US 3924350 A
An improved Cartesian toy fish or the like having a flapping fin under external control for producing swimming movements in the toy fish, and wherein the rate and extent of fin movement is under the control of the user so that by proper variation of these parameters, a great range of swimming maneuvers can be performed by the toy fish, such as turning, diving and ascending, and combinations thereof. In one preferred embodiment, the fish comprises a first air chamber bounded by a flexible member and a pivotally movable fin. A second air chamber is interposed between the flexible member and the fin. The fish is placed in a closed container having an internal air chamber and a pump for varying the volume of air in the internal air chamber, the latter causing flexuring in the flexible member and thus corresponding flapping movement in the fin.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States tent 1 1 CARTESIAN TOY  Inventor: John P. T. Hsu, 8 Park Drive, Old
Bethpage, NY. 11714  Filed: Aug. 5, 1974  Appl. No.: 494,401
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 360,119, May 14,
 US. Cl. 46/92; 272/8 N; 273/1 L  Int. Cll. A63H 23/08; A63H 23/14  Field of Search 273/1 L; 46/91, 92, 94, 46/123; 272/8 N  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS' 84,628 12/1868 Hunter 46/92 1,107,481 8/1914 Boggs 272/8 N 2,525,232 10/1950 McGaughy 272/8 N 2,779,131 1/1957 Scheithauerm. 273/1 L X 3,077,697 2/1963 Fry 273/1 L UX 3,382,606 5/1968 Johnson 46/91 Primary ExaminerPaul E. Shapiro  ABSTRACT An improved Cartesian toy fish or the like having a flapping fin under external control for producing swimming movements in the toy fish, and wherein the rate and extent of fin movement is under the control of the user so that by proper variation of these parameters, a great range of swimming maneuvers can be performed by the toy fish, such as turning, diving and ascending, and combinations thereof. In one preferred embodiment, the fish comprises a first air chamber bounded by a flexible member and a pivotally movable fin. A secondair chamber is interposed between the flexible member and the fin. The fish is placed in a closed container having an internal air chamber and a pump for varying the volume of air in the internal air chamber, the latter causing fiexuring in the flexible member and thus corresponding flapping movement in the fin.
1 Claim, 9 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Dec. 9 1975 Sheet 1 of2 3,924,350 7 I US. Patent Dec. 9 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,924,350
CARTESIAN TOY This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 360,1 l9, filed May 14, 1973, now abandoned.
The present invention relates to Cartesian-type toys, and more particularly to an improved toy of this type having a greatly enhanced play value resulting from the maneuverability of the toy object, such as a toy fish or the like, which is under the external control of the user.
It is already well known, as for example according to US. Pat. No. 3,382,606, that using so-called Cartesian principles, that an object submerged in a body of water can be externally controlled by adding water from an external source to this body of water. As generally understood, since the water body is incompressible, the additional volume of water added thereto occupies a portion of an air chamber space provided within the submerged toy and, in so doing, presses against a diaphragm. In prior art devices, when the diaphragm is released, it is effective in propelling the toy object in motion through the water body. While external control is thus achieved, heretofore the play value was rather nominal and limited to merely producing movement in the toy object and significantly provided no control over either the speed or the manner in which the movement was achieved. In said prior patent 3,382,606, for example, the release of the pressure exerted against the diaphragm which enables it to return to its original, neutral position, is achieved in a way which produces a constant, steady return movement in the diaphragm. This quality of return movement does not permit any effective control over the swimming movements of the fish.
Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved Cartesian-type toy overcoming the foregoing and other shortcomings of the prior art. Specifically, it is an object to provide a toy object, preferably in the shape and configuration of a fish, which can be externally controlled through intricate swimming maneuvers, such as turning, diving, ascending, and combinations thereof.
A toy fish in a Cartesian system demonstrating objects and advantages of the present invention includes a pivotally movable fin which is driven through pivotal traverses in direct relationship to the movements or flexuring of a diaphragm covering of an internal air chamber. Cooperating with the diaphragm, so as to cause flexuring thereof in accordance with a selected rate and extent, is an external bellows-type water-filled chamber, the walls of which are manipulated at a rate and to an extent that it is desired to cause flexuring of the diaphragm and, in turn, cause corresponding propelling movements in the fin of the toy fish. Thus, by feathering the bellows, i.e. using short, rapid strokes, the toy fish is propelled along a straight course and, by interrupting this, with a stroke of a greater extent, the toy fish can be made to turn or otherwise react. These and other strokes applied to the bellows and applied in different sequences, result in a great variety of swimming maneuvers in the toy fish.
In the embodiments of the toy fish to be described herein, it is recognized that reduction or diminishment of the internal air chamber affects the flotation of the toy fish, causing it in fact to descend. Thus in said embodiments, this tendency is counteracted by an additional air chamber volume, or other appropriate flotation means. Specifically, as described in greater detail herein, there are two-chamber and single-chamber structural versions of the toy fish, wherein the internal air volume is either embodied in two chambers or in an oversized single chamber, to the end of contributing to the floatability of the toy fish.
The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention, will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiments in accordance with the present invention, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGS. 16 illustrate a first embodiment of a toy fish hereof in its Cartesian environment, FIG. 1 being a diagramatic view illustrating a typical use thereof and having a portion broken away to better illustrate the structural features thereof;
FIG. 2 is an isolated side elevational view, on an enlarged scale, of the fish-shaped toy object which is pro pelled in swimming maneuvers within the main container of the within toy. Here again, portions of the external wall are broken away to better illustrate internal structural features;
FIG. 3 is similarly an illustration of the fish-shaped toy object, but a plan view thereof, the rear being broken away to illustrate the drive connection to a fin of the toy object and wherein the fin is shown in its neutral position, i.e.' lying in the central vertical plane of the body of said toy object;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged partial view, in section, of the filling spout of the main container;
FIG. 5 is a sectioned view of a water-filled auxiliary chamber which serves as a pump to alter the pressure and volume of the trapped air inside the air chamber of said fish-shaped toy object, the full line perspective being the neutral position of the walls of said chamber and the phantom lines showing said walls in compressed and expanded positions; and
FIG. 6 is an end elevational view illustrating further features of the toy;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but of a second embodiment of a fish-shaped toy object according to the present invention;
FIG. 8 is also a view similar to FIG. 2, but of a third embodiment of said fish-shaped toy object; and
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of a second embodiment of an external pump means to alter the pressure and volume of the trapped air inside the air chamber of said fish-shaped toy object hereof.
Reference is now made to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1 wherein there is shown a Cartesiantype toy, generally designated 10, demonstrating objects and advantages of the present invention. Toy 10, and more particularly all of its individual component parts, have the cooperativerelationship and orientation as illustrated in FIG. 1, including a water-filled main container or tank 12 having transparent walls. The lower or bottom wall 14 of tank 12 has a depending neck 16, the details'of which are more particularly illustrated in FIG. 4. Preparatory to use of the toy 10 the tank 12 is inverted so that neck 16 is on the top, this orientation facilitating filling the interior of the tank 12 completely with water. Additionally, a selected number of toy objects having the form and shape of a fish, mermaid, or the like, as exemplified by a first embodiment of the fish-shaped object generally designated 18, is also inserted within the tank 12 through the neck opening 16. The toy fish 18, in addition to other structural features, includes internal air chambers 20 and 60 which each have an air pressure of P and an air volume of V 1 when the diaphragm 26 is in the neutral position as illustrated in FIG. 2. As will be more fully explained subsequently, the volume of chamber 20 varies in accordance with the extent to which diaphragm 26 extends into it when flexuring, whereas the volume of chamber 60 is of a constant value selected to contribute to floatability and maneuverability of the toy fish 18. After this initial preparation, tank 12 is inverted to the-position illustrated in FIG. 1 and, as already noted, has its interior completely filled within a body or volume of water equal to the volume bounded by the walls of the tank 12 and, in addition to this water volume, also includes the volume of the previously noted air chambers 20 and 60 of the toy fish 18.
Still referring to FIG. 1, it will be noted that having communication with the interior of the tank 12 is a conduit or hose 22 extending from the neck 16 and, at its other end, connected to a flexible bellows-type device, generally designated 24. The bellows 24 will be understood to function as an external auxiliary waterfilled container, the structural details and mode of use of which are more particularly illustrated in FIG. 5. It suffices for present purposes to understand that the water volume within the container 24 is utilized to alter the air pressure P, and air volume V, inside the air chambers 20 and 60. When hand grips 80 and 82 of container 24 are pushed towards each other from the neutral position as shown in solid lines in FIG. 5, the water volume within container 24 is urged through the hose 22 into the tank 12. When the hand grips 80 and 82 are pulled away from each other from the neutral position, the container 24 withdraws water from the main tank 12. This results in movement of the toy fish 18 through the water volume within the tank 12 because of so-called Cartesian scientific principles which are well understood.
As an alternative to the fully hand-manipulated bellows 24 of FIG. 5, use may be made of the springoperated bellows 24' of FIG. 9, in which similar structural features are denoted by the same, but primed, reference numbers. Bellows 24 is depressed by finger pressure applied to grip surface 80, causing corresponding compression of the return spring 110 disposed within housing 112 in encircling relation about the body of the bellows 24'. When surface 80' is released, either completely or even still under slight pressure, spring 110 urges bellows 24' through return movement 88 to its neutral condition. Thus, the operation of both bellows 24, 24 produce volume changes within the main tank 12 and result in movement of the toy fish 18 therein.
Generally, the foregoing is the result of the following. Initially the chambers 20 and 60 have an air pressure of P and a total volume of V During use of bellows 24, and specifically when forces are applied at the hand grips 80 and 82, pushing them towards each other, a portion of the water volume within the container 24 is forced into the main tank 12 and thus enters into the water volume therein. Since water is not compressible and the tank 12 is rigid, the only space which can be made available for the added volume of water to occupy within tank 12 is by compressing the air in air chamber 20 by means of pushing in on the flexible covering or diaphragm 26 which serves as a closure for the chamber 20. In so doing, the air pressure inside the air chambers 20 and 60 increases from P to P and the air volume V is compressed and is therefore decreased to V (By Boyles Law, if a gass temperature is held constant, in this case the gas being air, then for said gas P V =P V Since the compressed total volume of the air chambers 20 and 60, i.e. that designated as V is smaller by the value AV, where AV=V V it is this AV volume or space that is taken up by the added volume of water from container 24. Also, when the force is removed from the hand grips and 82, the compressed air inside the air chambers 20 and 60 expands back from V to its original volume of V by means of pushing against diaphragm 26 and forcing the previously added water volume back into the container 24. The same principle applies when the applied forces are reversed at the hand grips 80 and 82. In a manner which will soon be described, this movement of the diaphragm 26 is transmitted to and manifests itself as pivotal movements in a fin 28 which extends rearwardly of the toy fish 18, said pivotal movements being effective to propel the fish 18 through swimming maneuvers and movement, generally designated 30.
It is already known, according to US. Pat. No. 3,382,606, for example, that additional water volume supplementing the main body of a main tank in a Cartesian-type toy, as already described, can produce movement of a toy disposed within the water body of the main tank. However, it is not known how to carry out the control as just described in such a manner that control can be exerted over the extent and rate of movement of the fish-propelling means, in this instance the fin 28, so that the resulting swimming movement 30 of the toy fish 18 can include such intricate maneuvers as turning, diving, ascending, and combinations of these various maneuvers. As a result of this noteworthy maneuverability, which is not known in the prior art, the toy 10 hereof has considerable play value which is totally lacking in prior art Cartesian-type toys. One way in which this noteworthy maneuverability of the toy fish 18 is utilized is to include within the confines of the tank 10 an obstacle, which may be a ring 32 weighted, as at 34, to maintain its position, through which the user of the toy 10 is required to cause the toy fish 18 to swim. Naturally, the present invention contemplates the use of other swimming obstacles in addition to the ring 32 or even in substitution therefor.
The preferred construction for the toy 10, as illustrated in the drawings, includes a stand or support 36 for the tank 12, one wall of which has an opening 38 for hose 22 connected between the tank neck 16 and the bellows 24.
Toy fish 18, as best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, includes an external fish-shaped body 40, molded of plastic or fabricated of some other such material, which bounds an internal water-filled chamber 42. Extending centrally of the chamber 42 and located adjacent the front of the fish 18, is the member 44, having a small diameter cylindrical portion 46 disposed in an accommodating force fit in a cylindrical opening 48 of the fish body 40, and at its other end, having a cylindrical wall 50 bounding the previously noted air chamber 20 and 60. Also, as previously noted, disposed in covering relation over the opening of chamber 20 is diaphragm 26 which, more particularly, has a cylindrical tip 52 which is stretched about and engages in air-tight relation the portion of the wall 50 which bounds the opening into the chamber 20. Molded in the central portion of the diaphragm wall 26 is a cylinder 54 into which is projected, again in air-tight relation, a cylindrical extension 56 of a member 58, made of rigid plastic or similar construction material, which internally bounds a buoyancy air chamber 60, i.e. a chamber which has been found to contribute to the flotation and swimming ability of the toy fish 18. Tube 56 is hollow so that air can flow between the chambers and 60. Other means of achieving this flotation are, of course, also possible. For example, flotation plastic or other such buoyant material can be disposed in or embodied on the body of the toy fish 18 to achieve the function of the buoyancy chamber 60.
An alternative two-chamber toy fish construction is illustrated in FIG. 7, in which structural features similar to those already and soon to be described in connection with FIG. 2 are designated by the same, but single primed, reference numbers. In toy fish 18, the two chambers 20 and 60' are maintained separate, i.e. tube 56 is solid, rather than hollow, and thus when diaphragm 26' flexes, the air in chamber 20 undergoes slightly more compression than when it escapes to the larger volume of a buoyancy chamber in communication with it.
The above concept is also demonstrated by the single-chamber toy fish as illustrated in FIG. 8, wherein similar structural features are denoted by the same, but double primed, reference numbers. Specifically, chamber 50" is made oversized, so that area 20" provides adequate clearance for the flexuring of diaphragm 26", whereas area 60 provides an extent of buoyancy to the fish 18" that maintains it either in position within the tank or in slight descent therein, even when there is a large inward flex of the diaphragm 26".
Continuing with the description of toy fish 18 of FIG. 2, the same is adapted to be propelled through swimming maneuvers in response to flexuring of its diaphragm 26. To this end, member 58 terminates in a rod-like extension 62 which serves the function of completing the drive connection between the flexing diaphragm 26 and the pivotally movable or flapping fin 28.
Specifically, and as may best be appreciated from FIGS. 2 and 3, the drive connection includes a hook 64 in rod 62 disposed through one side of the front end 66 of fin 28, the other side of said front end 66 being pivotally mounted, as at 68, in an appropriate manner adjacent an end opening 70 of the fish body 40. Thus, in response to reciprocating movements 72, 74, which are caused in the diaphragm 26 and transmitted via the connecting rod 62, the fin 28 is urged through corresponding pivotal traverses. The same reference numerals 72 and 74 are used to designate the related reciprocating movements and pivotal traverses. The fin 28 as shown in FIG. 3 is at neutral position.
Reference is now made to FIG. 5 showing the details of the structural features of the previously noted externally located water chamber 24. As already indicated, the chamber is advantageously provided by a bellows having opposite flexible walls 76 and 78, and each having a hand grip 80 and 82. The invention, of course, contemplates the substitution of other devices for the bellows 24, so long as the substituted device bounds an internal water-filled chamber, such as the chamber 84, and the water contained therein can be forced in exiting flow therefrom and will return back into the cham ber in accordance with manipulated wall movement of either one or both of the walls 76 and 78, in both the directions 86 and 88. Stated another way, the substituted device should transmit pressure to deflect diaphragm 26 by using incompressible fluid as media. The essential aspects of the bellows 24 is that the user can selectively both expand and contract the chamber 84 from the FIG. 5 solid line neutral position and this expansion or contraction, as the case may be, will produce corresponding inflowing or outflowing water from this chamber. As already noted, water which flows from the bellows 24 into the tank 12 causes movement of the diaphragm 26 to the left, as viewed in FIG. 2, and this in turn produces a pivotal traverse 74 in the fin 28. On the other hand, expansion of the bellows 24 from the neutral position as shown in FIG. 5, as a result of wall movement in the direction 88, will cause the diaphragm 26 to expand or move to the right as viewed in FIG. 2. This results in an outflow of water from the tank 12 into the expanded bellows 24. The foregoing results in a pivotal traverse 72 in the fin 28.
In accordance with the present invention, it is not only significant that the fin 28 be capable of being manipulated through pivotal traverse movements 72 and 74, as just described, but it should also be readily apparent that both the extent and rate of speed of these pivotal traverses are readily within the control of the user of the toy 10 who is manipulating the bellows 24. This is very significant since it has been demonstrated in practice that by proper manipulation of the bellows 24, the toy fish 18 can be made to perform a great variety of swimming maneuvers, such as turning, diving, ascending and combinations thereof. As an example only, and not exhaustive of the possibilities, it has been discovered that feathering the bellows 24, in other words quickly moving in and out the walls 76 and 78 is short strokes, results in propelling the fish 18 along a generally straight course. Further, if during this feathering, a more extensive stroking movement is made, by either pushing in or pulling out on the hand grips 80, 82, this results in a corresponding pivotal traverse 72, 74 of a greater extent, and has the tendency to turn the toy fish out of its straight course of movement. Further, by holding the walls 76 and 78 in a close together or contracted position, this results in collapsing of the diaphragm 26 and in a greater volume of water within the chamber 43. This has the obvious effect on the buoyancy of the toy fish 18 of causing it to dive or descend. Naturally, holding the bellows 24 in an expanded position has the reverse effect and causes a rising or ascending of the toy fish 18.
By applying combinations of the foregoing strokes, and by applying them in varying sequences, it is possible to achieve a great variety of swimming maneuvers in the toy fish 18.
In FIGS. 4 and 5 there is shown a preferred way of sealingly engaging the opposite ends of the hose 22 so that the bellows 24 and tank 12 are in fluid-tight communication with each other. Any appropriate watertight sealing ring or other type of connection for the end of the hose 22 connected to the bellows 24 will suffice. At the opposite end of the hose 22, i.e. the end connected to the tank 12, the tank throat 16 is preferably threaded as illustrated and threadably engaged thereon is a closure member 92 having a centrally located, progressively diminishing opening 94 which receives in a friction, water-tight engagement, as at the tapered wall 96, the end of the hose 22. To reduce to a minimum any turbulence in the water body within the tank 12 from being caused by the inflowing water delivered through the tube 22, closure 92 has stream-diverting openings 98 in addition to the direct opening 100.
The design of closure 92 as illustrated in FIG. 4 also has been found to facilitate the removal of all air bubbles or voids in the water body 12. These air bubbles rise along the sloping surface 102 and can be purged from the tank by carefully removing and then replacing the closure 92.
Completing the toy fish 18 are stabilizing fins 104 to which may be added a water-resistant compound 106 in selected locations and amounts to provide the proper buoyancy and orientation in the toy fish 18 during its submersion within the water body of the tank 12. Also, to facilitate removal from tank 12 of the toy fish 18, it is provided with an accessible magnet body 108 which can be engaged by magnetic material. Body 108 also serves as a removable drain plug in case there is leakage through the diaphragm.
From what has been described, it should be readily appreciated that the Cartesian system 10, including one or more of its toy fish embodiments 18, 18, 18 is a significant and noteworthy improvement over similarly classified toys by virtue of the greatly enhanced and increased play value that results from the maneuverability of the toy fish.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure, and in some instances some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention herein.
What is claimed is:
1. A Cartesian toy including, in combination, a main incompressible fluid-filled container, at least one toy object swimmingly disposed in said main container having an internal air chamber, a flexible member in covering relation over said toy object air chamber, a pump operatively connected to said main container so as to alter the air pressure and volume of said air chamber by transmitting pressure through said incompressible fluid to said flexible member, and improved means for propelling said toy object through swimming maneuvers in said volume of fluid within said main container comprising a pivotally movable fin operatively arranged in propelling relation on said toy object, a drive member operatively connected to transmit flexuring in said flexible member so as to cause pivotal movements in said fin, means at an interposed location between said flexible member and said fin bounding an additional air chamber in communication with said toy object air chamber which contributes to the floatability and maneuverability of said toy object within the fluid volume of said main container, and control means on said pump including flexible walls bounding an internal chamber for said pump and each having a hand grip to facilitate the movement of said walls toward and away from each other for controlling the extent and rate of pressure and volume change of said toy object air chamber, whereby movements corresponding in said extent and rate to that of said pressure and volume change are also exhibited in said fin to thereby contribute to achieving said swimming maneuvers in said toy object.