Animated interactive sound generating toy and speaker
An animated interactive sound generating toy and speaker is provided and includes a plurality of stored musical beats, rhythms, and melodies, as well as other sound effects that can be interactively played back by activation of various switches that are located on the body of the creature-like toy. In addition, the toy's speaker can be utilized as a standard speaker for connecting to an external audio source so that a radio, CD player, or MP3 player, etc. can be played through the toy's speaker. The toy has a multi-color LED that is pre-programmed to flash synchronously with the stored sound data as well as moving eyes that can move synchronously with the stored sound data.
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The present invention relates to an animated interactive sound generating toy and speaker.BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Interactive musical instruments such as keyboards and musical synthesizers are well known for amusement devices that allow users to mix musical beats, rhythms, and melodies.
Furthermore, animated interactive toys, such as the Furby™, which is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,149,490 have also been know in the art. By way of example, the Furby™ is provided with controlled and coordinated movements so as to provide the toy with life-like mannerisms. The toy utilizes sensors for detecting sensory inputs which dictate the movements of the body parts in response to the sensed input.
Despite the existence of the known interactive toys and interactive musical devices, it is desirable to provide an animated interactive sound generating toy and speaker system. In particular, the present invention provides an animated interactive toy including an animated character having a body portion and a head portion connected to the body portion. A speaker is disposed in the body portion and a control system is connected to the speaker for providing signals thereto. The control system stores data representing different musical beats, rhythms, and melodies, as well as other preselected sound effects. The head portion and body portion are provided with multiple interactive switches preferably resembling different parts of the animated character's head and body that can be adjusted so as to provide the user with interactive input to the control system.
Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.
With reference to
The legs include a left leg 16L, a right leg 16R, and a middle rear leg 16M, which are each connected to the body portion 12 in a manner that will be described in greater detail herein. The legs 16L, 16R, 16M each include a round foot portion 30 adapted to engage a support surface 106 to limit the deformation in the seal portion 108. Each of the legs 16L, 16R, 16M are capable of independently supporting the toy 10 in an upright position when the body portion 12 is pivoted relative to the respective leg so as to be balanced thereabout, as illustrated in
With reference to
The back body panel 42 also includes a battery housing portion 60 integrally formed therewith for defining a battery chamber 62 for receiving batteries 64 therein. A battery retainer plate 66, and pair of contact plates 68 are provided for providing electrical connection with a first end of the batteries 64. Electrical contacts 70 and front plate housing 72 provide electrical connection to the other end of batteries 64. A battery door 74 is engaged with the back body panel 42 for closing the battery housing 60.
Each of the legs 16M, 16L, 16R is provided with an upper leg joint 80 that is engaged by first and second leg clutch members 82, 84 on opposite sides thereof. The leg clutch members 82, 84 are supported within the body by leg retainers 85. A rubber clutch member 86 is frictionally disposed between an inner surface of an aperture 88 (shown with respect to rear middle leg 16M) provided in the upper leg joint 80 and between an outer surface of pin section 90 extending from leg clutch member 84 and engaging boss 91 of leg clutch member 82. The rubber clutch ring 86 provides frictional engagement between the upper leg joint 80 and clutch members 82, 84 so as to allow each of the legs 16L, 16R, 16M to be firmly fixed in selected positions by the user. The middle rear leg 16M is received in an opening provided in the back body panel 42, as best illustrated in
The front body panel 40 and rear body panel 42 are each provided with a corresponding semi-circular opening portion 96, 98 at the bottom thereof that combine to provide an opening for receipt of a speaker box 100 which is provided with a plurality of apertures 102 therein. A speaker 104 is mounted above the speaker box 100 so that sound emanating from speaker 104 passes through the apertures 102 in the speaker box 100. A speaker cover 106 is disposed above the speaker 104.
The belly switch 26 and outer ring switch 28 are disposed in a front opening 110 provided in the front body portion 40. A belly switch holder 112 is provided for supporting the belly switch 26 and ring switch 28 within the opening 110. A belly switch printed circuit board 114 is mounted to the belly switch holder 112 and in communication with the belly switch 26 and outer ring switch 28. A main printed circuit board 116 is supported between the front and back body panels 40, 42 and will be described in greater detail herein with reference to the circuit diagram illustrated in
A mouth retainer 120 is disposed within the head portion of front body panel 40 adjacent to opening 122 which is disposed within a projecting portion 124 extending from the head portion of the front body panel 40. The mouth retainer 120 engages the cone-shaped mouth 22 within the opening 122 of front body panel 40. A multi-color LED light 126 is supported by the mouth retainer 120 adjacent to the cone-shaped mouth 22.
The head portion of the front body panel 40 includes a pair of eye opening slots 130L, 130R through which each of the eyes 18L, 18R are movably supported. Each of the eyes 18L, 18R include a front portion 132 and a rear portion 134 which are snap fit together. The rear portions 134 of eyes 18L, 18R include rearwardly extending pin members 136 (shown with respect to right eye 18R only) which are received in slots 130L, 130R, respectively. A front gear box 140 is disposed inside the head portion 14 and includes a pair of slots 142 for receiving the pins 136 of left and right eyes 18L, 18R. A pair of eye sliding plates 144 are provided adjacent to the slots 142 and receive the pins 136 of left and right eyes 18L, 18R.
The sliding plates 144 are supported by sliding plate support member 146 and each engage respective gear drive mechanisms 150L, 150R. Each of the gear drive mechanisms 150L, 150R include a drive gear 152 which engages a driven gear 154. The drive gear 152 of each drive gear assembly 150L, 150R is driven by a respective motor 156L, 156R. A motor housing 157 supports the left and right motors 156L, 156R and provides a support for the left and right drive gear assemblies 150L, 150R.
The driven gear 154 is connected to a rubble plate 158 which in turn is connected to a gear shaft 160 and eccentric wheel 162. A gearbox spring 164 and shaft washer 166 are provided for connection to the front gear box 38. The eye sliding plates 144 are each connected to the eccentric wheel 162 for causing the eyes 18L, 18R to move in an up and down direction upon rotation of motors 156L, 156R. The motors 156L, 156R are controlled by a circuit board 170 and switch 172.
Each of the ears 20L, 20R is provided with a cap portion 180 received in the end portions thereof. The ears 20L, 20R are supported through side openings disposed in the head portion 14 which are defined by semi-circular recesses 182, 184 provided in the front and back panels 40, 42. The ears 20L, 20R are pivotally supported within the openings 182, 184 by an ear joint 188 which are provided in snap-fit engagement with the ears 20L, 20R and include a cam portion 190 on an interior end thereof. The cam portion 190 engages an ear switch lever 192 which in turn engages an ear switch 194 so that upon rotation of the cam portion 190 of ear joint 188, lever 192 is caused to activate ear switch 194 upon each raised cam portion passing over ear switch lever 192.
With reference to
The ROM module 202 is provided with a plurality of stored address locations labeled XROMA0-XROMA21. Each of these labels indicate an address of the ROM 202 which contains the program's sounds, data, etc. that can be accessed by the main controller 200. The stored ROM data can also include data representing activation of the tri-color LED lights 126 and left and right eye motors 156L, 156R synchronously with the stored sound data.
The main processor 200 also includes data signal connectors labeled XD0-XD7 which represent the data signals feeding the bites of data from the currently selected ROM address into the microprocessor 200. The microprocessor 200 provides an audio out signal 204 as well as a sleep signal 206 to speaker 104 via appropriate connectors 204A, 206A. Speaker 104 can also receive external audio signals from a headphone jack 208. When an audio source is connected to the headphone jack 208, a signal is provided to the micro-processor 200 via the external connected terminal 210. An external audio signal 212 is connected to the speaker 104 via external audio connector 212A.
The micro-processor 200 is connected to the left and right motors 156L, 156R via left and right motor terminals 214, 216, respectively. The micro-processor 200 is connected to the blue LED 126 by blue LED terminal 218, is connected to the green LED by green LED terminal 220, and is connected to the red LED by red LED terminal 222. Each of the motors 156L, 156R, LEDs 126 and speaker 104 is connected to the battery power source (V bat) which are connected to an associated diode for completing the circuit thereto as is generally known in the art.
With the system of the present invention, the toy 10 can be utilized as an amusement device in which the belly switch 26, dangle switch 24, left and right ear switches 20L, 20R, volume switch 28A, tempo-up switch 28B, tempo-down switch 28C, and mode switch 28D can all be activated for providing a plurality of musical beats, rhythms, melodies, and other sound effects while the tempo thereof can be adjusted as well as the volume.
By plugging the toy 10 into an external audio source, such as a radio, CD player, MP3 player, etc., the toy can be utilized as a speaker through which the audio output from the external audio source can be played. The LED lights 26 and left and right eye motor 156L, 156R can be programmed to blink and move synchronously to the stored sound data. In addition, the LEDs can be caused to blink when certain beats or rhythms are detected from the external audio source. According to still another option, the eyes and LEDs can be made to be activated randomly.
Although other configurations can be utilized in at least one embodiment, when the belly switch 26 is pressed, one of a plurality of musical beats can be heard. By turning the right ear, one of multiple rhythms can be added, and by turning the left ear, one of a plurality of melodies can also be provided. By activating the dangle switch 24, other stored sound effects can be activated. According to at least one embodiment, the ROM module stores at least seven musical beats, seven rhythms, and seven melodies that can be accessed. Furthermore, any select number of other sound effects can also be utilized.
It should be understood that in the animated character described, it is the ears 20L, 20R, dangle switch 24, and belly switch 26, 28 that are utilized to activate the various sound effects, blinking LEDs, and moving eyes. However, it should be understood that the toy 10 can take on many configurations that would implement switches into the body and head portion without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. In particular, it is anticipated that other animated characters having switches incorporated into moving body parts (arms, legs, tail, horns, whiskers, etc.) can also be utilized.
As illustrated in
The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. An animated interactive toy, comprising:
- a body portion;
- a head portion connected to said body portion, said head portion including two eyes thereon;
- a speaker disposed in said body portion;
- a control system connected to said speaker for providing signals thereto, said control system including stored data representing different sounds;
- a first control switch disposed on one of said head portion and said body portion for interactively providing a first input to said control system; and
- a second control switch disposed on one of said head portion and said body portion for interactively providing a second input to said control system.
2. The toy according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of support legs connected to said body portion.
3. The toy according to claim 2, wherein each of said legs is pivotally mounted to said body portion.
4. The toy according to claim 3, wherein said plurality of legs includes three legs, wherein each of said legs is pivotable to a position for each independently supporting said body portion on a flat horizontal surface.
5. The toy according to claim 1, further comprising a third control switch disposed on one of said head portion and said body portion for interactively providing a third input to said control system.
6. The toy according to claim 1, further comprising a volume control switch.
7. The toy according to claim 1, further comprising a tempo switch in communication with said control system for adjusting a tempo of said sounds.
8. The toy according to claim 1, wherein said second control switch is disposed on a belly portion of said body.
9. The toy according to claim 1, wherein said pair of eyes are connected to a drive system for moving said eyes, said drive system being controlled by said control system.
10. The toy according to claim 1, wherein said first control switch is connected to an ear portion extending from said head portion.
11. The toy according to claim 1, wherein one of said head portion and said body portion includes an LED light thereon that is controlled by said control system.
12. The toy according to claim 1, further comprising a terminal connected to said control system and adapted for providing an input signal from an external audio source.
13. An animated speaker, comprising:
- a body portion;
- a head portion connected to said body portion, said head portion including two eyes thereon;
- a speaker disposed in said body portion; and
- a plurality of legs pivotally mounted to said body portion.
14. The speaker according to claim 13, further comprising an LED light disposed on one of said head portion and said body portion.
15. The speaker according to claim 13, wherein each of said legs is pivotable to a position for each independently supporting said body portion on a flat horizontal surface.
16. The speaker according to claim 13, wherein said pair of eyes are connected to a drive system for moving said eyes.
17. The speaker according to claim 13, further comprising a terminal connected to said speaker and adapted for providing an input signal from an external audio source.
Filed: Sep 15, 2005
Publication Date: Mar 15, 2007
Applicant: Zizzle, LLC (Bannockburn, IL)
Inventors: Robert Civettini (Chicago, IL), Dino Crisanti (Lyons, IL), Todd Kurtzer (Evanston, IL), Jeffrey Breslow (Chicago, IL), Donald Rosenwinkel (Oak Park, IL), Roger Shiffman (Highland Park, IL)
Application Number: 11/227,023
International Classification: A63H 29/22 (20060101);