|Publication number||US3733739 A|
|Publication date||May 22, 1973|
|Filing date||Dec 30, 1971|
|Priority date||Dec 30, 1971|
|Also published as||CA960860A, CA960860A1, DE2259751A1|
|Publication number||US 3733739 A, US 3733739A, US-A-3733739, US3733739 A, US3733739A|
|Original Assignee||Marvin Glass & Associates|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (40), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Terzian [1 1 3,733,739 51 May 22,1973
[541 MOTOR OPERATED TOY VEHICLE  Inventor: Rouben T. Terzian, Chicago, Ill.
 Assignee: Marvin Glass & Associates,
 Filed: Dec. 30, 1971  Appl. No.: 214,022-
 US. Cl ..46/206  Int. Cl. ..A63h 17/00  Field of Search ..46/201, 202, 221,
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,989,573 1/1935 Von Loutzkoy ..296/l 1/1962 Rehfeld ..l80/30 9/1936 Wulfert ..46/243 LV Primary Examiner-L0uis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J 0. Lever Att0rney-Coffee, Wetzel & Sweeney  ABSTRACT A toy vehicle which is capable of mobility on a solid surface or through a liquid medium, and which is possessed of self-righting capability, characterized by the provision of forward and rear driven spherical wheels and an intermediate body between the wheels having a low center of gravity with a power source for the vehi cle and motor means held in sealed compartments within the body.
9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures MOTOR OPERATED TOY VEHICLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to toys, and more particularly to a novel toy vehicle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Many forms of driven toy vehicles have been developed, and generally speaking, they are popular in that the user may easily associate himself as the guiding source for the vehicle. Some vehicles have so-called trick characteristics, while other seem to be realistic duplicates of original automobiles or trucks.
Children are particularly fascinated with toy vehicles which are capable of performing in a manner beyond the capabilities of conventional vehicles. Accordingly, it is the object of this invention to meet the continuing need and desire in the art, for the provision of an improved toy vehicle of this type.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is directed, in brief, to the provision of an improved toy vehicle capable of performing in an unconventional manner.
The best mode currently contemplated for carrying out the invention includes the provision of a vehicle body with power and motor components therein, pref erably held in a liquid impervious chamber, and a power train associated with the motor. The body supports front and rear, hollow, substantially spherical wheels, which are driven by the power train. Preferably, themotor and power compartments are at, and below, the axis of rotation of the wheels to give the vehicle alow center of gravity. Also, preferably, no part of the body projects beyond the perimeter of the wheels, thereby facilitating the self-righting characteristics of the vehicle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the toy vehicle of this inventiony FIG. 2 is a horizontal section view through the vehicle shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial vertical section view taken generally along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a section view taken generally along the line 44 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the switch means for actuating the vehicle.
While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail a specific embodiment therefor, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplificationof the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated.-
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED :1
EMBODIMENT The toy vehicle of this invention includes a body,
generally designated 12, and forward wheel 14 and rear wheel 16, each of which are substantially identical. The body 12 includes an outer decorative shell, and inner supporting webs for supporting functional components. The decor on the body 12 may include a simulated exhaust stack 18 and driver compartment 20.
Each wheel 14 and 16 is basically a hollow sphere formed in three parts, such as the end cap portions 14a, 14b; and 16a and 16b; and the hollow enclosed central spherical segmental portions 14c and 16c, respectively. An axle 22 and 24 is provided for each of the front and rear wheels, respectively, and the axle joins the three portions of the wheels together as a unit, but slightly spaced apart. The axles are rotatably received in an axle-receiving opening 26 in each of the axle supporting extensions 28, 30, 32 and 34 of the body 12 to rotatably connect the wheels with respect to the body 12.
The interior of the body 12 is provided with an intermediate panel 40 which extends thereacross, for supporting some of the components of the vehicle. Webs or walls 42 and 44 depend from the panel 40 and are provided with outwardly facing notches 42a and 44a for receiving inwardly facing flanges 46a and 46b of a bottom closure panel 46. Walls 42 and 44 and panel 46, together with the remainder of the body shell 12 define a battery receiving compartment 48 for receiving batteries 50 to be utilized as a source of power for the vehicle. It is intended that the closure panel 46 and its connection with the walls 42 and 44 would be such as to form a liquid-tight seal, so that water or the like would not enter into compartment 48. The battery compartment 48 includes the usual spring 52a and opposite contacts 52b, between which the batteries 50 are to be interposed.
Also, depending from panel 40 are a pair of side walls 54a and 54b and end walls 56, enclosed by bottom 58, to define a sealed motor chamber 60. Motor 62 is held within chamber 60 and has the usual rotatably driven output shaft 68 and motor shaft gear 70 thereon. Motor shaft gear 70 is in meshing engagement with gear 72, mounted on shaft 74, which is rotatably journalled between upright webs 76 and 78 associated with the body panel 40. Shaft 74 also supports a reduced gear 80 which is in meshing engagement with a rear wheel drive gear 82, connected to a shaft 84 which is rotatably mounted between an upright 86 connected to panel 40 and the aforementioned upright 76.
Gear 82 includes a hub extension 88 having a recess 90 therein for receiving a drive belt or band 92. Belt 92 is also received in a recess 94 of hub 96 associated with front wheel drive gear 98, connected with shaft 100 which is rotatably journalled between upright 102 and 104 connected to the panel 40. Each of the front and rear wheels 14 and 16 has an annular recessed gear surface 106 and 108 respectively, generally medially positioned in the portions 14c and 16c with which the gears 98 and 82, respectively, are in meshing engagement. By this arrangement, both of the front and rear wheels are driven responsive to actuation of the motor 62 through the aforedescribed gear and belt train. It is contemplated that ribs or fins 110 and 112 would be formed on the wheels 14 and 16 for providing a source of traction of the vehicle on solid surfaces, such as floors or dirt or the like, as well as, surfaces for driving the vehicle through liquid mediums, such as water or the like.
The toy vehicle is provided with a switch means 116 for activating the motor. Switch means 116 includes the lead wires 118 and 120 and a switch member 122 which is pivoted to post 124 between walls 44 and 54a. Switch 122 has switch arms 126 and 128 and switch leg 130. When arm 128 is depressed, the leg 130 will be brought into contact with the contacts 52b to close the circuit and thereby supply power to the motor to activate the same to drive the vehicle.
In operation, the vehicle may be placed on a relatively solid surface, or in water, and the motor activated to drive the vehicle across or through the medium. In the case ofa liquid medium, such as water, the hollow middle portions 140 and 16c ofeach wheel gives sufficient buoyancy to the vehicle to permit the same to float, and the ribs on the wheels will displace water as the wheels are driven to propell the vehicle through the water. In the case of traversal over a relatively solid surface, the ribs give sufficient traction to propell the wheels across the surface. The low center of gravity afforded by the low mounting of the battery and motor relative to the axis of rotation of the wheels tends to cause the vehicle to right itself when the vehicle is either placed on its side, or after striking an abutment which causes it to fall from the upright position. The fact that no portion of the body of the vehicle protrudes beyond the periphery of the wheels, assists in facilitating this self-righting characteristic. It has been found that even when the vehicle is upside down, eventually the vehicle will have a tendancy to turn itself right side up, due to both the wheel configuration and the location of the relative center of gravity. If the vehicle is directed towards a generally upright intersecting surface it will merely traverse across the intersecting surface following engagement therewith, rather than being stopped in its path of travel. Thus, it can be seen that the toy vehicle of this invention is capable of providing an extreme amount of fascination to children who may utilize it to play in different mediums, such as ground or floors or in water, as well as causing it to engage obstacles which the vehicle may encounter in its path of travel.
The vehicle is capable of traversing several different types of terrain, such as sand, gravel, solid surfaces and so forth in addition to its ability to propel itself through water with the aid of the ribs 110. When engaging a vertical intersecting surface, the combination of the ribs and spherical wheels cause the vehicle to turn away from frontal engagementl with the surface and travel along the surface or away therefrom. When engaging a corner formed by intersecting vertical surfaces, the vehicle also is able to work itself away from the confines of the corner and move away therefrom or along one of the surfaces as the spherical ribbed wheels gradually work the vehicle away from such confinement.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.
1. A toy vehicle comprising: means defining a vehicle body having a top, bottom, opposite sides and opposite ends; a pair of generally spherical driving wheels rotatably connected to each end of the body for supporting the body relative to a supporting surface, each of said wheels having an outer perimeter which projects beyond the top and bottom and opposite sides of the body; and power means connected with the vehicle and in driving engagement with at least one of said wheels to rotate the same and propel the vehicle along a supporting surface whereby at least some portion of said wheels will be in engagement with a supporting surface, or surfaces transverse thereto, to continually drive said vehicle.
2. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein said power means includes a driving gear on the body and peripheral gear surfaces on at least one of the wheels.
3. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein each of said spherical wheels has an axle affording an axis of rotation and wherein said power means is substantially below the axis of rotation of each of the wheels to provide a substantially low center of gravity for the wheel.
4. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein said power means includes a motor and a storage battery casing on the vehicle body.
5. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein said body is provided with axle supporting extensions from each side thereof with each of said extensions receiving the axle of each of said spherical wheels within the perimeter of said wheels.
6. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein said wheels are formed in closely spaced apart segments joined together by an axle and said body has extensions extending into the space between said segments for rotatably supporting said axle.
7. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein said power means includes a motor and a source of power for the motor on the vehicle, both said motor and source of power being substantially located below the axis of rotation of the wheels to provide a low center of gravity to the vehicle.
8. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein two wheels are provided at opposite ends of the body, with driving gears on the body in engagement with each of the peripheral gear surfaces on each wheel.
9. The toy vehicle of claim 8 wherein said wheels are formed in closely spaced apart segments joined together by an axle and said body has extensions extending into the space between said segments for rotatably supporting siad axle.
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|U.S. Classification||446/462, D12/88|
|International Classification||A63H17/00, A63H31/00, B62D63/00, A63H17/26|
|Cooperative Classification||A63H17/26, A63H31/00|
|European Classification||A63H17/26, A63H31/00|