Racing Patents (Class 104/60)
  • Patent number: 9691100
    Abstract: An improved auto auction layout places all active auctions within sight of a centralized location. Three or more auctioneer stations placed near the perimeter of the centralized location each correspond to an auto auction lane. Even as lanes independently advance through cars at varying rates, the improved layouts enables bidders and consigners to monitor both the lane with which they are actively engaged and all other lanes, or to participate in multiple simultaneous auctions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Inventor: Robert Wolfsen
  • Patent number: 8282496
    Abstract: An amusement apparatus has a platform with a slot that follows a continuous course including both clockwise and counterclockwise turns, a plurality of cars each supported by respective wheels that ride on the platform, an elongate flexible drive member that translates along a path corresponding to the slot, a plurality of couplers corresponding to the plurality of cars, each respective coupler including a member which couples a corresponding car to the drive member with the couplers allowing the corresponding cars to move away from the slot in opposite directions in response to whipping forces resulting from translational movement of the drive member in clockwise and counterclockwise turns of the path, and springs for the cars that act on the cars to move the cars toward the slot in order to counteract the movement of the car away from the slot as caused by the whipping forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Inventors: Jonathan I. Gordon, David P. Gordon
  • Patent number: 8262431
    Abstract: A traveling toy system is provided, in which it is immediately confirmed where a self-driven towing vehicle is located under an upper track member. Two annular light permeable regions (5B, 5C) are disposed in the upper track member (5). A light emitting means (47) is attached to the self-driven towing vehicle (21). The two light permeable regions (5B, 5C) transmit light emitted from the light emitting means (47) of the self-driven towing vehicle (21). It is recognizable where the light emitting means (47) emits light under the light permeable regions (5B, 5C), as viewed from above the upper track member (5). Thus, it is easy to find where the self-driven towing vehicle (21) is by locating the light-emitting place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Makoto Nakano, Kazuki Takahashi
  • Patent number: 8176853
    Abstract: An amusement park ride adapted for fully rotating a passenger compartment in response to vehicle motion along a guide track. The ride includes a vehicle chassis that engages the guide track and travels along the ride path during operation of the ride. The ride further includes a cam-based positioning assembly that is supported by the vehicle chassis to move with it along the guide track. The positioning assembly operates in response to being moved along the guide track to rotate the passenger compartment. The positioning assembly rotates the passenger compartment in counterclockwise and clockwise directions to provide 360-degree rotation. The positioning assembly includes a cam shaft with three cam follower pairs offset along the shaft and extending outward from the shaft at angular offsets, and three cam rails are used to selectively position the followers to rotate the cam shaft and set the position of the passenger compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Nemeth, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 8141495
    Abstract: A ride system is provided that allows selective relative positioning of vehicles in an amusement or theme park ride to simulate racing or other effects. The ride system includes a chassis that is adapted to be supported by and to travel on or along a length of track of a particular ride. A support is attached to the chassis and moves with the chassis during operation of the ride. The ride system includes first and second passenger vehicles that are spaced apart on and supported by the support. A drive assembly is linked to the support and configured to rotate the support about its central axis. During support rotation, the first and second vehicles are moved concurrently relative to the track to alter their relative positioning. The vehicles are each rotated about an axis that extends parallel to the rotation axis, and the rotation may be independent or concurrent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul E. Baker, Mark W. Sumner, Derek Howard, David A. Durham, Christopher J. Rose, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 8136453
    Abstract: A vehicle motion control system comprising: a sliding surface; a vehicle adapted to slide on said sliding surface; and a linear motor associated with the vehicle and the sliding surface for affecting sliding motion of the vehicle on the sliding surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: HM Attractions Inc.
    Inventors: Richard D. Hunter, Andreas Tanzer
  • Patent number: 7980181
    Abstract: A drag racing roller coaster amusement ride has at least two sets running rails, each set having at least one running rail and an embark point. At least two carriers (109) are arranged to carry at least one rider on a respective set of running rails with the rider(s) in a substantially prone position. Each carrier is arranged to slidingly engage with the respective set of running rails to enable the carriers to traverse the ride. The ride has an indicator (109) to provide a ride commencement indication. A launch system is configured to provide a powered initial motion to each carrier. Each carrier has a ride activator controllable by a rider of the carrier to trigger the launch system to commence the ride for the carrier following the ride commencement indication. Launch systems are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Manchester Securities Limited
    Inventors: Christopher James Heaslip, Robert Cummins
  • Patent number: 7921781
    Abstract: A ride system is provided that allows selective relative positioning of vehicles in an amusement or theme park ride to simulate racing or other effects. The ride system includes a chassis that is adapted to be supported by and to travel on or along a length of track of a particular ride. A support is attached to the chassis and moves with the chassis during operation of the ride. The ride system includes first and second passenger vehicles that are spaced apart on and supported by the support. A drive assembly is linked to the support and configured to rotate the support about its central axis. During support rotation, the first and second vehicles are moved concurrently relative to the track to alter their relative positioning. The vehicles are each rotated about an axis that extends parallel to the rotation axis, and the rotation may be independent or concurrent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul E. Baker, Mark W. Sumner, Derek Howard, David A. Durham, Christopher J. Rose, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 7880414
    Abstract: A control and motor arrangement in accordance with the present invention includes a motor configured to generate a locomotive force for propelling the model train. The control and motor arrangement further includes a command control interface configured to receive commands from a command control unit wherein the commands correspond to a desired speed. The control and motor arrangement still further includes a plurality of detectors configured to detect speed information of the motor, and a process control arrangement configured to receive the speed information from the sensors. The process control arrangement is further configured and arranged to generate a plurality of motor control signals based on the speed information for controlling the speed of said motor. The control and motor arrangement yet still further includes a motor control arrangement configured to cause power to be applied to the motor at different times in response to the motor control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Lionel L.L.C.
    Inventors: Dennis J. Denen, Neil P. Young, Gary L. Moreau, Martin Pierson, Robert Grubba
  • Patent number: 7806054
    Abstract: A ride system is provided that allows selective relative positioning of vehicles in an amusement or theme park ride to simulate racing or other effects. The ride system includes a chassis that is adapted to be supported by and to travel on or along a length of track of a particular ride. A support is attached to the chassis and moves with the chassis during operation of the ride. The ride system includes first and second passenger vehicles that are spaced apart on and supported by the support. A drive assembly is linked to the support and configured to rotate the support about its central axis. During support rotation, the first and second vehicles are moved concurrently relative to the track to alter their relative positioning. The vehicles are each rotated about an axis that extends parallel to the rotation axis, and the rotation may be independent or concurrent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul E. Baker, Mark W. Sumner, Derek Howard, David A. Durham, Christopher J. Rose, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 7685945
    Abstract: A drag strip race amusement ride runs on a straight-line track and is propelled to high rates of acceleration over the 150-foot racetrack. The vehicle cab seats nine. Each racer has an individual acceleration pedal. Located on the front windshield and on each side window is an LCD video screen. Audio sounds are also introduced into the cab during the ride. When the signal is given to begin the race, each racer hits his acceleration pedal. A central computer system synchronizes the video, audio, acceleration and deceleration so that the sensory perceptions of sight, sound and feeling of an actual drag strip race are created. A winner is determined by measuring the reaction time of each racer between the signal and the pedal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Inventor: Steven Norbury
  • Patent number: 7603221
    Abstract: An automatic slowing down system for a vehicle taking a bend includes a computer that integrates a series of instructions to process at least one of first, second and third signals according to kinematic control laws of vehicle displacement to deliver signals for a forward motion actuator and a steering actuator, a forward control and a steering control that supply the first signal representative of a forward motion data and a steering data to the computer based on an operator's requirement, a linear speed sensor and a yaw speed sensor that supply the second signal to the computer, and a unit that supplies the third signal relating to road grip to the computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: Nexter Systems
    Inventors: Emile Urvoy, Olivier Pape, Stephane Leveque
  • Patent number: 7452259
    Abstract: A speed controller for toy vehicles on a toy car racetrack has a manual controller for varying an electrical driving voltage from an electric power supply for the car racetrack. The manual controller is manually displaced over a preset operating path so the driving voltage derived by the electric power supply varies from zero to a first preset maximum value below the voltage that is derived by the electric power supply. An additional controller responds to manual operation to set the driving voltage applied to the car racetrack, to a second preset value above the maximum driving voltage that is derived by the controller for varying the electrical driving voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2008
    Assignee: Stadlbauer Spielund Freizeit GmbH
    Inventor: Hubertus Maleika
  • Publication number: 20080257196
    Abstract: A drag strip race amusement ride runs on a straight-line track and is propelled to high rates of acceleration over the 150-foot racetrack. The vehicle cab seats nine. Each racer has an individual acceleration pedal. Located on the front windshield and on each side window is an LCD video screen. Audio sounds are also introduced into the cab during the ride. When the signal is given to begin the race, each racer hits his acceleration pedal. A central computer system synchronizes the video, audio, acceleration and deceleration so that the sensory perceptions of sight, sound and feeling of an actual drag strip race are created. A winner is determined by measuring the reaction time of each racer between the signal and the pedal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Publication date: October 23, 2008
    Inventor: Steven Norbury
  • Patent number: 7373888
    Abstract: A system which simulates a dragster which exposes a driver to both “G” forces and “wheelies”, and methodology of conducting a competition therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Inventors: Kenneth D. Namanny, Keith E. Namanny, Kerry T. Namanny
  • Patent number: 7357727
    Abstract: A racetrack designed to accommodate various types of auto racing class including Indy, CART, Formula 1 etc. is disclosed. The race track of the present invention is a continuous closed circuit track with at least two loops which loop about a common center area and with track passing over itself at least once by a nonlevel crossing such as an overpass so that the track does not have a level crossover and thereby allowing a vehicle making an entire circuit of the track the option of only making turns in one direction and not passing over any portion of the track more than once is a single circuit of the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Inventor: Brian Back
  • Patent number: 7311582
    Abstract: A current collecting device for a toy vehicle for use on an electrified track. The toy vehicle is for operation on a road surface, and is driven by an electric motor installed in a chassis and having a chassis frame that carries the electric motor, whereby the current collecting device has strip-like contact elements which cooperate with current rails of the road surface. The contact elements which are in contact with the current rails of the road surface are carried by a replaceable unit which is connected to the current collecting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2007
    Assignee: Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Ralf Kroener, Uwe Reuter
  • Patent number: 7083111
    Abstract: A toy vehicle slot track is formed from a plurality of interconnecting track segments. Each segment includes two opposing ends, each end having a pair of coupling projections intended to mate with corresponding coupling sockets on an interconnecting segment. Each end further includes at least one locking lug which in a first preferred embodiment mates with a corresponding locking tab or in a second preferred embodiment mates with a locking recess. The interconnecting track segments are thus releasably locked together by the coupling projections and coupling sockets, acting in combination with the locking lug and locking tab or recess. Each segment further includes a plurality of conductive strips partially embedded in each segment, extending between the opposing ends. At least one end portion of each one conducting strip extends beyond the end of the track segment, and is bent to wrap around the end portion of the track segment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Dean C. Reisher, Gerhart P. Huy
  • Patent number: 6971317
    Abstract: Passenger boats are accelerated along a submerged guide rail structure that is arranged in various closed loop courses, including “Figure-Eight,” hour-glass, serpentine and oval patterns, as well as linear guide track structures that extend in parallel between a launch station and a return station. A dual “Figure-Eight” watercourse includes a simulated jump ramp and an under-ground tunnel arrangement. The launching and operating speed of each boat relative to the other is controlled so that the boats approach and pass in close proximity to each other and then recede from each other as they travel in opposite directions along adjacent guide track sections, and in passing, project water spray onto each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Inventor: Errol W. McKoy
  • Patent number: 6910972
    Abstract: A real-size simulated drag strip ride is presented which recreates the physical and visual sensations of a drag race. A pair of real-size dragsters are positioned along specified and controlled parallel linear tracks. The occupant is positioned inside the driver's compartment, with a full safety harness securing him in place in an adjustable seat. The invention includes audio sounds of ignition, “burn-out” and acceleration simulating a drag strip race, as well as simulated smoke from the “burn out” portion of the race preparation. Once the simulated light tower signals that the dragster is set to race, each driver of two, side-by-side vehicles pushes the acceleration pedal to accelerate the vehicle through an initial acceleration zone. The dragsters are propelled by use of a pneumatically powered piston attached to a cable located out of sight underneath the vehicle. The race is finished when the cars pass the finish line. Speeds and the winner are displayed on the starting line tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Inventor: Steven Norbury
  • Patent number: 6868792
    Abstract: The nature of this invention” is directed to an electrical power source for slot cars. What is new in this invention is the introduction of an adjustable regulated direct current power supply over an existing fixed direct current power supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Inventor: Joseph W Hayden
  • Patent number: 6860209
    Abstract: Passenger boats are accelerated along a submerged guide rail structure that is arranged in various closed loop courses, including “Figure-Eight,” hour-glass, serpentine and oval patterns, as well as linear guide track structures that extend in parallel between a launch station and a return station. A dual “Figure-Eight” watercourse includes a simulated jump ramp and an underground tunnel arrangement. The launching and operating speed of each boat relative to the other is controlled so that the boats approach and pass in close proximity to each other and then recede from each other as they travel in opposite directions along adjacent guide track sections, and in passing, project water spray onto each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Inventor: Errol W. McKoy
  • Patent number: 6782831
    Abstract: A track has an acceleration zone and an inertial running zone. The acceleration zone is to accelerate a car lifted by a lifting apparatus having a stationary power source through a steep down slope. The track is disposed approximately horizontal in the inertial running zone as the car proceeds mainly by inertial running. The car is provided with a seat as to oscillate corresponding to gravity and acceleration of the car. A control device is used to control the oscillation of the seat provided. The seat oscillates corresponding to gravity and acceleration in lifting by the lifting apparatus and in the acceleration zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: Senyo Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Saburo Yamada
  • Patent number: 6715425
    Abstract: A race observation rail system for allowing close-up viewing of a race by the spectators. The race observation rail system includes a race track being disposed upon a ground; and also includes a rail assembly including support members being adapted to be disposed in the ground and also including an endless rail being mounted to the support members and being set up along and adjacent the race track; and further includes a pod assembly including a pod member being movably mounted upon the endless rail and having an assembly of viewing a race being run on the race track; and also includes a drive assembly for moving the pod member upon and along the endless rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Inventor: David J. Dore
  • Patent number: 6647893
    Abstract: A race track assembly that can be assembled from a flat folded configuration for use and disassembled to a flat folded configuration for storage. The race track assembly includes a plurality of track sections that can be positioned end-to-end to form a race track. Each track section consists of a main track and two sides that are foldable relative to the main track. A plurality of couplers are also included for coupling the track section together. The race track assembly also includes a plurality of cross braces positioned at spaced intervals along the length of the race track. Each of the cross braces is coupled to a track section in a manner to maintain the sides of the track section in a folded configuration. A plurality of risers are also included for supporting the race track in an inclined position. Each of the risers can be unfolded to a track supporting configuration and folded to a flat storage configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Assignee: Osment Models, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory A. Fugitt, C. Dwayne Fulton
  • Patent number: 6631850
    Abstract: A track for a toy vehicle is provided. The inventive track includes at least one end segment, either male or female, and at least one middle segment. The middle segment is pivotably attachable to at least one of the male and female segments. A middle segment can have teeth on both ends, tooth-receiving cavities on both ends, or a set of teeth on one end and a cavity on the other. The teeth of one segment are selectively engageable with the edges of a cavity of an adjacent segment. When teeth engage a cavity, one segment is fixedly angled with respect to the other segment. By repeating this pivotably angled structure between a number of segments, the curvature of the track can be altered to the taste and specifications of the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2003
    Assignee: Battat Incorporated
    Inventor: Choi Man Wa
  • Patent number: 6629501
    Abstract: Passenger boats are mounted on an undercarriage assembly that includes rail-mounted centering wheels. The passenger boats are accelerated by linear induction drive motors mounted on a guide rail structure. Thrust is applied to the racing boats by magnetically conductive reaction plates that are attached to the undercarriage assembly and are movable through linear flux slots formed in the induction stators of the linear induction motors. The submerged guide track structure is arranged in various closed loop courses, including “Figure-Eight,” an hour-glass, serpentine and oval patterns, as well as parallel guide track structures that extend between a launch station and a return station. A dual “Figure-Eight” watercourse includes a simulated jump ramp and an underground tunnel arrangement. In the continuous loop guide structure, two or more boats are launched and separation is maintained by a safety block arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2003
    Inventor: Errol W. McKoy
  • Patent number: 6626116
    Abstract: A toy racing car or other vehicle for operating on conventional track of a given scale a comprises a sub body, including a chassis, motor and gear set, pickup shoes and drive wheels, and a visible body of much larger scale, with large scale rear drive wheels. In one embodiment, the body is pivoted to the sub body, so as to swing outwardly in turns, simulating a broadsliding race car; large scale front wheels are carried by the sub body, so as to simulate countersteering. A toy motorcycle similarly comprises a sub body and modeled motorcycle components; the front wheel and fork of the motorcycle remain upright in turns, while the rider and frame lean over, simulating a motorcycle leaning in a turn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Inventors: Leonard R. Clark, Jr., H. Peter Greene
  • Patent number: 6601774
    Abstract: A toy track system that is economical, expandable and portable. The toy track system includes a track section having one or more track lanes, a first side member, and a second side member, wherein the second side member catchably receives the first side member for allowing side-to-side attachment of a plurality of track sections. The second side member has a slot with an inner channel that snugly receives a T-shaped extension from the first side member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2003
    Inventor: Mark P. Kasimoff
  • Patent number: 6508179
    Abstract: A play set for use with unpowered (e.g. {fraction (1/64)} scale) toy vehicles having non-steerable, free rotating wheels includes a closed loop track with a conveyor that raises such unpowered toy vehicles from a lower end to an upper, elevated end and a driven, tilting roadway that randomly directs toy vehicles from the upper level to either of two track branches. At least part of each track branch can be opened to release a toy vehicle from the track. A merge track section joins together a lower level end of each of the two track branches and leads to the lower end of the conveyor. The upper end of the conveyor and the tilting roadway are simultaneously supported by a single and driven by a single motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2003
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Annis, Daniel Gleason, Trevor J. Hayes, Robert A. Butkiewicz, Julian R. Payne, Jeremy S. Robotham, Francis Ponton
  • Patent number: 6456904
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for winning a race without exceeding a maximum performance of a car, whereby maximum performance is based upon consecutive prior races. The method is comprised of determining an optimal distance by which a first car having a first performance should trail a second car having a second performance at a predetermined distance of 66 feet from a finish line on a race track having a fixed distance of 1320 feet whereby a racer uses optimal distance during a race to influence his or her rate of speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2002
    Inventor: Robert Gay
  • Patent number: 6354223
    Abstract: Passenger boats are mounted on an undercarriage assembly that includes rail-mounted centering wheels. The passenger boats are accelerated by linear induction drive motors mounted on a guide rail structure. Thrust is applied to the racing boats by magnetically conductive reaction plates that are attached to the undercarriage assembly and are movable through linear flux slots formed in the induction stators of the linear induction motors. The submerged guide track structure is arranged in various closed loop courses, including “Figure-Eight,” an hour-glass, serpentine and oval patterns, as well as parallel guide track structures that extend between a launch station and a return station. A dual “Figure-Eight” watercourse includes a simulated jump ramp and an underground tunnel arrangement. In the continuous loop guide structure, two or more boats are launched and separation is maintained by a safety block arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Inventor: Errol W. McKoy
  • Publication number: 20010029865
    Abstract: A toy racing car or other vehicle for operating on conventional track of a given scale a comprises a sub body, including a chassis, motor and gear set, pickup shoes and drive wheels, and a visible body of much larger scale, with large scale rear drive wheels. In one embodiment, the body is pivoted to the sub body, so as to swing outwardly in turns, simulating a broadsliding race car; large scale front wheels are carried by the sub body, so as to simulate countersteering. A toy motorcycle similarly comprises a sub body and modeled motorcycle components; the front wheel and fork of the motorcycle remain upright in turns, while the rider and frame lean over, simulating a motorcycle leaning in a turn.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2000
    Publication date: October 18, 2001
    Inventors: Leonard R. Clark, Peter H. Greene
  • Patent number: 6227120
    Abstract: An amusement ride vehicle capable of generating a natural “wheelie” motion with minimal acceleration is provided. Air springs are used to balance the vehicle about a predetermined center of gravity after passenger loading. The amount of balancing required is minimized by using a link, such as a pivoting control arm, to connect the front wheels of the vehicle to the front end of the chassis, thus enabling the chassis to be automatically balanced independent of the weight of the front wheels, without the need for computer control. Upon acceleration of as little as 0.5 Gs in a forward direction, the front end of the chassis rises smoothly and naturally into a upward arc while the front wheels remain engaged with the trackway. The amount of upward movement is limited by the length of the control arms, and can be further limited using stops, such as jounce and rebound bumpers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Edward Bray Fritz
  • Patent number: 6173654
    Abstract: A toy racing car track system includes track sections with electrical power supply rails and connected end-to-end to form at least one lane for an electric toy car. The lane includes a gap having front and rear ends and a carriage supported for movement across the gap to convey the car across the gap under the momentum of the car and subsequently returning upon the car leaving the carriage. A retainer on the carriage retains the car in transit. A resetter resets the retainer. The gap is inclined at a small angle upwards in order for the carriage to return to by gravitational force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2001
    Assignee: Artin Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kam Fai Ngai
  • Patent number: 6170402
    Abstract: A dueling or racing roller coaster ride has tracks which approach or cross over each other at near miss locations. A controller system controls the timing of launch of a roller coaster vehicle on each track to better achieve consistent simultaneous arrival of the roller coaster vehicles at the near miss locations, to provide increased thrills and excitement to the riders. The control system determines the loaded vehicle weight via current draw on the track side vehicle motors. The control system generates a vehicle performance parameter, based on past vehicle speed over the track, to compensate for roller resistance and aerodynamic factors. The vehicle weight information and performance parameters are used to determine which vehicle to launch first, and the amount of delay between launching the vehicle on the first track and launching the vehicle on the second track, to better achieve simultaneous arrival at one or more locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2001
    Assignee: Universal City Studios, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory J. Rude, Peter D. Jelf
  • Patent number: 6155176
    Abstract: A racing-type amusement ride utilizes a self-propelled vehicle which has guide wheels to move along a track having a beginning end, a finish end, a first lateral side, a second lateral side, a top, a rail along which a guide wheel of the self-propelled vehicle runs situated on the top of the track, and attached to at least one lateral side of said track between the beginning end of the track and the finish end of the track a frictional strip. Deceleration of the self-propelled vehicle is accomplished by having at least one brake pad so attached to the self-propelled vehicle that such brake pad will come into contact with a frictional strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Inventor: Stanley J. Checketts
  • Patent number: 6122571
    Abstract: A positive-feedback go/no-go control system for an electric-vehicle ride (10) at an amusement park reliably communicates motion commands, vehicle-presence signals, and vehicle-status signals in the presence of high electrical noise and does so without the addition of expensive add-on equipment. The railway electric-vehicle ride includes an outbus (16) and an inbus (18) running along a railway (14). The positive-feedback go/no-go control system comprises a wayside control board (22) that provides a bipolar pulse-width-modulated command signal (26) to the outbus. A control circuit (24) onboard the electric vehicle receives the bipolar pulse-width-modulated command signal, amplitude modulates it at different frequencies that represent the electric vehicle's intended action, and provides the processed bipolar pulse-width-modulated command signal (30, 32) to the inbus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Walt Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Jody D. Gerstner, Kenneth S. Gold, Kevin L. Fenno
  • Patent number: 6044767
    Abstract: An improved track and vehicle system are provided for model electric vehicles. The track system includes a number of interconnectable panels having alternate portions of negative and positive polarity conductor strips defined on a top surface thereof. The conductive strips are separated by non-conductive portions. Each of the panels includes electrical and mechanical interlocking devices carried on each side thereof so that any one panel can have additional panels connected on each of its sides. The vehicles include a unique arrangement of contacts carried on a linkage underneath of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle remains at all times in contact with the conductors, regardless of the direction of movement of the vehicle from the surface of the panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Inventors: David Allan Myus, Charles Weaver Weisel, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5974977
    Abstract: A magnetic propulsion toy system is provided having a track (11), a boost station (12) and a car (14) made of magnetic material. The boost station has control circuit (18) with a battery (19), a wire coil (21), a capacitor (22), a manual triggering switch (24), an automatic triggering switch (27) and a manual delay triggering switch (29). An infrared emitter/detector (28) is coupled to the automatic triggering switch and manual delay triggering switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Johnson Research & Development Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Lonnie G. Johnson, Yong Su
  • Patent number: 5970882
    Abstract: An interactive slot car game having a multiple lane slot car track for electrically powered slot cars. The trackway has a pit lane which is positioned on the same side of the track for all cars, with a pit position for all cars, with each pit position located on the same side of the pit lane. The game has an intermediate control device which limits the control that the user has over the speed of the slot car, and can be programmed to simulate occurrences such as tire wear or fuel shortages. The intermediate control device limits car speed due to actual occurrences during racing, such as a car in another lane exiting the track, thereby creating and enforcing caution periods, as in auto racing. Light signals and aural signals are generated in response to the game conditions, occurrences during the game, or randomly generated events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Inventors: David Smith, David Brobst
  • Patent number: 5967051
    Abstract: An amusement ride for humans which utilizes at least one vehicle which is to be operatively moved on a track. The vehicle is to be tied to the track so as to prevent separation of the vehicle from the track with this tying to the track being accomplished by a guide blade that is attached to and protrudes from the vehicle which rides within a slot arrangement formed in the track. The track includes a braking area, and within that braking area there are a plurality of braking units located in an in-line sequence. Prior to each braking area, there is a centering rail section which is included within the track. The guide blade has to pass through a centering rail section prior to the entering of each braking unit. The centering rail section includes a through centering slot. The through centering slot narrows in width with the narrowness occurring in the direction of travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Thrilltime Entertainment International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael V. Ragsdale, Michael L. Gutknecht
  • Patent number: 5941173
    Abstract: A unique race track construction for human-driven cars having a first and second linear track which are parallel to each other and in which each linear track has a beginning and an end. A first curvilinear track has a both first end and a second end with the first end being connected to the first linear track at a position between its beginning and end. The first curvilinear track forms a complete loop section adjacent to the first linear track, thereafter extending over the first linear track adjacent to the end of the first linear track and then forms a curved track section which joins with the beginning of one of the first or second linear tracks. Similarly, a second curved linear track has one end connecting to and extending outwardly from the second linear track adjacent its end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Inventor: Carl F. Schier
  • Patent number: 5868076
    Abstract: An improved track and vehicle system are provided for model electric vehicles. The track system includes a number of interconnectable panels having alternate portions of negative and positive polarity conductor strips defined on a top surface thereof. The conductive strips are separated by non-conductive portions. Each of the panels includes electrical and mechanical interlocking devices carried on each side thereof so that any one panel can have additional panels connected on each of its sides. The vehicles include a unique arrangement of contacts carried on a linkage underneath of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle remains at all times in contact with the conductors, regardless of the direction of movement of the vehicle from the surface of the panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Inventors: David Allan Myus, Charles Weaver Weisel, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5813351
    Abstract: A racetrack structure includes several track sections, the track sections are engaged with each other by hinges, therefore the racetrack can be folded for storage. Each of the track sections of the racetrack structure has PC boards provided at two ends thereof, thereby forming an electrical loop by utilizing the PC boards electrically connected to each other by the hinges. By such arrangement, oxidization of the contact points is low.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Inventor: Yu-Bing Chen
  • Patent number: 5782186
    Abstract: A model vehicle course is laid out along a non-conductive, printable substrate such as a heavy paper or plastic, which is typically, but not necessarily, non-rigid. First and second conductive deposits are made along at least one of the surfaces of the substrate extending, mutually spaced-apart, along the path for each vehicle accommodated by the given layout to supply electrical energization to the vehicle as it traverses the course. In one presently preferred embodiment of the invention, the conductive deposits constitute conductive ink layers emplaced by a conventional printing step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1998
    Assignee: Futech Educational Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen I. McTaggart
  • Patent number: 5732635
    Abstract: Cable driven racing boats compete in a simulated race including forward and return heats. In the forward heat, the racing boats are accelerated along parallel guide channels from a forward launch station into a shallow splash lake, and then hydroplane to a forward heat finish line. In the return heat, the racing boats are accelerated through the same guide channels from a return launch station located on the opposite end of the splash lake. Passengers continue to face the reverse launch station as the racing boats plunge into the shallow splash lake and hydroplane to the return heat finish line. The racing boats are stabilized by centering wheels and by guide rollers that travel along the guide channels. The racing boats are clamped onto the drive cables, and the guide rollers are mounted for rotation on tow bars that are pivotally coupled to the drive cables.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1998
    Inventor: Errol W. McKoy
  • Patent number: 5704294
    Abstract: A theme park ride attraction includes a flume path having rafts floating on flowing water. The rafts are elevated and enter into a pipe. First and second pivoting ramps are attached to the pipe and supported by an actuator. As the rafts enter onto the first pivoting ramp, the actuator quickly drops the first ramp down, simulating a waterfall event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: Universal Studios, Inc.
    Inventors: Ted W. Van Winkle, Benjamin Sheldon, Nicholas H. Drobnis, Barry Upson
  • Patent number: 5653171
    Abstract: Disclosed are improved, unpredictably tumbleable capsule structures that are loosely internally provided with weighty rollable spherical ball, whereby such improved capsule is adapted to unpredictably compete with identical tumbleable capsule structures along downwardly-inclined ramps. Such improved tumbleable capsule structures are preferably circularly symmetrical about a directionally longitudinally extending horizontal central-axis and also about a central vertical-plane, and having uniquely ratioed capsule housing and interior rollable sphere interdimensional parameter values. Ancillarily disclosed are improved topically-textured and judicially-inclined racing ramps and ramp starting gates, all devoted toward enhancing unpredictable racing capability for a plurality of identically constructed internally-weighted tumbleable capsule structures along downwardly-extending ramps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 5, 1997
    Inventors: Richard C. LeBron, Shelden P. LeBron, Dickson B. LeBron
  • Patent number: RE35999
    Abstract: An amusement ride for humans which is constructed to include a plurality of separate tracks located in a side-by-side relationship. On each track is located a vehicle, with this vehicle including a propulsion system which is activated and controlled by a human operator located within the vehicle. The vehicle is mounted in conjunction with a track which keeps each vehicle confined to its particular track and permits the vehicle to move between a Start position and Finish position on the track. Associated with each track is an automatic brake system to stop the vehicle. Each track is composed of a plurality of separate guide rail sections which are located in a spaced apart arrangement with the separate guide rail sections being mounted in an in-line manner within the track. A guide blade is mounted on each vehicle and is to connect with each of these guide rail sections as the vehicle moves along the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: Thrilltime Entertainment International, Inc.
    Inventor: Leroy H. Gutknecht