US 3732645 A
A mobile toy of the type designed to move over a surface or through the air and comprising an energy storing rotary element in the form of a flywheel which, when set into rotational motion, provides energy to propelling means thereby causing movement of the toy. The flywheel includes a driving surface formed thereon and designed to movably engage a driving member in the form of an elongated, flexible shaft capable of at least partially surrounding the flywheel in cooperative relation to the driving surface. Guide means are provided to maintain the driving member in working engagement with the flywheel. Relative movement between the drive member and the flywheel causes rotation of the flywheel and movement of the toy.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ilnited States Patent 1 Winston  FRICTION DRIVE TOY  Inventor: Emanuel A. Winston, 871 Marion Avenue, Highland Park, 111.
 Filed: Mar. 31, 1971  Appl. No.: 129,877
 3,732,645 1 May 15, 1973 Primary ExaminerLouis G. Mancene Assistant ExaminerJ. Q. Lever Attorney- Stefan M. Stein  ABSTRACT A mobile toy of the type designed to move over a surface or through the air and comprising an energy storing rotary element in the form of a flywheel which, when set into rotational motion, provides energy to propelling means thereby causing movement of the toy. The flywheel includes a driving surface formed thereon and designed to movably engage a driving member in the form of an elongated, flexible shaft capable of at least partially surrounding the flywheel in cooperative relation to the driving surface. Guide means are provided to maintain the driving member in working engagement with the flywheel. Relative movement between the drive member and the flywheel causes rotation of the flywheel and movement of the toy.
8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures FRICTION DRIVE TOY BACKGROUNDOFTHE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a toy which may be in the form of an automobile, airplane, boat or the like and which is designed to move over a surface or through the air, for a relatively long period by means of a rotationally mounted flywheel which supplies energy .to' propelling means in the form of wheels or a propeller.
2. Description of the Prior Art There are a wide variety of toys such as airplanes, helicopters, automobiles, boats and the like which are designed either to move over a surface, including water, or through the air. In designing toys'capable of such movement, it is desirable to provide a sturdy, relatively uncomplicated drive assembly to provide such motion. Toys of this type must be both sturdy and uncomplicated since they will be subject to rather rough treatment in the handsof small children. However, such toys should be capable of high performance in order to be popular with children and therefore be attractive from the commercial standpoint. Accordingly, I the manufacturers and designers of conventional mobile toys run into the problems of providing an inexpensive, durable toy of relatively simple structure but capable of performing efficiently under relatively abusive conditions.
A number of conventional mobiletoys have been designed to accentuate the performance features in an attempt to make these toys more popular from a commercial standpoint. However, in increasing the performance of such toys, manufacturers have resorted to relatively complex drive assemblies which have the effect of raising the cost and also making the toys less durable. This, of course, is unsatisfactory since the more complicated drive assemblies readily break down, thereby necessitating repair-or rendering the toy inoperative and useless. These relativelycomplicated drive assemblies include rack and pinion arrangements or other gear assemblies wherebythe driving and driven members have correspondingly shaped surfaces which provide working engagement between the driving and driven members. Such complicated structures may be easily jammed orfouled and require additional maintenance.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a high performance mobile toy of durable construction, which overcomes the problems generally associated with mobile toys of this type.
More specifically, the present toy may be a helicopter, airplane, boat, automobile or like vehicle, and is provided with an energy storing rotary element in the form of a flywheel. The flywheel is rotationally mounted on the body of the toy and includes an ann'ular driving surface formed thereon. This surface is arranged to cooperate with a driving member to be described in detail hereinafter. The flywheel may include weight means comprising a plurality of weighted ele ments in the form of a plurality of annular shaped discs removably attached to the flywheel. The addition or removal of these weighted elements provides for the selective varying of weight of the flywheel as desired. Each of the toys on which the flywheel may be mounted includes various types of propelling means which may be in the form of wheels, propellers or the like. The flywheel is connected directly to the propelling means by any applicable type connecting means. Once the'weighted flywheel is set in motion it tends to drive the propelling means for a relatively prolonged period thereby moving the toy vehicle in a desired direction.
A driving member comprising an elongated shaft is provided to operatively engage the driving surface of the flywheel thereby causing it to rotate which in turn causes the toy to move as desired. The guide means is arranged relative to the flywheel such that the driving member is forced into operative engagement with the driving surface. It should be pointed out that the driving surface may be abrasive or roughened such that the coefficient of friction between the driving member and the driving surface is increased. Accordingly, when the driving member moves relative to the flywheel and in engagement with the driving surface, the flywheel is caused to rotate. On the other hand, the coefficient of frictionbetween the guide means and the driving member should be small to allow unhampered movement between these two elements. The guide means may be movably mounted by means of a biasing spring or the like. This bias means directs force against the driving member thereby maintaining it in movably, frictional engagement with the rotary element; This increases the efficiency with which the driving means is operated.
It should be noted that the driving member is capable of movement in either direction co-linear to its own longitudinal axis when the member is extended. Of course, the direction of the linear movement of the shaft relative to the flywheel determines the direction Of the rotation of the flywheel and accordingly the direction of rotation of the propelling means. This allows the toy to move in either forward or reverse direction with equal performance characteristics.
In operation, the body of the toy is held in the users hand and theshaft is inserted between the guide means and the rotary element, in engagement with the driving surface. Once the shaft is fully inserted, the flywheel is set in motion by rapidly and forcefully withdrawing the drive shaft by means of a handle which may be attached to either extremity of the shaft. When the flywheel is set in motion the gyroscopic effect created thereby tends to maintain stability of the axis of the flywheel thereby making it efficient for operation in a helicopter type toy. The energy stored due to the rapid withdrawal of the driving shaft causes driving of the propelling means for a somewhat prolonged period.
It can therefore be seen that a number of the problems'prevalent in conventional type mobile toys are solved by utilizing the drive asse-mbly'of the present invention.
The present invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a front sectional view of the drive assembly of the present invention utilized in a helicopter type toy.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the drive assembly utilized in an automobile type toy.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1 and depicting the cooperation between the flywheel and drive shaft.
FIG. 4 is a top sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2 showing the direction of rotation of the flywheel.
FIG. 5 is a top sectional view showing another embodiment of the guide means of the present invention.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 this invention relates to various types of mobile toys generally indicated at and including a body 12 which may be made from a molded plastic or like durable material. Depending upon the type of toy vehicle in which the present invention is utilized, a propelling means which may be in the form of propeller 14 or wheels 16 serve to move the vehicle. The propelling means is driven by a drive assembly generally indicated at 18 and movably mounted on body 12. The driving assembly comprises a rotary element in the form of a flywheel 20 which has a driving surface 22 formed thereon. An outwardly extending flange 24, having a plurality of connecting means 26 in the form of threaded bolts or the like, are used to attach weighted elements which form a portion of the flywheel. These elements 28 are annularly shaped in a stacked array about flange 24 and may be easily removed therefrom by means of removing the bolts 26. This allows the weight of the flywheel to be varied as desired.
The drive assembly further comprises a driving member in the form of a drive shaft 30 and a guide means 32 arranged in cooperative relation to both the flywheel and the drive member. The drive shaft 30 is arranged to movably engage both the driving surface 22 of the flywheel 20 and the interior surface of the guide means 32. The guide means 32 serves to maintain the drive shaft 30 in close frictional engagement with drive surface 22. Consequently as shaft 30 moves in a co-linear direction relative to its own longitudinal axis, when extended, flywheel 20 is caused to rotate. The direction of movement referred to is indicated by arrow 36 showing the withdrawal of shaft 30 from the drive assembly 18 (FIG. 1). As stated above the shaft 30 may be made from a flexible material such that the shaft may be arranged to partially surround the central axis 38 on which the flywheel is mounted (FIG. 4). This has a tendency to increase the co-efficient friction between the surface of shaft 30 and driving surface 22 in contact therewith. By this method the flywheel is more efficiently rotated. As indicated by arrow 40 the flywheel may move in either direction. It is obvious that the direction of rotation of flywheel 20, as indicated in FIG. 4, is dependent upon the direction of movement of the shaft 30 in engagement with driving surface 22. For this reason, shaft 30 may be positioned between guide means 32 and driving surface 22, from either end thereof and be withdrawn from the same end by means of handle 42. Of course, shaft 30 may be made from a rigid material when it is not intended to surround axis 38 in the manner described above.
As pointed out above the flywheel is caused to rotate due to the frictional engagement between surface 22 and drive shaft 30. In order to increase the force with which drive shaft 30 engages surface 22, guide means 32 may include a biasing means 44. This biasing means may take the form of a conventional spring and serve to force the guide means 32 in the direction indicated by arrow 46. When drive shaft 30 is withdrawn (directional arrow 48), guide means 32 is forced against shaft 30 thereby increasing the pressure between shaft 30 and driving surface 22. On the other hand when the shaft 30 is inserted it moves guide means 32 against its biasing force in the direction indicated by arrow 50. When the shaft is moved in this direction, (directional arrow 52) the biasing force does not serve to increase the pressure between shaft 30 and driving surface 22 as is shown.
In operation shaft 30 is inserted between guide means 32 and the driving surface 22 of the flywheel. Upon being inserted to its fullest point, the operator of the toy grasps handle 42 firmly and pulls the shaft 30 forcefully and rapidly out of its inserted position within body 12. The interaction of driving surface 22 and the cooperating surface of drive shaft 30 causes rotation of flywheel 20. Because of connecting means extending between propelling means of the toy and the flywheel the propelling means are also caused to be rotated thereby providing the desired motion to the toy.
It will thus be seen that the objects made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
Now that the invention has been described,
What is claimed is:
1. A toy comprising a body, a rotary element rotatably mounted on said body and including a driving surface formed thereon, a driving member to movably and frictionally engaging said rotary element, guide means connected to said toy, said guide means being in cooperative relation with said rotary element and arranged in operative relation to both said rotary element and said driving member, biasing means interconnected between said guide means and said body, said biasing means forcing said guide means into working engagement with said drive member, whereby movement of said driving member relative to said rotary element causes rotation of said rotary element; propelling means mounted on said body in such a manner as to propel said toy, means to interconnect said rotary element and said propelling means such that rotation of said rotary element causes movement of said propelling means.
2. A toy as in claim 1 wherein said driving member is arranged to move relative to both said guide means and said rotary element, said biasing means comprising a spring connected to said guide means and biasing it to force said driving member into frictional engagement with said rotary element when said driving member moves in one predetermined direction, and said spring further arranged to force said guide means out of biasing relation to said drive member when said drive member moves in an opposite direction to said one predetermined direction.
3. A toy as in claim 1 wherein said rotary element comprises a flywheel, said driving surface positioned on said flywheel in operative engagement with said driving member.
4. A toy as in claim 3 wherein said flywheel includes weight means removably attached thereto such that the weight of said flywheel may be varied.
5. A toy as in claim 4 wherein said weight means includes a plurality of discs removably attached in a substantially stacked array, to said rotary element.
6. A toy as in claim 1 wherein said driving member comprises an elongated shaft and said driving surface is roughened so as to cooperatively engage said driving member whereby the coefficient of friction between said driving surface and said driving member is increased.
7. A toy as in claim 1 wherein said driving member includes an elongated flexible element arranged to move relative to both said rotary element and said guide means.
8. A toy as in claim 7 wherein said driving member is arranged to at least partially surround said driving member in moving engagement with said driving surface.