US 3656586 A
A rubber band motor which utilizes a long length of band material in a relatively short toy housing and which enables rapid winding of the band, comprising a first rubber band extending between a rotatable output member and a first gear and a second rubber band extending between a second gear and a stationary bracket. The two gears are normally engaged so that the rubber bands are connected in series to drive the rotatable output member. A winding gear moves into engagement with the first and second gears while separating them from each other when the rubber bands are being wound, so that the winding gear winds both rubber bands simultaneously, i.e., in parallel. When winding forces are no longer applied to the winding gear, it disengages from the first and second gears and allows them to re-engage so that they unwind in series. The motor is useful in a water toy with a flapping tail that propels it through the water while carrying a figure representing a man whose arms engage a pair of fins on the vehicle.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Robson  3,656,586 1 Apr. 18, 1972  Inventor:
 U.S. Cl. ..185/37, 185/39, l85/DIG. 1, 46/92, 46/119  Int. Cl. ..F03g l/04  Field ofSearch ..46/150, 92, 119; 185/37, 39, 185/45, DIG. 1, 2, 9
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,809,203 6/1931 l-lousepian.... 1,837,631 12/1931 Russell 1,936,072 11/1933 Roderick..... 185/37 2,200,686 5/1940 Beckman ..185/9 2,477,421 7/1949 Roderick ..l85/37 24 fig; 9 ':::1 61
Primary Examiner-Edgar W. Geoghegan Att0rneySeymour A. Scholnick [5 7] ABSTRACT A rubber band motor which utilizes a long length of band material in a relatively short toy housing and which enables rapid winding of the band, comprising a first rubber band extending between a rotatable output member and a first gear and a second rubber band extending between a second gear and a stationary bracket. The two gears are normally engaged so that the rubber bands are connected in series to drive the rotatable output member. A winding gear moves into engagement with the first and second gears while separating them from each other when the rubber bands are being wound, so
' that the winding gear winds both rubber bands simultaneously,
i.e., in parallel. When winding forces are no longer applied to the winding gear, it disengages from the first and second gears and allows them to reengage so that they unwind in series. The motor is useful in a water toy with a flapping tail that propels it through the water while carrying a figure representing a man whose arms engage a pair of fins on the vehicle.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEM R WE 3,656,586
' SHEET lEF 2 Ma in/me 62015: i. 1908504 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to motor driven toys.
2. Description of the Prior Art A variety of toys have been designed which utilize rubber bands for driving an output device. Such toys can have a long period of operation by utilizing a long rubber band so that it can be wound many times. However, a long rubber band has necessitated a long toy housing and the provision of special long bands which are not commonly available. A rubber band powered toy which could utilize short rubber bands and yet allow for a long period of motor driving, would enable economical toys to be produced which were of relatively short length and which could be easily repaired in case of breakage of the rubber bands.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide a toy motor which is compact, easy to wind, and easy to repair.
Another object is to provide a novel and entertaining water vehicle.
In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, an economical, compact and easy to wind toy motor is provided which drives a water vehicle in the form of a fish with a flapping tail. The motor includes a pair of rubber bands, a first of the bands extending between an output crank or wheel that drives the tail and a first small gear, and a second of the bands extending from a second small gear to a bracket. The small gears are normally engaged so that they drive the output member in series and for twice the length of time as a single one of the rubber bands could drive it. A winding gear is mounted for movement against and away from the first and second small gears. When winding forces are applied to the winding gear, it moves against the small gears to engage them while forcing them to separate from each other. Rotation of the winding gear then turns the small gears in the same direction to wind both rubber bands. When winding forces are no longer applied, the winding gear moves out of engagement with the small gears, and the small gears re-engage one another so that both of them can drive the tailas the two rubber bands unwind.
The winding gear is fixed to a shaft that can shift position towards and away from the small gears as well as rotate. A pull cord is normally partially wound about the shaft, pulling of the cord causing the .shaft to rotate while urging the winding gear to move into engagement with the small gears. A third rubber band is provided which extends between another bracket and the winding gear, to urge the winding gear away from engagement with the small gears and to turn the shaft to rewind the pull cord onto it. The housing of the toy is in the form of a fish, and a handle is provided at the end of the pull cord which is in the form of a ring or a small fish. The housing is constructed with a pair of downwardly extending fins that can be received under the arms of a figure representing a man, so that as the housing moves through the water it pulls the man figure along with it.
The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will be best understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toy constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1, but with the housing removed to show the motor mechanism thereof;
FIG. 3 is a view taken on the line 3--3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3, showing the mechanism during winding thereof; and
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, showing the mechanism during unwinding thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a water vehicle 10 in the form of a shark, which has a tail 12 that flaps from side to side to propel the vehicle through water. The vehicle has a pair of downwardly extending fins 14, 16 that can engage a FIG. 18 representing a human diver. The diver FIG. 18 therefore appears to be operating the vehicle to carry him through the water in a concealed manner. The vehicle is propelled by a rubber band type motor which is wound by pulling on a pull cord 20 that has a handle 22 which may be in the form of a ring or a small fish. After a child winds the rubber band motor by pulling on the pull cord one or several times, he can place the vehicle in the water and turn a release latch 24 near the rear of the vehicle to the position shown in FIG. 1. This allows the motor to unwind and flap the tail 12 to propel the vehicle through the water.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the rubber band motor includes a pair of rubber bands 26, 28 which extend along the length of the vehicle housing 30. A first of the bands 26 extends between a rotatable output member 32 which directly drives the tail l2 and a first gear 34 that is rotatably mounted on the housing. The second rubber band 28 extends between a bracket 36 that is fixed to the housing and a second gear 38 that is rotatably mounted on the housing. The two gears 34 and 38 are normally engaged so that the power of the rubber bands is connected in series to drive the rotatable output member 32. However, the second gear 38 is mounted so that it can shift to a position away from the first gear 34 to disengage from it. Such disengagement is utilized during winding of the rubber bands. j
Winding of the rubber bands 26, 28, is accomplished by a winding mechanism 40 which includes a winding gear 42 that can be rotated by pulling on the pull cord 20. The pull cord 20 is wound about a winding shaft 44 to which the winding gear 42 is fixed, so that pulling on the cord causes the cord to unwind from the shaft 44 and rotate the winding gear 42. FIG. 5 illustrates the situation where winding forces are applied to the pull cord 20 to turn the winding shaft 44 and winding gear 42. The shaft 44 is'rotatably mounted in a slot 46 of the housing so that downward forces cause it to move along the slot to engage the first and second gears 34, 38. The second gear 38 is also rotatably mounted in a slot 48, so that downward forces applied to it cause it to shift position so that it disengages from the first gear 34. Thus, when the pull cord 20 is pulled in a generally downward direction during winding, the winding gear 42 moves downwardly into engagement with the gears 34, 38 and pushes the second gear 38 out of engagement with the first gear 34. Rotation of the winding gear 42 then winds both gears 34, 38 in the same direction as indicated by the arrows 50, 52.
When a child releases the pull cord 20, the shaft 44 and winding gear 42 should move upwardly along the slot 46 to disengage from the first and second gears. In addition, the shaft 44 should turn in the reverse direction to rewind the cord 20 thereon to prepare for the nest winding. To accomplish this, a third rubber band 54 of the winding mechanism is provided which extends between a bracket 56 fixed to the housing and a bracket 58 which is fixed to the winding gear 42. The third rubber band 54 extends diagonally upwardly so that when it is stretched it urges the winding shaft and winding gear upwardly out of engagement with the first and second gears. When the pull cord 20 is pulled to wind the motor, the third rubber band 54 is also wound, and when the pull cord is released the third band 54 not only returns the winding gear 42 to its upward position, but also turns it and the winding shaft 44 to rewind the pull cord 20 on the shaft.
It may be noted that the second rubber band 28 extends diagonally upwardly from the second gear 38 to the bracket 36. This orientation results in the second band urging the second gear 38 upwardly along its slot 46 to re-engage the first gear 34 when the motor is not being wound. As mentioned above, during winding of the motor, both first and second gears 34, 38 rotate in.the same direction. When winding is terminated, and the first and second gears 34, 38 are engaged with each other, they rotate in opposite directions. Thus, the winding mechanism essentially winds the first and second rubber bands in parallel, and the first and second rubber bands thereafter unwind in series.
A single pull on the pull cord 20 rotates the winding shaft 44 and winding gear 42 by many turns. The fact that the winding gear 42 is larger than the two gears 34, 38 means that the two gears 34, 38 rotate by an even greater number of turns. The fact that the winding gear rotates the first and second rubber bands simultaneously means that twice as many twists of the rubber bands are produced as compared to the number of rotations of either of the small gears 34 or 38. If the rubber band motor is prevented from driving the tail by engagement of the release latch 24, then the pull cord 20 can be pulled and released several times in succession to completely wind the motor. A few pulls on the pull cord can result in over one hundred twists of the first and second rubber bands combined, and therefore complete winding of the motor can be accomplished rapidly.
in order to assure downward movement of the winding shaft 44 the housing is provided with an aperture 60 for directing the pull cord 20 in a direction to urge the winding gear into engagement with the first and second gears when the cord if pulled. Normally, during winding, the release latch 24 is maintained in the position shown in dark lines in FIGS. 3 and 4, wherein a projection 62 of the mechanism interferes with rotation of the rotatable member 32 to prevent unwinding. The rotatable member 32 includes a hook 64 which engages the first rubber band 26 and a pin 66 that is received in a slot 68 on the tail. The tail 12 is pivotally mounted on the housing by trunions 70. When the hook 64 is released, the pin 66 of the rotatable member rotates and pivots the tail 12 from side to side to propel the vehicle through the water. In order to release the hook, a child grasps either one of two knobs 72 to rotate the projection 62 so that it does not interfere with rotation ofthe hook.
Although the vehicle can be used alone, it is designed for rapid engagement with the diver FIG. 18 to propel the figure. The diver figure 18 has a pair of arms 74, 76 that extend downwardly along its torso to leave a small space between the arms and torso. The fins 14, 16 can project through this space, the resiliency of the arms generally being sufficient to hold the man in place so he does not fall off. However, a child can readily pull out the figure to play with the figure or the vehicle independently of each other.
Thus, the invention provides a motor of the type that utilizes elastic bands, which allows a long equivalent band to be employed in a housing of relatively short length, so that the motor can supply power for a substantial length of time. The motor can be wound in a simple manner, by pulling on a pull cord, to twist the bands by many turns. Although a winding gear and two small gears are shown, rubber wheels or other rotatably mounted transmission members could be used instead. Also, although rubber bands are mentioned, elongated members of a variety of elastic materials can be used as rubber band means. The invention also provides a water vehicle which utilizes the rubber band motor, the vehicle constructed to readily receive and hold a toy figure which it pulls through the water.
Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the an and, consequently it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.
What is claimed is:
1. A toy comprising:
an output member rotatably coupled to said housing;
first and second rotatably mounted transmission members normally coupled to each other so that said second transmission member can drive said first transmission member;
a first elastic torsion member extending between said output member and said first rotatable transmission member; fixed holding means for holding a second elastic torsion member; and
a second elastic torsion member extending between said holding means and said second rotatable transmission member, whereby the same endurance as that of a long elastic member can be obtained in a housing of limited length.
2. The toy described in claim 1 wherein:
said transmission members are mounted for engaging and disengaging from each other; and including manually operable winding means movable between a first position wherein it disengages said transmission members from each other while rotating them when manually winding forces are applied to it, and a second position away from said transmission members to allow said transmission members to couple to one another.
3. The toy described in claim 1 wherein:
said transmission members have rims normally engaged with each other so they rotate in opposite directions when engaged, and at least a first of said transmission members is mounted for movement toward and away from the other; and including a rotatable drive member with a rim for engaging said rims of said transmission members, said rotatable member mounted for movement between a first position wherein its rim bears against said rims of both of said transmission members and holds them apart and a second position wherein its rim is disengaged from the rims of both of said transmission members to allow said transmission members to engage one another; and
manually operable means coupled to said rotatable drive member to apply forces simultaneously urging it towards said first position and rotating it.
4. The toy described in claim 3 wherein;
said manually operable means includes a shaft fixed to said drive member, said shaft mounted for movement with directional components towards and away from a predetermined transmission member, a pull cord for winding about and unwinding from said shaft, means for guiding said pull cord so that when it is pulled it urges said drive member to shift towards said first position, and elastic means for urging said shaft to shift away from said predetermined transmission member and to rotate in a direction to wind said pull cord thereon.
5. A toy comprising:
a housing having first and second end portions;
an output member rotatably mounted at said first end portion of said housing;
first and second gear means rotatably mounted at said second end portion of said housing, said first gear means mounted for shifting toward and away from said second gear means to engage and disengage it;
holding means mounted at said first end portion of said housing;
first and second rubber band means, said first band means extending between one of said gear means and said output member and said second band means extending between the other of said gear means and said holding means;
a winding shaft mounted on said housing to rotate and to shift with a directional component towards and away from said first gear means;
winding gear means fixed to said winding shaft;
a pull cord having an inner end coupled to said winding shaft to wind and unwind from it; and
means defining an aperture in said housing for passing said pull cord, said aperture located so that tension in said cord urges said shaft with a directional component towards said first gear means.
6. The toy described in claim 5 including:
second holding means mounted on said housing; and
third rubber band means extending between said winding shaft and said second holding means, for urging said shaft to shift away from said first gear means and to rotate in a direction to wind said pull cord thereon.