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Publication numberUS3774599 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 27, 1973
Filing dateJul 20, 1972
Priority dateJul 20, 1972
Publication numberUS 3774599 A, US 3774599A, US-A-3774599, US3774599 A, US3774599A
InventorsMartin R
Original AssigneeMartin R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Eye exercising apparatus
US 3774599 A
Abstract
A circular disk including an elongated narrow slot or window is rotatably supported in a frame, in a generally vertical plane, with the disk being selectively rotatable to position the diametral window at any desired orientation. A mechanism is provided for producing a target which traverses the window at the rear face of the disk so that the user, viewing the disk from its front face, will follow a reciprocating target. In one form, a second concentric disk having an oval pattern disposed on only one half of the disk is rotated relatively to produce the reciprocating target through the window. In another form an endless belt, having runs parallel to the elongated window, carries a target member back and forth across the window. A second target carried on the rotating member behind the window disk, is a rotating target member which is visible at the periphery of the window disk. For binocular convergence exercises, a third target is secured to the frame with a fourth target being connected to the third target in adjustable spaced relation on a connecting flexible cord.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Martin Nov. 27, 1973 EYE EXERCISING APPARATUS [76] Inventor: Robert E. Martin, 13305 Winterhav en, Dallas, Tex.

[22] Filed: July 20, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 273,396

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 145,613, May 21,

1971, abandoned.

Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp Attorney-Cecil L. Wood et al.

57 ABSTRACT A circular disk including an elongated narrow slot or window is rotatably supported in a frame, in a generally vertical plane, with the disk being selectively rotatable to position the diametral window at any desired orientation. A mechanism is provided for producing a target which traverses the window at the rear face of the disk so that the user, viewing the disk from its front face, will follow a reciprocating target. In one form, a second concentric disk having an oval pattern disposed on only one half of the disk is rotated relatively to produce the reciprocating target through the window. In another form an endless belt, having runs parallel to the elongated window, carries a target member back and forth across the window. A second target carried on the rotating member behind the window disk, is a rotating target member which is visible at the periphery of the window disk. For binocular convergence exercises, a third target is secured to the frame with a fourth target being connected to the third target in adjustable spaced relation on a connecting flexible cord.

13 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures Patented Nov. 27, 1973 3 Sheets$heet l BY ATTORNEYS Fig.3

Patented Nov. 27, 1973 3 Sheets-Sheet Fig.4

INVENTOR Robert E. Martin ATTORNEYS Patented Nqv. 27, 1973 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 1 EYE EXERCISING APPARATUS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This is a continuation-in-part of abandoned application Ser. No. 145,613, filed May 21, 1971.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus for use in the exercising of eye muscles for the treatment of diseases such as amblyopia and Strabismus.

The condition of amblyopia or lazy eye usually begins in preschool years when a childs vision is still developing. The condition begins when, for some reason (perhaps farsightedness, astigmatism or injury), the child gets a blurred image from one eye and unconsciously turns off" or disregards the poor eye and in-. creasingly relies on the goodone. The lazy eye becomes progressively weaker and eventually a permanent loss of sight in the lazy eye may result. This, of course, may be very critical in later life should the good eye become injured. v I

Strabismus or turned eye affects four of every one hundred people. This disease also usually occurs in early childhood, and if not diagnosed and treated at an early age the child may suffer irreparable loss of vision or even blindness in the turned eye.

It is estimated that 30 percent of all children have a need for apparatus for exercising eye muscles, because of these and other conditions.

A primary object of this invention is to provide an inexpensive and portable apparatus or machine which may be acquired by patients and used at'home for the treatment of these and other eye diseases or conditions, or simply for exercising the eye muscles.

Another object of this invention is to provide a nove FIG. 1;

and effective apparatus for the treatment of these conditions through the exercising of the four recti muscles and the two oblique muscles of the patients eyes.

A further object of this invention is to provide such apparatus which is rugged and durable in construction enabling use in schools, clinics, or other institutions where the apparatus is used on a relatively continuous basis for many hours of the day.

Still another object of this invention is to provide such apparatus which is safe and which is readily operable by children for use without supervision, if desired.

For accomplishing these objects, apparatus according to the invention includes a frame defining a generally vertical front wall. A first rotor assembly, mounted for rotation on the frame about an axis perpendicular to the front wall, includes a circular disk disposed generally in the plane of the front wall with the disk being opaque and having a diametral window. Means are mountedat the rear face of the disk, movable relative thereto, for producing a reciprocating target which moves to and fro across the disk window and is visible through the window to the viewer from the front face. A second rotor assembly is mounted for rotation on the frame at the rear of the first rotor assembly and about the same axis, with the second rotor assembly including means defining a target rotating generally in the plane of the disk adjacent to its periphery, and being visible from the front face of the disk. Means are provided for rotating the first rotor assembly to selectively position the diametral window at a selected orientation relative to the frame. Means are also provided for driving the DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of one form of apparatus according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of second rotor FIG. 3 is a FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken in the plane 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the apparatus of FIG. 1, illustrating the components and assembly of the apparatus;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken in the rear elevation view of the apparatus of plane 6-6 of FIG. 1 illustrating the bearings between the front and rear disks;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary diagramatic illustration of the use of the apparatus for binocular focusing exercises; FIG. 8 is a detail view taken in the plane 88 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 isa fragmentary side elevation view, similar to FIG. 2, illustrating a slightly modified form of apparatus;

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of an alternative form of apparatus according to the invention;

FIG. 11' is a transverse sectional view taken in the plane llll of FIG. 10; and

FIG. 12 is a diagrammatic illustration of a magnetically attachable fixed target with spaced target attached.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 9 One preferred form of apparatus is illustrated in I FIGS. 1 through 8; and since an important object of thie invention is'to provide an apparatus which'is portable and light weight, the materials for the several components of the apparatus to be described should be chosen from suitable available materials with the view of minimizing the weight of the apparatus and maximizing the portability.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 through 5, a frame for the apparatus includes base 10, a support ring ll supported on the base by means of ring brackets 12,

I and a motor mounting plate 13 supported on the base by means of motor brackets 14.

The support ring 1 1 supports front and rear disks l6 and 17 respectively; and the motor plate 13 supports a,

drive motor 18, which is preferably a rotary electric motor having appropriate controls for driving the motor in either direction of rotation and at variable speeds.

The frame base may have any desired shape and should have a dimension to provide adequate supporting stability for the apparatus, which would normally be placed on a table or desk for use. The support ring 11, fabricated of aluminum or steel for example, may be L shaped in cross section, as best seen in FIG. 5, providing a cylindrical peripheral wall 20 and a front wall 21 formed from an inward directed radial flange. The support ring is supported in a vertical plane, relative to the horizontal plane of the base 10, by the ring support brackets 12 which are sufficiently rigid to maintain the vertical relationship of the support ring.

The front and rear disks l6 and 17 may have a diameter of inches, for example, and may be fabricated of any suitable material such as hardboard, plastic, fiberglass, or aluminum having a thickness of about /8 inch for example. The front disk 16 is rotatively supported and retained by the support ring 11; and accordingly the front ring has a diameter only slightly less than the inner diameter of the support ring cylindrical wall 20. To facilitate the rotation of the front disk within the support ring, for indexing purposes as will be described, the outer periphery of the front disk may be provided with or coated with a suitable friction reducing material or coating to provide a bearing surface between the front disk and support ring.

The rear disk 17 is maintained with the cylindrical wall 20 of the support ring and in engagement with the front disk 16 by the motor mounting means to be described. To provide freedom of rotation of the rear disk relative to the support ring, the diameter of the rear disk is such to obviate contact of the rear disk with the cylindrical wall 20; and the rear disk is provided with peripherally spaced rollers 22, best seen in FIG. 3, mounted on the rear face of the rear disk 17 for rolling engagement with the support ring cylindrical wall.

The rear disk is held lightly in contact with the front disk; and to minimize friction between the front and rear disks, the rear face of the front disk 16 has suitable bearing members 23 and 24 attached thereto to be engaged by the front wall of the rear disk 17. These bearing members are arrangedin the form of an outer ring of spaced bearing members 23 and an inner ring of spaced bearing members 24. As best seen in FIG. 6, these bearings may have the form of small disks of a high density polyethylene plastic cemented to the rear wall of the front disk 16. Alternatively, these bearings may be in the form of nylon thrust bearings each of which includes a nylon ball supported in a suitable socket secured to the front disk 16.

For rotatively driving th'e rear disk 17, a flange hub 27 is non-rotatively secured to the rear face of the disk at its axis of rotation, having a bore and suitable locking means for non-rotatively securing the hub to a driving shaft. The driving shaft, in the preferred form of th invention being described, is the shaft 28 of the drive motor 18. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, the motor mounting plate 13 is rectangular in shape and supported by parallel upright L shaped brackets 14, the feet of which extend forwardly under the support ring 1 1 to minimize the necessary front to rear dimension of the base 10. The motor plate 13 is preferably mounted on the front face of the brackets 14, as close as possible to the rear disk 17, with the brackets being sufficiently spaced to provide for the mounting of the motor on the rear face of the mounting plate with its shaft extending forwardly for coupling to the hub 27.

The components are suitable spaced then, as best seen in FIG. 2, that the rear disk 17 is maintained in appropriate spaced relation to the front disk 16, with preferably a light force being applied to the front disk through the rear disk bearings 23 and 24. Since this axial force is maintained through the motor and its shaft, an appropriate thrust bearing may be provided to coact between the motor armature shaft 28 and the motor housing.

The front disk is provided with an elongated diametral slot or window 30 which may be somewhat narrower at the center than it is at the ends as best seen in FIG. 1; and the ends terminate adjacent to the periphcry of the disk. Alternatively, the front disk may be fabricated from a transparent or at least translucent, material which is painted or otherwise covered with an opaque coating to define a diametral elongated transparent or translucent window 30. The rear disk is provided with a generally oval shape pattern 31, on its front face, the pattern preferably being symetrical about a radius of the disk and having its inner extremity at the axis of rotation of the disk and its outer extremity adjacent the periphery of the disk corresponding with the outer extent of the slot in the front disk. This pattern 31 may be provided in any desired manner, and several suggested techniques are as follows: (1) a painted line of one color on a background of a different color; (2) an enclosed oval of one color on a background of a second color; (3) a painted line of luminous paint adapted to reflect appropriate light; and (4) a lighted pattern such as might be provided by a neon tube for example. Preferably the pattern should be discontinuous at the axis of rotation. I

For laying out a preferred form of pattern 31 the following procedure may be used, this procedure being applicable to a disk having a 20 inches diameter. Starting at the top of the disk, in the upper right quadrant mark each 5 proceeding clockwise from the zero degree position to the 90 position. Place a mark at the center of the disk and thenmeasure 5% inch out from the center along the 85 degree radial and place a mark. Next measure out from the center 1' inch along the radial and place a mark. Continue making marks at each 5 radial proceeding counterclockwise, with each successive mark being an additional k inch further from the center point. On the zero degree radial, the mark is 9 inches from the center and 1 inch from the periphery of the 20 inches disk. Then,'in the upper left quadrant, continue the process for each 5 radial from 355 to 270, but reversing the measuring process to place marks A inch closer toward the center point on each 5 radial. When the dots are then connected by means of a french curve for example, a pattern similar to that illustrated in FIG. 1 is produced. This pattern, coacting with the slot 30, produces a reciprocating sighting target 32 which moves relatively uniformly to and fro across the slot and which reverses directions smoothly at each end of the slot.

As seen in FIG. 1 the slot 30 is oriented horizontally, and a portion of the pattern 31 appears at the extreme left end of the slot as viewed from the front of the apparatus. This portion of the pattern 31 which is visible through the slot 30 becomes a sighting image or target; and the expression target is used to denote an object or indicia on which one or both eyes of the user are focused to perform certain exercises for which the machine is adapted. In this case, as the rear disk moves through one revolution relative to the front disk, a target moves from left to right across the slot 30 and back to the original position. The apparatus, then, provides a rectilinearly reciprocating target.

To perform some of the exercises with this reciprocating target, it is desirable that the slot 30 be oriented at different angles; and for this purpose the front face of the front disk is provided with four peripherally spaced recesses 35a, b, c, and d engageable by a suitable spring-biased detent 36 to latch or retain the front disk in a selected rotative position relative to the support ring 1 1. In the horizontal orientation of the slot 30 for example the recess 35a is engaged by the detent 36. For orienting the slot vertically, the front disk would be rotated to align the recess 35c with the detent 36; and alignment of the recess 35b and 35d with the detent will orient the slot at selected 45 positions. For rotating the front disk, a suitable handle 37 is mounted on the front face of the disk.

A rotating target 40 is provided by an enlarged head 40 of a Z shaped bracket 41 secured to the periphery of the rear disk 17 and projecting radially therefrom. The bracket 41 may be mounted on the rear disk in a manner to be pivoted behind the disk and out of view of the user when desired. Alternatively, the rotating target may be painted or otherwise formed on the front face of the rear disk adjacent to its periphery; and the front disk provided with a transparent or translucent margin portion through which the rotating target is viewed. This rotating target may be rotated in either direction, of course, by appropriate control of the motor 18.

To provide for binocular focusing or convergence exercises, a fixed sighting target'43 is mounted on the base of the apparatus in the form of a ball or head supported on a suitable pedestal. A spaced sighting target 44 is in the form of a ball attached to the fixed target 43 by means of a flexible cord 45. This spaced target 44 which may have any desired configuration, is shown in the form of a ball which may be slidably supported on the cord 45 in a manner to be clamped or retained at selected spaced position relative to the fixed image 43. The use of these fixed and spaced sighting targets 43 and 44 respectively'as illustrated in FIG. 5 wherein the user would hold the free end of the cord in a position to sight down the cord whereby the focusingof both eyes on the spaced target 44 for example should produce a double image on the fixed ball 43, while the focusing on the fixed ball 43 should produce a double imageof the spaced ball 44. The length of the cord 45 may be 10 to feet for example. The fixed and spaced sighting targets 43 and 44 may also be used as a test to ascertain that both eyes of the user are functioning, since if one eye is not used the above mentioned double image would not appear.

FIG. 9 of the drawing illustrates a slightly modified form of apparatus according to the invention wherein a crank is provided for rotating the rear disk 17 in lieu of the motor 18. In this version the disk and support ring structure are the same; however a shaft supporting plate 50 would be mounted on upright support brackets 51 in lieu of the motor mounting plate 13 and support brackets 14. The support brackets 51 may have the I same configurations as the brackets 14. ]n this version the shaft plate 50 to maintainthe rear disk 17 in appropriate rotative relation within the cylindrical wall of the support ring and against the front disk 16. The crank 54, then, is used to manually rotate the rear disk 17 in either direction of rotation.

The operation of the device which is readily apparent from the foregoing description will be briefly summarized. When it is desired to perform a rotational exercise, the bracket 41 is rotated to extend radially beyond the periphery of the support ring 11, and the rear disk 17 is rotated in the desired direction by either the motor 18 or the crank 54 to rotate the rotating target 40. When using the apparatus for a reciprocating exercise, the bracket 41 may be pivoted to rotate the target 40 behind the rear disk to obviate a distraction to the user.

To perform a reciprocating exercise, the front disk 16 is first indexed to the desired rotative position by moving the detent 36 against its spring and rotating the front disk by means of the handle 37. The detent is then released to engage the detent with a selected recess 35 wherein the disk is latched to position the slot 30 in the selected horizontal vertical or 45 position. Rotation of the rear disk 17 by the motor 18 or crank 54 then produces the desired to and fro motion of the reciprocating target 32.

The exercises with either the rotating target 40 or the reciprocating target 32 may be either monocular or binocular exercises, with the user holding his head steady and following the images with either one eye or with both eyes in accordance with the selected exerelse.

For checking whether the user is using both eyes, the connecting cord 45 carrying the spaced sighting image 44 is stretched as indicated in FIG. 7 with the user then sighting down the cord with both eyes to focus either on the spaced target 44 or the fixed target 43. If the user cannot produce a double image of one of the targets it is apparent that one eye is not functioning properly. This apparatus may also be used for binocular focusing or convergence exercises where the user focuses both alternatively on the nearer space target or the farther fixed target 43.

Embodiment of FIGS. 10 through 12 FIGS. 10 and 11 of the drawing illustrate a more ruggedly constructed form of apparatuswhich includes a frame or housing including a peripheral base wall 61, side walls 62 and 63, top wall 64 and a relatively heavy transverse bracket 65, which may be in the form of a metal channel, for supporting certain components to be described. This frame defines a generally rectangular, box-like housing; and the frame supports a recessed front wall 66 which is provided with a large circular opening 67. The back of the'housing frame may be enclosed with a removable back wall or cover 77. All of the above mentioned wall and framing wall members may be fabricated of sheet metal for example. At the base of the front wall, a projecting longitudinal panel 68 may be provided for the mounting of control switches, as will be described, and the remainder of the front face may be enclosed by a transparent wall 69, fabricated of plastic for example, to provide a protective exterior front wall serving to prevent dust from entering the unit and also serving to prevent damage to exposed moving parts.

A first rotor assembly 70 for this unit consists of a planar disk 71 having a diametral slot 72 supported on across-shaped frame 73, 74 with the frame having secured thereto a hollow bearing shaft member 75 which projects rearwardly from the rotor perpendicular to the plane of the circular disk and at its center. This rotor assembly 70 is a rigid assembly, with the disk being fabricated of a relatively rigid material such as sheet metal or fiberboard, and with the frame consisting of a first channel member 73 which extends substantially the full diameter of the disk overlying the diametral slot 72, and a second interrupted channel member 74 which is transverse to the channel member 73. The disk is secured to the frame channels by means of suitable screws for example. The above mentioned supporting shaft 75 includes a radial flange at one end which is rigidly secured to the frame.

As best seen in FIG. 11, the rotor assembly 70 is rotatably supported in a flanged bushing 76 secured to the frame bracket 65 by means of suitable bolts for example, with the rotor shaft 75 being axially confined within the bushing by means of suitable retainer rings for example.

The above mentioned continuous frame channel 73 defines an elongated enclosure behind the disk slot which is rectangular in cross section; and a mechanism for providing rectilinearly moving target 80 is supported within this enclosure. An elongated guide plate 81 is supported in spaced relation to the base wall 73a of the frame channel 73 by means of suitable brackets, and is generally coextensive with this frame channel. At the left end of this channel, as seen in the figures, a first target pulley 82 and a target drive pulley 83 are nonrotatably mounted on a common shaft which is rotatably supported between the channel base wall and the guide plate 81. At the right hand end of the frame channel 73 a second targetv pulley 84 is rotatably mounted on a suitable shaft also supported between the channel base wall and the guide plate 81. For carrying the target 80, an endless belt such as an O-ring type belt 85 is carried on the two target pulleys 82 and 84, with the belt being disposed in a plane immediately behind the guide plate 81'and parallel thereto.

The targer may be carried on an L-shaped wire bracket, for example, which is secured to the belt 85 at one end and has a portion extending into the confining space between the front face of the guide plate 81 and the rear face of the slotted disk 71. The confronting faces may be coated with teflon, for example, to reduce friction. It will be seen then that the target 80 is confined to overlie the disk slot, and as the belt 85 is rotated by the pulleys 82 and 84 in one direction, a portion of the target will be moved back and forth behind the slot presenting a reciprocating target as viewed through the slot from the front of the disk.

Referring particularly to FIG. 11 it will be seen that the target mechanism is driven by an assembly consisting of a target drive shaft 90, joumaled within the ho]- low supporting shaft 75 and non-rotatably carrying a front drive pulley 91 and a rear drive pulley 92. An electric drive motor 93 is suitably mounted on the frame bracket 65, carrying a motor pulley 94 which is coupled to the rear drive pulley 92 by means of a suitable drive belt 95. A similar drive belt 96 couples the front drive pulley 91 and the target drive pulley 83 so the target 80 then is reciprocated by the motor 93 which is mounted independently of the rotor assembly 70. The motor 93 may be controlled by a suitable onoff swtich 97 mounted on the front panel 68 of the unit.

For rotating the rotor assembly for the purpose of placing the diametral slot or window 72 in a desired orientation, a pulley 100 is non-rotatably fixed to the shaft 75 and is coupled to a drive pulley 101 by means of an O-ring belt 102 for example. The drive pulley 101 is non-rotatably mounted on a shaft 103 which extends through the unit front wall 66 and the transparent wall 69, and carries a crank 104 for convenient operation by the user. If desired, the above mentioned crank and associated assembly may be provided with some form of rotation retarding mechanism to prevent rotational creep of the rotor assembly 70.

As best seen in FIG. 11 a second rotor assembly 106 carries a rotating target which, as seen in FIG. 10, is rotated in the annular slot area between the disk 71 and the frame front wall 66. The rotor assembly 106 consists of an elongated arm 107 non-rotatably mounted on a pulley 108 which defines a bearing by means of which the arm is journaledon the support shaft 75 of the first rotor assembly. The arm 107 is essentially a diametral arm and carries at one end a transverse forwardly extending bracket 109 which in turn carries at its forward end the target member 100, with the target member being disposed essentially in the plane of the frame wall 66 and the disk 71. A counter weight 111 may be secured to the opposite end of the arm to balance the bracket and target.

The rotor assembly 106 is driven by a second electric drive motor 112 mounted on the frame bracket 65, with the motor drive shaft carrying a drive pulley 113 coupled to the rotor pulley 108 by means of a suitable drive belt 1 14. The motor 1 12 is preferably a reversible electric motor for selectively rotating the target 110 in either direction; and is controlled by a reversing switch 115 mounted on the front panel 68.

FIG. 12 of the drawing illustrated another form of fixed and spaced sighting targets and 121 respectively, for the same purpose as the fixed and spaced targets 43 and 44 described above. In this form, the fixed target consists of an elongated finger 121 extending upright from a flat base 123, with the flat base being secured to a base magnet 124. The magnet enables the target 120 to be mounted and retained on the frame of the eye exercising device, assuming thatthe frame is fabricated of a magnetic material, or on any other suitable support. The spaced target is an elongated rod or bar 125 having a transverse hole nearer one of its ends for receiving a flexible cord 126 by means of which the spaced target is coupled to the fixed target. The finger of the fixed target also has a transverse hole intermediate its ends to which the flexible cord is secured so that, in use, the user may seek to visually align the vertically suspended spaced target with the vertially supported fixed target finger, for example. The spaced target may be provided with means for restraining the movement of the target along the cord.

In the operation of the apparatus of FIGS. 10, 11 and 12, the user need only turn the crank 104 to select the desired orientation of the disk window 71 and then turn on the motor switch 97 to drive the reciprocating target 80. When he desires to use the rotating target he merely switches ofi the reciprocating target motor, and operates the switch 115 to select the desired rotation of the rotating target 110, either clockwise or counterclockwise. For using the fixed and spaced targets 120 and 121, the user simply places the magnetic fixed target at a desired location on the apparatus frame or other magnetic material, and adjusts thespaced target as desired.

Alternative Forms of Apparatus While preferred forms of apparatus according to the invention have been described in detail, it will be apparent that the means for producing the described reciprocating target and rotating target may take other forms. For example, the mechanism for producing a reciprocating target may take the form of a cylindrical member mounted for rotation about an axis parallel to the diametral disk window. In one such form, the outer wall of the cylindrical member may be painted with a changing helical line or image which, when the cylinder is rotated continuously in one direction, will produce a reciprocating target as viewed through the disk window. To produce a lighted image'behind the diametral window, the above mentioned cylindrical member may be a hollow member containing a light source In this form, the cylindrical wall would be opaque but having a transparent or translucent changing helical window to again produce a traveling reciprocating light target as viewed from the front of the window disk.

Another alternative mechanism for producing a re ciprocating target consists of a driven helical screw, again mounted for rotation about an axis parallel to the diametral disk window, with the screw having a reversing helix for traversing a target member in the manner of a level-wind guide on a fishing reel.

Another alternative mechanism for producing a reciprocating light image or target traversing the disk window would be to mount a small flashlight with a narrow beam on an oscillating disk in a manner that the beam sweeps the window from the back of the disk. A lighted rotating target could be produced in a somewhat similar manner by mounting a similar flashlight on a disk which rotates about the axis of the window disk but spaced behind the window disk, with the beam of the light being directed at the annular window defined, in FIGS. 10 and 11, by the annular space between the front wall 66 and the window disk 71. For this form, the diametral window and the annular window might be formed from a suitable translucent material to better present the light spot targets.

What has been described are different form of apparatus according to the invention which are simple and rugged in construction, which are portable, and which are therefore readily adapted for use in the home or in schools, clinics or other institutions for the purposes described. Because of the relatively simple construction, the cost of manufacturing these apparatus should be reasonable so that they may be available to many potential users at a reasonable price.

Another feature and advantage of apparatus according to the invention is its simplicity of operation, thereby enabling the use by children with a minimum amount of adult supervision.

While preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. Eye exercising apparatus comprising frame means defining a generally vertical front wall;

a first rotor assembly mounted for rotation on said frame about an axis perpendicular to said front wall; said first rotor assembly including a disk disposed generally in the plane of said front wall; said disk being opaque and having a diametral window;

means mounted at the rear of said disk movable relative thereto for producing a reciprocating target movable to and fro across said disk window, and being visible through said window from the front face of said disk;

a second rotor assembly mounted for rotation on said frame at the rearof said first rotor assembly and about the same rotational axis; said second rotor assembly including means for producing a target rotatable generally in the plane of said disk adjacent to its periphery, and being visible from the front face of said disk;

means for selectively rotating said first rotor assem bly to position said diametral window at a selected orientation relative to said frame; means for driving said reciprocating target means; and means for driving said second rotor assembly.

2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 said reciprocating target means comprising a second disk mounted for rotation relative to said first disk and having an oval pattern on the front face thereof visible through said disk window to produce said reciprocating target; said oval pattern occupying only one half of said second disk.

3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 7 said reciprocating target means comprising first and second target pulleys mounted for rotation on said disk about axes perpendicular thereto, and being disposed on said disk adjacent to the ends of said diametral window;an endless belt carried on said pulleys having its runs parallel to and disposed on opposite sides of said diametral window; a target member mounted on said belt and overlying said window, to be carried by said belt in confronting relation with said window.

4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 3 said first rotor assembly having a hollow shaft journaled in said frame for supporting said assembly; a concentric shaft extending through said hollow shaft and non-rotatably carrying a drive pulley; belt means coupling said drive pulley and one of said target pulleys; and means coupling said concentric shaft to first drive means mounted on said frame.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 said second rotor assembly being mounted for rotation on said first rotor assembly; and means coupling said second rotor assembly to second drive means mounted on said frame.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 5 said first and second drive means comprising electric motors.

7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 said frame and said first rotor assembly disk defining an annular window adjacent to the periphery of said disk through which said rotating target is visible from the front of said device.

8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 7 said frame front wall defining a circular opening; said and said second rotor assembly including a target member visible through said slot.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 said second disc having a target member fixed thereon adjacent to its periphery, exposed to view adjacent to the periphery of said first disk to provide said rotating target.

10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 said first rotor disk including a translucent peripheral margin; and said rotating target being exposed to view through said translucent margin.

11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 said frame means rotatively supporting first and second rotor assembly disks in closely spaced, generally vertical planes about a common rotative axis;

means for latching said first disk in selected rotational positions in said frame;

said second disk having said oval pattern visible through said window.

12. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 a fixed target mounted on said frame; a spaced target connected to said fixed target by means of a flexible connector; and means for adjusting the position of said sighting target on said connector, to select the distance between the fixed and spaced targets, and the distance between the spaced target and the eye of the user.

13. Apparatus as set forth in claim 12 said fixed sighting target including a magnet, whereby said fixed target is magnetically secured to the device frame.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1959217 *Dec 26, 1929May 15, 1934John PieperOcular vitalizer
US2803246 *Jun 15, 1953Aug 20, 1957Carl W Lange JrOptical instruments which teach mental perception of visual impressions
US2899956 *Jul 23, 1956Aug 18, 1959 newton
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4838677 *Apr 6, 1987Jun 13, 1989Ayetech Inc.Eye exercising devices
US5781274 *Jun 18, 1997Jul 14, 1998Moreno; Gil G.Device for exercising the ciliary muscle
US5835188 *Sep 27, 1996Nov 10, 1998Moreno; Gil G.Device for exercising the extrinsic eye muscles
Classifications
U.S. Classification606/204.25
International ClassificationA61H5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H5/00
European ClassificationA61H5/00