US 3790172 A
A game of the type in which images of flying bodies are projected on a viewing screen. A player aims at the image of the bodies and fires a simulated projectile thereat. The apparatus includes a semi-spherically shaped, semi-transparent dome supporting a flying body. A screen is positioned above the dome having a sight formed thereon. Motion is imparted to the dome while the operator attempts to allign the sight with the image of the flying body.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I United States Patent 1191 Nakamura 1 1 Feb. 5, 1.974
[ 1 SIMULATED BOMBING APPARATUS 3,635,477 1/1972 Ochi 273/1012 3,637,212 1/1972 Hurley 273/1012  Inventor- Masaya Nalamura Japan 2,531,608 11 1950 Bu1a 273 1012 3 Assigneez Kabushiki Kaisha Nakamura 2,467,180 4/1949 Andersonm, 273/1012 Seisakujo, Tokyo, Japan Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham  Flled' 1971 Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind  App]. No.: 193,056 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Toren and McGeady  Foreign Application Priority Data 57 BST C 22 12 A game of the type in which images of flying bodies P p are projected on a viewing screen. A player aims at E 52] U S 273/101 2 the image of the bodies and fires a simulated projectile  In. .C] A631 9/62 thereat The apparatus includes a Semi sphericauy Shaped, semi transparent dome pp g a y g  Field of Search 273/l05.l, 101.2, 35/25 body A Screen is positioned above the dome having a  References Cited sight formed thereon. Motion is imparted to the dome while the operator attempts to allign the sight with the UNITED STATES PATENTS image f th flying body. 3,512,773 5/1970 Jacobs 273/95 B 3,588,237 6/1971 Aldrich 273/1012 8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTED FEB 5 4 SHEEI 1 OF 7 Fig.1
INVENTOR K M k A ,W
PATENTEU FEB 74 SNEEI 2 BF 7 I N VEN TOR Myra/war;
ATTORNEYS PAIENIED EB 51974 3, 90. 172
saw u 0F 7 Fig.4
ATTORNEYS PAIENTEB FEB 51974 SHEET 5 (IF 'I PATENTEDFEB 51914 7 3.790.172
SHEET 8 BF 7 I N VE N TOR Miser Ammwmo ATTORNEYS PAIENIEDFEB 5M 3.790.172
SHEET 7 BF 7 INVENTOR Wi -Mm rmma mmv BY I SIMULATED BOMBING APPARATUS This invention relates to a game machine of the type in which the player aims at and shoots at images of flying bodies fonned in the picture. I-Ieretofore, conventional game machines of the type described have been constructed such that support posts or hanging strings for models of flying bodies appear on the screen and this markedly detracts from the verisimilitude of the images of flying bodies, for example, such as airplanes. Besides, game machines of this type of the prior art have been faced with difficulties in forming in the picture an image of the vast expanse of the sky which appeals greatly to the player and realizing a variety of movements of the flying bodies on the screen.
This invention obviates the aforementioned disadvantages of game machines of this type in the prior art.
An object of this invention is. to provide a game machine of the type described which comprises a substan-' tially semispherical dome made of a transparent or colored semitransparent material for supporting models of flying bodies, a device for supporting such dome and imparting movements thereto as required, a screen on which images of the flying bodies and background scenery are thrown, and a reflector for forming thereon a picture of the images on the screen. The practice of supporting the models of flying bodies by the transparent or semitransparent dome eliminates the need to use support posts or hanging string. Thus, shadows of these objects do not appear in the picture, so that it is possible to realize on the screen the movements of flying bodies which are true to life. By using three-dimensional models of airplanes, flying saucers and the like as the models of flying bodies, it is possible to form on the screen three-dimensional images of the flying bodies which appeals greatly to the player.
Another object of this invention is to provide a game machine of the type described in which the reflector used is one having a concave quadratic surface. The use of such reflector makes it possible to form thereon a picture presenting an image of the vast expanse of the sky.
Another object of this invention is to provide, in a game machine of the type described, an explosion simulating device comprising a lamp and an optical system which are capable of moving toward and away from each other in relative movements. Such explosion simulating device is effective to present on the screen the visual appearance of the explosion of objects in which a well-defined small mass of flame in dark red color gradually increases in size and the red color of flame becomes lighter with time in the same manner as in actual explosion.
Another object of this invention is to provide, in a game machine of the type described, indication lamp means for indicating the number or amount of coins which have been inserted in the coin insertion slit. This arrangement permits the player to ascertain the number of coins he or she has inserted in the coin insertion slit, thereby precluding unwanted trouble which might otherwise occur between the player and the management of the machine.
These and other objects and features of the invention are pointed out in the following description in terms of the embodiment thereof which is shown in the accompanying drawings and in which the flying bodies are airplanes.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the game machine comprising one embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the game, machine of FIG. 1 showing the inner portions thereof;
FIG. 3 is a view in explanation of the device for imparting movements to the airplane model carrying dome;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the game machine of FIG. l in explanation of the screen, reflector and the like;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the portion of the game machine of FIG. 1 having the indication lamp means for indicating the number or amount of coins inserted in the coin insertion slit;
FIG. 6 shows a circuit used for the indication lamp means of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the explosion simulating device according to this invention; and
FIG. 8 is a front elevation of the explosion simulating device of FIG. 7.
In FIG. I, the game machine according to this invention is shown as comprising a casing 1 provided in its front with a front glass window 2, a panel board 3 and a control lever 4 which can be moved in any direction either toward or away from the player or to right or left. Casing l is constructed in the same manner as a cockpit of an airplane and formed with a coin insertion slit 5 and a pushbutton 6 for simulating the firing of a machine gun.
In FIG. 2, casing 1 is shown as comprising therein a supporting and moving device 9 for an airplane model carrying transparent dome 8, a screen 10 on which images of airplanes, clouds in the sky and the like are thrown, a curved reflector 11 for reflecting the images on the screen, a coin case 12 having a coin passageway 12A, and a rotatable cloud drum 13 having a built-in lamp for projecting images of the clouds on the screen. The picture of a sight 31 of a machine gun of an imaginary airplane operated by the player is so drawn on screen 10, as shown in FIG. 4, that a light receiving element M, such for example as a CdS cell, is disposed at the center of the sight.
In FIG. 3, the supporting and moving device 9 for the transparent dome 8 carrying three-dimensional airplane models 15 is operated by four motors M1, M2, M3 and M4 connected to a control circuit l5. Transparent dome 8 is affixed to a rack bar 117 provided with a rack 17A which is maintained in meshing engagement with a pinion 18 connected to motor M1 through a reducing gearing for vertical reciprocating movements.
The rotation of motor M1 is set by programming, and the direction of rotation thereof can be reversed by means of limit switches 19 and 20, so that the transparent dome can be moved up and down while the machine is being operated. This causes the images of airplane models on screen 10 to expand and contract, making it possible for the player to view on curved reflector 11 a picture of the images of airplanes moving toward and away from the player.
Motor M1 is mounted for pivotal motion about one vertical leg 21A of a substantially inverted U-shape shaft 21, and moved in pivotal reciprocating motion about vertical leg 21A by motor M2 through a crank means 22. It is to be noted that the center of the dome is coaxial with the vertical leg 2LlA of substantially inverted U-shape shaft 21, so that the dome 8 revolves on its own axis about its center together with motor M1. This results in the various images on the screen revolving about the center of the picture. The rotation of motor M2 is set by programming as is the case with motor M1.
A intermediate member of substantially inverted U- shape shaft 21 is pivotally supported by a shaft 23 which in turn is pivotally supported by a frame affixed to casing 1. Shaft 23 is caused to move in pivotal motion through a crank means 24 by motor M3 operated through a switch 26 or 27 when control lever 4 is shifted back and forth. This results in motors M1 and M2, rack bar 17 and dome 8 moving in pivotal motion about shaft 23, so that the imageson the screen simultaneously move upwardly or downwardly. This gives to the player a visual sensation of the airplane on which he rides moving downwardly or upwardly.
The other vertical leg 21B of substantially inverted U-shape shaft2l is connected through a crank means 25 to motor M4 which is operated through a switch 28 or 29 when control lever 4 is shifted to right and left.
Rotation of motor M4 causes dome 8 to move in pivotal motion together with rack bar 17 and motors M1 and M2 about the intermediate member of substantially inverted U-shape shaft 21, so that the images on the screen simultaneously move to left or right. This gives to the player, the visual sensation of the airplane on which he rides turning to right or left.
If, for example, control lever 4 is shifted leftwardly forwardly to simultaneously turn on switches 26'and 28, then it possible to simultaneously actuate motors M3 and M4 to impart a composite movement to the airplanemodel carrying dome. A similar results can be obtained by shifting the control lever rightwardly forwardly, leftwardly rearwardly or rightwardly rearwardly.
A stationary lamp 30 is disposed within transparent dome 8 for projecting on screen the images of threedimensional airplane models'lS made of a transparent material or a colored semitransparent material and carried by dome 8. Since lamp 30 is stationary, the images of airplane models on the screen will undergo a change in their dimensions when dome 8 moves up and down and the positions of the images of airplane modelswill be varied when dome rotates or tilts. This gives to the player a sensation that he is riding on an airplane and seeing other airplanes flying in the air.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, reflector 11 is curved such that it has a quadric surface, so that it forms thereon a picture of the images of airplanes, clouds and the like on the screen which is viewed through a front glass window 2 by the player. An image of sight 31 attached to the imaginary airplane operated by the player is formed on screen 10, and light receiving element 14 is disposed in the center of the image of sight 31 as described preciously.
Preferably, curved mirror 11 is a half mirror made of acrylic resin. A plurality of tracer bullets simulating lamps 32 producing light rays are provided rearwardly of reflector 11 and are successively turned on and off when pushbutton 6 for simulating the firing of a machine gun attached to control lever 4 is depressed. The light rays successively appearing and disappearing simulate the traces of bullets tired from the machine gun of the airplane on which the player rides. 33 designates a hit indication lamp which is turned on when an imaginary bullet hits the target.
Indication lamps 34 for indicating the number or amount of coins inserted through the coin insertion slit as shown in FIG. 5 are disposed in proximity to coin insertion slit 5. Assuming that the game machine according to this invention starts operation after coins equivalent to Y 30 in Japanese currency have been inserted in coin insertion slit 5, lamps 34 will designate Y 10, Y 20 and Y 30 respectively. When a first Y 10 coin is inserted, a switch 35 shown in FIG. 6 is closed to energize a stepping relay 36 and advance a stepping switch 37 by one stage, thereby turning on the Y 10 indication lamp 34. When a second Y 10 coin is inserted, switch 35 is closed again to energize stepping relay 35 again and advance stepping switch 37 by another stage, thereby turning off the Y 10 indication lamp 34 and turning on the Y 20 indication lamp 34. Upon insertion of a third Y 10coin, stepping switch 37 is advanced by another stage in the same manner, thereby turning off the Y 20 indication lamp 34 and turning on the Y 30 indication lamp 34. i
This arrangement is effective to permit the player to ascertain the number or amount of coins inserted in the coin insertion slit and thereby to preclude unwanted trouble between the player and the management of the game machine. Contacts 4 to 11 of stepping switch 37 permit to turn off and on the respective indication lamps not by restoring the movable contact to its original position but by further advancing it when a next following player inserts coins in the coin insertion slit. 38 designates a start relay.
Operation of the mechanism set forth hereinabove will now be described. The Y 30 indication 34 is turned on upon insertion of coins equivalent to Y 30 in Japanese currency as aforesaid. This energizes start relay 38 shown in FIG. 6 which actuates a start switch for turning on lamp 30, actuating motors M1 and M2, initiating rotation of cloud drum 13 and turning on the lamp built in drum 13. As a result, the images of threedimensional airplane models carried by dome 8 and the images of clouds in the blue sky from cloud drum 13 are projected on screen 10 and reflected by curved mirror 11 so that the player can view a picture of these images through front glass window 2.
Actuation of motors M1 and M2'initiates the vertical movements of dome 8 and pivotal reciprocating movements thereof about its center axis according to program. This permits the player to observe in the picture reflected by mirror 11 the movements of airplane which move toward and away from the player and turn to right and left.
The convex surface effect of curved mirror 11 is such that the images formed on screen 10 are enlarged when reflected by reflector 11, so that it is possible to give to the player a visual sensation of looking at the vast expanse of the sky. When the images of airplane models are disposed at an upper or lower marginal portion of the curved surface of reflector 11, the distance between the images of airplane models reflected by reflector 11 undergoes a change in spite of the fact that the relative positions of the airplane models 15 carried by dome 8 remain unchanged. This gives to the player a visual sensation of the airplanes moving independently of each other.
If the player shifts the control lever either toward or away from him or to right or left; then motor M3 or M4 is actuated to cause a change to occur in the images in the picture. This gives the player the sensation that the is reflected by mirror 11, then tracer bullets simulating lamps 32 are successively turned on to simulate the traces of bullets fired from the machine gun. When any one of the images of airplane models is superposed on the light receiving element, the light volume incident on the light receiving element is reduced. A reduction in the light volume incident on the light receiving element closes a switch (not shown), and a hit indication lamp 33 is turned on through a relay as another switch connected in series with the aforesaid closed switch is closed by depression of pushbutton 6. Thus, the player can observe through reflector 11 a picture of the simulated explosion of an airplane model hit by bullets which takes place on screen 10.
If no image of airplane models is'superposed on light receiving element 14 when pushbutton 6 is depressed, hit indication lamp 33 will not be turned on because the switch attached to the light receiving element is not closed.
The aforementioned system of explosion simulation in which a lamp. is turned on when an airplane model hit by a bullet explodes differs from the manner in which explosion of an airplane actually takes place. Accordingly, this invention provides, as one of its features, a novel explosion simulating device to be used in place of the hit indication lamp 33 which presents to the player the appearance of the explosion of an airplane model closely resembling the actual explosion of an airplane. The explosion simulating device according to this invention will now be set forth in detail.
In FIGS. 7 and 8 which illustrate the explosion simulating device, a lamp 42, a guide plate 43 and a motor 44 are affixed to a base plate 41. Mounted on guide plate 43 through rollers 46 for rolling motion is a lens rest 45 which supports a lens system 47 thereon. It is to be noted that the direction in which. guide plate 43 is oriented or the direction in which lens rest 45 moves is the same as the direction in which the light emitted by lamp 42 travels.
Motor 44 is secured to a support 48 having one side portion 48A which is secured to base plate 41, the rest of the support 48 being spaced apart from the base plate. Motor 44 has a motor shaft 44A which extends downwardly of support 48.
Disposed beneath support 48 is an actuation bar 50 pivotally supported by a shaft 49. Actuation bar 50 extends such that its forward end portion is disposed below guide plate 43. Actuation bar 50 is formed with slots 50A and 50B disposed below and indexed with support 48 and guide plate 43 respectively. The shaft 44A of motor 44 is engaged in the slot 50A through a crank means 51, while a depending pin 53 attached to a support plate 52 mounted on shafts of rollers 46 and disposed below guide plate 43 is received in slot 50B. 54 and 55 designate limit switches actuated by lens rest 45 for reversing the direction of rotation of motor 44, 10 designates a screen on which the light representing a simulated explosion is projected, and 57 designates a plate for carrying a picture of simulated explosion.
When a imaginary bullet fired from an imaginary airplane hits a target, for example, lamp 42 is turned on and motor 44 begins to rotate through a known electric circuit (not shown). At this time, actuation bar 50 is disposed in an initaial position 50 shown in dash-anddot lines inFlG. 7 which position is preferably selected such that the lens system 47 carried by lens rest 45 substantially forms an image of lamp 42 on screen 10. If this is the case, animage of lamp 42 will be first formed on the screen or a mass of dark red color will appear on the screen when the lamp is lit. Rotation of motor 44 causes actuation bar 50 through crank means 51, to move in pivotal motion about shaft 49, so that actuation bar 50 moves from its dash-and-dot line initial position 50' to a terminal position 50 through a solid line position. This pivotal movement of actuation bar 50 moves, through depending pin 53, support plate 52 and shafts of rollers 46, lens rest 45 toward lamp 42 along guide plate 43 together with lens system 47 carried thereby. While actuation bar 50 moves in this way, the image of lamp 42 on screen 10 gradually grows larger and less clear, so that the well-defined dark red mass on the screen is transformed gradually into a light red blurred mass. When the actuation bar has reached its terminal position 50", lens rest 45 actuates limit switch 54, thereby turning off lamp 42. Then, actuation bar 50 moves in the opposite direction and restored to its initial position 50' when it actuates limit switch 55 and stops moving.
From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the visual explosion device according to this invention is effective to present to the player a scene of a simulated explosion which is true to life and appeals to the player,.since the small dark red mass first formed on the screen is gradually enlarged into a large light red mass before it disaapears from the screen. It is to be understood that this invention permits the simulated explosion to take place in different patterns. For example, if lens system 47 is initially disposed in a position in which it is slightly nearer to the screen than the aforesaid position in which it forms an image of lamp 42 on the screen, a slightly large red mass initially formed on the screen will be reduced in size and become darker in color, and then the imaginary explosion will follow the aforesaid pattern. The visual explosion device according to this invention is characterized by being relatively simple in construction and reliable in performance.
In the embodiment set forth hereinabove, the lamp of the explosion simulating device has been shown and described as being stationary and the lens system thereof has been shown and described as being movable. However, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this specific form of the embodiment and that the lamp can be made movable while the lens system can be made stationary or both of them can be made movable in the scope of the invention.
The game machine according to this invention has been described with reference to an embodiment in which a dome carries a plurality of airplane models. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to this specific form of embodiment. For example, flying saucer models may be carried by the dome and a rocket and a rocket gun may be used in place of the machine gun for shooting the flying saucer models, so as to permit the player to play the game of a war in space. Alternatively, submarine models may be carried by the dome and torpedoes may be tired instead of machine gun bullets, for example, so that the player may play the game of a undersea war.
What I claim is:
l. A game machine of the type in which images of flying bodies and the like are formed on a viewing screen and a player aims at the bodies and tires, through simulation, projectiles thereat, such a machine comprising:
a. a housing having a front wall,
b. a semi-spherically shaped, semi-transparent dome movably supported within the housing,
c. at least one model of a flying body supported on said dome,
d. means for imparting movement to said dome,
e. a screen supported inside said housing on which an image of the flying body is projected,
f. a window in the front wall of said housing,
g. means including a lamp positioned within said housing for projecting the image of the flying bodies onto said semi-transparent screen so that the image can be viewed through said window,
h. operator-controlled means positioned on the exterior of said housing for controlling the movement of said dome,
. means defining a sight positioned on said screen,
j. a light receiving element on said means defining a sight,
k. button means being operable exteriorly of said housing for simulating the firing of projectiles at said reflected flying body, and
1. means signalling a projectile striking a body when the image of said flying body overlaps said light receiving means on said screen and the button means is depressed.
2. A game machine, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said means for projecting the image of the flying bodies includes reflector means so supported within said housing to reflect the images projected onto said screen through said window to be viewed by aplayer.
' 3. A game machine, as set forth in claim 2, wherein said screen is located below and extends approximately perpendicularly of the plane of said window and said reflector means includes a curved reflecting surface located above said screen so that it curves upwardly from said screen toward said window.
4. A game machine, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said models of the flying bodies supported on said dome are three-dimensional models made of a trans parent material.
5. A game machine, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said operator-controlled means comprises a control lever operable from the outside of said housing by the player.
6. A game machine, as set forth in claim 1, wherein an explosion simulating device is positioned within said housing and comprises a lamp arranged to be turned on upon the depression of said button means when any one of the images of said models of the flying bodies overlaps said light receiving element on said means defining a sight.
7. A game machine, as set forth in claim 6, wherein said explosion simulating device includes a lens system, and means for affording relative movement between said lamp and said lens system so that said lens system can throw a varying image of said lamp on said screen.
8. A game machine, as set forth in claim 1, wherein a coin insertion slit is formed in said housing, means in communication withsaid coin insertion slit for starting the machine when a predetermined amounts of coins are inserted in said coin insertion slit, and said means for starting the machine includes indication lamp means for indicating the amount of coins inserted into the coin insertion slit.