US 3525175 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
TOY SIMULATING REALISTIC DRIVING CONDITIONS Filed Oct. 11, 1965 T. WOLF Aug. 25,1970
5 SHeets-Sheet INVENTOR 7bz'rz Wolf ATTORN Y Aug. 25, 1970 T. WOLF 3,525,175
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ATTORNEY TOY SIMULATING REALISTIC DRIVING CONDITIONS Filed Oct. 11, 1965 T. WOLF Aug. 25, 1970 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 iv It: l ol i l: I! it i 'll. I .1
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ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,525,175 TOY SIMULATIN G REALISTIC DRIVING CONDITIONS Tobin Wolf, 447 Essex Ave., Bloomfield, NJ. 07003 Filed Oct. 11, 1965, Ser. No. 494,462
The portion of the term of the patent subsequent to Aug. 25, 1986, has been disclaimed Int. Cl. A6311 33/26 U.S. Cl. 46-240 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A toy for simulating realistic driving conditions of an automobile. A housing carries a simulated terrain containing a maze of roadways and is provided with a steering wheel for controlling the vehicle. The vehicle is provided with a slave magnet for cooperation with a master magnet carried by a groove in a rotating arm under the simulated terrain. A beaded chain is connected to the master magnet and wheel and extends through the axes of rotation of the arm to shift the master magnet along the groove.
This invention relates to a toy or game for simulating realistic driving conditions and, more particularly, to a toy apparatus for simulating realistic driving conditions, wherein an individual may control the movement of toy vehicles about a prearranged terrain model by manipulating controls simulating the controls of full-sized vehicles.
Toys for simulating realistic driving conditions have been known in the prior art. Typical patents of this type are those of Oback, Pat. No. 2,806,323; Vingee, Pat. No. 2,993,299 and Favre, Pat. No. 2,903,821. The prior art has also disclosed the concept of moving a magnet beneath a surface, such as an artificial terrain model, for controlling a toy figure or vehicle. Such devices are shown in the above mentioned prior art patents.
The devices available heretofore have relied upon mechanical linkages for positioning toy vehicles on an artificial terrain by means of a series of orthogonal forces acting on the toy along a single fiat plane. Devices of this type, while operating satisfactorily, have been cumbersome to operate, have required many parts, thereby being fragile and more readily breaking down, these de vices also being expensive to manufacture due to the large number of operating parts required. Accordingly, devices of this type have met with limited commercial success in the past.
The problems displayed by prior art toys simulating realistic driving conditions are overcome in accordance with the present invention, wherein a simple, inexpensive and positive control of a toy vehicle on an artificial terrain model is provided which is far superior to the dedevices of the prior art.
In accordance with the present invention, full control of the vehicle is permitted following a polar coordinate path, permitting a freedom of movement and a realization of a more realistic and life-like depiction of automobile driving as well as a more realistic depiction of automobile control. Briefly, in accordance with the present invention, a miniature vehicle, intended to travel over an artificial roadway or the like, is provided with a coupling device on the chassis thereof to couple the vehicle to a moveable 3,525,175 Patented Aug. 25, 1970 drive and steering device, such as a magnet, which is positioned adjacent and preferably beneath the terrain. The moveable drive moves radially outwardly or inwardly from a center position of the terrain, such movement being provided by movement of a steering wheel which is manipulated by an operator sitting directly adjacent the terrain and viewing the terrain model. Forward and backward movement of the automobile as well as speed control thereof is provided by a rheostat controlled by a throttle, whereby the power provided to a motor which rotates the moveable drive means can be altered in speed and, if desired, reversed in direction by suitable adjustment of the throttle mechanism.
A principal object of this invention is to provide a patentably novel, magnetically coupled vehicle adapted for operation upon a novel terrain model having numerous roadways, buildings and other simulations of a town with streets and othe city environs, the vehicle being remotely controlled by controls substantially simulating the controls of a normal automobile.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a universally positionable toy vehicle controlled by easily manufactured durable and inexpensive positioning means.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a simple, inexpensive magnetically coupled control and drive apparatus for universally positioning a toy vehicle which is foolproof in operation.
It is a yet further object of this invention to provide a simulation of a toy vehicle whereby the operator can simulate the travel of a vehicle on a terrain model.
It is an even further object of this invention to provide a simulation of a vehicle control for a toy vehicle, wherein the control mechanism controls the toy vehicle position by radial movements from the terrain center or another predetermined position of a controlling device, such as a magnet, operating directly beneath the terrain surface and controlled by a remote stearing wheel.
The above objects and still further objects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art, when considered in view of the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, which is provided by way of example and not by way of limitation, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the terrain surface of the preferred embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational View of a suitable control panel for use with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a plan view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a plan view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is an elevational View of a typical vehicle used in accordance-with the present invention and positioned on the road bed above the magnetic positioning means; and
FIG. 9 is a diagram of the electrical circuit of the embodiment of FIGS. 3 to 7.
Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown an elevational view of a complete toy simulating realistic driving conditions in accordance with the present invention and labelled 2. The toy includes a molded plastic enclosure 26 which includes an aperture 4 in the top surface thereof for receiving a simulated terrain surface 6 representing a portion of a town or a village and including various components thereon, such as a roadway 8, buildings 10, trees 12 and a service station 14. Also included are crossroads 16 and a vehicle 18 positioned on one of the roadways. The terrain surface 6 is recessed below the upper surface of the enclosure 26, a flange portion 20 being provided on the upper surface of the enclosure surrounding the simulated terrain 6. To the rear of the upper surface of the enclosure 26 there is shown a portion of the steering wheel 22 and the throttle 24. The toy also includes a base portion of the enclosure 26 wherein many of the components for control of the vehicle are positioned. The terrain surface 6 can be removed from the upper surface of the enclosure 26 to provide access into the interior of the enclosure in the event of repair to the internal mechanism or the like is required or in the event it is desired to replace the terrain surface 6 with a new terrain.
Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown the control panel utilized in accordance with the present invention. The control panel includes the steering wheel 22 and the throttle 24 which is movable along the channel 28 for increasing or decreasing the speed of the automobile as well as reversing the travel of the automobile on the terrain 6. An on-off switch 30* is positioned beneath the throttle for providing electric power through the motor (to be described hereinbelow) which provides the forward and backward motion to the automobile 18 (FIG. 1). Also included on the control panel are various knobs and meters to simulate the knobs and meters in a real automobile marked 32. These meters are not used in the operation of the toy and are provided merely for decorative purposes and to provide an added element of realism to the toy.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 to 7 and particularly to FIG. 3, there is set forth the operating mechanism in accordance with the present invention for providing motion to vehicle 18 on the terrain 6 by means of control elements at the control panel which consists of the steering wheel 22 and the throttle 24. Also shown on the control panel portion of the chassis is the key operated on-ofl switch 30. The steering wheel 22 includes a shaft 33 secured thereto and passing through an aperture in the molded enclosure 26 to a pulley or guide member 34 which includes a central aperture through which the shaft 33 passes. The shaft 33 is secured to the pulley member 34 by a key (not shown) so that the pulley turns with the shaft and the steering wheel. The shaft 33 is held in position by means of a friction-fitting member 36 which passes over the end portion of the shaft 33 and abuts the pulley 34 and its flanges 38. The pulley can move axially along the shaft. As an alternative, the pulley 34 may be press fitted to the shaft 33, thereby eliminating the friction-fitting member 36 and the key. The pulley member 34 includes an annular recess 40 along its outer edge portion in which is positioned a bead chain 42 which is taken up or released in the groove 40 by rotation of the steering wheel 22. The bead chain 42 passes around pulley 34 in the groove 40 thereof and is secured thereto. The bead chain 42 then passes around a pulley or guide 44 secured to the enclosure 26 and around a pulley or guide 122. The head chain 42 then passes along the bottom portion of the enclosure 26 to a beam member 48 described in detail hereinbelow.
The beam member 48 includes a cylindrical channel 50 through which the bead chain 42 passes. The cylindrical channel 50 is formed by an annular cylindrical shaft 52 which is positioned within a larger substantially cylindrical member 54 which bows outwardly at one end thereof 'at its upper portion and forms a portion of a spider 60. The hollow cylindrical shaft 52 is rotatable within the portion 54 of the spider 60. The spider 60 includes an outwardly extending member 68 secured to the spider portion 54. A downwardly extending member 70 extends downward from the other end portion of the member 68 and a 45 outwardly extending bend continues from the other end of the member 70. An outwardly extending flange, which runs substantially normal to the 45 bend member 70, is integral with one end of the 45 bend and secured thereto is a hollow threaded cylindrical member 64 for receiving bolts therein. Three such structures having members 62, 64, 68 and 70 are positioned at approximately 120 apart. The spider 60 is secured to the base portion of the enclosure 26 by means of threaded bolts 66 which pass through apertures formed in the base of the enclosure 26 and which are received in the threaded bolt receiving interior of the cylindrical member 64.
A second hollow cylindrical member 72 of the same diameter as the cylindrical member 54 is positioned coaxial with and below the cylindrical member 54 and abuts the cylindrical member 54. The cylindrical member 72 is secured to the hollow cylindrical shaft 52 for rotation therewith. An inwardly extending flange member 56 extending into the channel 50 and defining a small aperture 58 opens into the channel for directing the path of travel of the bead chain 42 which passes therethrough. The cylindrical member 72 also includes an outwardly extending flange or drivewheel 124 normal thereto and of annular shape for abutting a power means (to be explained hereinbelow) which provides the rotation to the shaft 52 and the cylindrical member 72.
A third cylindrical member 74 of substantially the same shape as the cylindrical member 72 is positioned coaxial with the shaft 52 and secured to the upper portion of the shaft 52. The cylindrical member 74 rests between the shaft 52 and the outwardly extending or bowed portion of the cylindrical member 54. The cylindrical member 74 also includes an inwardly extending flange member 76 which is similar to the flange member 56 but extends downwardly into the channel 50 and defining a small aperture 78 opening into the channel for directing a path of travel of the bead chain 42. A rotating beam arm member 82 is molded as an integral part of the cylindrical member 74, the beam arm member 82 including a channel therein.
The bead chain 42 extends around the flange member 76 and along the channel 80 of the rotating beam arm member 82. The bead chain 42 is connected to one end of a plastic cup 84 which contains therein a magnet 86 for movement along the channel 80 of the rotating beam arm member 82. The bead chain 42 is continued from the other end of the plastic cup 84 around a pulley or guide 88 where the bead chain then passes parallel to its path of travel from the flange 76 to the cup 84 whereupon the bead chain joins and is connected to a tension spring 90. The tension spring 90 is secured at its other end in an aperture 92 at the far end of the portion 94 of the rotating arm beam member.
The outwardly extending flange portion or drivewheel 124 of the cylindrical member 72 is set into motion about the axis of the cylinder 72 by means of a motor powered as stated hereinabove. This power is provided by means of a motor 96 to which power is supplied by means of a set of batteries 98 secured within a battery compartment 100 positioned in the base of the molded enclosure 26. Power from the batteries 98 to the motor 96 is supplied by means of the on-oif switch 30 (FIGS. 2 and 5) which can be operated by a key (not shown) and is in the direct line of the flow of current from the batteries 98 to the motor 96 and closes the circuit when the switch 30 is in the on position.
The on-otf switch 30 includes a cam 126 secured thereto which turns with the switch 30. In this manner, rotation of the switch 30 with a key will cause the cam 126 to rotate and force the contact 138 against the contact 116 to close the circuit from the batteries 98 to the motor 96.
The amount of current flowing from the batteries 98 to the motor 96 is determined by the throttle handle 24 which operates a rheostat 120 positioned in series with the battery 98 and the motor 96. This circuit also includes a switch such that a sutficient movement of the throttle handle 24 will cause a reversal of the current travelling from the battery 98 to the motor 96, thereby reversing the rotation of the motor 96. Half of such reversing switch 128 is shown in F6. 5, wherein the contact 130 is connected to the positive battery terminal and the contact 132 is connected to the negative battery terminal. The contact 134 is resilient and is connected to one terminal of the motor 96 and is normally biased against the contact 132. The throttle handle 24 includes an extending finger 136 which abuts the contact 134 and forces contact 134 against contact 130 when the throttle handle 24 is moved in the clockwise direction as shown in FIG. 5. The reversing switch also includes a second section (not shown) which can be identical to the reversing switch half 128 with the corresponding contact 134 connected to the other motor terminal and with the polarity of the contacts 130 and 132 reversed. This second switch half would be operated by the finger 136 in the same manner described hereinabove so that either contacts 130 or contacts 132 of both switch halves would be connected across the motor simultaneously. This action can also be provided by means of a customary switch as shown in FIG. 1 in the patent to Reiser, No. 2,923,092. Many other methods of providing such operation are well known in the art and need not be further discussed herein.
The motor 96 is mounted in a U-shaped metal motor bracket 103, the motor bracket being secured to the base portion of the enclosure 26 by means of a hinge pin 102 which extends through the extension 105 of the spider 60 and then through the motor bracket and is secured in the base portion of the chassis (not shown). The shaft of the motor 96 includes a gear element 104 which drives a gear element 106. Gear element 106 in turn includes, on the shaft thereof, a smaller gear element 108 for driving the gear element 110. The shaft of the gear element 110 includes a rubber drive sleeve 112 which abuts the flange member 124 or drivewheel of the cylindrical member 72 to provide rotation to the shaft 52 and thereby to the rotating beam member 48. The sleeve 112 is maintained in abutting relation with the flange member 124 by means of the spring 107 (FIG. 7).
Positioned on the artificial terrain 6 is the vehicle or automobile 18 which includes at the bottom portion thereof a magnet 114. The vehicle 18 is shown in greater detail in FIG. 8. The magnet 114 is positioned above the magnet 86 for movement therewith.
Referring to FIG. 9, there is shown the electrical circuit diagram of the present invention. The electrical circuit includes a battery 98 connected across a reversing or double-pole double-throw switch 128 having contacts 130 and 132 and 130 and 132 and moveable contacts 134 and 134'. The reversing switch 128 allows current to flow in the desired direction from battery 98 through the motor 96 and the speed controlling rheostat 120.
In operation, power is provided by turning the ignition switch 30 (FIGS. 2 and 5) to the on position, thereby closing the switch comprising contacts 116 and 126 (FIG. 5) and supplying power from the batteries 98 to the motor 96. This causes the motor to rotate and rotate the beam 48, thereby causing the vehicle 18 to revolve in a counterclockwise direction on the artificial terrain member 6 due to the action of magnets 86 and 114. The speed of rotation of the vehicle 18 is controlled by movement of the throttle arm 24 (FIGS. 2 and 5) by rotating the throttle arm 24 about its pivot 118 so that it can move along the resistor 120 to provide varying amounts of resistance in series with the battery-motor circuit. As stated hereinabove, a double-pole doublethrow switch as shown in the prior art is used to provide the reverse motion for counterclockwise rotation of the motor 96. As a second alternative, the reference potential can be tapped from the center of the resistor 120, thereby providing both positive-going and negative-going current to the motor 96, depending upon the position of the throttle arm 24.
It can be seen from the aforementioned statement of operation of the motor circuit that the vehicle can travel in either a forward or reverse direction at any desired speed. A second type of motion which is a radial motion inwardly and outwardly from the center of the rotating arm is provided by rotation of the steering wheel 22. Rotation of the steering wheel 22 causes the bead chain 42 to be let out by the pulley 34 or to be taken up, depending upon whether the steering wheel 22 is rotated in the clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Assuming rotation of the steering wheel in the clockwise direction, it can be seen that the bead chain will be let out and therefore will travel through the apertures 78 and 58 and along the channel 80 of the rotating beam, thereby forcing the magnet 86 and the cup 84 to move outwardly, away from the axis of the shaft 52 and thereby moving the vehicle 18 therewith away from the center of the terrain. Such action would contract the tension spring 90. It can be seen that the rotation of the steering 'wheel in the counterclockwise direction would cause the bead chain 42 to be taken in and therefore allow the magnet 86 and the cup 84 to move radially inward to the axis of the shaft 52 against the force of the tension spring 90. Accordingly, the vehicle 18 would be moved radially inward toward the axis of the rotating beam member, thereby providing a degree of resistance to the movement as would be encountered under normal driving conditions.
It can be seen that the vehicle 18 is subject to two simultaneous forces, one being a radially inward or outward force provided by means of the steering wheel 22, the bead chain 42 and the magnet 86. Also, a forward and reverse motion is provided by means of the ignition switch 30 and the throttle 24 which controls the electrical circuit and the motor 96 which causes rotation of the rotating beam member. The combination of these forces provides the resultant movement of the vehicle 18.
Although the invention has been described with respect to a specific preferred embodiment thereof, it should be understood that many variations thereof will immediately became obvious to those skilled in the art. For example, a bead chain need not be used but, on the contrary, any type of wire-like or string-like element could be used in place thereof. Also, the rotating beam member 48 need not include a pair of radial arms but, on the contrary, could be a circular disc member and need only have the property of being rotatable and having a channel for movement of the magnet 86 therein. Also, if desired, the tensioning of the steering wheel can be adjusted as, for example, by placing a spring or spring washer between the member 36 and the pulley 34 to maintain a pressure between the annular groove 40 on the pulley and the adjacent face of the enclosure. This provides stability to the steering wheel and provides a slight brake drag that prevents the force exerted by spring 90 from turning the steering wheel. In additon, different landscapes may be used.
Since, as stated above, many variations and alterations of the present invention will immediately become obvious to those skilled in the art from the reading of the preferred embodiment of the invention provided hereinabove, it is the intention that the claims appended hereto be interpreted as broadly as possible in view of the prior art to include all such variations and modifications.
What is claimed is:
1. A toy comprising a casing, a nonmagnetic sheet carried by the casing having a simulated terrain thereon and means mounting a master magnet under the sheet for rotation about an axis normal to the sheet and for shifting movement laterally of said axis, said means comprising a carrier, a tubular column secured to the carrier mounted for rotation about said axis, a pair of conical guides in the column having openings on said axis with the large openings of the cones adjacent the ends of the column, a steering wheel mounted on the casing, and a beaded chain connecting the Wheel and magnet and guided along the axis of rotation through the column by said openings whereby the magnet can be shifted by the rod while the carrier is rotating, said carrier being se' cured to one end of the column and a circular flange is secured to the other end, an electric motor mounted adjacent the column, a driving wheel in frictional driving engagement with the flange, and means connecting the motor for driving the Wheel.
2. A toy as defined in claim 1 further including an 15 8 electric motor for rotating the column and throttle means carried by the casing for varying the speed of the motor.
I References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS 454,373 1/1950 Italy. 493,721 6/1953 Canada.
LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner 10 R. F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 46--244