Spring Patents (Class 124/7)
  • Patent number: 10603568
    Abstract: A projectile launching machine includes a base having a front end and a rear end, a front leg assembly coupled to the front end and an upper end, distal from the lower end. A throwing arm is coupled to the upper end of the front leg assembly at a pivot. The throwing arm has a biased end extending from the pivot and a ball end distal from the biased end. The throwing arm is movable between a locked position and a throw position. A biasing member is connected to the biased end and a second biasing member end is movably coupled to the front leg assembly. An arm release mechanism has a first end connected to the front leg assembly and a second end movable between a locking position wherein the throwing arm is in the locked position and a release position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: freebowler, LLC
    Inventors: Pratheek Palanethra, Justin Jacobs, Pranav Modali
  • Patent number: 10502535
    Abstract: A system and method for a modular target. The modular target system has a target coupled to at least one target support. The target support is coupled to a base. The target support has notches on the upper distal end. The modular target system has separate components which can be assembled and disassembled without coupling devices such as bolts, screws, etc. This allows the modular target to be stored in more compact locations and configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Inventor: Ting Sun
  • Patent number: 10504327
    Abstract: A gaming system to be played in real-time to supplement an actual sports game in which participants may strategize to predict the outcome and type of events that unfold in the actual sports game. Each participant is allotted a number of cards or selections which can be used at various times throughout the game to make such predictions. The real-time supplemental gaming system may be played over a variety of media; including, without limitation, board games, phone applications, web applications, and local network devices. Accordingly, a real-time supplemental gaming system is provided to award participants based on strategy rather than chance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Inventor: Kevin Royer
  • Patent number: 10252133
    Abstract: A basketball training apparatus includes a shot completion sensor, a condition sensor, and a computer. The shot completion sensor determines whether a shot goes through a basketball hoop. The condition sensor senses a physical condition of a basketball shooter. The computer is in communication with the shot completion sensor and the condition sensor, and has a processor for calculating shot completion percentage as a function of the physical condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: Airborne Athletics, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Brad Campbell, Jeffrey Jon Campbell
  • Patent number: 10245489
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an automatic batting tee apparatus that includes a ball storage unit for continuously feeding balls therein for batting; a lifting unit for putting the balls discharged from the ball storage unit onto an upper end of a tee rod for T-batting; and a feeding unit disposed between the ball storage unit and the lifting unit. The apparatus can smoothly and quickly feed balls, particularly, baseballs to the lifting unit with the tee rod, using the ball storage unit having a variable internal space and rotary equipment. The automatic batting tee apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention allows for not only batting practice, but fielding practice by a cylinder unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Inventor: Moo Sung Kim
  • Patent number: 9987538
    Abstract: A tossing game includes an apparatus that includes a vertical support body and a support base attached to a bottom end of the vertical support body for supporting the vertical support body in an vertical orientation. The vertical support body includes a plurality of target platforms that include a target surface that is sized and shaped for supporting the bottle once it has been successfully tossed onto one of the target platforms. The invention further includes a method of playing a game utilizing the tossing game apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Inventors: Brent Crosby, Chase M. Crosby
  • Patent number: 9975026
    Abstract: A basketball training apparatus includes a shot completion sensor, a condition sensor, and a computer. The shot completion sensor determines whether a shot goes through a basketball hoop. The condition sensor senses a physical condition of a basketball shooter. The computer is in communication with the shot completion sensor and the condition sensor, and has a processor for calculating shot completion percentage as a function of the physical condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Airborne Athletics, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Brad Campbell, Jeffrey Jon Campbell
  • Patent number: 9914035
    Abstract: A basketball training apparatus includes a shot completion sensor, a condition sensor, and a computer. The shot completion sensor determines whether a shot goes through a basketball hoop. The condition sensor senses a physical condition of a basketball shooter. The computer is in communication with the shot completion sensor and the condition sensor, and has a processor for calculating shot completion percentage as a function of the physical condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: Airborne Athletics, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Brad Campbell, Jeffrey Jon Campbell
  • Patent number: 9808696
    Abstract: A basketball training system includes a ball delivery system in which a basketball is delivered to a ball ready holder located in front of a ball launch mechanism. A launch arm is grabbed and pulled backward against a spring force, and then is released to pivot forward and strike the basketball from the ball ready holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Airborne Athletics, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas B. Campbell, Jeff J. Campbell, Adam T. Pan
  • Patent number: 9683807
    Abstract: A toy projectile and launcher system. The projectile is tubular in shape and lightweight. The projectile has an exterior surface that is symmetrically disposed about an imaginary longitudinal axis. The launcher has a holding trough that receives and holds the tubular projectile. Within the launcher is a spring loaded element. The spring loaded element selectively moves between a cocked position and a released position. The spring loaded element contacts the projectile in the holding trough as the spring loaded element moves from its cocked position to its released position. Contact with the spring loaded element causes the tubular projectile to launch into flight in a direction perpendicular to its longitudinal axis. Simultaneously, contact with the spring loaded element imparts a spinning rotation to the projectile, wherein the projectile spins about its longitudinal axis in flight. The spinning creates a Magnus effect on the projectile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Inventor: L. Taylor Arnold
  • Patent number: 9550537
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a system and method for a link for a track chain in a ground-engaging track system. The link has an elongate link body including a first and a second crown. The elongate link body includes a shoe surface and a rail surface. The shoe surface is configured to contact a track shoe coupled to the elongate link body. The rail surface is opposite the shoe surface and has a first end section, a middle section, and a second end section. The first and second crowns on the rail surface each define a convex portion of the rail surface. The first crown is positioned on the first end section and the second crown is positioned on the second end section. The first and second crowns are configured to delay scallop formation in the rail surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Steiner, Caroline Brewer, Temitope Akinlua, Daniel Knobloch, Donovan Clarke, Timothy Nenne
  • Patent number: 9341110
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine may include a bushing defining an external circumferential diameter and an aperture defining an internal circumferential diameter. A center defined by the external circumferential diameter and a center defined by the internal circumferential diameter are offset with respect to one another. The internal circumferential diameter is operably coupled to a crankpin, and the external circumferential diameter is operably coupled to a connecting rod, thereby operably coupling the connecting rod to the crankpin. The engine may further include a bushing control assembly, wherein the bushing control assembly is configured to delay initiation of a power stroke of the engine until a crankshaft of the engine has rotated at least about 15 degrees beyond a first stroke termination angle of a compression stroke of the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: WILKINS IP, LLC
    Inventor: Larry C. Wilkins
  • Patent number: 9067119
    Abstract: A ball launcher includes a base and a thrower arm defining a ball cradle. An arm holder is disposed on the base and pivotally supports the thrower arm about a first axis of rotation, the thrower arm spring biased about the first axis of rotation. A rotating shaft defines a second axis of rotation substantially parallel to the fore-aft axis. A ball loader is coupled to the rotating shaft for common rotation about the second axis of rotation, the ball loader defining a ball receptacle. A loader arm is releasably connected to the rotating shaft for common rotation about the second axis of rotation. The loader arm defines a longitudinal axis substantially perpendicular to the second axis of rotation of the rotating shaft and has a length extending away from the rotating shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Inventors: Kelly Andrew Vaught, Christopher Gene Braniecki
  • Patent number: 9004055
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a device for delivering targets (2) comprising at least one column (4) for storing targets (2) capable of receiving a first target (11) at the lowest point of the column (4) and at least a second target (12) stacked on the first target (11), means for delivering the first target (11), and retention means for retaining the second target (12) in the column (4), characterized in that the retention means for retaining comprise a ramp (21) configured to exert a bearing force on the lower face of the second target (12) during the delivery of the first target (11). This invention also relates to a machine for launching targets (2) equipped with a device and a method for distributing the targets (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Laporte Holding (SAS)
    Inventors: Jean-Michel Laporte, Jean-Marc Fouques
  • Patent number: 8899216
    Abstract: A machine for launching disk-shaped targets has two faces located on each side of an edge. The machine includes means for loading a target into a launch area, an arm for launching the target placed in the launch area and a surface guiding the target by means of contact with at least one of the aforementioned faces thereof. The guiding surface has at least one portion wherein the areas that come into contact with the face of the target are not continuous. The machine is particularly suitable for shooting practice, such as archery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: LaPorte Holding
    Inventors: Jean-Michel Laporte, Jean-Marc Fouques
  • Publication number: 20140311470
    Abstract: Throwing devices are described. In one embodiment, a throwing device includes a spring-actuated throwing arm wherein a cup member is disposed at an end of the throwing arm and is adapted to allow a user to pick up an object to be thrown by the throwing device without touching the object. In another embodiment, a throwing device includes a tension adjustment member, by which a user can adjust the tension applied to the launching spring, thereby adjusting the launch range of the throwing device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 22, 2014
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventor: Roger SIEVERS
  • Patent number: 8677983
    Abstract: A clay target trap machine including a clay target throwing machine (1) and associated target hopper or magazine (2) mounted on a base, the base being mounted on a carriage (8) movable automatically on rails (12) and able to throw clay targets from more than one position and at a number of different firing angles and heights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Canterbury Trap International Limited
    Inventors: Graham Charles Callander, John Richard East, Michael Henry Owens, Bruce Gerald Rickard
  • Publication number: 20130333679
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a pitching machine comprising a ball path having ball entry point and a ball exit point; a pitching arm rotatably attached to the frame comprising a first end and a second end having an arcuate hand wherein the pitching arm rotates the pitching hand; and an elastic strap connected to a first end of the pitching arm and connected to the frame wherein the elastic strap activates the pitching and wherein the pitching arm is manually rotated to a first position defined by a stop such that a ball inserted at the entry point to the ball path will interact with the pitching arm and wherein the elastic strap biases the pitching arm from the first position to the second position propelling the ball along the ball path toward the ball exit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventor: Wayne L. Kroll
  • Publication number: 20130312723
    Abstract: A rotary wheel for a ball pitching machine includes a wheel body and a resilient member engaged on an outer periphery of the wheel body. A shaft hole is provided in the wheel body for receiving a shaft of a motor of the ball pitching machine. The wheel body includes a spring portion arranged between the shaft hole and the outer periphery of the wheel body in a radial direction and including first and second bending portions both of which protrude from two sides of the wheel body respectively. When the rotary wheel is driven to turn by the motor, a frictional force of contact of the resilient member with a ball makes the ball shot outwardly, and the rotary wheel is not broken or damaged due to the spring portion compressed in the radial direction to absorb the impact energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2012
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Inventor: Sheng-Hsiao Lu
  • Patent number: 8585407
    Abstract: A backlash vibration mechanism used in a toy gun and arranged above a piston-cylinder mechanism is disclosed, having a weight inserted through a disarm mechanism, a reaction spring adapted for returning the weight after the weight having been moved backwards and a brake unit arranged at the front side relative to the disarm mechanism and adapted for pushing the disarm mechanism backwards to simulate the action of the disarm mechanism of a real gun when producing a backlash vibration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Inventor: Shih-Che Hu
  • Patent number: 8381709
    Abstract: A pitching machine for pitching a ball to a batter positioned in a first batting location. The pitching machine including a frame, a drive assembly coupled to the frame, a pitching arm and a lead timing arm. The pitching arm is coupled to drive assembly and rotatable in a first direction about a first axis. The pitching arm includes a forward side configured to contact and project the ball during a portion of the rotation of the pitching arm about the first axis. The pitching arm is configured to project the ball at least a first ball release position with respect to the first axis. The lead timing arm includes a marker. The lead timing arm is coupled to the pitching arm such that the marker is visible to the batter positioned in the first batting location prior to the pitching arm reaching the first ball release position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
    Inventors: William R. Woessner, David B. Andrews, Timothy D. Greene, Jose L. Lopez
  • Publication number: 20120312286
    Abstract: Embodiments relate to a ball throwing device, including a base, a vertical support in contact with the base, a flexible component and a ball-supporting head configured to hold a ball. When a user pulls back on one or more of the ball, ball-supporting head or flexible component and then releases, the ball is projected.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Inventor: Keith KILIAN
  • Patent number: 8276573
    Abstract: A circuit module for preventing component failure in portable target throwing machines, the circuit module comprising a microcontroller coupled to a power source and a motor, wherein the microcontroller is configured to count a number of clay target throwing cycles and a run time of the motor. The circuit module also comprises a relay coupled to the microcontroller and the motor, wherein the relay is configured to open and interrupt power supply to the motor when at least one of the number of clay target throwing cycles and the run time of the motor exceeds a predetermined threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Electro-Pro, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel G. Skell, Frederick Kruschka, Thomas D. Tagliapietra, Brent Munsall
  • Patent number: 8261729
    Abstract: A shuttlecock launching apparatus which comprises a storage for shuttlecocks, first and second launching wheels, a transfer assembly for transferring a single shuttlecock from the storage to the launching wheels, the transfer assembly being controlled by a cam wheel and cam follower which causes and guides the horizontal movement of the transfer assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Inventors: Ivan Laszlo, Herman Fischer
  • Patent number: 7901305
    Abstract: A catching machine 5 that enables a pitcher to pitch a ball toward a predetermined target includes a ball collecting portion 20 for catching a ball pitched toward the target 11 and a ball returning portion 30 for returning the ball caught by the ball collecting portion 20 to the pitcher. The ball returning portion 30 includes a ball-return-distance setting device 32 for changeably setting a ball return distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Inventor: Kohachiro Maeda
  • Patent number: 7895995
    Abstract: The combination of a toy and launcher member for use in providing chase activities for pets, the toy being toroidally shaped and propelled by a whipping stroke of an elongated launch member having a gripper at one end which is engaged with a segment of the perimeter of the toy. A whipping stroke of the launcher causes release of the toy from the gripper which propels the toy away at high speed, with a top spin imparted thereto which causes the toy to roll and bounce for a great distances along the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Inventor: David F. Simon
  • Patent number: 7861699
    Abstract: A ball tossing apparatus includes a support frame and a plurality of launch devices fixed to the support frame and arranged in a two-dimensional array. The launch devices include cylinders having a spring fixed therein, with a ball carrier fixed to the spring. The balls are retained in a loaded position (springs compressed) and then upon activation of the launch devices are launched vertically into the air to the sports player. In another embodiment, the launch devices include a rotating lever which is acted on by a biasing member to launch the ball vertically from the cylinder. A method for launching the balls includes the steps of loading the balls into a two dimensional array, and then launching the balls according to a launch sequence. An electronic control system for use with the ball tossing apparatus includes a launch module for launching the loaded balls in the plurality of launch devices according to a launch sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: Garza and Gowan Sports Equipment
    Inventors: Carl W. Gowan, Guillermo A. Garza
  • Publication number: 20100307470
    Abstract: A ball projecting and training apparatus and method of use having a base, a throwing arm, an adjustable ball mount on said throwing arm, and one or more energy storage elements connected between an end of the throwing arm and an accelerator. The ball mount pivots in a direction parallel with, perpendicular to, or a combination thereof relative to the throwing arm and also locks to provide repeatable trajectories and spins. The accelerator provides additional energy to the ball when depressed by a user. A release holds the throwing arm when the apparatus is cocked and allows a user to launch a ball when desired.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2010
    Publication date: December 9, 2010
    Inventor: Shane P. Mihaljevic
  • Patent number: 7806788
    Abstract: A pitching machine contains a pitching arm that vertically rotates at a speed of about 5 to 15 rpm, picks up a ball from the ball cradle at a pick-up point in its rotation, and then releases the ball at a release point in its rotation to provide a first velocity component to the ball. The pitching machine also contains a wheel that vertically rotates at a speed of about 300 to 3000 rpm. The wheel is positioned at the release point of the pitching arm to provide a second velocity component to the ball and to pitch the ball at an initial launch angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Inventor: Daniel R. Neuman
  • Patent number: 7637255
    Abstract: A target launcher, as well as a target launcher system and set having versatile mounting configurations, for launching practice targets such as archery targets and “clay pigeons” for skeet shooting. A target launcher includes a pair of spaced-apart triangular frame members, each of which has a nominally vertical mounting leg. A target throwing arm pivots between a cocked position and a throwing position. Vehicle mount and ground stand configurations are disclosed. Disclosed configurations employ from one to six target launchers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Inventor: John P. Freeland
  • Patent number: 7628147
    Abstract: An apparatus for underhand tossing of a ball includes a cabinet with a hollow tossing arm pivotally coupled thereto. A mechanism is provided to dispense a single ball at a time from a supply of balls into the hollow tossing arm. A spring is affixed at one end to the hollow tossing arm and affixed at a distal end to the cabinet at a point forward of the hollow tossing arm. A machine is provided for pulling a distal end of the hollow tossing arm toward a back end of the cabinet and releasing the hollow tossing arm such that the distal end of the hollow tossing arm swings forward, releasing the ball at a point at which the hollow tossing arm hits a stop peg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Inventor: Robert M. Estalella
  • Patent number: 7438068
    Abstract: An interactive catapult training device is provided for teaching and demonstrating the principles of problem solving using tools and techniques of applied statistics, Six Sigma, lean manufacturing and other process excellence techniques. The device includes a base and a hub fixed to a position with respect to the base and removable from the base. A swing arm is coupled to and rotatable about the hub from a first angle to a second angle, the swing arm being removable from the hub. A cup is fixed to a position with respect to the swing arm and adapted to receive a projectile, the cup being removable from the swing arm. A spring is coupled between a first coupling point fixed with respect to the base and a second coupling point on the swing arm. The spring provides tension for setting the swing arm in motion from the first angle to the second angle. The spring can be removable from the first and second coupling points.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Inventor: Srikanth R. Nanguneri
  • Patent number: 7415976
    Abstract: A pitching apparatus includes a support base and an upright attached to the support base. A ball support with a power section is attached to the upright. A cocking arm is attached to the upright and a release handle is attached to the cocking arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Inventor: Richard O. Powell
  • Publication number: 20070232419
    Abstract: A fungo batting assisting machine having a frame; a cradle mounted upon the frame, the cradle having a ball percussion port; a hammer; a first pivot joint interconnecting the hammer and the frame so that the hammer may move between a spring energy position underlying the ball percussion port and a ball driving position overlying the spring energy position; a ball driving spring normally positioning the hammer between its spring energy and ball driving positions; a trip arm extending from the hammer; a pawl arm; a second pivot joint interconnecting the pawl arm and the frame so that the a pawl arm may move between a trip arm carrying position and a trip arm releasing position; and an actuation lever extending from the pawl arm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2006
    Publication date: October 4, 2007
    Inventor: Marcus Kosjer
  • Patent number: 7114465
    Abstract: A pet operated ball thrower including a base, a fulcrum post attached at its lower end to the base, a throw arm pivotally attached to the upper end of the fulcrum post, a ball receiving receptacle attached to the throw arm adjacent its outer end, a treadle pivotally attached at its lower end to the base, and an attachment member pivotally attached at its lower end to the treadle and pivotally attached at its upper end to the throw arm. A pet is trained to jump on the treadle to cause the outer end of the throw arm and attached ball receiving receptacle to be rapidly moved upwardly, thereby tossing the ball from the receptacle into the air for retrieval. The pet is trained to replace the retrieved ball into the receptacle, thereby allowing repeated tossing and retrieving of the ball by the pet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Inventor: Dana S. Winter
  • Patent number: 7066846
    Abstract: A portable football and soccer kicking training aid which holds and kicks a football or soccer ball in a trajectory, and with a force, simulating a ball kicked by a trained player. The training device is used by coaches in controlled practice sessions, to train and evaluate defensive and offensive lines and backs, and other players, in their response to kicked balls. The device provides repeated, reproducible kicked balls without requiring trained kickers to perform these routine functions or exposing them to injury. Optional, replaceable kicking shoes and other components provide alternate trajectories and forces. The device is readily portable and does not require fuel or connection to a power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Inventor: Noel P. Horkan
  • Patent number: 6889678
    Abstract: A catapult device for hurling objects towards a target includes a support structure and a pivot bracket pivotally mounted on the support structure and provided with a bearing arrangement. A lever arm is pivotally connected to the support structure and is engageable with the pivot bracket. A spring-biased motion translation arrangement is coupled to the lever arm and is engageable with the bearing arrangement on the pivot bracket. A pivot arm is pivotally secured to the support structure and the motion translation arrangement. The pivot arm is provided with a receiver for holding an object to be hurled. Pivotal movement of the lever arm develops a spring force in the motion translation arrangement and enables the pivot bracket to pivot such that the motion translation arrangement moves along the bearing arrangement, and releases the spring force causing the pivot arm to swing and hurl the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Inventor: J. Richard Oltmann
  • Patent number: 6877499
    Abstract: An apparatus for throwing an object is mechanically operated and utilizes spring tension to throw an object from a tube which is connected to the spring. The apparatus comprises a base, a frame, apparatus utilized for maintaining the frame at an operating position, a tube and at least one spring. An operator inserts an object to be thrown into the tube, manually moves the tube to a preselected cocked position against spring tension and then releases the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2005
    Assignee: Sports Vision, Inc.
    Inventor: Gary D. Otto
  • Patent number: 6718961
    Abstract: A football launcher and the method of using same, such that a player can practice receiving a hiked football without the need of another player being present. The football launcher has two triangular base members that support a mounting shaft between them. A pivot arm is rotatably mounted on the mounting shaft by means of an annular sleeve affixed to a point off center on the underside of the pivot arm. There is a fixed collar on each side of the sleeve to maintain the sleeve and therewith the pivot arm in a centered position on the mounting shaft. A football cradle is attached to the long end of the pivot arm and a step plate is attached to the short end. The football cradle is shaped to hold the football and release it in a straight line when the football launcher is activated. Activation is accomplished when the user steps on the step plate causing the football to be propelled in a low arc straight toward the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Inventors: Ronald J. Woods, Nicholas Fayo
  • Patent number: 6715478
    Abstract: A ball pitching machine utilizes a leaf spring coupled by linkage to a ball pitching arm. The flexion of the spring can be adjusted by varying the time of operation of a motor driven spring flexion assembly. Upon the selectable spring flexion being achieved, the user then energizes a ball pitching arm for rotation of the arm through a rest position, a ball pick up position and then to a ball release position. During arm rotation, the arm is first coupled to the spring by a linkage assembly such that further rotation of the arm causes the stored energy in the spring to be released to the arm at a position to effect the ball trajectory. The ball trajectory compensates for the various ball speeds so that the ball penetrates the batter's strike zone. This energy transfer accelerates rotation of the arm to a ball release position, the speed of the ball, as perceived by the batter, corresponding in part to the spring flexion and/or ball trajectory as selected by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Inventor: Steven R. Tanner
  • Patent number: 6644292
    Abstract: A catapult device for a catapult game, including a projectile-throwing mechanism, and a projectile catch member. The projectile release angle of the mechanism, and the projectile throw force of the mechanism are adjustable. The throwing mechanism is automatically released upon the impact with sufficient force of a projectile on the projectile catch member. Also disclosed is a game system and a game playing method using a number of such devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: HandsonToys, Inc.
    Inventor: Arthur Ganson
  • Patent number: 6616555
    Abstract: In an athletic ball server, a collapsible tripod supports an elongated inclined tray containing a linear array of balls. A gate at the low end of the tray cyclically releases balls one at a time from the array to gravity. One edge of a trampoline is pivoted on the tripod. The central portion of the trampoline is aligned to bounce a ball released from the tray. An eye-bolt is connected between the tripod and the trampoline allowing the angular position of the trampoline to be varied. By adjusting the eye-bolt, it is possible to achieve any desired trajectory of the bounced ball from a pop-up or slow pitch trajectory to a ground ball trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Inventor: Carl Dwain Bewley
  • Patent number: 6546923
    Abstract: A ball launching apparatus is described in which a main frame mounts a ball support sub-frame for adjustable positioning about an axis. A ball carrier is provided on the ball support sub-frame at a radial distance from the adjustment axis. A ball striker arm with a striker pad is mounted for pivotal motion about the axis and moves in a swing path intersecting the ball carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Inventor: Erven D. Erickson
  • Patent number: 6505617
    Abstract: A ball pitching machine of the windmill type simulates the pitching motion of a human pitcher. The machine includes: (a) a rotating plate which rotates vertically 360° at a constant speed about an axis; (b) a pitching arm having a ball holder at a distal end and being pivotably connected to the rotating plate at a proximate end, the pitching arm adapted to rotate vertically about an arc of between about 100 and 300° at a high speed and to rotate about the remaining arc at the speed of the rotating plate; and (c) a flip lever pivotably connected to the pitching arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: Mantiff Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel R. Neuman
  • Patent number: 6343597
    Abstract: A toy catapult includes a frame and an elongate arm. One end of the arm includes a wheel that is rotatable on an axis defined by a bar of the frame. The other end of the arm includes a ball holder. An aim-protection member is also circumferentially attached to the aim near its middle. The frame includes dual block members, each having a post member extending vertically from it, and a stop member positioned between the post members. Interposing the block members is a lever arm with a wheel-engagement member for holding the arm in tensed, or cocked position. Tension is caused by a flexible bias member which attaches to the arm and to a hook positioned on the frame and located forward of the wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Inventor: Michael D. Spikes
  • Patent number: 6182648
    Abstract: A portable tennis net post-supported tennis ball-throwing device including an elongated support member with a U-shaped clamp for attaching the support member in an upright orientation to an upright tennis net support post. An elongated rigid throwing rod is pivotally connected at one end portion thereof to the support member by a pivotal connection therebetween. An elongated elastic actuator member is connected to and extends between the support member and the throwing rod at respective positions on the support member and the throwing rod spaced from the pivotal connection. A tennis ball holding member is connected adjacent a distal end of the throwing rod and opens toward the support member to receive a tennis ball placed therein. A resilient stop member is connected to the support member to make contact with the throwing rod as it accelerates toward a final position thereof by the stretched actuator member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Inventor: Charles G. Lundgren
  • Patent number: 6129076
    Abstract: A throwing apparatus and method (10) having a base (12), an arm axle mount (14), a throwing arm (16), a release handle (18), and a power section (20). Throwing arm (16) is rotatably connected by means of axle (46) near the bottom (28) of throwing arm (16) to arm axle mount (14). Arm axle mount (14) is located near the front (22) of base (12). The bottom (28) of throwing arm (16) is connected to one end (48) of power section (20). The other end (50) of power section (20) is connected to one of a number of speed adjustment connection locations (52) in base (12). Release handle (18) is movably connected near the back (24) of base (12) and includes release block (62). When the top (26) of throwing arm (16) is pulled in the rearward position towards the back (24) of base (12), release block (62) is pressed by release handle (18) over the top (26) of throwing arm (16) thereby holding throwing arm (16) in the rearward cocked position. An object to be thrown (78) is placed in the "V" shaped form of throwing arm (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Inventors: Richard O. Powell, Bert L. Powell, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6026796
    Abstract: A target or rabbit launcher apparatus for firearm shooting exercise comprises a motor (2), a reducer (3) which actuates by a pendular movement of about 180.degree. an arming rod (4, 5) integral with one or a plurality of arming plates (6, 7). Each arming plate (6, 7) acts, through an arming trigger (8, 9), on an ejection arm (18, 19) by winding up an ejection spring; a locking stud controlled by an electromagnetic unit releases or locks each ejection arm (18, 19) in order to control the shooting; each ejection arm (18, 19) has its shooting rotation axis coaxial with the rotation axis of the arming rod (4, 5) integral with the reducer; the invention applies particularly to the launching of targets of the "rabbit" type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: Laporte Ball Trap S.A.
    Inventors: Jean Michel LaPorte, Paul Panara
  • Patent number: 5975527
    Abstract: In a baseball, softball tennis practice ball throwing machine having a spring actuated pivot arm having a ball impact element at a free end thereof and biasing spring elements at its pivot end. A hand crank is attached to a pivot shaft for rotating the arm against the bias of the spring elements. A ball support station is provided to support a ball in the path of the ball impact element to be impacted and projected a distance by the arm as it rapidly rotate about the pivot shaft when under the influence of the biasing spring elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Inventor: David A Winchester
  • Patent number: 5660386
    Abstract: An inexpensive, uncomplicated ball throwing apparatus to huff balls for hitting and fielding which includes a frame having a front end and a back end supported by a base. The frame has a firing bar hingeably attached to the frame. A pitching armature having a cup end, a hinged mid-point and an elastic band end is coaxially connected to the firing bar at the pivot hinge. A latching mechanism automatically releases the pitching armature at a firing point and includes a latch that attaches the pitching armature to the firing bar. An elastic firing band connects the elastic band end of the pitching armature and the back end of the frame. A latch release cord connects the latch to the front end of the frame and disengages the latching mechanism to release the pitching armature when the firing bar is pulled to a firing point thereby causing the elastic firing band to force the pitching bar to pivot about the pivot hinge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Inventor: George Krieger