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Publication numberUS3819178 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 25, 1974
Filing dateFeb 16, 1973
Priority dateJul 6, 1972
Publication numberUS 3819178 A, US 3819178A, US-A-3819178, US3819178 A, US3819178A
InventorsS Ochi
Original AssigneeSega Enterprises Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for defining a runway course of a running model
US 3819178 A
Abstract
A runway course defined by a belt or drum having a ground surface depicted on its outer face is rotatably driven by a motor through a belt and pulley arrangement. A model depicting an animal or vehicle is positioned over the runway course thereby giving the illusion that the model is moving over the ground surface. The model is driven laterally with respect to the axis of rotation of the runway course by a reciprocating chain drive or lead screw which is in turn driven by the aforesaid motor. The lateral velocity of movement is in a predetermined relationship to the velocity of rotation of the runway course. Obstacles are located on the runway course and the model is mounted on a pivotal framework which can be actuated to raise the model over the obstacles.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. United States Patent Ochi APPARATUS FOR DEFINING A RUNWAY COURSE OF A RUNNING MODEL Inventor: Shikanosuke Ochi, Tokyo, Japan Kabushlki Kaisha Sega Enterprises, Tokyo, Japan Filed: Feb. 16, 1973 Appl. No.: 332,790

Assignec:

Foreign Application Priority Data July 6, 1972 Japan 47-79186 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1965 Glass et al 273/1 E X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Great Britain 273/1 E [11] 3,819,178 1 June 25, 1974 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant ExaminerPaul E. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack [57] ABSTRACT A runway course defined by a belt or drum having a ground surface depicted on its outer face is rotatably driven by a motor through a belt and pulley arrangement. A model depicting an animal or vehicle is positioned over the runway course thereby giving the illusion that the model is moving over the ground surface. The model is driven laterally with respect to the axis of rotation of the runway course by a reciprocating chain drive or lead screw which is in turn driven by the aforesaid motor. The lateral velocity of movement is in a predetermined relationship to the velocity of rotation of the runway course. Obstacles are located on the runway course and the model is mounted on a pivotal framework which can be actuated to raise the model over the obstacles.

5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENIED JUN 2 5 I974 SHEET 1 0F 3 Pmmmmz 3.819.178

SHEET 3 BF 3 POWER 42 SUPPLY APPARATUS FOR DEFINING A RUNWAY COURSE OF A RUNNING MODEL The present invention relates to an apparatus for use in a playing machine or the like which affords an observer an illusion as if an animal, vehicle or the like were running along a predetermined runway course.

An object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for the purpose described above which is simple in structure and reliable in operation.

According to one feature of the present invention, said apparatus comprises a running model having the shape of an animal, vehicle or the like, a supporting surface model consisting of a belt, cylinder or the like and having a ground surface, road surface or the like depicted on its outersurface, drive means for moving the outer surface of said supporting surface model relatively to said running model so as to afford an observer an illusion as if said animal, vehicle or the like were running relatively to the ground surface, road surface or the like, and lateral drive means adapted to be operated in conjunction with the movement of said supporting surface model in a predetermined relationship for laterally moving said running model in a direction transverse to the direction of said first movement.

Since the apparatus according to the present invention is constituted as described above, when said drive means is actuated, the other surface of said supporting surface model moves relatively to said running model and owing to the operation of said lateral drive means said running model moves laterally in a direction transverse to the direction of movement of said supporting surface model, a predetermined relationship being maintained between the outer surface movement of said supporting surface model and the lateral movement of the running model, so that said running model may trace a predetermined locus relative to the outer surface of said supporting surface model, and thereby it is possible to afford an observer an illusion as if the animal, vehicle or the like were running on the ground surface, road surface or the like along a predetermined runway course.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a playing machine provided with one embodiment of the apparatus for defining a runway course of a running model according to the present invention.

HO. 2 is a longitudinal cross-section side view of the playing machine in FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective of an essential part of the same,

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a belt as extended in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 3.

FIG. 5a and 5b is a longitudinal cross-section side view of an obstacle model on the belt taken along line V--V in FIG. 3,

FlG..6 is a schematic view showing means for detecting a fallen state of an obstacle model, and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an essential part of another embodiment of the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings, reference numeral 1 generally designates a playing machine cabinet having a front glass plate 2 mounted on its upper surface. Within said cabinet 1 are pivotably mounted a pair of belt pulleys 3 and 4 in a freely rotatable manner at a predetermined interval in the lengthwise direction. An endless belt 5 is stretched around said belt pulleys 3 and 4. In order to prevent relative slip between said belt pulleys 3, 4 and the belt 5, sprockets (not shown) are integrally provided on said respective belt pulleys 3 and 4 and an endless chain (not shown) to be engaged with said sprockets is integrally mounted on said belt 5 along its one side edge.

In the illustrated embodiment, a race-course is depicted on the outer surface of said belt 5, and a number of obstacle models 6 are appropriately provided on the outer surface of said belt 5 as shown in FIGS. 2 to 4.

As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, said obstacle model 6 consists of a pair of steel stays 7 :mounted on said belt 5 and erected at a right angle to the belt, a fence 9 pivotably mounted on the lower portion of said stays 7 with a pivot 8 so as to be freely rotatable, and a permanent magnet 10 integrally mounted on said fence 9 in such manner that at the erected position the fence 9 may be held in position by the magnetic attractive force between said steel stay 7 and the magnet 10. In case that the running horse model as fully described later fails to jump over said fence 9 and makes contact with said fence 9, said fence 9 falls in the direction opposite to the direction of movement of the belt 5 owing to the driving force of said belt 5. When the fallen fence 9 has been carried to the lower side position of the endless belt 5, it is again erected at a right angle to said belt 5 owing to the gravitational force and held in position by the magnetic attractive force between said magnet 10 and the steel stay 7.

Reference numeral 11 desigantes an electric motor. A prime gear 13 integrally fixed to the prime shaft 12 of said motor 11 is coupled to a main drive gear 15 via a main drive chain 14, and said main drive gear 15 is in turn coupled to a driven gear 17 integrally fixed to the belt pulley 3 via a belt drive chain 16. The directions of movement of the respective drive members are such that when said motor 11 is actuated said belt 5 may be driven in the direction A as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

In addition, on the players side (on the left side as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3) of said belt pulley 3 are mounted a pair of guide arms 18 in the lateral direction in parallel to each other, and around said guide arms 18 and slidably fitted a running horse jumping assembly 19. The detailed structure and operation of the running horse jumping assembly 19 is the subject matter of our copending US patent application Ser. No. 332,789. However, for understanding the present invention, it will be sufficient to note here only that a running horse model 21 is supported by said running horse jumping assembly 19 via a rod 20, and that when a jump switch button 22 provided on the front end shelf of the cabinet 1 is depressed said running horse jumping assembly 19 is actuated to make the running horse model 21 jump upwardly.

Beneath the opposite end portions of said guide arms 18 are pivotably mounted lateral movement chain sprockets 23 and 24 about their perpendicular axes, an endless lateral movement chain 25 being stretched about said sprockets 23 and 24, and said running horse jumping assembly 19 is coupled to said chain 25 via a drive pin 26. A worm gear 27 integrally mounted to the sprocket 23 nearer to said main drive gear 15 is engaged with a worm 28 that is integrally mounted to said main drive gear 15, so that when the belt 5 is driven in the direction A by the revolutions of said motor 11, said sprockets 23, 24 are rotationally driven in one direction at an extremely reduced rate. Consequently, said running horse model jumping assembly H9 is displaced laterally in either direction as said belt 5 is driven. In the illustrated embodiment, while said belt 5 goes around one cycle of movement, said running horse model jumping assembly 19 is displaced laterally by the distance equal to one-fourth of the width of said belt 5, and at the moment when said drive pin 26 has come to the outer edge of one of said sprockets 23, 241 and thus said running horse jumping assembly 19 has arrived at either one side edge of said belt 5, said assembly l9 begins to move in the direction opposite to the direction of the previous lateral movement.

As seen in FIG. 2, a number of reed switches 29 as illustrated in FIG. 6 are disposed near to the belt pulley 3 beneath the upper side portion of said belt 5. Although only one reed switch 29 is illustrated in H08. 2 and 6, similar reed switches equal in number to the number of the distinct lateral positions of the obstacle models 6 are arranged in a lateral array. One end of each of the reed switches 29 are commonly connected to one terminal of a power supply 42, and the other ends of the respective reed switches 29 are connected to the corresponding fixed contactors 38 on a position detector switch 32 arranged in a lateral array along one edge of said position detector switch 32. The opposed fixed contactors 39 on the same position detector switch 32 arranged in another lateral array along the other edge of said position detector switch 32 are commonly connected to one end of a score step-up coil 33, and the other end of said coil 33 is connected to the other terminal of said power supply 412. Movable contacts 31 of the position detector switch 32 are supported from a slider 30 which is integrally mounted to said running horse jumping assembly 19.

In the above-referred arrangement, the relative lateral positions of the obstacle models 6, reed switches 29, fixed contactors 38 and 39, and the running horse jumping horse jumping assembly 19 and the associated slider 30 and movable contactors 31 are such that when the running horse jumping assembly 119 is positioned in a given section of the lateral movable range (in the illustrated embodiment, eight such sections exist), the particular reed switch 29 adapted to be actuated by the magnet mounted on the fence 9 in the obstacle model 6 that comes then beneath the running horse model 21, is connected to the particular fixed contactor 38 on the position detector switch 32 which is then connected to the opposed fixed contactor 39 via the movable contactor 31 supported from the slider 30 that is integrally mounted to said running horse jumping assembly 19.

Comparing the two distinct states of the fence 9 illustrated in H08. 50 and 5b, when the fence 9 is in the erected state shown in FIG. 5b, the magnetic flux emanating from the flat larger surface of the permanent magnet 10 is led to the bottom plate of the steel stay 7 and thus serves to actuate the reed switch 29 which is located in the proximity of the bottom plate on the opposite side of the belt 5. However, when the fence 9 is in the fallen state shown in FIG. 5a, the magnetic pole of the permanent magnet 10 is separated from the steel stay 7 and so the magnetic flux emanating from the magnet 10 and reaching the reed switch 29 is not strong enough to actuate said reed switch 29.

The scoring circuit arrangement as described above, operates in the following manner: During the operation of the playing machine, if the player succeeds in causing the running horse model 21 to jump over the then approaching fence 9 by depressing the jump switch button 22 in time, said fence 9 soon comes over the corresponding reed switch 29 while being maintained in its erected state, so that an electric circuit is momentarily closed from one terminal of the power supply 42, through said particular reed switch 29, the fixed contactor 38 connected to said reed switch 29, the movable contactor 31 which is then associated with said fixed contactor 38, the commonly connected fixed contactor 39, and the score step-up coil 33, to the other terminal of said power supply 42. Thus an impulsive current flows through the score step-up coil 33 to add a count to the players score by means of a counter circuitry not shown, and the results of the score are displayed on a score display panel 34 on the cabinet 1.

On the contrary, if the player fails to make the running horse model 21 jump over the then approaching fence 9, said fence 9 soon comes over the corresponding switch 29 while in its fallen state. Therefore, the corresponding reed switch 29 is not actuated by the passing fallen fence 9 for the reason as described previously. Thus the electric circuit for energizing the score step-up coil 33 is not closed in this case, resulting in no addition of a count to the players score displayed on the score display panel 34. Here it is to be noted that although the fences 9 located at laterally displaced positions from the position of the running horse model 21 and maintained in their erected state can actuate the corresponding reed switches 29, the circuit for energizing the score step-up coil 33 via these actuated reed switches 29 is cut off at the position detector switch 32 because the movable contactor 31 does not make contact with the fixed contactors 38 which are connected to these actuated reed switches 29.

When the game is over, the electric motor 11 is kept stopped and the running horse model 21 is positioned at the right or left edge of the belt 5. When a predetermined amount of coin or coins have been deposited in a coin slot 35, said electric motor 11 is started through a circuit not shown to drive said belt 5 in the direction A and also to move the running horse model 21 positioned initrally at the right or left edge of the belt 5 in the leftward or rightward direction. Accordingly, the player can have an illusion as if said running horse model 21 is running relatively to the surface of the belt 5 along an obliquely rightward runway course 36 or an obliquely leftward runway course 37 as shown in FIG. 4

As the obstacle model 6 disposed on said runway courses 36 and 37 is approaching said running horse model 21, if the jump switch button 22 is depressed in proper timing with respect to the movement of said obstacle model 6, when said running horse jumping assembly 19 is actuated to make said running horse model 21 jump over said obstacle model 6, and the fence 9 in said obstacle model 6 is kept erected. Consequently, by means of the circuit arrangement as described previously, the success in jump can be detected as a closure of the reed switch 29 to add a count to the player's score. The total of the score is thus displayed on the score display panel 34.

When a number of jumping operation have been repeated until said running horse model 2i has reached one side edge of the belt 5 which is opposite to the side edge where said running horse model 21 was initially positioned, the drive pin 26 interposed between the lateral drive chain 25 and the running horse jumping assembly l9 approaches to the extremal edge of either one of the lateral drive sprockets 23 and 24, and the direction of the lateral movement of said drive pin 26 is reversed at the extremal edge of said lateral drive sprocket 23 or 24. Consequently, said running horse model 21 virtually runs along an obliquely leftward runway course 37 or an obliquely rightward runway course 36 with respect to the outer surface of said belt 5, and similarly to the first half of the runway course the game is continued while jumping over the obstacle models 6 successively, until said running horse model 21 comes back to the left or right side edge of the belt 5, when the drive of said belt 5 as well as the lateral movement of the running horse model 21 are stopped and the game is over.

During the game if the player fails to depress the jump switch button 22 in proper timing, the running horse model 21 will strike against the fence 9 in the obstacle model 6 and said fence will fall. In such a case, the reed switch 29 corresponding to said obstacle model 6 is not closed by said obstacle model 6 when it passes over the reed switch 29 as fully described hereinbefore, and so the score is not added with one count. The fallen fence 9 is again erected (or precisely, suspended) vertically by the gravitational force at the lower side portion of the endless belt 5., and once it has been erected, owing to the magnetic attractive force between the steel stay 7 and the permanent magnet lid remains fixedly secured to the fence 9, the fence 9 maintains its vertically erected state when it turns from the lowerside portion of the endless belt 5 to the upper side portion thereof around the belt pulley d.

ln the above-described embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 6, the rotational speed of the belt pulley 3 and the rotational speed of the lateral drive chain sprockets 23 and 24 are kept in a predetermined proportion to each other, said proportion being determined by the gear ratio between the main drive gear and the driven gear 17 as well as the gear ration between the worm 28 and the worm gear 27, so that the locus of movement of the running horse model 2i with respect to the belt 5, that is, the runway course 36 or 37 is always at a given angle to the direction of movement A of the belt 5, and thus fonns a rectilinear course in an oblique direction. However, by changing the ratio of the driving speed of said belt 5 versus the lateral movement speed of the running horse jumping assembly 19 with time, it is possible to fonn the runway course of the running horse model 21 with respect to the belt 5 in a sinusoidal shape or other appropriate shapes. Practically, for instance, the drive pin 26 mounted integrally on the running horse jumping assembly 19 is fitted in a cam groove 41 on a cylindrical cam 40, which is pivotably supported in parallel to the guide arms 18 and driven by the same motor for driving the endless belt 5, as illustrated in FIG. 7. By gradually changing-the tilting angle between said cam groove 41 and the generating lines of the cylindrical surface of said cam 40, the runway course of the running horse model with respect to the belt 5 can be formed in a moderately curved shape.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for defining a runway course of a running model comprising:

a running model having a desired shape; a supporting 5 surface model comprised of a belt member and having a ground surface depicted on the outer surface of said belt member; first drive means for moving the outer surface of said supporting surface model relative to said running model thereby creating the illusion as if said running model were running relative to said ground surface; automatic lateral drive means connected to said running model, and adapted to be operated in conjunction with the movement of said supporting surface model in a predetermined relationship for laterally moving said runway in a direction transverse to the direction of said first movement; and a jumping assembly means connected to said running model and adapted to be manually actuated for raising said running model relative to said ground surface and automatically, a predetermined time thereafter, lowering said running model to said ground surface. 2. The device of claim 1 further comprising means for correlating said lateral drive means with said first drive means, connected therebetween, said means comprised of a plurality of operatively connected gear members having gears chosen such that the ratio of the speed of said supporting surface model relative to the lateral speed of the running model remains constant, whereby the runway course of the running model rela tive to the outer surface of said supporting surface model is rectilinear.

3. The device of claim 1 further comprising means for correlating said lateral drive means with said first drive means connected therebetween said means comprised of a cylindrical cam member and a plurality of gear members operatively connected to said lateral drive means and said first drive means such that the ratio of the speed of the supporting surface model relative to the speed of lateral movement of the running model varies with time whereby the runway course of the running model relative to the outer surface of said supporting surface model may be curved.

4.. An apparatus for defining a runway couse of a running model comprising: a running model having a desired shape; a supporting surface model comprised of a belt member and having a ground surface depicted on the outer surface of said belt member; first drive means for moving the outer surface of said supporting surface model relative to said running model thereby creating the illusion as if said running model were running relative to said ground surface; automatic lateral drive means connected to said running model and adapted to be operated in conjunction with the movement of said supporting surface model in a predetermined relationship for laterally moving said runway in a direction transverse to the direction of said first movement; and means for correlating the movement between said lateral drive means with said first drive means, connected therebetween, said means comprised of a plurality of operatively connected gear members having gears chosen such that the ratio of the speed of said supporting surface model relative tothe lateral speed of the running model remains constant, whereby the runway course of the running model relative to the outer surface of said supporting surface model is rectilinear.

5. An apparatus for defining a runway course of a running model comprising: a running model having a desired shape; a supporting surface model comprised of a belt member and having a ground surface depicted on the outer surface of said belt member; first drive means for moving the outer surface of said supporting surface model relative to said running model thereby creating the illusion as if said running model were running relative to said ground surface; automatic lateral drive means connected to said running mode] and adapted to be operated in conjunction with the movement of said supporting surface model in a predetermined relationship for laterally moving said runway in a direction supporting surface model may be curved.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3171215 *Nov 13, 1962Mar 2, 1965Marvin Glass & AssociatesDriver training apparatus
GB607795A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4167822 *Jan 23, 1978Sep 18, 1979Marvin Glass & AssociatesDriving toy projector
US4212459 *Feb 13, 1978Jul 15, 1980Tobin WolfRacing game
US4231571 *Dec 21, 1978Nov 4, 1980Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Portable obstacle toy
US4234181 *Sep 21, 1978Nov 18, 1980Marvin Glass & AssociatesRound-about game apparatus
US4241925 *Feb 22, 1979Dec 30, 1980Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Toy having projectile movable in both coordinates of a plane
US4244143 *Oct 10, 1978Jan 13, 1981Scully Terrence AHighway game
US4326721 *Oct 31, 1980Apr 27, 1982Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Toy having attack object located on arcuate moving framework
US5265889 *Feb 18, 1992Nov 30, 1993Tomy Company, Ltd.Drive game apparatus
EP2257350A1 *Feb 27, 2009Dec 8, 2010Heath JohnsonMiniature extreme sports playing system
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/441, 434/63, 273/454
International ClassificationA63F3/00, A63F9/14, A63H13/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/143, A63F2003/00321
European ClassificationA63F9/14E