Electromagnetic doll's eye

- Groupe Berchet

The invention concerns a doll's, toy baby's or teddy bear's eye whereof the opening and closing are controlled by an electromagnet

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Description

[0001] The invention relates to the production of a doll's, toy baby's or teddy bear's eye of the type which opens or closes.

[0002] It is common practice to produce eyes which close spontaneously when the doll is laid down, and which open when the doll is stood up, owing to the effect of a counterweight which orients an ocular globe suspended by its horizontal axis.

[0003] According to the invention, the opening and the closing of the eye is controlled by an electric current delivered by an autonomous electronic unit incorporated into the doll.

[0004] It is common practice to produce eyes driven by an electric motor; however, the noise of the motor reduces the attraction of this function, which claims to be discreet and natural, the complexity of the mechanism results in an excessively high cost together with difficulties of incorporating it into the doll's head and ocular globe, and finally the search for a lower electrical consumption is pleading for an economic principal.

[0005] According to the invention, the principle governing the animation of a rotating ocular globe

[0006] is silent,

[0007] dissipates only a small electric current, and only for the opening and closing phases,

[0008] the eyes remain open or closed, depending on the state, in the absence of electrical supply and

[0009] the control mechanism is housed in a cavity to the rear of the ocular globe, and is both discreet and accessible for conventional mounting via the doll's visible face.

[0010] Document U.S. Pat. No. 3,492,760 relates to a ocular globe driven by an electromagnet opposite to a biasing force. It therefore consumes a permanent current for maintaining it open.

[0011] According to the invention, the ocular globe of the doll or teddy bear is driven not by a motor but by an electromagnet whose moving part—the ocular globe—rotates by a quarter of a turn, in both directions, about a horizontal axis.

[0012] According to the invention, the rotating ocular globe includes at least one magnet and this ocular globe is incorporated into a support which guides its rotation with an amplitude of about a quarter of a turn.

[0013] The support is intended to be incorporated into the teddy bear's or doll's orbit.

[0014] The support includes at least one coil and at least one ferromagnetic core which, owing to the effect of a pulsed electric current, generates a magnetic field which orients said magnet.

[0015] Two electrical wires leave the support and are intended to be connected to the control electronics.

[0016] According to a first nonexclusive embodiment of the invention, which is optimized for its effectiveness and its simplicity, the magnet is a cylindrical disk, incorporated into the ocular globe, having an axis common to the rotation axis of the globe.

[0017] The magnet has a particular magnetic polarization in the plane of the disk, with two north poles and two south poles, the two north poles being diametrically opposed, the two south poles being diametrically opposed and the norths and souths alternating at 90° to one another.

[0018] The electromagnet consists of a horseshoe-shaped core made of hard iron, surrounded by a coil and lying in the plane of the disk, behind the ocular globe.

[0019] FIG. 1 shows a simplified diagram of this embodiment. The support casing 1 is incorporated into the teddy bear's or doll's ocular cavity or orbit and supports the spindle 2 which rotates freely, with little friction.

[0020] A magnetized disk 3 as shown, with the poles distributed at 90° to one another, rotates integrally with the ocular globe, whose iris and eyelashes may be seen. Its axis coincides with 2.

[0021] A core 4 made of hard iron confines the magnetic field of the magnet and of the coil 6.

[0022] The limit stops 5 limit the travel to 90° in rotation.

[0023] According to the invention, the when there is not any current and field generated by the coil 6, two stable positions optimize the field generated by the magnet 3 and confined by the core 4.

[0024] Since the field closes up in the core, the magnet exerts a stabilizing return torque at the ends.

[0025] A pulsed current in the coil 6 generates a magnetic field in the core 4. If the field is opposite that of the magnet 3, the poles are repelled and the globe rotates one quarter of a turn and finds another stable position.

[0026] The new stable position then corresponds to the eye appearing closed.

[0027] The duration of the pulse and the energy deployed corresponds to the rotation time of the globe and to its inertia.

[0028] The direction of the current is determined so that the field induced by 6 opposes the stationary field produced by 3.

[0029] Many alternative embodiments are conceivable:

[0030] The magnet 3 may be an assembly of several “tiles”. The magnet 3 may be toroidal.

[0031] The core or the coils may be oriented differently.

[0032] The ocular globe will be made of plastic, assembled or injection-molded, of glass or of ceramic and the casing 1 will be made of metallic plastic, independent or incorporated into the doll's ocular cavity.

[0033] According to another embodiment of the invention, the ocular globe includes two magnets and two coils, the eye rotates through an angle close to 90°, owing to the effect of a current pulse in the two said coils, and each angular position is stable with no electric current, owing to the effect of the static magnetic attraction of said magnets.

[0034] FIG. 2 shows the distribution of the components, with two magnets 3, two cores 4 and two coils 6.

[0035] The equilibrium positions, which are also mechanical limit stop positions, are formed by the contact of the magnet on the ferromagnetic core, this being a stable sticking position held by static ferromagnetic attraction and exclusively broken by a current pulse generating an opposing magnetic field.

Claims

1. A teddy bear's, doll's or toy baby's eye, which can rotate, open and close at will,

the opening and closing of which are controlled electrically by means of an electromagnet,
the moveable ocular globe (5) of which includes at least one magnet and in that the ocular cavity includes at least one coil (6) and at least one core made of hard iron (4), making an electromagnet,
characterized in that it undergoes a travel of about 90° in one or other direction owing to the effect of a current pulse flowing through the coil (6), and in that each extreme position is stable without any current flowing through the coil, owing to static magnetic attraction.

2. The eye as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the magnet (3) is of cylindrical shape, coaxial with the eye, and has four poles uniformly distributed around the turn.

3. The eye as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the coil (6) and the hard iron core (4) lies in the plane of the magnet (3) and in that the core confines the magnetic flux of the magnet.

4. The eye as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that it includes two magnets (3) and two coils (6) which are provided with a core, these being distributed in such a way that the end-of-angular-travel limit stops are formed by the contact of a magnet on a core (4).

Patent History

Publication number: 20020049023
Type: Application
Filed: Dec 14, 2001
Publication Date: Apr 25, 2002
Applicant: Groupe Berchet (Oyonnax)
Inventor: Janick Simeray (Colombes)
Application Number: 10017854

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Eye (446/392)
International Classification: A63H003/38;