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Publication numberUS3810629 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 14, 1974
Filing dateMar 15, 1973
Priority dateJul 3, 1972
Also published asCA962714A1
Publication numberUS 3810629 A, US 3810629A, US-A-3810629, US3810629 A, US3810629A
InventorsH Yamamoto
Original AssigneeTomy Kogyo Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mixing and dispensing random selection device
US 3810629 A
Abstract
A random selection device which, by way of exemplification but not by way of limitation, may be used to mix and select at random indicia bearing pieces during the playing of the popular games such as "Bingo". The device includes a casing provided with a downwardly sloping surface and a cover removably attached to the casing and extending over the surface. The indicia bearing pieces are positioned within the cover and supported generally by the surface of the casing. A blade is operatively mounted for rotation near the surface of the casing to continuously mix the pieces while a rod is operatively mounted for reciprocating movement between a first position wherein the top or lift portion thereof is adjacent the surface immediately below the most centrally positioned of the pieces and a second position wherein the top portion thereof is adjacent an opening provided in the cover. The user pushes a switch causing a miniature electric motor to be energized activating the blade through a gear train. In this manner, the rotating blade continuously mixes the pieces. During mixing, the gear train activates the rod causing same to move upwardly. Thus, the "selected" piece is lifted upwardly eventually passing through the opening of the cover permitting the user to retrieve same.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Yamamoto [11] 3,810,629 [45] May 14,1974

1 1 MIXING AND DISPENSING RANDOM SELECTION DEVICE [75] Inventor: Hideyuki Yamamoto, Tokyo, Japan [73] Assignee: Tomy Kogyo Co., Ltd., Tokyo,

Japan [22] Filed: Mar. 15, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 341,727

273/145 R, 145 A, 145 B, 145 C, 145 CA, 145 D, 145 E, 138 A, 139,118 A, 129, 119 A, 138 R, 119 R [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,562,197 1l/l925 Andrew 273/144 A 2.315323 3/1943 Fostos v. 273/144 A 2,385,980 10/1945 Fostos 273/144 A Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assislant ExaminerArnold W. Kramer Attorney, Agent, or FirmStaas, Halsey & Gable [57] ABSTRACT A random selection device which, by way of exemplification but not by way of limitation, may be used to mix and select at random indicia bearing pieces during the playing of the popular games such as Bingo. The device includes a casing provided with a downwardly sloping surface and a cover removably attached to the casing and extending over the surface. The indicia bearing pieces are positioned within the cover and supported generally by the surface of the casing. A blade is operatively mounted for rotation near the surface of the casing to continuously mix the pieces while a rod is operatively mounted for reciprocating movement between a first position wherein the top or lift portion thereof is adjacent the surface immediately below the most centrally positioned of the pieces and a second position wherein the top portion thereof is adjacent an opening provided in the cover. The user pushes a switch causing a miniature electric motor to be energized activating the blade through a gear train.

- In this manner, the rotating blade continuously mixes the pieces. During mixing, the gear train activates the rod causing same to move upwardly. Thus, the selected" piece is lifted upwardly eventually passing through the opening of the cover permitting the user to retrieve same.

9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures mmmm M is 3.810.629 SHiET 2 OF, 3 I.

MIXING AND DISPENSING RANDOM SELECTION DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to devices for mixing objects and thereafter selecting at random one of the objects. The device may function as a toy to amuse children or serve the purpose of selecting numbered and/or color coded pieces (balls) during the playing of games such as Bingo. Random selection devices of this general character are well known in the prior art but are usually manually operated. In the present invention, the mixing and selection processes are performed by an electro-mechanical system characterized by its simplicity in construction and reliability during use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The random selection device of the present invention features a casing provided at the top thereof with a downwardly sloping surface. Within the casing and below the surface are located the motor, source of energy therefor and gear train. A removably mounted dome-shaped see-through cover is positioned on top of the casing so as to confine a plurality of playing pieces, for example, indicia bearing marbles. The cover is provided with an opening through which selected playing pieces are eventually moved. A rotatable blade is operatively connected to the gear train and positioned generally in the plane of the surface of the casing. As the motor is energized, the blade rotates so as to continuously mix the playing pieces. The gear train sequentially permits a rod to reciprocate up and down, the upward movement thereof raising a selected playing piece to the top of the cover pushing same through the opening so as to be accessible to the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the random selection device of the present invention illustrating the casing upon which the see-through, dome-shaped cover is removably mounted, the rotating blade for continuously mixing the individual playing pieces and the opening within the top of the cover through which the selected playing piece is moved by the sequentially operated ram;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a portion of the operating gear train and the mechanism located within the casing, particularly the electrical switching mechanism for intermittently operating same;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the components of the gear train during rotation of the mixing blade;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the components of the gear train during the time that the continuous rotation of the mixing blade is accompanied by the upward movement of the ram during which time the selected piece is advanced upwardly through the opening in the cover, it being noted that additional gears within the train are operable to move the ram;

FIG. 5a is a cross-sectional view of the random selection device illustrating in particular the mixing of the playing pieces while the ram is stationary;

FIG. 5b is also a cross-sectional view illustrating the ram in its upwardly disposed position at which time the selected playing piece is accessible to the user through the opening within the Cover;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side elevational view of the side of the chasis of the gear train, illustrating in particular the system for starting the motor including the rotating electrical contact and insulating system; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram illustrating the electrical-mechanical system employed by the present invention permitting activation of the device, continuous mixing of the playing pieces and sequential selection of one of the playing pieces and advancement of same through the opening in the top of the cover.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The random selection device of the present invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 10 and comprises a casing 12 terminating upwardly in a circular, upstanding wall 14 and a downwardly sloping surface 15. The reference numeral 16 designates a dome-shaped, see-through cover which is positioned over the upstanding wall 14. An opening 18 and insert 20 are provided within the top of the cover 16, the purpose of which will be described in detail hereinafter.

Slidably mounted within the casing 12 is a frame 26, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5, upon which are mounted multiple housings 28 for batteries 30 and a chassis 32 within which a miniature electric motor 34 of conventional design and a gear train generally designated by the reference numeral 35 are mounted.

A mixing blade 36 provided with oppositivcly disposed arms 38 is mounted for rotation within the opening in the downwardly sloping surface 15, as illustrated in FIG. 5. The blade 36 is provided on its underneath side with a continuous rack of teeth40, the purpose of which will be described hereinafter.

A ram designated by the reference numeral 42 is appropriately mounted for reciprocating movement between a first position illustrated in FIG. 5a wherein the upwardly disposed lift portion 44 thereof lies generally in the plane of the blade 36 and a second position illustrated in FIG. 5b wherein the lift portion 44 is adjacent the opening 18 within the cover 16. The ram 42 is provided with a rack of teeth 46 throughout its length, the purpose of which will be described hereinafter.

The operation of the random selection device 10 will now be described, particularly with reference to one of its intended purposes, i.e., assisting the caller in selecting appropriate numbers during the playing of Bingo". Loading is accomplished by removing the cover 16 after which the playing pieces 47 are loaded on top of the wall 22 of the casing 12 and the top surface of the blade 36. Each of the playing pieces 47 is provided with appropriate indicia including the numbers l, 2, 3, etc. and the letters B, I, N, G or O, or an appropriate coloring scheme, such nomenclature being well known in the art. As will be apparent from FIG. 5, the sloping wall 15 tends to cause the playing pieces 47 to move downwardly towards the center of the blade 36, a single playing piece 47' eventually being positioned directly above the lift portion 44 of the ram 42. Suitable means, such as a conventional latching mechanism, may be employed to tightly secure the cover 16 to the casing 12.

The user then pulls backwardly on the top portion of the actuating rod 48 which protrudes upwardly through the casing 12, as seen in FIG. 1. The actuating rod 48 is mounted for pivoting movement about a pin 50 appropriately secured to the chassis 32, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 6. As will be apparent, the counterclockwise movement of the top of the actuating rod 48 causes the lower portion of the rod 48 to Contact the lever 52 mounted for rotation about the pin 54. A spring 56 normally urges the rod 52 clockwise, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 6, such that the electrically insulating element 57 is positioned directly in the path of the resilient, electrically conductive prong 58 which is formed as an integral part of the electrically conductive disc 59 which is mounted to the shaft 60 appropriately journalled within the chassis 32.

Appropriate electrical circuitry is employed to permit the batteries to energize the motor 34 when the electrically conductive prong 58 engages the electrically conductive plate 62. Such wiring is well known in the prior art and consists generally of connecting the resilient electrical contact 64 to one of the batteries by wire 66. The other of the batteries 30 is appropriately connected by a wire 68 to the electrical motor 34. In turn, the motor 34 is electrically connected to the electrically conductive plate 62. Finally, the batteries 30 are otherwise electrically connected to each other. The circuit for energizing the motor 34 is closed as the prong 58 contacts the plate 62. The circuit is opened as the prong 58 contacts the insulating means 57 thus raising the prong 58 from its normal contact with the plate 62.

As will now be apparent, as the user pulls the top of the actuating rod 48 backward, the insulating medium 57 of the rod 52 is moved backwardly at which time the prong 58 engages the plate 62 energizing the motor 34. The shaft of the motor 34 terminates outwardly in a pinion wheel 70, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, which rotates counterclockwise meshing with and rotating the gear wheel 72 clockwise. The gear wheel 72 is mounted for rotation about a shaft 74 appropriately journalled within the chassis 32. A smaller gear wheel 76 formed as an integral part of the gear wheel 72 and on the reverse side thereof is thus caused to rotate clockwise meshing with and rotating the gear wheel 78 counterclockwise. The gear wheel 78 is mounted on the shaft 80 also appropriately journalled within the chassis 32; An elongated gear wheel 82 and an integrally formed raised gear wheel 84 are also mounted for rotation with the shaft 80, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. .Gear wheel 84 meshes with the continuous rack of teeth 40 formed on the underside of the mixing blade 36 thus causing same to continuously rotate, as illustrated generally in FIGS. 2 and 5.

Turning now to FIG. 4, gear wheels 86 and 88 are mounted for rotation about the shaft 90 appropriately journalled within the chassis 32. As illustrated in FIG. 7, whereas the gear wheel 88 is fixedly secured to shaft 90, the gear wheel 86 is loosely mounted about shaft 90. Importantly, the gear wheels 86 and 88 are provided with an uneven number of teeth even though both wheels engage the elongated gear wheel 82. The gear wheel 88 is provided with tabs 92 normally fitting within the oppositely disposed openings 94 of the gear wheel 86. However, as the gear wheel 82 rotates counterclockwise meshing with the teeth of the gear wheels 86 and 88 causing same to rotate clockwise, relative motion occurs between the gear wheels 86 and 88 eventually causing the tabs 92 to ride out of the openings 94 at which time the entire shaft 90 is moved downwardly from the position of FIG. 3 to the position of FIG. 4. That is, since the gear wheel 86, as illustrated in FIG. 3, is normally adjacent the larger gear wheel 84, the relative motion between the gear wheels 86 and 88 causes the gear wheel 88 to move downwardly since the gear wheel 86 cannot move upwardly. It is noted, of course, that whereas the gear wheel 88 is fixedly secured to the shaft 90, the gear wheel 86 is loosely mounted about the shaft 90. As is further apparent from FIG. 4, as the gear wheel 88 moves downwardly, the smaller gear wheel 96 formed as an integral part thereof moves downwardly engaging the larger gear wheel 98 simultaneously compressing the spring I00. The gear wheel 98 is mounted to shaft 60 thus causing same to rotate counterclockwise. The downward movement of the gear wheel 88 is, as previously explained, responsible for moving the shaft downwardly at which time it is freed from its normal position rigidly securing the larger gear wheel 102 also mounted on the shaft 60. That is, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the upper end of the shaft 90 normally extends through a slot (not shown) within the periphery of the larger gear .wheel I02 preventing the gear wheel 102 from moving. However, as the gear wheel 88 moves downwardly, the shaft 90 also moves downwardly disengaging the gear wheel 102. Thus, in the position illustrated in FIG. 4, the gear Wheel 102 and its companion gear wheel 104 rotate counterclockwise.

Turning now to FIG. 5a, the companion gear wheel 104 is provided with a cut-out portion 106 such that in the position illustrated no contact is made with the reciprocably mounted ram 42. However, as the gear wheel 104 rotates, the threads thereof in the uncut portion eventually contact the threads 46 of the ram caus ing the ram 46 to move upwardly to the position illustrated in 517. As will be apparent, the continued rotation of the gear wheel 104 beyond that position illustrated in FIG. 512 results in the release of contact between the gear wheel 104 and the ram 42 thus permitting the ram 42 to immediately drop to its original position illustrated in FIG. 5a.

Thus, the ram 42 is permitted to sequentially reciprocate as the mixing blade 36 continuously rotates. As previously pointed out, the playing pieces 47 tend to move downwardly, at least one piece 47' always being located directly above the lift portion 44 of the ram 42. Thus, as the ram 42 moves upwardly under the influence of the gear wheel 104, the selected playing piece 47' is raised upwardly through the opening 18 in the cover 16 at which time the user is free to pick up same.

During the cycle described above, the electrically conductive prong 58 continues its rotation about shaft 60 eventually hitting the insulating medium 57 at which time its circuit is opened and the device deactivated. To select another playing piece, the user again pulls backwardly on the rod 48.

As will now be apparent, the caller during a Bingd game may utilize the random selection device of the present invention as follows. By merely pushing the actuating rod 48 with the finger, the blade 26 is caused to rotate mixing the playing pieces 47. Thereafter, the ram 42 automatically selects the most centrally disposed playing piece 47' and moves same upwardly through the opening 18 in the top of the cover 16. The caller picks up the selected playing piece 47' and announces the selection to the group of people playing Bingo.

It is also apparent that the random selection device of the present invention has utility other than in the playing of Bingo. Indeed, the principles of the present invention may be used in a variety of amusement devices wherein the objective is to mix an assortment of playing pieces and at random select one piece making same available to the user.

I claim:

1. A random selection device, comprising:

a casing provided with a surface;

a cover extending over said surface and being provided with an opening;

a plurality of pieces within said cover and above said surface;

a blade operatively mounted for rotation in the vicinity of said surface;

a ram terminating in a lift portion and operatively mounted for movement between a first position wherein said lift portion is in the vicinity of said surface of said casing and a second position wherein said lift portion is in the vicinity of said opening in said cover;

means rotating said blade for mixing said pieces; and

means moving said ram from said first position to said second position at a predetermined time during the rotation of said blade.

2. A random selection device as in claim 1, wherein said means rotating said blade comprises a motor and a source of energy therefor located within said casing, and gear means connecting said motor and said blade.

3. A random selection device as in claim 2, wherein said source of energy is electrical.

4. A random selection device as in claim 3, including an electrical switch connecting said meter and source of energy, said switch comprising an electrical contact fixedly mounted within said casing, a resilient electrical contact formed as a part of said gear means to rotate with a part thereof, insulating means positioned at one point within the path of travel of said resilient electrical contact so as to prevent engagement of said contacts and means removing said insulating means.

5. A random selection device as in claim 1, wherein said means moving said ram from said first position to said second position comprises a rack of teeth positioned along said ram, a first gear operatively mounted for rotation within said casing, said first gear having a portion of the teeth thereof cut out, the remainder of the periphery of said first gear being in position to engage said rack of teeth of said ram moving same to said second position until said cut out portion moves into position opposite said rack of teeth ot'said ram at which time said ram falls backward to its first position. second and third gears fixedly and movably mounted, respectively, about a common shaft located within said casing, said second and third gears having an unequal number of teeth and meshing with and being run by a fourth gear, means operatively connecting said fourth gear to said motor, means normally biasing said second and third gears out of driving relationship with respect to said first gear, the rotation of said second and third gears eventually causing same to move relative to each other because of the unequal number of teeth so as to eventually cause said second gear to drive said first gear and means normally biasing said second gear away from and out of driving relationship with said first gear.

6. A random selection device as in claim 5, wherein said source of energy is electrical.

7. A random selection device as in claim I, wherein said means rotating said blade and said means moving said ram comprise a motor and a source of electrical energy therefor located within said casing, circuit means and an electrical switch connecting said motor and said source of energy, said blade being provided with teeth, gear means opcrably connecting said motor and said teeth of said blade. a rack of teeth along said ram, and additional gear means connecting said motor and said rack of teeth of said ram.

8. A random selection device as in claim 1, wherein said surface of said casing gently slopes downward towards the vicinity of said first position of said ram.

9. A random selection device as in claim 7, wherein said cover is transparent

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1562197 *Feb 28, 1924Nov 17, 1925Andrew John PPlaying game
US2315323 *Oct 8, 1941Mar 30, 1943John FostosSelective machine
US2385980 *Feb 6, 1943Oct 2, 1945John FostosAmusement device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4266767 *Jul 30, 1979May 12, 1981Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Competitive capture game
US5011157 *Mar 8, 1990Apr 30, 1991Bonus GamesElectronic game display device
US5673813 *Sep 7, 1995Oct 7, 1997Cap Toys, Inc.Candy-dispensing device
US6145836 *Nov 16, 1998Nov 14, 2000Toulemonde; GhislainLottery ball shuffling device and drawing machine equipped with said device
EP0917111A1Oct 29, 1998May 19, 1999Ryo Catteau, S.A.Device for mixing lottery balls and ball drawing machine for this device
WO2001095259A1 *Jun 8, 2001Dec 13, 2001Basso MassimoDevice for a numerical combination game
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/144.00A
International ClassificationA63F3/06, A63F5/02, G07C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/048, G07C15/001, A63F2007/4031, A63F3/062, G07C15/00
European ClassificationG07C15/00, G07C15/00B, A63F7/04R