US 3647025 A
A spring-driven mechanism for toy microvehicles has a braking device for obtaining a slow unwinding of the spring. This has a rotary wheel where a movable mass is radially guided, and the mass under the effect of centrifugal force has a tendency to enter into contact with a fixed surrounding cover according to a pressure depending on the force. A faceted shaft is provided for winding up the spring and is operated by means of a specially designed wrench which on account of a large flat base rests during operation on the external face of the toy, thus avoiding a pendular movement taking place and causing the uncoupling of the wrench during winding.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Paya Rico Mar. 7, 1972  SPRING-OPERATED DRIVING MECHANISM FOR TOY MICROVEHICLES  Inventor: Raimundo Paya Rico, Santa Rita 33, Ibi,
Spain  Filed: May 14, 1970  Appl.No.: 37,166
 Foreign Application Priority Data July 7, 1969 Spain ..150,140 Mar. 5, 1970 Spain ..156,537
 US. Cl. ..l85/39, 185/45, 185/D1G. 1, 46/206, 188/185  Int. Cl. ..F03g 1/00  Field of Search ..185/39, 45, DIG. 1; 46/206; 188/185, 187
 1 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 711,323 10/1902 Kingsbury U 1,159,437 11/1915 Wachtelhausen 1 85/D1G. 1
1,277,791 9/1918 Vaughan ..185/45 2,896,912 7/1959 Faugier et al ..188/l85 Baird 1 88/185 Primary Examiner-Edgar W. Geoghegan AttorneyWenderoth, Lind & Ponack  ABSTRACT A- spring-driven mechanism for toy microvehicles has a braking device for obtaining a slow unwinding of the spring. This has a rotary wheel where a movable mass is radially guided, and the mass under the effect of centrifugal force has a tendency to enter into contact with a fixed surrounding cover according to a pressure depending on the force. A faceted shaft is provided for winding up the spring and is operated by means of a specially designed wrench which on account of a large flat base rests during operation on the external face of the toy, thus avoiding a pendular movement taking place and causing the uncoupling of the wrench during winding.
7 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMAR 1 I912 SHEET 1 0F 2 RAIMUNDO PAYA RICO,
r w u h M mm m w Attorneys PAIENTEDMAR 7 I972 3.647. 025
sum 2 or 2 FIG-5 f FIG-7 RA-IMUNDO PAY-A RICO,
Inventor BY 'Nwlluatfi ZJA Attorneys SPRING-OPERATED DRIVING MECHANISM FOR TOY MICROVEIIICLES Among the driving mechanisms employed for toys at the present time, is the traditional spring-driven or clockwork mechanism.
This type of mechanism, is constituted on the basis of a tempered strip rolled in the form of the spiral, which is distended when at rest, and which has one end anchored to a fixed point of the toy and the other end fixed to a drum which can be made to rotate on its own axis. The said strip, which constitutes the spring which stores up energy, and which, on being freed produces the movement desired in the toy, is wound up by rolling it on the drum to which its internal end is fixed, when the said drum is caused to rotate.
Subsequently, when the force which has wound up the spring ceases, and the said spring is free to become distended, the energy that it has stored up produces a rotation in the direction opposite to that of the winding-up of the drum, which energy can be made use of by means of special transmission organs in order to bring about a determined movement.
The possibilities offered by a driving mechanism of this type are many and very varied. However, when an endeavor is made to apply it in the field of miniaturization, it presents a series of disadvantages which up to the present has not proved possible to overcome in a satisfactory manner.
Among the problems in question, which, in general terms, are determined by the fact that the complex of the elements of the mechanism occupy a considerable volume of space, the following are worthy of note:
a. The need to situate a reducing system between the drum for winding-up the spring and the moving parts of the toys.
(b) The need to wind up the spring, in accordance with the known system, by means of a key that consists of a small tube of a certain length which engages with the quadrangular end of a shaft that emerges from the toy, and which forms part of the mechanism, the rotation of which is transmitted to the drum on which the spring is wound.
The first problem is the direct consequence of the fact that the reducing system is in all cases constituted by a train of gears the volume and number of gearwheels of which make it impracticable to house it in a miniature toy.
The second problem is derived from the fact that the quadrangular end of the shaft, which receives the force necessary to wind up the spring, must have the sufficient length so that the tube constituting the winding key will engage with it without the possibility of slipping or becoming disengaged when it is rotated. This makes it impossible to situate the shaft not only in such a manner that it will emerge from underneath the miniature toy, where it will not fit, but also makes it impossible for the said shaft to emerge through a place that is visible; it must be borne in mind that the size of such a miniature toy is so small that the fact of the quadrangular shaft being visible considerably detracts from the aesthetic appearance of the whole, a fact which does not make the solution in question feasible.
The invention described below is concerned precisely with the spring mechanism, to produce movement, which has been structured in such a manner that it can be used in miniature toys and, more concretely, in microvehicles. It is particularly suitable, for example, to provide movement for mini-vehicles whose body work is constructed to scale, since the said minivehicles would loose a large part of their attractiveness if the quadrangular shaft with which the key for winding the mechanism engages is projected in a visible place, and in addition the size of such minivehicles is so small that it is impossible to house in their interior a sufficiently large system of reduction gearing which will slow down to a normal degree the unwinding of the driving spring.
The mechanism with which we are concerned is characterized by the fact that it consists of a device for braking the unwinding of the spring, which operates under the effect of centrifugal force to which it is subjected when it rotates, and
which substitutes for a system of reducing gears, and because the drum for winding the spring, which is solidly joined to the toothed wheel transmitting the energy has been fitted with a very short operating shaft, which permits it to emerge from the bottom of the minivehicle, its limited length being compensated, in order to make its rotation possible, by means of a key of special design that eliminates the slipping that would otherwise take place.
The detaileddescri'ption of this mechanism and of its winding key is made with the aid of the accompanying set of drawings, the different figures of which represent the following elements:
FIG. I. A sectional view of the device which replaces the gear reduction system.
FIG. 2. An upper plan view of the same device.
FIG. 3. A lower plan view of the complex of elements that constitute the mechanism which is the subject of the invention.
FIG. 4. A lateral sectional view of the complex of elements constituting the mechanism, fitted on chassis of the microvehi cle.
FIG. 5. A lateral elevational view of the winding key.
FIG. 6. An upper plan view of the same key.
FIG. 7. A lateral elevational view of the parts in'which, in a unitary form, there are grouped the drum forwinding the spring, the toothed wheel for transmitting power, and the quadrangular winding shaft.
FIG. 8. An upper plan view of the parts shown in FIG. 7, with the beginning of the spring indicated.
FIG. 9. A detail of the fitting to the chassis of the part represented in FIGS. 7 and 8, there being incorporated on the said part the spring and its winding key.
The mechanism consists of means for receiving and transmitting power (a), FIGS. 3 and4, means for transmitting the said power to the driving wheels (1)), FIGS. 3 and 4 and a device for regulating the expenditure of the said power (c), FIGS. 3 and 4 which replaces the conventional reducing systems. However, its novelty does not consist in all these features, but only in the material characteristics of the device for receiving and transmitting power, in the material characteristics of the regulating device, and in the peculiarities of the means employed to wind up the spring of the said device for receiving and transmitting power. It is the characteristics of these elements, and not the fact of their being provided in the complex, which make it possible to apply the mechanism to a microvehicle.
The means for receiving and transmitting power comprises the parts shown in FIGS. 7 and'8, which, in a unitary form, consists of the quadrangular shaft'l to wind the spring 7, the drum or cylinder 2, constituting the base for winding the said spring, and the pinion for transmitting movement 3.
The said part, when the spring unwinds, transmits the power stored by the latter by means of the pinion or primary toothed wheel 3, to a small gear train 16, FIGS. 3 and 4, which in turn transmit it to a pinion I7 which forms an integral part of the device regulating the expenditure of power, which is coupled directly to the shaft of the driving wheels.
The part that constitutes the complex for receiving and transmitting power, which has all its elements grouped on a single shaft so that the rotation of all of them will be concentric, has a notch between the winding drum and the shaft, which determines the formation of a short cylindrical section 6, FIGS. 7and 9 on which it rotates on the bottom of the chassis of the vehicle 8, which for this purpose has an orifice of reception 9 made in it. At its other end the same part undergoes a narrowing in order to give rise to another cylindrical section 5 which serves to fit it to a second orifice 10 made in the upper part 11 of the chassis. Finally, insofar as the structure of the part is concerned, the anchorage of the inner end of the spring 7 to the winding drum 2 is made by means of a cut 4 made in the diameter of the said drum.
The situation of the assembly of the complex for receiving and transmitting power can be perfectly observed in FIG. 9.
There may also be observed in this Figure that the quadrangular shaft 1 projects very little from the bottom of the vehicle, due to its limited length, The purpose of this is, as may clearly be seen in H0. 4 that it will not reach the supporting plane of the wheels 18 of the vehicle in order not to hinder the movement of the vehicle.
In FIGS. 5 and 6 it may be observed that the key for turning the quadrangular shaft 1 is constituted by a circular base of large radius 13, which at its center and on one of the faces, has a dome-shaped element 14 drilled axially in correspondence with the quadrangular shaft, The said dome-shaped element is flanked by two lugs 15 which serve for the operation of the part.
The key, which, as may be observed in FIG. 9, is fitted on the shaft, engaging with it along the whole of its length, is provided with the large circular base to which reference has been made so that it will rest directly and in a stable manner on the external face of the bottom of the chassis, in order to avoid, because of the short length of the quadrangular shaft with which it engages, slipping movements which might result in the key becoming disengaged during the operation of winding the spring.
The regulating device is constituted by means of a toothed crown gear 19 in the form of a cup which engages directly with a pinion 20 fitted on the shaft 21 of the driving wheels 18 and which receives the movement of the transmission train 16 by means of a pinion 17 concentrically fixed to its shaft 22. The crown gear 19 on its posterior face has a fiat piece 23 which is fitted on its shaft 22 in such a way as to allow a great deal of play, using an orifice 24 which it presents for the purpose, which part is retained in an axial direction by the pinion 17 but which can move radially by virtue of the configuration of its coupling orifice, 24. The said radial movement is guided in a concrete direction by means of the coupling of a pivot 25 emerging excentrically from the posterior face of the crown, into another orifice 26 made in the flat part 23 with the same orientation as that of the assembly on the shaft 24.
The part 23 which has its external edge rounded in the manner of an arch, of the same amplitude as the crown gear on which it is supported, can not project beyond the perimeter of the said crown when the system is at rest. However, when the mechanism begins to move, and the crown gear commences to rotate, the part 23 is projected radially outwards by the thrust of the centrifugal force to which it is subjected, and places its exterior curved side in contact with an element 27 which has been arranged so as to partially envelop its angular travel.
Therefore the whole system is braked in direct relationship with the power which the spring has stored at each movement, and consequently the velocity of the vehicle will always be constant. It should be borne in mind that the power with which the eccentric mass 23 is supported on rotating on the braking screen 27 will be in proportion to the number of turns to which it is subjected. Consequently, its braking action will be greater when the spring is fully wound up and endeavors to impel it to rotate at high speed, than when it is on the point of running down and subjects it to a lower number of revolutions.
l. A spring-operated driving mechanism for a toy microvehicle comprising means for receiving and transmitting power, means for transmitting said power to the driving wheels of said vehicle, means for regulating the expenditure of said power, said means for receiving and transmitting power comprising a drum, a spiral spring on said drum having its external end anchored to a fixed point on the chassis and its internal end fixed to said drum, a shaft for said drum having a quadrangular end, a removable key for rotating said shaft to wind said spring, a pinion on said shaft for transmitting the movement of said drum when said spring unwinds, said means regulating the expenditure of power comprising a movable mass on said shaft operable under centrifugal force when it rotates, a static screen cooperating with said movable mass during a part of its angular travel, a toothed wheel connected to sai drum for transmitting power to said wheels, said key having a large supporting base on the external face of said vehicle through which said quadrangular end of said shaft emerges.
2. A spring-operated driving mechanism according to claim 1 wherein the structural base part of said means for receiving and transmitting power comprises in'unitary form two rotating supports, said toothed wheel for the transmission of power, said drum for winding said spring, and said shaft all located on a theoretical common axis so that rotation of all said elements is concentric.
3. A spring-operated driving mechanism according to claim 1 wherein said supporting base comprises a fiat base in the form of a circle of large radius, and a dome-shaped axially drilled element on one of its faces in correspondence with said quadrangular end of said shaft, said dome-shaped element being flanked by two lugs on a diameter of said fiat base for turning the key.
4. A spring-operated driving mechanism in accordance with claim 1 wherein said toothed wheel is in the form of a cup directly engaged with said pinion and a flat piece on said toothed wheel forming said movable mass having considerable play on said shaft.
5. A spring-operated driving mechanism according to claim 4 wherein said movable mass is retained in an axial direction between said toothed wheel and said pinion and is movable radially.
6. A spring-operated driving mechanism in accordance with claim 5 wherein said radial movement of said movable mass is guided in a fixed direction by means of a coupling of a pivot emerging eccentrically from the posterior face of said toothed wheel.
7. A spring-operated driving mechanism in accordance with claim 6 wherein said movable mass has its external edge rounded in the form of an arc and said external edge enters into contact with said screen.