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Publication numberUS3512300 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 19, 1970
Filing dateOct 5, 1967
Priority dateOct 5, 1967
Publication numberUS 3512300 A, US 3512300A, US-A-3512300, US3512300 A, US3512300A
InventorsThoresen Oscar
Original AssigneeThoresen Oscar
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Walking toy
US 3512300 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

v ax 1970 I I dfl-iQkESEN WALKING TOY" Filed Oct. 5, 1967 I 2' Shee ts -She e't 1 FIG. H

INVBNTOR.

056 R THORESEN BY ATTORNEJ'S United States Patent 3,512,300 WALKING TOY Oscar Thoresen, 128 Roselawn Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15228 Filed Oct. 5, 1967, Ser. No. 673,031 Int. Cl. A63h 11/12 U.S. Cl. 46-103 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a toy and, more particularly, to a walking toy that may be in the form of a doll, a simulated animal, or some other figure, and that is adapted to move on a plane surface under the power of a self-contained motor. In accordance with this invention, the toy includes a body member provided with two independently movable drive wheels for rolling contact with a plane surface, such as a table top or a smooth floor. Means are provided for separately connecting each of the drive wheels alternately to a motor mounted in the body member for turning the wheels in the same direction, so that the toy is driven in alteration in clockwise and counterclockwise arcs in a generally zigzag fashion along a predetermined path.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is among the objects of the present invention to provide a toy that will more or less simulate the walking gait or a person or animal, that will be capable of moving on a plane surface in a predetermined path, that on striking an obstacle will change its course and move away from the obstacle, and that will be simple to manufacture and reliable in operation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown in the attached drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a simulated figure of a dog standing on its hind legs;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary horizontal section along the line II-II of FIG. 1, showing part of the mechanical drive for actuating the toy, with the rigid skirt omitted for clarity;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section along the line IIIIII of FIG. 2, and including the rigid skirt omitted from FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical section along the line IVIV of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical section along the line VV of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an isolated portion of the drive mechanism shown in FIG. 3, in which the drive wheels are shown in section and in which the cam plate has turned through a predetermined angle relative to its position in FIG. 3; FIG. 7 is an enlarged plan view of a spring member shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an elevation of the same spring member; FIG. 9 is a horizontal section along the line IXIX of FIG. 3, showing the toy encountering an obstacle;

FIG. 10 is simliar to FIG. 9, but shows the toy moving away from the. obstacle after contact therewith; and FIG. 11 shows diagrammatically a typical sequence of movements of the toy on a plane surface.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings, the toy of this invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 as the simulated figure of a dog walking on its hind legs, which are presumablyhidden beneath a skirt. This representation is merely exemplary, since the figure could be that of any other animal or a 3,512,300 Patented May 19, 1970 ice cloth skirt 4 may be attached to the upper portion 2 of the figure to hang down loosely over the rigid skirt.

Inside the rigid skirt 3, as best shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 9, is a body member generally indicated by the numeral 6, which supports the drive mechanism for actuating the toy. The body member includes a horizontal circular base 7 having a down-turned flange 8 extending around it. The base and flange form a cylindrical cavity 9 with a closed top and open bottom. Extending above the base 7, and attached to or integral with it, are support members 11a and 11b provided with a removable cover 12. A vertcial drive shaft 13 is rotatably mounted in suitable bearings and extends through the base 7 and cover 12. The skirt portion 3 is secured to the upper portion of this shaft by a set screw 14, and the upper portions 2 of the figure may be similarly attached to the same shaft.

Mounted on the base 7 is an electric motor 16, which may be of the type generally used in small toys and adapted to be driven by flashlight batteries 17. The latter are frictionally held on either side of the motor between support members 11 and spring clips 18 secured to support member 11a. The motor is connected to the batteries by appropriate wiring (shown in dashed lines) through a manually operated switch 19 mounted on the inside of flange 8. The motor shaft 20 is provided with a drive pinion 21 adapted to engage a gear 22, which with its integral pinion 23 is rotatably mounted on (not fastened to) drive shaft 13 by a collar 24. Pinion 23 engages a second gear 26 rigidly mounted on an idler shaft 27. Also rigidly attached to this idler shaft is a third pinion 28 that engages a third gear 29 rigidly attached to drive shaft 13. The pinions and gears just enumerated from a triple reduction gear train for turning drive shaft 13 at a considerably lower speed than motor shaft 20.

A cam plate 32 is fastened by a set screw 31 to the lower end of drive shaft 13 below the base 7. This cam plate may be made of two superimposed concentric discs 33 and 34, the lower disc 34 being of smaller diameter than the upper one. A cam member 36 in the form of an arcuate strip of resilient material is cemented or otherwise fastened to the underside of upper cam disc 33 near the edge of that disc. A similar cam member 37 is secured to the underside of cam disc 34 near the edge of the latter. It will be noted that the two cam members or strips form concentric arcs of different radius and with their bottom operative surfaces in different horizontal planes. As one obvious alternative, cam plate 32 may be a single disc having two arcuate cam strips of different thickness secured to its underside. If desired, the cam strips may subtend equal central angles or, as shown in the drawings (FIGS. 9 and 10), one of the strips 37 may subtend a larger central angle than the other strip 36. In addition, the arcuate strips may overlap, i.e., the sum of the central angles subtended by them may be more than 360; or the strips may subtend angles totaling less than 360, as where thereis a circumferential gap between the adpacent ends of the two strips. In either case, however, each cam strip subtends a central angle smaller than 360 and at least a portion of each cam strip subtends a central angle that does not overlap that subtended by the other strip.

Drive wheels 41 and 42 are mounted on suitable bearings for independent rotation on an axle 43, the ends of which are supported in the flange 8. A cam follower 44, which is located adjacent wheel 42 but of smaller diameter than that wheel, is rigidly connected by a sleeve 46 to the other wheel 41. Wheel 42 is provided with spacing hubs 47 and 48, and wheel 41 has a spacing hub 49. These spacing hubs and sleeve 46 support the drive wheels and cam follower in their proper positions relative to the cam discs 33 and 34, so that wheel 42 is adapted to be frictionally engaged by cam strip 36 and to be driven thereby in a given direction about its axis, depending on the direction in which drive shaft 13 is turning. Cam follower 44 is adapted to be frictionally engaged by cam strip 37 and, because the cam follower is located adjacent wheel 42, the cam follower will always be driven and in turn will turn wheel 41 in the same direction as wheel 42 is driven. If desired, each of the drive wheels 41 and 42 (and cam follower 44 also) may be provided with resilient tires to increase friction with the surface 1. In such case, the cam strips 36 and 37 may be of non-resilient material and cam follower 44 would be provided with a tire also. It will be noted that the foregoing construction results in an asymmetric spacing of the two drive wheels about the axis of drive shaft 13. In other words, wheel 41 extends beyond the edge of cam plate 32 and does not come in contact with either of cam strips 36 and 37. To assure adequate frictional engagement between the cam strips and drive wheel 42 and cam follower 44, a bent cruciform spring 51 (see FIGS. 3, 7, and 8) is slid'ably mounted on drive shaft 13 between the underside of base 7 and the top of cam plate 32 to exert downward pressure on the latter.

As a result of the above construction, when cam plate 32 rotates as shown by the arrow in FIG. 3 in a clockwise direction (looking down on the toy), cam strip 37 will drivingly engage cam follower 44 during part of each rotation of the plate, so that both the cam follower and drive wheel 41 will turn in the direction of the arrows in FIG. 3. While this is happening, cam strip 36 does not engage the other drive wheel 42, so that the toy moves in a counterclockwise are substantially about point 52, the point of contact between wheel 42 and the surface 1 as a pivot. A moment later (see FIG. 6), cam strip 36 will drivingly engage wheel 42 (after cam strip 37 has disengaged from follower 44) and turn wheel 42 in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 6, so that the toy moves in a clockwise are substantially about point 53, the point of contact between wheel 41 and surface 1 as a pivot. In other words, because of the arrangement of the cam strips 36 and 37 (as best shown in FIG. 9 or 10), the drive wheels will be connected to the motor and driven in strict alternation, i.e., only one of the wheels will be driven at a given time. However, if the cam strips 36 and 37 overlap each other at their ends, the drive wheels will still be driven in alternation, although for brief periods (measured by the amount of cam overlap) both wheels will be driven at the same time. Likewise, if there are circumferential gaps between adjacent ends of the cam strips, the wheels will again still be driven in alternation although separated by brief periods (measured by the size of the gaps) in which neither wheel will be driven. In the claims of this application, a statement to the effect that the drive wheels are alternately connected to the,

motor or that they are driven in alternation is intended to cover each of the cases just described and is not limited to a strict interpretation of the quoted terms.

It will be apparent from the geometry of this design that, if each cam strip subtends a central 'angle of 180, the toy will be driven forward (or backward) in a substantially straight path, provided that the ratio of the radius of the drive wheels to the radius of the cam follower is the same as the ratio of the radius of cam strip 36 to the radius of cam strip 37. On the other .hand, if these ratios are not equal, then the toy will te d o move fo ward (or backward) along a generally curved path. In any event, the toy will always move in a more or less zigzag fashion during the successive periods when only one of the drive wheels is being driven. A typical pattern of such movement is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 11, in which the straight lines AB, AB', etc., represent the common axis of the drive wheels at the moment when one of them has just been connected to the motor and the other has just been disconnected from the motor. The arcuate segments connecting the ends of the straight lines AB represent the paths of the drive wheels. This figure shows the toy has moved in a clockwise are about point A (point 53 under wheel 41 in FIG. 6), then in a counterclockwise arc about point B (point 52 under wheel 42 in FIG. 3), next in a clockwise are about point A, and finally in a counterclockwise are about point B", etc. It is obvious from this figure that the cam strips do not overlap and have no gaps. It will also be noted that the movement of the center of the cam plate (i.e., the axis of drive shaft 13), as projected upon the plane surface, is a wavy line X that follows a generally circular path having a center located somewhere to the right of FIG. 11. Both the direction and curvature of this path can be changed by varying the central angles subtended by cam strips 36 and 37 in accordance with easily derived mathe matical formulae, so that the performance of the toy can be accurately predicted and programmed.

FIGS. 9 and 10 show what happens when the toy runs into an obstruction, such as a wall surface 61. Assume that, when the toy makes contact with the wall, the drive wheels and the cam strips are in the positions shown in FIG. 9, and assume further that cam plate 32 had been rotating in a clockwise direction as shown by arrow 62 and will later resume rotation in that direction (as shown by the same arrow in FIG. 10). After contact between the rigid skirt 3 and the wall, the skirt momentarily stops rotating (as also do drive shaft 13 and cam plate 32), because of frictional engagement with the wall; this causes drive shaft 13 and cam plate 32 to stop rotating also. But the motor is still driving the gear train and turns the body portion 6 of the toy (represented by sleeve 46, shown in broken lines in FIGS. 9 and 10) in a counterclockwise direction about the axis of drive shaft 13, as shown by the arrows 63. As a result, the common axis of the sleeve and drive wheels is reoriented to the position shown in FIG. 10, in which position the toy can move away from the wall in the direction of arrow 64, as it is turned by wheel 41 in a counterclockwise are about point 52 as a pivot. It is a feature of this invention that, when the skirt of the toy engages an obstacle, the horizontal axis of the drive wheels will always rotate about the vertical axis of drive shaft 13 until one of the drive wheels is brought into a position where it will move the toy away from the wall.

Reference has so far been made only to drive wheels 41 and 42 as supporting the toy on the plane surface 1. As shown in FIG. 3, the drive wheels extend below the flange 8 a slight distance and are symmetrically disposed about a vertical plane that contains the common axis of the wheels and the axis of drive shaft 13. The body portion 6, with its motor and reduction gear train and batteries, is also symmetrically disposed relative to the same plane. However, even if the body portion of the toy and its supported drive mechanism have their center of gravity substantially over the axis of the drive wheels, the upper portion of the toy 2 (see FIG. 1) will tend to have its center of gravity offset from the axis of drive shaft 13, so that the overall center of gravity of the toy will also be offset from that axis. In addition, because the upper portion 2 of the toy rotates with the drive shaft 13 relative to the body portion 6, the overall center of gravity will rotate about that axis. As a result, when the toy moves along the plane surface with its upper portion revolving, the overall center of gravity will sometimes be in front of the axis of he drive wheels and at other times behind it, causing the top to tip alternately forwards and backwards. To minimize the angle of tipping and the resulting friction with the plane surface when the toy moves in the zigzag fashion previously described,

auxiliary stabilizing wheels 66 and 67 (FIG. 2) are rotatably mounted in the flange 8 and extend slightly below it, but not so far below as drive wheels 41 and 42. One of these wheels 66 is shown in more detail in FIGS. 3 and 5. If the amount of unbalance is slight, as it desirably should be, then the frictional drag of auxiliary wheels 66 and 67 on the plane surface will be small and its wheels can be mounted in the way shown in the drawings. If, on the other hand, theamount of unbalance is large, it may be desirable to mount those wheels like conventional casters, permitting each auxiliary wheel axle to turn about a vertical axis and therefore always be in rolling, rather than sliding, engagement with the surface 1.

It is among the advantages of the present invention that the toy herein described is capable of varied and complex movement and that, within limits, the type and extent of such movement can be controlled by changing the length of each of the cam members 36 and 37, Not only does the toy progress over a plane surface in a series of zigzag simulated steps along a generally straight or curved path, but also the skirt and upper portion of the toy continually turn about the axis of drive shaft 13. If the toy meets an obstacle, it stops momentarily, only to go off at a dilferent angle and continue its gyrations. It is an amusing and instructive toy.

According to the provisions of the patent statutes, I have explained the principle of my invention and have illustrated and described what I now consider to represent its best embodiment. However, I desire to have it understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.

I claim:

'1. A toy comprising a body member, a motor supported by the body member, two independently rotatable drive wheels mounted under the body member for rolling contact with a plane surface, cam means separately connecting each of the wheels alternately to the motor for turning the wheels in the same direction, said cam means including first and second concentric arcuate cam members of different radius adapted to rotate about the same vertical axis and having their operative surfaces in different horizontal planes, the first cam member frictionally engaging the top of the first drive wheel, and a cam follower having a smaller diameter than the drive wheels and being mounted coaxially of and rigidly connected to the second drive wheel and on the opposite side of said vertical axis therefrom, the second cam member being adapted to engage frictionally the cam follower, whereby rotation of the cam members about said vertical axis will cause alternate rotation of the drive wheels to drive the toy in alternation in clockwise and counterclockwise arcs in generally zigzag fashion along a predetermined path.

2. A device according to claim 1, in which the clockwise arcs are of different length from the counterclockwise arcs, thereby causing the toy to move along a generally curved path.

3. A device according to claim 1, in which both drive wheels have substantially the same radius and in which the ratio of the radius of the first drive wheel to the radius of the cam follower is substantially equal to the ratio of the radius of the first cam member tothe radius of the second cam member, thereby to provide zigzag motion of the toy along a generally straight path.

4. A device according to claim 1 that also includes a rotatable cam plate connected to the motor and disposed horizontally above the drive wheels and having its center of rotation on said vertical axis, the first and second cam members being secured to the underside of said plate.

5. A device according to claim 1 that also includes a rigid skirt portion surrounding the lower part of the toy and connected to the motor for rotation about said vertical axis relative to the body member, said skirt portion being adapted to engage an obstacle extending above said surface and stop rotating to permit said body member to rotate about said vertical axis until one of the drive wheels is ina position to move said toy away from said obstacle.

6. A device according to claim 5, in which the overall center of gravity of the toy rotates about said vertical axis, tending to tip the toy alternately in opposite directions about the axis of the drive Wheels, and auxiliary wheels mounted on the body member on opposite sides of said drive wheel axis for alternately providing a third point of support for the toy on said surface.

7. A device according to claim 5, in which the upper portion of the toy rotates with the skirt portion about said vertical axis.

8. A device according to claim 1, including a central vertical shaft journalled in said body member and extending above it, a rigid skirt portion surrounding the body member and rigidly mounted on said shaft above the body member, a gear rigidly mounted on the shaft below the top of the skirt portion, a pinion supported by the body member and meshing with the gear, and means driving the pinion from the motor to normally rotate said skirt portion about the body member, rotation of the skirt portion and gear being arrested when the toy runs into an obstacle, whereupon said pinion will roll around the stationary gear and thereby rotate the body member inside the stationary skirt portion until the body member moves one of the drive wheels into a position that will allow it to move the toy away from said obstacle.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,560,739 7/1951 Perez 46----213 X 2,770,074 11/1956 Jones et a1. 46-247 2,881,561 4/ l959 Raze 462ll X 3,060,630 10/1962 Collischan 46-211 X 3,102,363 9/1963 Ferriot 46244 3,232,005 2/ 1966 Lahr 46244 RUSSELL R. KINSEY, Primary Examiner R. F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 46-119, 202, 247

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2560739 *Feb 2, 1948Jul 17, 1951Perez Oscar JAmbulant toy with erratic steering means
US2770074 *Sep 3, 1953Nov 13, 1956JonesSelf propelled toy which circumvents obstructions
US2881561 *Jan 14, 1957Apr 14, 1959Raze Douglas DPower and steering unit
US3060630 *May 21, 1959Oct 30, 1962Georg KohlerToy figures
US3102363 *Jan 8, 1962Sep 3, 1963Auburn Rubber Co IncElectric robot toy
US3232005 *Jan 19, 1962Feb 1, 1966Lahr Robert GVehicle driving and steering device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3659379 *Mar 30, 1970May 2, 1972Suda KataroToy robots
US4034502 *Sep 7, 1976Jul 12, 1977Marvin Glass & AssociatesWheeled toy
US4208834 *Jul 27, 1978Jun 24, 1980Mando International Corp.Remote radio controlled inflatable toys
US4673371 *Nov 22, 1985Jun 16, 1987Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Robot-like toy vehicle
US5259806 *Aug 31, 1992Nov 9, 1993Chang Kou ChengMobile musical hula dancing doll
CN103083916A *Mar 2, 2013May 8, 2013李陈Toy snake
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/289
International ClassificationA63H11/10, A63H11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H11/10
European ClassificationA63H11/10