1930 Marx 46-150 1,854,202 4/ 1932 Kraus 46--150 1,986,446 1/ 1935 Powleson 46--150 2,739,417 3/ 1956 Ostrander 46-149 ROBERT PESHOCK, Primary Examiner. CHARLES R. WENTZEL, Assistant Examiner.