US 3532341 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 6, 1970 H. L. SHAW 3,532,341
RACING GAME WITH MAGNETICALLY DIRVEN RACING ELEMENTS Filed March 6, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 i/// /Af ////K 49 I as INVENTOR.
|- 39 HARVEY L. SHAW BY I ATTORNEY H. L. SHAW Oct. 6, 1970 RACING GAME WITH HAGNETICALLY DIRVEN RACING ELEMENTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 6, 1969 l6 ;BI 36 4 FIG. 6
HARVEY L. SHAW ATTORNEY United States Patent 01 fice 3,532,341 Patented Oct. 6, 1970 3,532,341 RACING GAME WITH MAGNETICALLY DRIVEN RACING ELEMENTS Harvey L. Shaw, 620 B. Castillo St., Santa Barbara, Calif. 93101 Filed Mar. 6, 1969, Ser. No. 804,833 Int. Cl. A63f 9/14; A63l1 33/26 US. Cl. 273---86 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Motor driven magnets on one side of a sheet of stiff material drive competitor pieces on the other side by magnetic attraction through the sheet. Two or more rotating arms drive the magnets and the speed of rotation of each arm is controlled by an individual human operator for each arm. Groups of magnets are mounted at the outer end of each arm for single and compound revolution about the arm end. The paths of revolution of the different groups of magnets interfere with each other, and when one arm overtakes the other there are collisions between driving magnets which collisions knock off competitor pieces. Random movement of the magnets of each group is built-in by differences in friction with the undersurface of the racing, surface.
This invention relates to a racing game and has particular reference to a motor driven game wherein the competitor pieces are disposed on a flat continuous surface, and the driving mechanism is not visible.
I drive my competitors by means of magnets disposed beneath a sheet of material forming the racing field. The sheet is preferably non-metal, such as wood, glass or plastic, to reduce induction losses and maximize magnetic attraction between the driving magnet and the ferrous armature or magnet attached to the racing competitors. A random element is introduced by means of the driving mechanisms mechanically interfering with each other. This introduces an element of skill for the human players inasmuch as the speed of movement of the driving mechanisms relative to each other controls the degree of interference. Additionally I build into the mechanism a characteristic of loss of players when the interference is too great, to further enhance the requirement for skill.
It is therefore a general object of my invention to provide a motor driven magnetically coupled racing game that gives rise to a random interference between competitors requiring skill on the part of the human players.
Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be apparent in the accompanying drawings forming an integral part of this specification and in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a presently preferred form of table supporting the racing mechanism and on which are disposed racing cars as the racing competitors.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view through a fragment of the table of FIG. 1, showing an alternative use when the surface is covered with water and the competitors are floating boats.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view through the table of FIG. 1 showing one of the racers in elevation and showing the driving magnet below the racing surface.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view through the table of FIG. 1 showing a modified form of competitor in the shape of a motorcycle racer.
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the mechanism disposed in the table of FIG. 1 but with the racing surface removed to show the driving arms on which are located the magnets.
FIG. 6 is an elevation view in full section of the mechanism of FIGS. 1 and 5 for driving the racing car competitors.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view of a modified form of the invention employing two magnets at the end of a driving arm rather than four magnets.
FIG. 8 is an elevation view of a preferred form of tilting mechanism.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 1, 5 and 6, there is illustrated a box 10 supported by table legs 11. The box 10 has a bottom 12, sidewalls 13, and a top racing surface 14. The top surface 14 supports the racing competitors, and as shown in FIG. 1, these are simulated automobile racers 16. The top surface 14 is preferably a nonmetal and may be a sheet made of glass, plastic, compressed wood fibre, etc. It is preferably removable for access to the driving mechanism located below it.
The driving mechanisms is disposed on a central pedestal 17 which is preferably hollow to permit the passage of electric wires leading to one or more upper motors. Mounted on the pedestal 17 for rotation is a lower driven wheel 18 to which is mounted a lower drive arm 19. Mounted also for rotation on the pedestal 17 is an upper driven wheel to which is secured an upper driven arm 22. Both wheels 18 and 21 have a resilient rim for frictionally driving or rotating the wheels. Projecting from the pedestal 17 is a lower support arm 23 and mounted on the outer end of this support arm is an electric motor 24. The motor 24 has a shaft 26 that frictionally engages the driven wheel 18 to drive it in rotation. A similar bracket 27 has a motor 28 on its outer end and it in turn has a shaft 29 which frictionally engages the driven wheel 21. The pedestal 17 has a topflange 31 which may support the flat sheet surface 14 in the center.
Referring now to FIG. 1 it will 'be noted that the box 10 has a pair of jacks 32 through which wires 33 project to be connected at their outer ends to rheostats 34. The rheostats in turn control the flow of current through the wires that lead to the motors 24 and 28. The motors may obtain power from any suitable source of electric current, and the rheostats 34 accordingly control the current and hence control their speed, and thereby directly control the speed of rotation of the arms 19 and 22. If desired, a reversing switch may be incorporated in the rheostats 34, 19 and 22. Each human player in turn actuates one of the rheostats 34 to control the speed of his particular driving arm 19 or 22.
Referring now to FIGS. 5, 6 and 3, there is disposed at one outer end of the arms 19 and 22, a cluster of randomly revolving magnets 36. These are held against the bottom side of the continuous sheet 14 by means of pivoted bars 37 pivoted intermediate their ends at 40 to the respective arms 22 and 19. Disposed at each end of the pivoted bars 37 are cross bars 38, pivoted at 45. At the outer ends of these cross bars 38 there is mounted for rotation wheels 39 preferably having a rubber tire or other shock abrosbing exterior surface. The magnets 36 in turn are mounted on these wheels 39 in any suitable fashion, for example, by a vertically reciprocable pin 41 urged upwardly by compression spring 42 surrounding the pin. At the other end of arm 19 and 22 may be disposed counter weights 50 approxiamtely of the same weight as the bar, cross bars and magnets just described.
Referring now particularly to FIG. 5, it will be noted that when the lower driving arm 19 is rotated, its pivot 40 defines a circle shown by a broken line 43. The pivot 40 on the upper cross arm 22 defines a circle shown by a broken line 46. The lines 43 and 46, accordingly, define a separate and discrete path for the driving mechanisms for the racing competitors 16 as shown in FIG. 1. The pivot points 45 of the pivoted bar 37 revolve in a circle defined by the broken lines 47. It will be noted that these two circles 47 intersect the adjoining path lines 43 and 46 of the driving arms. Additionally, the centers of the magnets 36 revolve about the pivots 45 and define an additional circle of movement indicated by the lines 48. This circling of magnets about another circular path may be described as compound revolution. These even further intersect the paths of travel 43 and 46 of the adjoining drive arms 19 and 22. The diameter of the wheels 39 is so selected that when the centers of the magnets 36 for a particular arm are tangent to their path 43 or 46 there is a slight clearance with the wheels of the adjoining arm when those magnets 36 are tangent to their respective path of travel 43 or 46.
In order to induce a random movement of the magnets so that the magnet wheels 39 of one group or arm will strike the magnet wheels of the other group or arm, I create a deliberate imbalance in the amount of friction which the different magnets encounter on the underside of the playing surface 14. As best illustrated in FIG. 6, the right end of the driving arm 22 has a hinged dog leg 49 which supports the pivot pin 40, and the angle of the pivot pin 40 is adjusted by means of a rotatable screw 51. As the screw 15 is screwed upwardly the pivot pin 40 tilts to the left, and as it is screwed downwardly the pivot pin 40 tilts to the right. In either position off of vertical, the magnets 36 that are closest to their wheels 39 will encounter a greater force urging them against the underside of the surface 14. This then will cause more friction on these magnets than on the magnets having a greater spacing from their wheels 39 and thereby cause a drag which unbalances the entire system, throwing first one pair of magnets 36 to the outside and then the other. The vertical dimension of wheels 39 with respect to the maximum amount of tilt may be such that the wheels of one group will be able to collide with wheels of another group, or alternatively the wheels of one group may be tilted in the opposite direction.
A presently preferred form of tilting mechanism for this pivot 40 is illustrated also in FIG. 8. There it will be noted that a driving arm 19B is straddled by sheet metal U shaped member 52 having a projecting tongue 53 which is urged in a clockwise direction by a compression spring 54. A screw 56 passing through the end of the tongue 13 and through a hole 57 in the arm 19B is allowed to move upwardly or downwardly by means of a wing nut 58. A pivot spindle 40B projects from the top of the U shaped bracket 52. Suitable bars, such as bars 37 of FIG. 5, may be pivoted on this pin 40b of FIG. 8.
Referring now to FIG. 2 there is illustrated a presently preferred form of driving magnet, that is the magnet disposed on the under side of the playing surface 14. A
disc type magnet 59 is glued or otherwise adjoined to washer type magnets 61 and are fitted over a pin 62 mounted in the center part of a wheel core 63 which r0 tates about the pin 62 which is secured to one end of a cross arm 37. A rubber foam rim 64 surrounds the wheel core 63 to provide a cushioning effect when a number of such wheels 6364 strike each other. Rather than use a spring to urge the magnets 5961 into contact with the surface 14, I employ magnetic force to achieve this result. For this purpose I dispose in the wheel core 63 a washer type magnet 66 which is so disposed that it is opposite in polarity to the adjoining magnets 61 restrained by the pin 62. This magnetic repulsion between the magnets 66 and 61 gives rise to a very effective and frictionless type of spring action. To reduce the amount of friction with the underside of the surface 14, I apply a thin coat 67 of nylon or similar low friction material on the top surface of disc magnet 59.
Still referring to FIG. 2, the magnet on the upper side of the surface 14 which is driven by the magnet on the lower side of the surface 14, may be of the same disc or washer type and is designated as 68. It too may have a low friction coating 69 on its side in contact with the surface 14.
The competitor piece illustrated in FIG. 2 is a boat, and for this purpose water 71 is introduced on the top of the surface of 14 and a boat 72 floats thereon. A driving connection is preferably telescoping in nature and may consist of a tube 73 secured to the magnet 68 and a pin 74 may be connected to the boat to reciprocate in the tube. This type of connection is necessary inasmuch as rather high waves are generated when boats are driven in the water, and this connection permits the boat to freely float over the waves. The boat may be oriented in the proper direction, either by connecting pin 74 to a forward part of the boat or providing the boat with a rudder 76.
Illustrated in FIG. 4 is still another modification of the type of competitor piece that may be employed. In this instance it takes the shape of a motorcycle and driver 77. By properly connecting a magnet 78 to the motorcycle 77, the motorcycle may be made to tilt into the curves as in real life. A different type magnet is illustrated in FIG. 4, wherein the polarity is from one end to the other rather than between fiat edges of a disc. Accordingly, there is illustrated a driving magnet 79 secured with a lost motion connection to a pin 81 held in a wheel 39C.
The strength of the magnets may be easily changed by using magnets of different sizes and to some degree by the number of magnets in a stack as shown in FIG. 2. The magnets for the longer arm 19 should be slightly stronger for a standard size of playing piece or competitor piece because of the greater centrifugal force. It enhances the enjoyment of my racing game if the players are lost by excessive centrifugal force. Accordingly the magnets for the longer arm 17 are adjusted with respect to the magnets of the shorter arm 22 so that the same rotational speed of both arms will result in the loss of players due to centrifugal force.
Illustrated in FIG. 7 is a modified form of magnet assembly wherein no cross bars are employed. A rotating arm 19 has a pivot pin 40a on one end and a bar 37a is pivoted thereon. Mounted on each end of the bar 37a is a magnet wheel 39a each of which supports a magnet 36a. This two-magnet assembly gives less random movement to any competitor pieces driven by its magnets.
OPERATION Referring to FIG. 1, suitable competitor pieces 16 are placed on the playing surface 14 in the approximate paths of magnets 36 (FIG. 2). The magnets 36 travel in random paths in the general area of the circles shown in FIG. 2, circles 43 and 46. As the magnets pass under the competitor pieces 16 they will pick them up and carry them off in randomly varying but generally circular closed paths. This movement occurs because each playing piece 16, as shown in FIG. 3, has an armature or magnet 49 attached to it. The flux of driving magnets 36 travels through the sheet forming the racing surface 14 to lock on to the armature or magnet 49 of the playing pieces 16.
If desired, various types of competitor pieces may be used, such as the motorcycle 77 of FIG. 4 or, when water is placed on the surface 14, the boat of FIG. 2.
As shown best in FIG. 5 each group of magnets 36 is driven by a separate rotating arm 19 or 22, and these are driven as shown in FIG. 6 by motors 24 and 28 respectively. Each motor is controlled in turn by its individual rheostat 34 shown in FIG. 1. Human players operate the rheostats 34 and control the rotational speeds of the arms 19 and 22. When the rotational speed is too great, playing pieces 16 will fly off to the side because the centrifugal force will exceed the magnetic attraction. Likewise when the different groups of magnets interfere with each other too violently, centrifugal force will act with the blows to throw the pieces outwardly from the paths of travel of the magnets and the playing pieces, or competitors will be lost for that race.
The magnets 36 of each group move randomly as shown in FIG. 2, each pair on one end of the bars 36 defining the circle of revolution 48, and these circles 48 in turn revolve along the circle 47, thus giving rise to compound revolution as contrasted to the simple revolution of the FIG. 7 modification. The circles 48 and 47 of one arm 19 or 22 cross the paths of the other circles 48 and 47 of the other arm 19 or 22. Thus when one 0 arm 19 or 22 overtakes the other, the wheels 39 strike each other, causing violent revolutions of the driving magnets 36, and when this acceleration combined with the centrifugal force exceeds the magnetic attraction, the players are lost. Thus skill of the human operators of rheostats determines how many playing pieces survive the race, one player slowing up his competitors when the other tries to overtake him and vice versa. Since neither human player can employ his maximum speed,
the race goes not necessarily to the swift.
Continuous random movement of the magnets is built in by the difference in friction caused by the slanting of the plane of the magnet wheels 39 as shown in FIG. 6.
This is done by moving off vertical the pivot pin 40 for the bar 37 as shown in FIG. 6 or as most clearly shown for the modified structure of FIG. 8. The wheels 39 rotate when they strike each other, and this rotates the playing pieces 16 momentarily, but their magnet 49 is so positioned that instantly the pieces align themselves with their direction of travel.
More than two arms can be employed, and the interference of magnet groups may be only with adjacent magnet groupsor may extend to all.
Any number of types of competitor pieces can be used, for example a cowboy on horseback driven by one arm may try to catch up with a calf driven by the other. The boat of FIG. 2 is realistic when it floats on water, and this introduces another element of skill because high waves are created by the fast moving pieces.
I do not limit my invention to the various forms illustrated but claim all variations and modifications that fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.
The embodiment illustrated is inexpensive to manufacture, and trouble free and dependable in operation.
1. A racing game comprising:
(a) a flat continuous sheet forming a racing field;
(b) a plurality of driving mechanisms disposed on one side of the sheet and each having a separate closed path of travel;
(0) individual motors for each driving mechanism for energizing the various driving mechanisms;
((1) a separate manual control for each motor to permit individual control of speed of each driving mechanism;
(e) pivoted members on each driving mechanism and having an arc of swing that projects into a neighboring path of travel of a driving mechanism, and each having an outer end;
(f) a driving magnet disposed on the outer end of each pivoted member and positioned closely adjacent to said one side of the sheet;
(g) racing competitors disposed on the other side of said sheet;
(h) and magnet seeking pieces secured to the competitors and disposed closely adjacent to said other side of the sheet for maximum magnetic coupling to the magnets.
2. A racing game as defined in claim 1 wherein the pivoted members are bars pivoted intermediate their ends and the magnets are secured to each end of the bar.
3. A racing game as defined in claim 1 wherein the pivoted members comprise main bars pivoted intermediate their ends and a cross bar is pivoted intermediate its ends to at least one end of the main bar ends, and the magnets are secured to the outer ends of the cross bars, to give rise to compound revolutionary movement.
4. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein the magnets are rotatable to provide a rolling contact with magnets on adjacent driving mechanisms.
5. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein the magnets are rotatable and are surrounded by an exterior wheel to absorb the shocks of mechanical contact between magnets.
6. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein the magnets are yieldingly held in contact with said one side of the sheet racing field.
7. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are provided stationary magnets on the outer ends of the pivoted members and having a polarity that repulses the driving magnets to hold the driving magnets in contact with said one side of the sheet.
8. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein a friction reducing coating is disposed on the driving magnet where it contacts Said one side of the sheet racing field.
9. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein a friction reducing coating is disposed on the magnet-seeking pieces of the competitors where they contact said other side of the sheet.
10. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein the sheet racing field is level and covered with water, the racing competitors are boats and an expansible connection is made between boat and its magnet seeking piece, so that the boats can float and ride the waves.
11. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein the plane of rotation of the pivoted members is slightly different from the plane of said one side of the sheet racing field to give rise to random movement to the driv ing magnets.
12. A racing game as set forth in claim 1 wherein said driving mechanisms each have a pivot pin, the pivoted member pivots on the pin, and an adjustment is provided to position said pin to a selected angle with reference to said one side of the sheet racing field.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,500,475 3/1950 Staaf 46-239 X 2,668,389 2/ 1954 Morrison 273-862 X 3,103,360 9/1963 Miller et al. 273-862 3,326,555 6/1967 Warren 273-868 3,336,695 8/1967 Warren 273-862 3,377,067 4/1968 Proietti 273-862 ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.