Patents Examined by Dean Small
  • Patent number: 5062635
    Abstract: A device for generating numbers that can be used to play a numbers game includes a fan which forces number bearing balls from a chamber into an exit chute. The chute can be opened or closed using a disc-like valve. One embodiment of the device includes a magnetic biasing system attached to the chute entrance for influencing the selection process. The magnetic biasing systems uses a statistical analysis of previous winning numbers to generate a pattern of the winning numbers and to control the magnetic biasing to influence the selection process of each ball based upon any tendency for one number to repeatedly appear in a particular location within the winning number, if such tendency is found.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 5, 1991
    Inventors: Kam Y. Tse, Leonard J. Wong
  • Patent number: 5046736
    Abstract: A gambling game which combines the rudiments of poker with imitative opponents (FIG. 3) leading to the creation of new video poker games (FIGS. 4 and 5). Opponents are simulated to imitate each action of the player (FIGS. 3 and 4) so that when the player bets, each opponent matches the bet; when the player folds, the opponents fold. The video poker games are played on a game device including a video screen (FIG. 1A). There are multiple computer opponents (FIG. 5) with one or more bets (FIGS. 4 and 6). Displays show cards being dealt (FIG. 4) with the pot increasing for each bet (FIGS. 4 and 7). Summary hand information (FIG. 11) is displayed and automatic advancement of the ante (FIG. 6) and the bet (FIG. 7) speeds up play. The winner is visually announced after each round (FIGS. 4 and 5). The housetake is determined (FIG. 14), a payoff is calculated (FIG. 15), and the winnings are distributed (FIG. 16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1991
    Inventors: James L. Bridgeman, Nancy L. Bridgeman, Robert J. Bridgeman
  • Patent number: 5044956
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for simulating the forces acting on the steering wheel or other control device of a vehicle. The apparatus uses an electrical motor coupled to a steering wheel in the preferred embodiment. The electrical motor is driven by a computer running software which received data regarding the real world forces which would be acting upon a real steering wheel in a car under similar conditions. A software driver coupled to a position-sensing transducer on the steering wheel calculates the steering wheel position and velocity and sends this data to a model process not forming part of the invention. The model process then calculates the conditions affecting the simulated vehicle and outputs data reflecting the real world forces which would affect the steering wheel of the actual car under similar conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Assignee: Atari Games Corporation
    Inventors: Max L. Behensky, Rick L. Moncrief, Erik J. Durfey, Milton H. Loper, III
  • Patent number: 5009598
    Abstract: An aircraft flight simulator system adaptable to an actual inoperative aircraft not in flight provides instrument displays driven by a computer flight simulator program interacting with inputs from sensors attached to the actual aircraft control system and overlay switches. The computer may also drive visual displays placed in the cockpit windshield and side windows, as well as provide audio output and output for the operation of aircraft jacks to simulate inflight motion. All equipment may be relatively quickly and easily installed or removed so as to make maximum use of an otherwise inoperative aircraft on the ground, and by the use of computer program modifications, may be used to simulate a wide variety of aircraft. Realistic control handling is provided by feedback mechanisms attached to various aircraft control surfaces and the control column and which are coupled to the computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1991
    Inventor: Thomas E. Bennington
  • Patent number: 4991836
    Abstract: Several permanent magnets are on a playing surface, with all the magnetic field vectors perpendicular to the surface and oriented in common (pointing in the same direction) relative to the surface. A player positions a magnetic manipulator below the surface, and below a selected magnet on the surface, and controls the manipulator so that the selected magnet forms a predetermined array with at least one other magnet on the surface. The field of the manipulator interacts with those of the magnets on the surface to apply exclusively magnetic force or torque to the selected magnet or the other magnet on the surface, or both. The field vector of the manipulator may be oriented either (a) generally in common with those of magnets on the surface--to levitate the "other" magnet above the selected magnet by an interactive magnetic-wedge effect--or (b) generally parallel to that of the selected magnet, but in opposition, to repel the selected magnet above the other magnet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 12, 1991
    Inventor: Benjamin Joffe
  • Patent number: 4976429
    Abstract: A portable, hand-held display and control apparatus for operatively demountably receiving an interactive electronic video game module includes a housing formed of a central body and a pair side-mounted, outwardly-extending arms by which the housing is grasped by a user. Illuminating elements within the housing project images from a substantially transparent screen of the video game module onto a remote viewing and display surface. A plurality of switches and like control elements on the housing arms are user-actuatable for interactive control of the video game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1990
    Inventor: Dietmar Nagel
  • Patent number: 4973052
    Abstract: An electronic educational toy which includes a housing to contain the sensor assembly and control unit plus a plurality of output devices including visual indicators arranged to be seen by the players and an audio output device detectible by the players. In response to the manual actuation of a switch the toy produces a first signal indicative of its readiness to respond to the motion of the players. A second signal is automatically produced upon the failure of a player to abstain from moving in response to the condition of the indicators. A third signal is produced upon the manual actuation of a switch by the player after successfully responding to successive signals from the indicators. In a preferred embodiment the toy includes electronic sensing and indicating circuitry contained in a main body and base assembly that are physically configured to enhance the teaching ability of the toy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 27, 1990
    Inventor: Donald J. Conti
  • Patent number: 4971331
    Abstract: A strategy game device having a support base with a top surface and at least three peg receptacles, each rotatably connected to the base at the center of the receptacle. Each receptacle has at least three peg-receiving holes equally spaced about the periphery of the receptacle. The number of holes in each receptacle is the same. There are at least two sets of pegs and each set comprises a number of pegs which can be inserted in the aforementioned holes. Each set has a color different than the color of the other sets. In one version the centers of the peg receptacles are spaced apart along a straight line extending parallel to the top surface of the base. In another version the peg receptacles are circular and are rotatable about a common center axis. In the preferred version of this embodiment, each receptacle has eight peg-receiving holes equally spaced from one another about the periphery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 20, 1990
    Inventors: Ellis Fabian, Karen L. Fabian
  • Patent number: 4969650
    Abstract: A game machine with an automatic judging function according to the present invention is used to play a game in which a winner is determined according to predetermined rules of the game by moving pieces having their own characters across a game board, e.g., a checkerboard. The game machine includes classified pieces whose characters cannot be known by an opponent, a checkerboard with sensors for detecting the rank characters of the pieces disposed thereon, and a judging unit for automatically determining the winning piece on the basis of the rank characters of the pieces when they encounter on the game board. Accordingly, a game player can enjoy a game by inferring the rank characters and future moves of opponent's pieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 13, 1990
    Assignee: Fuji Electronic Industry, Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Magara, Takashi Ishii, Shigenobu Hagimori
  • Patent number: 4969183
    Abstract: A process for a telephone lotto number system and service is disclosed which allows a lotto player to use a touchtone phone, which is connected directly or indirectly via a RJ11 jack and telephone lines to telephone company central office equipment, to dial a conventional and dedicated inward calling phone number, e.g. "213-XXX-XXXX", to access and interact with a lotto computer, which is connected via a modem and telephone lines to telephone company central office equipment, to purchase and automatic or manual select a lotto selection ("6" lotto numbers) from a plurality of lotto numbers which are stored in the lotto computer's memory, and charge the dollar amount for the purchase of the lotto selection to a credit card. If the touchtone phone is used to dial an enhanced service phone number, i.e.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 6, 1990
    Inventor: Morris Reese
  • Patent number: 4968030
    Abstract: An electronic card game scoring device which is used to eliminate tedious and error-prone mental calculations in scoring and recording games which provides graphic representations of symbols and characters pertinent to the type, status, and score of the game in play. The device provides pushbutton data input which allows a user to enter data into the control portion which processes the inputed data and transmits the output to data output devices such as liquid crystal displays (LCD's). The device also allows deletion of erroneously entered scores and the subsequent entering of data representing the correct score. An integral tone generator creates one of a plurality of predetermined tones or chords as determined by the control portion responsive to the type, status, and score of the game being played.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 6, 1990
    Inventor: Lewis Frymire
  • Patent number: 4964638
    Abstract: In a control system wherein a master control unit controls a plurality of game machines, the master control unit is provided with two calculators and a microprocessor. The two calculators accumultate, at different rates, values each corresponding to the number of coins inserted into each of the game machines for every game. The two different accumulated values are used alternately to set the amount of money to be paid out for a particular hit and one of the values is indicated by an indicator. For every occurrence of a hit, the microprocessor orders that coins be paid out according to the indicated value and that the indicated value is alternately changed from one of the two accumulated values to the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 23, 1990
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Universal
    Inventor: Naomi Ishida
  • Patent number: 4963314
    Abstract: The sound of the swing of a golf club is sensed and actuates a circuit to randomly select one of a plurality of visually distinctive indicia, such as different colored LEDs or flags, for a fraction of a second. One set of indicia is located on the ground proximate the ball. In order to observe and identify the selected indicia, the golfer must keep his head down and steady during the swing. A second set of identical indicia may be provided for use by an instructor. The second set of indicia may be located remotely from the first.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 16, 1990
    Inventors: George Gering, Jay Benenson
  • Patent number: 4959017
    Abstract: An electronic learning device (10) for teaching how to handle money is provided. A student provides input to the device, in a preferred embodiment, by a plurality of keys (40) which select the learning activity and its difficulty level. In certain activities, the device (10) requests (visually and/or auditorily) the student to engage in randomly selected currency identification/manipulation problems. The student's response is compared with the correct response, and the information concerning the appropriateness of the response is provided to the student. In the case of erroneous response, the correct response can be presented to the student both arally and visually. A speech synthesizer (28) (and/or visual display)) (20) serve to generate a reguest to the student concerning the student's response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 25, 1990
    Assignee: Tutor Toys, Inc.
    Inventors: Barbara J. Thompson, Jesse Ursery, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4955812
    Abstract: A gun-resembling member has a stock, a barrel-like portion, and a trigger. Such gun is used with a target and has a front sight on the barrel-like portion together with an optical system which includes a rear sight. A target image from the two sights is reflected by the optical system to a video camera on the gun, and such camera is in circuit with a computer system and visual monitors capable of displaying and recording a target image at the instant of firing. Windage adjustments are included on the gun-resembling member and in the complete syste. A powered plunger is provided on the target whereby when the gun is held up to the target for sighting, the plunger engages the gun and produces a simulated recoil. The gun also has apparatus engageable by the plunger for recocking the trigger when such recoil is produced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 11, 1990
    Inventor: Banford R. Hill
  • Patent number: 4949972
    Abstract: An automatic target shooting system for determining projectile location relative to a target, calculating a score based upon the location and displaying a replica of the target with an indication of the location of the projectile relative to the target and the score. A target support structure defines a target area with criss-crossing X-Y-type coordinate light beams extending thereacross between light emitter devices and light receiving devices which generate output signals indicative of the location of a projectile during passage through the target area. The output signals are utilized by a computer device to identify the location of the projectile relative to the target and score the shot in accordance with the location. A replica of the target is displayed on a CRT screen with an indication of the location of the shot thereon and the score for the shot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 21, 1990
    Assignee: Max W. Goodwin
    Inventors: Max W. Goodwin, Thomas T. Melsheimer
  • Patent number: 4948133
    Abstract: A gaming apparatus comprising a plurality of gaming machines is provided. Each machine can be operated individually, the player upon each start of the machine endeavouring to reach a predetermined objective by his skill in propelling a ball into apertures to reach a predetermined total before a counting device in the machine which is started upon starting of the machine, reaches that total. The player thus competes against the machine in individual operation thereof. In the embodiment described the counting device is a clock hand which sweeps across a clock face. The players performance is indicated by a clock hand sweeping across the same clock face. The clock face and both hands are visible to the player to provide excitement.All of the machines can be ganged so that the players play against each other, but in this case the counting devices of the respective machines are rendered inoperative and the winner is the first player to make his clock hand reach the predetermined total.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Assignee: Elton Fabrications Limited
    Inventors: Arthur E. Helm, Stuart J. Keane
  • Patent number: 4948125
    Abstract: An electronic scoring device for use by two contestants playing Boss Dice. When a first contestant wins a Hand or Round, he/she pushes his switch and a hand or game light is illuminated on his side of the scorekeeper device to rotate the advantage. If the same contestant wins the second hand or game, the same switch is pushed and the numeral "1" appears on a display to note the winner of the first game (here two straight hands) and the circuitry causes the first hand or round light to go out. In the next case where both contestants have won one round each, both game lights will have been illuminated on the scorekeeper by each contestant having pushed his respective switch. The winner of the third and final round, pushes his switch, causes the digital display to advance one digit on his display and both round lights are extinguished.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Inventor: Robert J. Mayes
  • Patent number: 4948138
    Abstract: A look ahead state saving device for maintaining an audit trail of a plurality of discrete, sequential operating states in an electronic machine, such as a gaming machine. Each such state include accompanying operational data. A nonvolatile solid state memory maintains the audio trail. Game operation is initially interrupted and, thereafter, current state data is frozen in the memory when power source unreliability is detected and reliable machine operation cannot be maintained. The device retrieves the most recent game states and operational data from the memory upon restoration of power source reliability. Memory nonvolatility is maintained by a back-up battery source that includes a battery low detection circuit for interrupting machine operation in the event of battery failure, and that also includes a battery charging circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1985
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventors: Logan L. Pease, William Wells
  • Patent number: 4940236
    Abstract: A golf ball distance computer built entirely into a golf club utilizing a molecularly polarized piezoelectric plastic film composite as a ball impact transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1985
    Date of Patent: July 10, 1990
    Inventor: Dillis V. Allen