Universally Pivoted Handle Patents (Class 200/6A)
  • Patent number: 6162999
    Abstract: A multi-directional operating switch for use in various kinds of electronic equipment, and the switch comprises: an insulation substrate employing a plurality of stationary contacts on an upper surface thereof; an elastic contactor body disposed on the insulation substrate and having a plurality of domed portions, which is provided with movable contacts each confronting with the stationary contacts, on a lower surface at a center and outer periphery, and one of the domed portions at the center further having a hole in an upper surface; a manipulation body of which a tip of protuberant part at a lower center surface is press-fitted into the hole in the upper surface of the domed portion at the center of the elastic contactor body, and having a plurality of depressing limbs around the lower peripheral surface for depressing the domed portions at the outer periphery of the elastic contactor body when being tilted; and a case having an opening for a center area of the manipulation body to pass through, and for co
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takayuki Ishikawa, Isao Nozoe
  • Patent number: 6160225
    Abstract: Disclosed is a multidirectional inputting apparatus which can provide a positive switching operation and which is suitable for a reduction in size. In the multidirectional inputting apparatus, a first fixed contact and a common contact are provided on the inner bottom surface of a housing, and a first movable contact plate placed on the common contact and the first fixed contact form an second switch. An operating lever is tiltably held in the housing, and the operating lever is spline-coupled to a driver onto which a second movable contact plate is fixed. A cover is placed on an upper open end of the housing, and a plurality of fixed contacts are arranged on the bottom surface of the cover in the circumferential direction at predetermined intervals. A conductive coil spring is provided between the common contact and the second movable contact plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Assignee: Alp Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Sinzi Isikawa
  • Patent number: 6153837
    Abstract: A control unit for setting operating functions and operating parameters in an electrical household appliance includes a control knob retained on a control area. The control knob can be rotated about a knob axis for setting the operating parameters of, for example, a heating level. In order to simplify operation of the control unit, the control knob can be tilted or pushed out of an initial position or knob axis, into a selection position in order to select a specific operating function, for example a specific cooking position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: BSH Bosch und Siemens Haushaltsgeraete GmbH
    Inventors: Jose Andres Garcia, Joachim Reichard, Felicitas Ziegler, Manfred Plankl, Hans Lappat, Armin Sigmund, Bernd Stitzl, Michael Wagner, Kurt Knebel, Klaus Erdmann, Hans Linde, Uwe Neumann, Andreas Rehklau
  • Patent number: 6150919
    Abstract: In the multi-way input device of the present invention, pivot shaft portions of an operating shaft and engaging portions of a second interlocking member are engaged with each other by snap-fitting to support the operating shaft in the second interlocking member. Thus, the operating shaft can be supported in the second interlocking member easily even by manual operation without requiring any special jig or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., LTD
    Inventor: Hisato Shimomura
  • Patent number: 6137475
    Abstract: A pointing device for controlling the positioning, movement and operation of a cursor on the display screen. Specifically, the device has a base with an end of a shaft mounted therein. Resistors and conductive pads are mounted on the base. A cable is provided with several electrical conductors and an interposer is mounted between the cable and the base for electrically connecting the resistors and the pads to the conductors. The interposer provides an electrical path between the resistors and the conductors. The interposer can be a conductive film adhesive or a pressure sensitive adhesive having vias filled with a conductive epoxy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: CTS Corporation
    Inventors: Steven N. Ginn, James N. Hufford, John Zdanys, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6124555
    Abstract: Disclosed is a multiple-operation electric component in which a rotary electric component is incorporated on the outside of a multi-direction switch, and which is suitable for a reduction in height. In the multiple-operation electric component, a driver having a second movable contact plate as an engagement member is spline-connected to an operating lever of the multi-direction switch, and a plurality of projections are formed on the outer periphery of the second movable contact plate at predetermined intervals. An operating ring of a rotary switch is rotatably arranged on the outside of the operating lever, and a plurality of cutouts are formed on the inner peripheral surface of the operating ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2000
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Sinzi Isikawa
  • Patent number: 6118086
    Abstract: A multi-directional input device, in which a spacer member is interposed between a moving contact plate and a cover which is an upper member, forming a clearance between the cover and the moving contact is provided. The moving contact plate is held apart from the stationary contact and accordingly the tilting switch is held OFF during normal operation. Therefore, if the operating lever is operated slightly obliquely, the moving contact plate will not come into contact with the stationary contact because of presence of the spacer member, thereby holding the tilting switch OFF.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Sinzi Isikawa
  • Patent number: 6101893
    Abstract: A multidimensional handle controlled without displacement is used for precisely positioned control and input. The actuating rod is selectively and simultaneously subjected to lateral pressure and to bending by a surrounding fist. The third dimension is controlled without displacement by the thumb, which acts on an additional sensor lever.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Inventor: Gerhard Wergen
  • Patent number: 6096985
    Abstract: A button assembly has at least one button that can selectively actuate one or more microswitches mounted to a printed circuit board in response to a biasing force. The at least one button is coupled to a plate comprising a loading member. The loading member is in contact with a housing. The housing has a plurality of latches which engage the printed circuit board, holding the button assembly together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Licensing S.A.
    Inventors: Darin Bradley Ritter, Michel Alain Cadio, William Hofmann Bose
  • Patent number: 6084189
    Abstract: An electrical switch includes a housing, fixed contact elements fixed with respect to the housing, and movable contact elements movable with respect to the housing. Each of the movable contact elements is positioned directly opposite from a respective fixed contact element. An auxiliary frame is positioned within the housing and has four bearing eyes offset by 90.degree. with respect to each other. Two first pivot pins are offset by 180.degree. with respect to each other and form a first pivot axis. The two first pivot pins are rotatably received by a respective one of a first bearing eye pair of the auxiliary frame. Two second pivot pins are offset by 180.degree. with respect to each other and form a second pivot axis. The two second pivot pins are rotatably received by a respective one of a second bearing eye pair of the auxiliary frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Edgar Menche, Jorg Werda, Silke Gelhausen
  • Patent number: 6080941
    Abstract: A multi-directional key switch assembly comprises first stage switches and second stage switches of different kinds disposed alternately arrayed at 45.degree. on a common circle at angular intervals on a printed-circuit board, a truncated semi-spherical shell shaped rolling member disposed on the board in overlying relation to thee switches, slide members disposed on the undersurface of the semi-spherical shell shaped rolling member in opposition to the corresponding first stage switches, and actuating means disposed in correspondence with the second stage switches. A key top is mounted on the rolling member and has an integral operating stick extending from the undersurface thereof. The operating stick is inserted in a receiving bore formed through the rolling member from the upper surface to the undersurface thereof along the central axis thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Hosiden Corporation
    Inventor: Syuuya Yokobori
  • Patent number: 6078247
    Abstract: In conventional multi-direction input devices, the operating shaft is formed as a cylinder by machining using a lathe or the like, so that the machining takes a lot of time, resulting in a rather high cost.Disclosed is a multi-direction input device in which the operating shaft 14 is formed of a plate material by stamping using a press or the like, so that the operating shaft has a substantially rectangular cross-sectional configuration, where it is possible to produce a large number of operating shafts 14 in a short time and with high dimensional accuracy, therefore achieving a reduction is cost.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hisato Shimomura
  • Patent number: 6069327
    Abstract: A switch device including a case with an open bottom and a holder therein, a first movable contact member secured to the holder and provided with a movable contact section, a bottom plate for covering the open bottom of the case, a slide knob for performing switching operations, a slider joined to the slide knob through a slot formed in the case so as to reciprocate and having a thick-walled section which causes the movable contact section moving vertically as the slider reciprocates, and a printed board inserted into the case and provided with a first fixed contact which comes into contact with the movable contact which moves vertically, whereby electricity is conducted. The switch device makes it possible to minimize sliding at the contact section, so that the contact section does not wear after long use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Ushimaru
  • Patent number: 6064369
    Abstract: A joystick controller sufficiently strong and durable not to easily be broken even when handled somehow roughly, reasonably compact and which can be manufactured with less costs, is provided by composing it of a housing provided thereon with a plurality of potentiometers, a hollow shell bearing born inside the housing rotatably in one direction and which has a first pair of auxiliary arms attached on either side thereof and extending outwardly; an intermediate bearing born inside the shell bearing rotatably in a direction orthogonal to the shell bearing; a joystick attached rockably on the intermediate bearing and extending upwardly of the housing through a first pair of guide slots formed in the shell bearing; a core bearing pivoted inside the intermediate bearing rotatably in a same direction as the intermediate bearing; and a second pair of auxiliary arms attached on the core bearing, extending in a direction orthogonal to the first pair of auxiliary arms through an aperture formed in the intermediate bear
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Sanwa Denshi Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Okabe, Hirokatsu Omori
  • Patent number: 6034336
    Abstract: A knob assembly is utilized for selecting a desired function of electronic appliances. The knob assembly includes a front panel having a circular mounting hole at front thereof, a knob freely moved to a voluntary direction, and a front circuit board having tact switches disposed to be pressed by an operation of the knob. The front panel has a tension holder backwardly projected around the mounting hole. The holder consists of a first group of tension ribs vertically and horizontally located and a second group of tension ribs located between the first group of tension ribs, the first group of tension ribs being provided with a groove, respectively. The knob has a knob handle disclosed from the front panel, a rotational sphere inserted into the tension holder, and a contacting member, the rotational sphere being provided with projections on a periphery surface which are coupled with each groove of the first group of tension ribs. The knob is restored by a restoring fot group of tension ribs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: Daewoo Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jong-Eun Lee
  • Patent number: 6029534
    Abstract: Manually-operated remote-control device, especially hydraulic manipulator, comprising: a body (1) containing at least one moving signal-generating member, controlled by a push-rod (2) projecting above the body (1) and movable by a rocking cam (4) fixed to the top of the body (1); means (5) of rotary articulation, comprising a fixed clevis mount (5a) secured to the body (1) and a moving clevis mount (5b) secured to the cam (4), these clevis mounts (5a, 5b) being coupled together so as to allow the cam (4) to rock with respect to the body (1); a base (6) secured to this cam and supporting an operating handgrip (7); characterized in that the moving clevis mount (5b) of the articulation means, the cam (4) and the base (6) are constructed in the form of a single monobloc component (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Mannesmann Rexroth S.A.
    Inventor: Antonio Fernandez
  • Patent number: 6002351
    Abstract: A joystick device includes a case so that first and second rocking members are respectively supported in a overlapped manner by first and second bearings formed in the case with their first and second elongate holes positioned perpendicular to each other. The operation of the lever inserted through the first and second elongate holes causes tilt movement in at least one of the rocking members so that the movement of the rocking member is supplied as a pulse signal by a detecting device. The lever includes an engaging portion engaged with the rocking member on the upper side, and a spherical portion formed at a position above the same rocking member. The cover has a hole having an inner peripheral edge with which an outer peripheral surface of the spherical portion is contacted so that the lever is operable in every direction. A spring is provided with the case, which acts to press down the rocking member thereby returning the lever to a neutral position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignees: Nintendo Co., Ltd., Hoshiden Corporation
    Inventors: Genyo Takeda, Junji Takamoto, Kazuo Koshima, Masahiko Nakamura, Toshiharu Miyoshi
  • Patent number: 5969520
    Abstract: A joystick mechanism includes a housing, a substantially spherical magnetic ball rotatably mounted on the housing, a joystick shaft attached to the magnetic ball, and a pair of magnetic effect sensors operatively positioned adjacent the magnetic ball. The sensors, which are positioned along the x and y axes, are aimed perpendicular to each other and the z axis. Thereby, movement of the joystick and the ball causes a change in the magnetic field which is measured and indicated by the sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Sauer Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph J. Schottler
  • Patent number: 5956018
    Abstract: A hand-held pointer control and input device has a case configured to be gripped by a right or left hand, with a curved back surface which fits against a palm of a hand gripping the device, a saddle-shaped surface configured to support and position a thumb of the gripping hand for operation of a cursor control device which protrudes from the top surface, and a curved button mounting surface positioned generally opposite the curved back surface and with at least one control button incorporated therein. The device enables control of a display cursor and input of control commands which correspond to a position of a cursor with a single hand and without contacting the device with a reference surface. A modular pointing stick and circuit board assembly is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Inventors: Nenad Pejic, James C. Scott
  • Patent number: 5952628
    Abstract: A multiple-way electronic component includes a box-shaped casing having an upper wall, a lower wall, and an intermediate wall. The upper wall has a circular opening. A first push switch is located on a central area of the lower wall of the casing. Second, third, fourth, and fifth push switches are located on peripheral areas of the lower wall of the casing. A resilient contact arm is supported on the lower wall of the casing. A rotary member is rotatably supported by the intermediate wall of the casing. The rotary member has a polygonal hole. A movable contact retained by the rotary member moves into and out of contact with the resilient contact arm in accordance with rotation of the rotary member. An operation member has a lower end which fits in the polygonal hole in the rotary member. The lower end of the operation member engages the first push switch. The operation member has a cylindrical shaft extending upward from the lower end thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jun Sato, Koji Ono
  • Patent number: 5952631
    Abstract: A handle post slants from a neutral position in response to an operational force being applied thereto. A coil spring has a configuration that, through a middle portion of the coil spring, a space is provided between each adjacent turns of the line material which constitutes the coil spring, and, through the remaining two side portions of the coil spring, no space is provided between each adjacent turns of the line material. One end of the coil spring is connected with the handle post. A supporting member is connected with the other end of the coil spring. The supporting member supports the handle post via the coil spring in a manner in which the handle post can slant with respect to the supporting member from the neutral position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Sega Enterprises, Ltd.
    Inventor: Junichi Miyaki
  • Patent number: 5949325
    Abstract: A curved disc joystick or pad with improved performance, reliability and durability can be used as a cursor pointing device for computers, remote controls, video games, consumer electronics, industrial controllers, automotive and other applications. A conductive spring or sheath connects to a conductive curved rubber transducer which can be deflected to make contact with conductors on a printed circuit board, providing electrical outputs to a microprocessor or other device. A ribbed locking extension may be added to automate the assembly process. In addition, a collar may be provided to produce a controllable product, both in terms of manufacturing and performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Varatouch Technology Inc.
    Inventor: Dean Devolpi
  • Patent number: 5949354
    Abstract: The present invention provides a computer pointing device which uses capacitors installed in various directions to generate pointing signals. The pointing device comprises a circuit board, a cap, and a detecting unit. The circuit board comprises a center point, a first conducting plate installed in a first direction and a second conducting plate installed in a second direction. The cap is movably installed above the center point of the circuit board. The bottom side of the cap has a top conducting plate which forms first and second capacitors with the first and second conducting plates separately. The detecting unit is electrically connected to the top, first and second conducting plates to detect the capacitance of the first and second capacitors and generate corresponding pointing signals to reflect the position of the cap in the first and second directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Acer Peripherals, Inc.
    Inventor: Hsu Hung Chang
  • Patent number: 5945646
    Abstract: A multi-switch control device is useful for controlling a variety of functions on a variety of vehicle subsystems or peripheral devices. The control device includes a specifically contoured base portion that enhances the usability of the device without distracting the vehicle operator from the task of driving. In one embodiment, a plurality of grooves are provided for receiving the fingers of the user of the device and a switch is provided within each groove that is readily usable by an individual regardless of the specific size of their fingers. Another embodiment includes a plurality of raised beads or grooves that provide a tactile indication of the position of the user's fingers on the device. The contoured portions also provide the ability of the user to make adjustments to a selected vehicle subsystem through conventional "touch-pad" technology.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Lear Automotive Dearborn, Inc.
    Inventors: Robin Mihekun Miller, Jerome Go Ng, Hollister A. Hartman
  • Patent number: 5939684
    Abstract: A switch assembly having a jog shuttle function and a contact function. The switch assembly includes a jog shuttle switch installed on a printed circuit board, a plurality of contact switches disposed on four symmetric positions centering around the jog shuttle switch, and a printed circuit board holder installed on the printed circuit board to thereby compensate for a height difference between the upper side of the printed circuit board and the upper end of the contact switch. The switch assembly also includes a shuttle holder having poles connected with the printed circuit board centering around the jog shuttle switch, a shuttle knob connected to the shuttle holder having marking parts formed on its upper side, and a jog knob connected to the shuttle knob.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
    Inventor: Young-Dae Sin
  • Patent number: 5889242
    Abstract: A multidirectional switch, which performs a tilting operation in multiple directions generating a signal by tilting the shaft portion of the operating member, includes: a dome-shaped movable contact made of a resilient thin metal plate; a box-shaped case; a cover including a through hole at a center thereof, the cover covers an upper opening of the case; and a flange portion integrally formed at a lower end of the shaft portion of the operating member. The case includes, on a bottom surface thereof: an outer fixed contact on which an outer peripheral lower end portion of the dome-shaped movable contact is placed; and a plurality of inner fixed contacts provided inside positions corresponding to the outer peripheral lower end portion of the dome-shaped movable contact so as to be equiangular and equidistant from a center of the dome-shaped movable contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yukihiro Ishihara, Keiji Kaizaki, Hiroshi Matsui
  • Patent number: 5852414
    Abstract: A triangle shape 4-way switching button for entering alphanumeric data on a 10-key pad. Each key may be used to input four characters by pressing the center of the key or one of the three corners. Each stroke enters one character, alphabet or number. Thus, an ultraminiature hand-held computer or device can be developed or manufactured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Inventors: Seymour H. Yu, David H. Yu
  • Patent number: 5850142
    Abstract: An angle measurement device capable of providing both linear and non-linear control transfer functions directly using a shaped, generally convex, magnet and linear magnetic sensors, such as Hall sensors. The shape of the magnet is also used to control and optimize the magnitude of the angle measured. This technique of using a special shaped magnet is also used with digital sensors, such as digital Hall switches and arrays.This angle measurement device can be used in many applications requiring an accurate, robust, reliable (including redundant) but inexpensive method to translate angle displacement into a signal voltage or current. Industrial or military hand controllers, such as joysticks, are but one implementation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Assignee: Measurement Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Chris P. Rountos, Richard M. Passaro
  • Patent number: 5841372
    Abstract: An operation information input device comprises a control panel, and a pair of joystick each of which includes a control level projecting from the control panel. The joystick converts the direction and quantity of operation of the control level to corresponding electrical signals. The control panel has a pair of openings from which the control levers project with the covers being attached in the corresponding openings. Engagement pawls of a frame engage in opposite ends of one of elongated grooves in the cover so that the frame is attached removably to the cover. The frame has an elongated slot extending in one direction. When the frame is attached to the control panel, the control lever is restricted so as to move in a single channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises, Ltd.
    Inventor: Isao Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 5831554
    Abstract: A non-contact angular position sensor for sensing the position of a pivotably mounted device, which includes a housing containing a generally spherical socket having a relatively large pivot ball mounted for rotation in the socket, the ball including a spherical magnet having its center coincident with that of the pivot ball, magnetic sensing elements cooperating with and mounted at a fixed distance from the magnet, a joystick having its axis passing through the center of the spherical magnet, and output apparatus connected to the magnetic sensing elements to provide a signal representative of the orientation of the joystick.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Joseph Pollak Corporation
    Inventors: Kayvan Hedayat, Gerald A. Tromblee
  • Patent number: 5823057
    Abstract: A joy stick structure for video game comprises a pressing plate having a central socket integrally provided thereunder, a body having a central through hole, a plurality of first spaces and a second space, a stick having a first end with a sphere thereof and a second end firmly received within the central socket of the pressing plate through the central through hole of the body and a plurality of transmission mechanisms securely received within the first spaces of the body. A positioning boss is formed integrally on the sphere and received within the second space of the body preventing unrequired movement of the stick. The sphere of the stick provides a smooth sliding effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Inventor: Ming-kun Hsien
  • Patent number: 5804781
    Abstract: An eight-way joystick control system is disclosed. The joystick comprises a control shaft having a handle end adapted for grasping and deflection of the control shaft by a user, and pivot defining a fixed point about which the control shaft is deflected at the handle end by the user. The control shaft has a central neutral position and eight control sector positions spaced radially around the neutral position. An indicator is included that produces a distinctive electrical signal when the control shaft is in each of the control sector positions. A control structure defines a deflection limit of the control shaft in an octagon shaped deflection pattern with eight corners. Each corner corresponds to one of the eight control sector positions such that when the control shaft is deflected into any one of the eight corners the control shaft is positioned in the corresponding control sector position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Perfect 360 Controls, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenji Okabe
  • Patent number: 5773773
    Abstract: An arrangement for mounting a joystick wherein a ball having a spherical portion and a frustoconical portion is mounted in a cylindrical socket within a housing. A cap having a frustoconical surface complementing the frustoconical surface of the ball is mounted on the housing. An O-ring engages the spherical surface of the ball and urges the frustoconical surfaces into engagement. When the joystick is tilted relatively far, the spherical surface of the ball engages the frustoconical surface of the cap and retains the joystick in its tilted position; however, when the joystick is in a near-center position and is released, the frustoconical surfaces on the ball and on the cap are in engagement and cause the ball to snap back to the center position. This provides tactile feedback centering for the joystick.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: Chrysler Corporation
    Inventors: Gilbert L. McCauley, James E. Van Hout, Lee M. Dziekan
  • Patent number: 5744769
    Abstract: An electrical switch for use in an automotive vehicle includes an actuator and a carrier movable to electrically actuate a steering column tilting device and a steering column telescoping device. A post and a receptacle assist to align the carrier during its linear switching movement. An actuator assembly is provided which includes a shaft, a partially spherical ball, a first set of crossed arms and a second set of crossed arms while a centering spring biases an actuator toward a centralized neutral position. A modularized electrical switch is also mechanically and electrically connected to a second circuit and housing in a single assembly motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas H. Proctor, James B. Wright, LeRoy A. Poleschuk, Ernest Peter Valade
  • Patent number: 5744765
    Abstract: A selecting switch operating section provided to support movable contact points includes circular elastic support walls disposed along an arrangement circle of selecting stationary contact points, and a pushing portion. When the selecting switch operating section is pushed by an operating portion tilted integrally with the operating lever, at least one of movable contact points comes into contact with at least one of the selecting stationary contact points. Thus, it is not necessary to provide accommodation space for other members between the adjacent selecting stationary contact points. Also, it is possible to reduce the spacing interval between adjacent selecting stationary contact points in the arrangement circle, so that the diameter of the arrangement circle can be reduced and the entire lever switch can be reduced in size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tetsuo Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 5731558
    Abstract: A switching device is provided which comprises a casing, a printed wiring board disposed inside the casing, a plurality of fixed contacts formed on the casing, and a plurality of moving contacts for making an electrical connection or disconnection between said plurality of fixed contacts. Since many fixed contacts are not only disposed on the printed wiring board but also on the casing, the printed wiring board can be designed compact. Also the plurality of fixed contacts disposed on the casing has such a form of a terminal as to be electrically connectable to motors and a power source as well as to a connector extended to the switching device. Therefore, the number of places to be soldered for electrical connection between many fixed contacts, motors and power source can be reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Ichikoh Industries, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tatsuo Kyoden
  • Patent number: 5721566
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for interfacing the motion of an object with a digital processing system includes a sensor for detecting movement of the object along a degree of freedom. A passive pneumatic or hydraulic damper is coupled to the object to provide a damping resistance to the object along the degree of freedom and resist a movement of the object. The damping resistance is provided by regulating the control of a fluid with a digital computing apparatus, thus providing a low-cost, low-power force-feedback interface that is safe for the user. The damper and sensor provide an electromechanical interface between the object and the electrical system. A gimbal or other interface mechanism can be coupled between the damper and the object. The interface is well suited for simulations or video games in which an object such as a joystick is moved and manipulated by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: Immersion Human Interface Corp.
    Inventors: Louis B. Rosenberg, Bruce M. Schena, Richard B. Gillespie
  • Patent number: 5712660
    Abstract: A cursor control stick includes a rigid tube having an outwardly-tapering conical throughbore and horizontal protrusions at its base, and a plunger having an outwardly-tapering conical body shaped in correspondence with the throughbore. The plunger slidably fits inside the rigid tube and includes a neck which extends beyond the rigid tube and which is adapted to be manipulated by the user. Electrically-conductive biasing means is disposed beneath and in contact with the plunger, and pressure sensitive resistive material is disposed beneath and in contact with the horizontal protrusions. A base containing electrical circuitry is disposed beneath both the electrically-conductive biasing means and the pressure sensitive resistive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1998
    Assignee: Canon Business Machines, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael M. Martin
  • Patent number: 5698825
    Abstract: An electrical switch is described which comprises a housing, an operating member mounted on the housing for movement from a rest position in at least three directions relative to the housing, and at least three sets of electrical contacts, a respective set of contacts being operable by movement of said operating member away from the rest position in a respective one of said three directions. Each of the sets of contacts comprises a fixed contact and a movable contact, each of the movable contacts being carried by a common resilient annulus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1997
    Assignee: Lucas Industries
    Inventor: Boris Karasik
  • Patent number: 5691517
    Abstract: A recess portion 14a is formed in the underside of the flange 14 of a tilting holder 13 at a position corresponding to, for example, an "upper right" select switch 4. As a result, the operating pin 10 of the "upper right" select switch 4 has a fixed gap with the flange 14. Consequently, the operating pin 10 of the "upper right" select switch is pressed when an operating lever 15 is tilted. However, the operating range B of, for example, the "upper right" select switch 4 is set narrower than the operating range A of, for example, the "upper" select switch 4 since the pressing of the operating pin 10 of, for example, the "upper right" select switch 4 is delayed by the gap resulting from the recess portion 14a.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1997
    Assignee: Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tetsuo Yamamoto, Yoshikazu Taniguchi, Junichi Kojima
  • Patent number: 5689095
    Abstract: A switching device includes a switch body, a base plate provided in the switch body, an operation knob provided in the switch body so as to pushed therein, an elastic member arranged on the base plate, the elastic member including a contact holder portion, which is elastically deformable, for switching a first switching member in response to a pushing operation of the operation knob, a switching knob provided near the operation knob; and a contact holder for switching a second switching member in response to a switching operation of the switching knob, the contact holder slidably arranged on the base plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1997
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki Seisakusho
    Inventor: Toshihiro Kawase
  • Patent number: 5644113
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide a control-key device having a shape such that the control-key device easily fits the hands of an operator. The control-key device has a top case 11 and a bottom case 12 having a curved shape. The control-key device has three circuit substrates 81, 82 and 83 having angles formed therebetween so that the curved shape of the top case and bottom case matches these the three circuit substrates. Rubber contact members 70, 63 and 22 are placed on the circuit substrates, push buttons 31, 32, 33 and 60 and a direction specifying key 20 being placed thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 1, 1997
    Assignee: Sega Eenterprises, Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshinori Date, Johnny D. Couch, Sarah Mason Richmond
  • Patent number: 5631453
    Abstract: A multi-way flipping switch including a base plate having stationary contacts, a click rubber member placed on the base plate and having hollow protrusions located over the stationary contacts, movable contacts mounted on inner surfaces of the hollow protrusions, a housing mounted on the base plate having a central opening, a holding member mounted on the housing, rotating members having one end rotatably mounted on the holding member and a second end contacting an upper surface of the hollow protrusions, and an operating member pivotally mounted on the housing such that a portion of the operating member protrudes through the central opening, the operating member including driving members contacting middle sections of the rotating members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 20, 1997
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takuya Maeda
  • Patent number: 5621196
    Abstract: A multidirection input apparatus including a housing, a driving member movably positioned within the housing, and an operation member fixedly attached to the driving member and extending from the housing for manual manipulation. The driving body is supported by an elastic member over an input switch. The elastic member includes six protrusions (two rotation protrusions and four tilt protrusions), each protrusion having a movable contact formed on a lower surface of the elastic member, and each movable contact is positioned over an associated fixed contact located on a lower substrate of the housing. Manual rotation of the operation member causes rotation of the driving member which, in turn, presses against one of the two rotation protrusions, thereby causing the movable contact associated with the rotation protrusion to contact its associated fixed contact on the lower substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akio Nishijima, Takashi Asagawa
  • Patent number: 5619021
    Abstract: A pressing operation while an operation lever is tilted is inhibited by causing an enlarged portion of the operation lever to butt against a stopper. A tilting operation while an operation lever is pressed is inhibited by causing the enlarged portion to butt against the stopper. Therefore, the two operations can not be concurrently performed so that a set switch and a select switch are inhibited from being simultaneously turned on. Furthermore, the operation lever is supported in a tiltable manner by forming support shafts and rotation shafts whose axes perpendicularly intersect each other. Even when foreign substances are trapped in rotation portions of the support shafts and the rotation shafts, therefore, there is little fear that the foreign substances will remain trapped between the mating or contacting portions, thereby ensuring that the operation lever can be tilted smoothly and returned to the neutral position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 8, 1997
    Assignee: Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tetsuo Yamamoto, Yoshikazu Taniguchi
  • Patent number: 5607049
    Abstract: A tilt and telescopic switch 10 includes a main body 19 received and accommodated in the space defined by a first hemispherical recess 38 of an upper casing member 12 and a second hemispherical recess 60 of a lower casing member 14. The main body 19 accommodated in the space continuously receives the pressing force of a spring 44 and allows a first hemispherical member 28 of the main body 19 to come into contact with the first hemispherical recess 38 along the substantially whole surface thereof. The first hemispherical member 28 of the main body 19 is thus guided by the hemispherical inner surface of the first hemispherical recess 38, so that the main body 19 rocks from its neutral position in the direction shown by the double-headed arrow X or in the direction shown by the double-headed arrow Y.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki Seisakusho
    Inventor: Kazuya Shioda
  • Patent number: 5594618
    Abstract: A collapsible pointing stick structure is mounted on the top side of the keyboard of a notebook computer and is manually pivotable, about a selected axis parallel to the top side of the keyboard, to controllably reposition a cursor being displayed on the lid portion of the computer. When the computer lid is opened, the top end of the pointing stick structure projects upwardly beyond the top sides of the keyboard key cap members to facilitate its manual engagement and manipulation by the user of the computer. However, in response to closing of the computer lid, the top end of the pointing stick structure is automatically collapsed to an elevation generally aligned with the top sides of the key cap members. Due to the collapsible operation of the pointing stick structure its incorporation into the computer does not require that the vertical thickness of the closed computer be increased. A mechanism prevents the pointing stick structure from collapsing when the lid portion is open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1997
    Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation
    Inventor: Charles A. Sellers
  • Patent number: 5589854
    Abstract: A tactile feedback device is provided. The device includes a joystick assembly with a joystick handle and a pair of perpendicular yoke components installed below the joystick handle. Each yoke component has a driving motor installed for driving the joystick handle. The device also includes a force feedback controlling system used for producing the force of a simulated condition, and to provide a relative average current to the motors for obtaining a relative rotating speed. The joystick can thereby produce different displacements of the joystick handle at the same time, and the operator can feel the different reaction forces produced. The device includes an automatic reset function using a pair of sensors respectively installed on the yoke components. The joystick handle can be automatically reset to the zero position of each when the sensors are not aligned with respective light blocking members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1996
    Inventor: Ming-Chang Tsai
  • Patent number: RE36349
    Abstract: A tilting member has a force bearing portion to which operating force is applied, and a supported surface. A supporting member has a supporting projection with which the supported surface of the tilting member may come in contact. When the operating force is applied to the tilting member, the tilting member tilts with respect to the supporting member. The supporting member supports the tilting member at a supporting point where the supporting projection of the supporting member is in contact with the supported surface of the tilting member, about which supporting point the tilting member tilts. The tilting of the tilting member, with respect to the supporting member, establishes a predetermined electrical contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Hiroshi Matsumiya, Takeki Sugiyama
  • Patent number: RE36738
    Abstract: A tilting member has a force bearing portion to which operating force is applied, and a supported surface. A supporting member has a supporting projection with which the supported surface of the tilting member may come in contact. When the operating force is applied to the tilting member, the tilting member tilts with respect to the supporting member. The supporting member supports the tilting member at a supporting point where the supporting projection of the supporting member is in contact with the supported surface of the tilting member, about which supporting point the tilting member tilts. The tilting of the tilting member, with respect to the supporting member, establishes a predetermined electrical contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Sega Enterprises, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Matsumiya, Takeki Sugiyama