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Publication numberUS3445110 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 20, 1969
Filing dateJun 26, 1967
Priority dateJun 26, 1967
Publication numberUS 3445110 A, US 3445110A, US-A-3445110, US3445110 A, US3445110A
InventorsMax Rigert
Original AssigneeMax Rigert
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Orbiting space vehicle game apparatus
US 3445110 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 20, 1969 M. RIGERT OHBITING SPACE VEHICLE GAME APPARATUS Sheet Filed June 26, 1967 INVENTOR MAX RIGERT AT TORNEY y 0, 1969 M. RIGERT 3,445,110

ORBITING SPACE VEHICLE GAME APPARATUS Filed June 26, 1967 Sheet of 2 INVENTOR MAX RIGERT ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,445,110 ORBITING SPACE VEHICLE GAME APrARAT s Max Rigert, 2517 s. 77th St., West Allis, Wis. 53219 Filed June 26, 1967, Ser. No. 648,858 Int. Cl. A63f 9/00 US. 01. 273-1 Claims ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE A globe formed of, or coated with, a ferromagnetic material is held by a magnet to a base which also suppont-s a rotatable shaft. In one embodiment, an arcuate spring Wire arm is attached at one end to the shaft and a weighted, simulated space vehicle is mounted on the free end of the arm and is held against the globe by the arm. A torsion spring is wound and then released to rotate the shaft and have the space vehicle move from the globe by centrifugal force. The space vehicle returns to the surface of the globe when the energy stored in the torsion spring is exhausted. In another embodiment, an inflexible arcuate arm mounts the space vehicle and normally holds it on the surface of the globe. A control member is shifted to pivot the arm and raise the space vehicle from the globe. Shifting the control member also closes a circuit to energize an electric motor that rotates the shaft and causes the space vehicle to orbit.

Background of the invention This invention relates to a toy or game apparatus, and more particularly to an apparatus in which an object, such as a simulated space vehicle, can be caused to be launched from the surface of a globe, made to orbit the globe, and then land or touch down upon the surface of the globe.

The last decade has seen the growth of great interest in rocketry, satell-ities, and space travel. These subjects have particularly stirred the imagination of the young. Toy and game devices have been devised which cater to this interest by providing entertainment while at the same time helping the player or operator of the device to visualize some of the concepts involved in rocketry, orbiting bodies and space travel.

Previous game apparatuses have been directed to the simulation of rocket or missile travel from a launching pad to a distance target, which is usually a simulated heavenly body.

The present invention is directed to a toy or game appara-tus which imitates, on a small scale, the launching of a space vehicle from the surface of a globe, the orbiting of the space vehicle about the globe, and the subsequent landing of the space vehicle on the globe. It will be seen that the actions of the apparatus basically correspond to the manned space missions which the United States has engaged in (i.e., the Mercury and Gemini series or orbital flights).

Further interest in the apparatus can be engendered by the addition of one or more movable targets placed at desired locations on the globe. By permitting the players to control the duration of orbiting, they can attempt to cause the space vehicle to touch down as close to a target as possible. The target may represent a rescue vessel and the action would then be imitative of a splashdown which has proven to be a dramatic ending to each of the United States manned space flights.

Summary of the invention According to the invention, there is provided a globe mounted on a base and a rotatable shaft also mounted on the base but spaced from the globe, with the rotatable "ice shaft mounting an arcuate arm to which is attached a simulated space vehicle or other object. Means are provided to rotate the shaft for controllable duration. The arm normally holds the space vehicle against the surface of the globe, but moves the space vehicle away from the globe when the shaft is rota-ted so that the space vehicle orbits the globe. Upon the stopping of the rotation of the shaft, the arm will cause the space vehicle to return to rest (i.e., touch down) upon the surface of the globe.

The globe is preferably formed with a thin wall for light weight, and the globe can be made adjustable in its mounting on the base to permit the launching of the space vehicle from a different portion of the globe. Such adjustment is accomplished by forming the globe of a ferromagnetic material, or by depositing a layer of ferromagnetic material on the surface of the globe, and by mounting the globe to the base by means of a magnet held by the base. The arm can be formed of bent spring wire with the space vehicle being weighted so that upon the rotation of the shaft, the space vehicle will be lifted away from the surface of the globe by centrifugal force. Alternately, the arm may be inflexible but pivotally attached to the shaft so that it is rocked from its normal position upon rotation of the shaft to move the space vehicle from the surface of the globe. The means for rotating the shaft can be either an electric motor or a hand-cranked torsion spring in which energy can be stored and then released by the operator or game player.

Brief description of the drawings FIG. 1 is a side view in elevation of one embodiment of a game apparatus in accordance with the invention; FIG. 2 is a view in perspective, with parts broken away for purposes of illustration, of the mechanism for the controlled rotation of the shaft of the embodiment of FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is a side view in elevation of another embodiment of the game apparatus; FIG. 4 is a view in vertical section of a control mechanism of the embodiment of FIG. 3; and FIG. 5 is a diagram of the energizing circuit for the electric motor of the embodiment of FIG. 3.

\Description of the preferred embodiments In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, a globe 10 is formed of thin sheet steel covered by paper, cardboard, or other suitable material, which carries indicia representing the land and water areas of the earth. Alternately, the globe may be formed of a single layer of material, such as a synthetic resin, with the indicia on its outer surface and a coating of iron powder paint on its inner surface. The globe 10 is supported on a base 11 which includes an upright mounting suppont 12 at one end. A permanent magnet 13 is held in the upper end of the mounting support 12 and the globe 10 is held in place by its attraction to the magnet 13. The magnet 13 is inclined from the vertical so that the center of the globe 10 will fall to one side of the mounting support 12.

The base 11 also includes an upright standard 14 disposed to the side of the globe 10 opposite its mounting on the support 12. A shaft support bracket 15 is attached to the standard 14 and terminates at its upper end in spaced front and rear legs 16 and 17, respectively. A shaft 18 is journaled adjacent one end in the rear leg 17 and mounts a crank handle 19. The shaft 18 is journaled adjacent its other end in a quill shaft 20 which, in turn, is journaled in the front leg 16. The quill shaft 20 projects beyond the front leg 16 and mounts one end of a spring wire arm 21. The spring wire arm 21 is bent in an arcuate shape to normally follow the curvature of the globe 10. A simulated spaced vehicle 22, which may be a model of a rocket, a satellite, or a space capsule, for example, is attached to the free end of the arm 21.

A first ratchet wheel 23 is secured to the shaft 18 at a point between the legs 16 and 17 and adjacent the rear leg 17. A pawl 24 is pivotally mounted on a pin extending from the rear leg 17 and engages the teeth of the ratchet wheel 23. A second ratchet wheel 25, having its teeth facing in a direction opposite to the teeth on the first ratchet wheel 23, is secured to the quill shaft adjacent the front leg 16. A release pawl 26, formed with a finger projection 27, is pivotally mounted on a pin extending from the front leg 16. The ratchet wheels 23 and are joined by a torsion spring 28 which encircles the shaft 18 and is secured at each end to a respective one of the ratchet wheels.

It will be seen that, with the release pawl 26 engaging the teeth of the second ratchet wheel 25, the crank handle 19 may be manually rotated in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2 to Wind the torsion spring 28 and thereby store energy to rotate the quill shaft 20 upon release of the release pawl 26.

The simulated space vehicle 22 is weighted and may be provided on its under surface with a protective felt pad 29. After the torsion spring has been wound and the stored energy released by moving the release pawl 26 out of engagement with the second ratchet wheel 25, the quill shaft 20 will be caused to rotate. The arm 21 normally holds the simulated space vehicle 22 against the surface of the globe 10. However, upon rotation of the quill shaft 20 and the arm 21, the space vehicle 22 will be thrown outwardly away from the surface of the globe 10 by centrifugal force acting on the space vehicle 22 with its relatively high inertia and the arm 21 will be deflected away from the globe 10 accordingly. Consequently, the space vehicle 22 will be caused to imitate a body launched from and then orbiting the globe 10 a relatively short distance above the surface of the globe 10. When the energy stored in the torsion spring 28 has been exhausted, the space vehicle 22 will again come to rest upon the surface of the globe 10 under the urgings of the spring wire arm 21. This will imitate the touchdown or splashdown of the space vehicle.

Movable targets 30, representing landmarks or boats, for example, and formed of small permanent magnets with different colors for different players of the game may be positioned on the globe 10. A point system may be established which is based upon how near the space vehicle 22 touches down to a given target. After a predetermined number of launches, orbits, and touchdowns, the player with the most or least points, depending upon the scale of points utilized, can be declared the winner. The position of the globe 10 on the base 11 can also be varied so that the space vehicle 22 will traverse dilferent areas or sections of the globe 10.

In the second embodiment (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5), an electric motor 31 provided with speed reduction gearing is used as the means for orbiting the simulated space vehicle. The electric motor 31 is mounted on a standard at one end of a base 32 which includes a mounting support 33. The mounting support 33 holds a magnet 34 for mounting the globe 10 to the base 32. An upright plate 35 is secured at an intermediate point on the base 32, and this plate 35 has a central opening 36 aligned with the motor output shaft 37.

A quill shaft portion 38 of a control member 39 is slidably received in the opening 36. The control member 39 also includes a cup portion 40 disposed to the globe side of the plate 35 and a knob 41. A shaft 42 extends through the control member 39 and is coupled to the motor output shaft 37. A clevis 43 is secured to the free end of the shaft 42 and pivotally mounts an inflexible arm 44. The arm 44 is formed with an arcuate portion which follows the curvature of the globe 10 and a simulated space vehicle 45 is attached to the free end of the arm 44. The arm also extends beyond its pivotal connection in the clevis 43 to mount a ball 46 which engages with the transverse peripheral surface 47 of the cup portion 40. The arm 44 is urged by a spring '48 to have the ball 46 engage the peripheral surface 47.

The control member 39 can assume either of two positions. The first, or off position, is shown insolid lines in FIGS. 3 and 4. A peripheral groove 49 on the quill shaft portion 38 is engaged by a spring loaded ball 50 mounted in a counter-bore in the plate 35 to form a detent mechanism to hold the control member 39 in such first position. In the off position, the arm 44 holds the space vehicle 45 in contact with the surface of the globe 10.

A circuit is closed to energize the motor 31 by movement of the control member 39 to its second, or on" position. Such position is shown in dotted lines in FIG. 4, and a second peripheral groove 51 cooperates with the spring loaded ball 50 to hold the control member 39 in the on position. A contact disk 52 is disposed about the quill shaft portion 38 at the base of the knob 41 and is brought into engagement with a pair of spaced contacts 53 disposed on either side of the control member 39. The contact disk 52 and contacts 53 may be suitably insulated from their respective supports. As shown in FIG. 5, a circuit is completed to the motor 31 upon closure of the contact disk 52 with the spaced contacts 53. A source of electrical current, through a transformer 54, will then energize the motor 31.

Thus, shifting the control member 39 to the on position will cause the motor 31 to be energized, and thereby cause the shaft 42 to be rotated. Additionally, such shifting will move the cup portion 40 outwardly along the shaft 42 and pivot the arm 44 in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 3 and 4. The space vehicle 45 is thereby moved away from the surface of the globe 10, and the motor is then energized to cause the space vehicle to orbit the globe 10. Returning the control member 39 to the off position will stop the motor and return the arm 44 to its normal position in which the space vehicle is again resting against the surface of the globe 10. As with the first embodiment, simulated targets may be arranged on the globe 10.

It will be appreciated that other means can be employed to rotate the shafts to which the space vehicle arms are attached. An electric motor with speed reduction giving and controlled by an on-ofi switch could be employed with the apparatus of the first embodiment in place of the torsion spring. The space vehicle can take various forms consistent with the theme of the game. Also, a simulated airplane or other interesting objects can be mounted on the arm.

I claim:

1. A game apparatus comprising:

a base;

a globe mounted on the base;

a support rising from said base;

a rotatable shaft mounted in said support;

an arcuate arm mounted adjacent one end on said shaft;

an object mounted on the other end of said arm;

means to rotate said shaft for a controllable duration;

and means associated with said arm normally holding said object against the surface of said globe and allowing said object to move away from the surface of said globe when said shaft is rotated to have said object orbit said globe.

2. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said globe includes a layer of ferromagnetic material, and a magnet is mounted in said base and releasably holds said globe to said base, whereby said globe may be mounted on said base at different positions on the surface of said globe.

3. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein the center of said globe is disposed between said support and said magnet.

4. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said object is a simulated space vehicle that is weighted and said arm is a bent spring wire normally urging said space vehicle against the surface of said globe and said means associated with said arm is the resilience of said spring wire, said space vehicle, upon the rotation of said shaft, being displaced from the surface of said globe by centrifugal force and being brought back to rest upon the surface of said globe by the resilience of said arm when said shaft ceases to rotate.

5. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 4 wherein said means to rotate said shaft comprises:

a torsion spring connected at one end to said shaft;

a crank handle connected to the other end of said torsion spring; and

means to hold said shaft against rotation while said torsion spring is wound by said crank handle and to release said shaft for rotation thereof by said torsion spring.

6. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 5 wherein said shaft is a quill shaft, said crank handle is mounted on a second shaft which extends for part of its length within said quill shaft, said torsion spring is disposed about said second shaft, and said means to hold and release said quill shaft comprises a ratchet wheel secured to said quill shaft and a pawl pivoted on said support and manually engageable and disengageable with said ratchet wheel.

7. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said object is a simulated space vehicle and said means to rotate said shaft is an electric motor having its output shaft connected with said shaft, together with control means for connecting said motor to a source of electric current.

8. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 7 wherein said arm is an inflexible member pivotally mounted on said shaft, said means associated with said arm comprises spring means normally urging said arm member to pivot in one direction to place said space vehicle on the surface of said globe, and said control means also pivots said arm member in an opposite direction to displace said space vehicle from the surface of said globe.

9. A game apparatus in accordance with claim 8 wherein said control means comprises a quill shaft disposed about said shaft with a cup portion encircling the pivot point of said arm member on said shaft, said arm member extends beyond said pivot point and is engaged by the transverse peripheral edge of said cup portion to pivot said arm member when said quill shaft is moved to an actuating position along said shaft, and a normally open switch is closed by said quill shaft when the same is in said actuating position to connect said motor to said source.

10. The game apparatus of claim 1 together with a taget removably secured to the surface of said globe.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 41,938 3/1864 Perce 46 1,659,810 2/1928 Damoif 35-46 2,897,607 8/1959 Park 35-46 3,027,656 4/ 1962 Sittig 3546 3,028,687 4/1962 Johnson 35-46 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

P. E. SHAPIRO, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US41938 *Mar 15, 1864 Improvement in geographical globes
US1659810 *Jul 14, 1926Feb 21, 1928Steve DamoffEducational toy
US2897607 *Apr 3, 1958Aug 4, 1959Park Alexander CSimulated orbiting artificial satellite
US3027656 *Apr 6, 1960Apr 3, 1962Sittig Lewis PSatellite globe
US3028687 *Dec 13, 1960Apr 10, 1962Johnson Junius PSatellite locator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3866911 *Feb 21, 1973Feb 18, 1975Goldfarb Adolph EGame apparatus with rotating striker means
US5191625 *Apr 10, 1992Mar 2, 1993Telefonaktiebolaget L M EricssonTerminal for a frequency divided, optical communication system
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/442, 446/137, 434/140, 273/456, 446/246
International ClassificationA63F3/00, A63H33/00, A63F3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/00, A63F2003/0444, A63F3/00091
European ClassificationA63H33/00