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Publication numberUS3825256 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 23, 1974
Filing dateFeb 16, 1973
Priority dateJul 6, 1972
Publication numberUS 3825256 A, US 3825256A, US-A-3825256, US3825256 A, US3825256A
InventorsOchi S
Original AssigneeSega Enterprises Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for simulating a running animal
US 3825256 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Ochi [ 1 July 23, 1974 DEVICE FOR SIMULATING A RUNNING ANIMAL [75] Inventor: Shikanosuke Ochi, Tokyo, Japan [73] Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises,

Tokyo, Japan [22] Filed: Feb. 16, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 332,789

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data July 6, i972 Japan 47-79187 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,034,325 3/1936 Brady 46/127 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,008,374 France 46/123 352,728 6/1905 France 46/123 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack 5 7] ABSTRACT A device for simulating a running animal is disclosed. The device comprises a cabinet, an endless belt located in the cabinet and having a plurality of, obstacles located on the outer surface thereof and a movable model. The model has first and second legs which are adapted for reciprocal motion relative to each other. The model oscillates in a vertical plane as the legs are activated to simulate galloping. A jump mechanism is adapted to cause the model to rapidly rise and separates the legs thereof whenactivated. The jump mechanism may be manually activated for causing the model to rise to a maximum height by synchronizing the actuation of the jump mechanism with the periodic oscillation of the model in the vertical plane.

5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 2 3 I974 SHEEIZOF 5 FIG. 3

DEVICE FOR SIMULATING A RUNNING ANIMAL The present invention relates to a device for simulating a running animal, especially suitable for use in a playing machine, although its application is not limited to such a use.

The beasts for example, horses have various running modes, and one of the running modes is a gallop type of running mode, in which during running the horse touches the ground surface while its fore-legs and hind legs approach each other with the two fore-legs and the two hind legs kept respectively aligned, and after standing on the ground the ground surface is kicked backwardly with the hind legs while the fore-legs are stretched forwardly as if the animal flies up in the air.

Also in a running modes of the human being, there is a step-mode of running, in which one leg is always stepped forwardly and when said one leg has touched the ground surface the other leg is made to approach thereto.

An object of the present invention is to provide a device for simulating a running animal, such as a beast running in a gallop mode and a human being running in a step mdoe.

According to one feature of the present invention, the device for simulating a running animal comprises an animal model having a first leg or a first pair of legs and a second leg or second pair of legs, the first leg or legs and the second leg or legs approaching and retracting from each other when the animal is running, a sup port member for supporting said animal model such that it may be raised and lowered in the vertical direction, a drive member coupled to one of said first and second legs or-leg pairs for driving said first and second legs or leg pairs of said animal model in the back and forth directions, and drive means for making said first leg or leg pair and said second leg or leg pair of said animal model approach and separate from each other by the intermediary of said drive member and also for making said animal model rise and fall by the intermediary of said support member in synchronism with the movement of the legs in such manner that said animal model may go up when the legs separate from each other and down when the legs approach each other.

Since the device for simulating a running animal according to the present invention is constituted as described above, when said drive means is actuated, the legs or leg pairs of the animal model aremade to separate from and approach each other and in synchronism with the movement of the legs or leg pairs said animal model goes up when the legs separate from each other and down when the legs approach to each other, and thereby an observer is presented with an impression that the animal is running in a gallop or step mode.

Also, according to the present invention, the animal model is supported by the support member, the drive member is coupled to either one of the first and second legs or leg pairs of said animal model which approach and separate from each other, and said drive means is is greatly simplifiedand the operation thereof is very reliable.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become 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 preferred embodiment of the device for simulating a running animal according to the present invention,

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

FIG..3 is a schematic view diagrammatically illustrating the operation principle of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2,

FIG. 4 is an enlarged longitudinal cross-section side view of an essential part of the same embodiment,

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view of the essential part shown in FIG. 4,

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side view of the essential part shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 as viewed from the opposite side, and

FIG. 7 is a schematic circuit diagram of the embodiment shown'in FIGS. 1 to 6.

Referring now to the drawings, reference numeral (1) designates a playing machine cabinet having a front glass plate (2) extended over its upper surface. Within the cabinet (1) are pivotably mounted a pair of belt pulleys (3) and (4) at a predetermined interval, and

around the belt pulleys (3) and (4) is stretched an endactuated to make the legs of said animal model sepation (9), a hind leg portion (10), a rider (11) and a connecting rod (12) for connecting the lower part of the fore-leg portion (9) to the upper part of the hind leg portion (10). The fore-leg portion (9) and the hind leg portion (10) are pivotably mounted on the body portion (8) at pivots (l3) and (14), respectively, so as to becapable of being rocked freely, in a manner such that when the hind leg portion (10) is rocked back and forth, thefore-leg portion (9) moves inconjunction with the hind'leg portion (10) so as to approach and withdraw from the latter.

On the front side of the endless belt (5) a fixed frame (15) is provided, on which a bracket (17) is pivotably supported via a pivotal shaft (16) so that the bracket may be rocked around the shaft (16) to achieve a pendulum motion. The body portion (8) of the running horse model (7') is secured to the end of a jump rod (18), which is mounted on the bracket (17) and projects forwardly to form a support member.

On the bracket (17 a leg driving lever (20) is pivotably supported via pin (19) so as to be capable of being freely rocked, and between the upper end of the leg driving lever (20) and the lower part of the hind leg portion (10) of the running horse model (7) a leg driving rod (21) forming the drive member is connected so that the respective ends of the leg driving rod (21) may be freely rocked about the respective pivots. The lower endof the leg driving lever (20) is pivotably connected to a plunger (23) of a leg driving coil (22) which is integrally mounted on the bracket (17).

On the forward side of the leg driving lever (20), a jumping lever (25) is pivotably mounted on the fixed frame by means of a stud screw (24). A connecting rod (26) coupled to the upper end of said jumping Y lever (25) is connected to a plunger (28) of a jumping coil (27) which is secured to the fixed frame (15) and also connected to the upper part of the leg driving lever via a tension spring (29).

The connecting rod (26) extends through a slot (30) provided in the bracket (17), so as not to be displaced backwardly in excess of a certain limit when the connecting rod (26) has been pulled backwardly by said leg driving lever (20).

On the side surface of the fixed frame (15) is provided a jump damper assembly (34) as illustrated in FIG. 6. More particularly, the jump damper assembly (34) consists of a release lever (35) adapted to be rocked by means of a pin (32) which is formed integrally with the bracket (17) and projects therefrom and which extends through a slot (31) provided in the fixed frame (15) upon jumping of the running horse model (7), a back spring (36) for restoring the release lever (35) to its home position, an actuating lever (37) to be rocked as engaged with a projection (33) integrally formed on the bracket (17) for resisting the downward I is shown in FIG. 7. Referring more particularly to this figure, in the energizing circuit for the leg driving coil (22) are serially connected a pulse switch (42) and b contacts (break contacts) (44) of the jump switch button (43) as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and the series connection of the pulse switch (42) and the b contacts (44) are shunted by make contacts (48) of a limit switch (48) as will be explained later. In the energizing circuit for the jumping coil (27) is serially connected a contacts (make contacts) (45 of the jump switch button (43). Adjacent to the pulse switch (42) is disposed a pulse cam (47) adapted to be driven by a pulse motor (46). In case that the jump switch button (43) is not depressed, the pulse switch (42) is cyclically closed and opened by the pulse cam (47 sothat only the leg driving coil (22) is intermittently energized to cyclically drive the fore-leg portion (9) and the hind leg portion (10) of the running horse model (7). On the other hand, if said jump switch button (43) is depressed, the

20 jumping coil (27 is energized through the then closed movement ofthe running horse model (7 an actuating spring (38) for energizing said actuating lever (37) so as to be always engaged with the projection (33), a pin (39) projecting from the actuating lever (37) so as to be detachably engaged with the release lever (35), a

the counterclockwise direction as viewed'in FIG. 6-

while it may be engaged with said ratchet wheel (40) when the actuating lever (37) is rocked in. the clockwise direction, and a fan (not shown) coupled to the ratchet wheel (40) through reduction gears.

In operation, if the bracket (17) is rocked in the counterclockwise direction as viewed inFIG. 6, and the pin (32) is engaged with the release lever which is in turn rocked in the clockwise direction and disengaged from thepin (39), so that only said actuating lever (37) is rocked in the counterclockwise direction by the resilient force of the actuating spring (38) until the lower portion of said actuating lever (37 engages the projection (33) formed on said bracket (17). Thereafter, when the actuating force for rocking the bracket (17) in the counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 6 has been removed and the bracket (17) begins to be rockedin the clockwise direction as viewedin FIG, 6 owing to the ,weight of the running horse model(7) itself, the actuating lever (37) is integrally coupled to the ratchet wheel via the click (41), so that owingto the aerodynamic resisting force of the fan coupled to the ratchet wheel (40), the actuating lever (37) is gradually rocked in the clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 6. Therefore, it will be readily seen that the running horse model (7) can rapidly rise upwards when it is actuated by a jumping circuit arrangementas will be described hereinafter, but it can fall downwards only slowly when the actuation is removed. l

The jumping circuit arrangement for actuating the running horse model (7) and its associated mechanism contacts (45), and owing to the movement of the connecting rod (26) which is driven by the actuation of said jumping coil (27), the limit switch (48) is also closed, so that the leg drive coil (22) is also energized not intermittently in this casebutcontinuously during the period when the jump switch button (43) is de pressed.

On the opposite side to the tension spring (29) of the connecting rod (26) another tension spring (49) is provided one end of whichis connected to the connecting rod ('26) and the other end of which is connected to the fixed frame (15).

Since theillustrated embodiment of the present invention is constituted as described above, when a coin or coins are thrown into a coin slot (50) shown in FIG. l,the pulse motor (46) is energized via a control circuit not shown, and so the pulse cam (47) is rotationally driven at a constant angular velocity. Said pulse switch (42) is cyclically closed and opened by the pulse cam (47 resulting in intermittent energization of the leg drivingcoil (22).

When the leg driving coil (22) is energized, as will be best seen in FIG. 3, the leg driving lever (20) is rocked in the counterclockwise direction to drive the leg driving rod (21) leftwardly as viewed in FIG.- 3, and consequently, the fore-leg portion (9) and the hind leg portion (10) are rocked in synchronism and-are separated from each other. Then, since the leg driving lever (20) is coupled to the fixed .frame (15) via the tension springs (29) and (49), in accordance with the counterclockwise rocking motion of the leg driving lever (20) an additional force directed rightwardly as viewed in FIG. 3 is exerted upon the pin (19), so that said bracket (17) and the jump rod (18) are rocked in the counter clockwise direction about the pivotal shaft (16) to displace the running horse model (7) upwardly.

Thereafter, when the leg driving coil (22) is deenergized, owing to the resilient force of the tension springs I (l0) separting from each other and falls with these portions approaching to each other as described above, the

player of the playing machine gets the impression that the horse is running forwardly in a gallop.

Under the aforementioned running state, if the jump switch button (43) is depressed by the player when one of the obstacle models (6) has approached to the running horse model (7), then the jumping coil (27) is energized and its plunger (28) is strongly pulled rightwardly as best seen in FIG. 3. Since the leg driving rod (21) is limited in movement at the rightmost position, the magnetic attractive force exerted upon the plunger (28) results in a rightward force at the pin (19), which causes the bracket (17) and the jump rod (18) to be largely rocked in the counterclockwise direction about the pivotal shaft (16). Furthermore, as the limit switch (48) is closed at this moment, the leg driving coil (22) is also energized to cause the fore-leg portion (9) and the hind leg portion (10) to separate from each other, and thereby the running horse model (7) can jump up while maintaining its fore-leg portion (9) and hind leg portion (10) in an extended state.

When the simulation device for a running animal according to the present invention is applied to a playing machine such as the embodiment illustrated in the drawings, the following feature with regard to the timing relationship between the jumping and the gallop motion is quite advantageous for making the game more interesting. That is, as described previously, once the jump button switch (43) is depressed, eventually not only the jumping coil (27) but also the leg driving coil (22) are energized, regardless of at what point of time in the gallop motion cycle the jump button switch (43) is depressed. Therefore, if the jump button switch (43) is kept depressed for a while, the running horse model (7) will achieve a stationary jump position that is higher than the highest position during the gallop motion. However, it is to be noted that the jump motion of the model (7), that is, the swing motion of the bracket (17) has a oscillatory nature due to the moment of inertia of the swinging portion, and so when both the coils (22) and (27 are energized, the running horse model (7) once goes up beyond the abovereferred stationary jump position where the magnetic attractive forces of the coils (22) and (27), resilient forces of the springs (29) and (49) and the gravitational force acting upon the bracket assembly (17) are balanced, and then the running horse model (7 begins to fall down slowly to said stational jump position due to the existence of the damping mechanism as explained with reference to FIG. 6. The height of the highest jump position obviouslydepends upon the timing relationship between the energizations of the coils (22) and (27). More particularly, if the jump button switch (43) is depressed at a proper time point during the rising period of the horse model (7) in the gallop motion, the height of the highest jump position is maximized. Therefore, if the height of the obstacles (6) is selected in such manner that at the stationary jump position the running horse model cannot jump over the obstacles (6) but at a position near to the maximum jump position it may succeed in jumping, then the player must select the proper timing with respect to the gallop motion for depressing the jump button (43) in order to succeed in jumping. Thus the game will become more interesting.

It will be apparent that the above-described embodiment of the present invention can afford the player an impression as if he is riding on a running horse and actually jumps over the obstacles (6).

In addition, since the player must select aproper timing for depressing the jump switch button, the present invention is more advantageous when applied to a playing machine.

While the present invention has been described in connection to a device for simulating a horse running in a gallop mode,'it is obvious that the same inventive concept can be readily applied to a device for simulatv connected between said first and second legs for' causing said legs to move in a reciprocal manner.

galloping means for reciprocally driving said legs operatively coupled to one of said legs thereby causing reciprocal motion of said legs, said means further oscillating said model-in a vertical plane such that said legs separate as said model rises and said legs approach one another as said model is lowered;

jump means for rapidly separating said first and second legs and simultaneously rapidly raising said model relative to said belt member in a vertical direction and for subsequently lowering said model at a relatively slow rate compared to the rate at which said model was raised,

whereby said galloping means is continuously operated and said jump means is intermittently operated thereby giving the impression of a running model jumping at intermittent intervals.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said jump means is manually operated and said galloping means is synchronized with said endless belt member such that said .model is in a raised position at appropriate times for passing over said obstacles.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said jump means may be actuated in synchronism with said galloping means, thereby raising said model to a height above the belt member greater than the height achieved by said model when driven only by said galloping means and greater than that achieved during those instances when said jump means is non-synchronously activated relative to said galloping means and wherein said obstacles are greater in height than the vertical distance above said belt member that said galloping means raises said model.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said model is pivotally connected to said jump means and said galloping means by a plurality of rods connected therebetween.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein said jump means is connected to said galloping means. =l=

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4234181 *Sep 21, 1978Nov 18, 1980Marvin Glass & AssociatesRound-about game apparatus
US5064195 *Mar 21, 1991Nov 12, 1991Express Yourself, Inc.Novelty basketball goal producing sound effects on made shot
US5364091 *Sep 8, 1993Nov 15, 1994Robert M. SebekSkill building apparatus for basketball players
US5618233 *Feb 3, 1995Apr 8, 1997Sigma, IncorporatedRunning body and racing game apparatus using the same
DE3823550A1 *Jul 12, 1988Jan 18, 1990Bayerische Motoren Werke AgVehicle exhaust system with a catalytic converter body
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/441, 446/311, 446/313
International ClassificationA63H13/00, A63H13/02, A63F9/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/143
European ClassificationA63F9/14E