Occupant Support Translatable Along Vertical Path Patents (Class 472/131)
  • Publication number: 20140274431
    Abstract: A people moving system having a people pod and a cable support system attached to the people pod. The cable support system supports the people pod in the air and includes cables that are each connected at one end to the people pod and each connected to their own respective motor/winch system at the other ends. A computer control system is in signal communication with the motor/winch systems and allows the same to move the people pod in three (3) dimensions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: Jordan Michael Schmidt
  • Publication number: 20140200087
    Abstract: A cable driven elevator system having an elevator platform with an integral motion system is provided using one or multiple actuators. Each actuator includes a support plate attached to the elevator platform, a planetary gearbox engaged with and driven by an electric servo motor, and a drive shaft driven by the servo motor and engaged with a one crank. Connecting rods are connected between the crank and a frame. The frame supports a passenger platform. A control system is operable with each electric servo motor of each actuator for providing a simulated motion to the passenger platform including a heaving (vertical) motion such that the vertical downward acceleration experienced by persons riding the elevator exceeds 1 g, by way of example. The motion system is also capable of directly imparting vibrations to the elevator platform of up to at least 100 Hz without additional vibration generating equipment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2014
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Applicant: DYNAMIC MOTION GROUP GMBH
    Inventors: David J. Vatcher, Simon A. James, Andrew J. Cox
  • Patent number: 8695759
    Abstract: An apparatus is disclosed for safely lowering a user from a structure. The apparatus includes a user support component upon which the user is supported while being safely lowered from the structure. The apparatus includes a brake system that has two hydraulic brakes configured to apply first and second defined pressures on a brake pad against a track situated proximate the structure. The track is configured not to activate the first and second hydraulic brakes at an upper vertical section of the track to allow the apparatus to descend with a positive acceleration; activate only the first hydraulic brake at a middle vertical section of the track to allow the apparatus to descend with a substantially constant velocity; and activate only the second hydraulic brake at a lower vertical section of the track to allow the apparatus to descend with a negative acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Inventor: Ralph L. Michael
  • Patent number: 8696479
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an observation tower, particularly a tower having a moveable observation enclosure. An embodiment of the observation tower comprises an upright support member with an annular observation enclosure that projects radially outward from the support member and has a tapering aerodynamic exterior profile. The observation enclosure is moveable up and down the support member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Marks Barfield Limited
    Inventors: David Marks, Julia Barfield
  • Patent number: 8667956
    Abstract: A controllable launcher for propelling a payload through a predictable and repeatable trajectory to a desired height. The launcher has an energy source for propelling a carriage and a piston in substantially opposing directions and a controller for controlling the trajectory of the propelled payload to enable the payload to land gently at a safe impact distance from the edge of a destination structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: DEKA Products Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Dean Kamen, Larry B. Gray, Richard J. Lanigan
  • Publication number: 20130260906
    Abstract: Described herein is an amusement ride that includes an object that supports a passenger, a carriage that releasably supports the object, a propulsion mechanism that accelerates the carriage and the object releasably supported by the carriage up to a desired velocity, and a braking mechanism that decelerates the carriage to release the object from the carriage at the desired velocity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2013
    Publication date: October 3, 2013
    Inventor: Stanley J. Checketts
  • Patent number: 8491403
    Abstract: An amusement ride system combines about six or more different ride elements from different types of amusement rides available to the public today into a single design. The amusement ride system may bring customers back time and time again for a new ride experience on the same ride design. This may allow amusement ride operators to provide varying ride experiences without requiring a completely different ride, thus saving cost and space. The amusement ride system may include a plurality of pods adapted to house riders. The pods may be adapted to move up and down, spin about a central tower, and spin and swivel about the pod's axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Inventor: Nathan Schreibfeder
  • Patent number: 8454366
    Abstract: An actuated support frame for transmitting motion to a seat with respect to a ground as a function of motion signals associated with video output, comprises a frame. The frame is expandable/retractable along translational degrees of freedom. Support surfaces are provided on the frame. The support surfaces are displaceable with respect to one another by expansion/retraction of the frame so as to be sized to support a seat. Actuators are provided between the frame and the ground. The actuators receive signals and selectively displace the frame with respect to the ground in synchronization with a video output, whereby a seat supported on the frame is displaceable within the frame. A method for installing a seating system of a motion simulator system is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: D-Box Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Gauthier Orban, Michel Bérubé, Philippe Roy
  • Publication number: 20130012327
    Abstract: An amusement ride system combines about six or more different ride elements from different types of amusement rides available to the public today into a single design. The amusement ride system may bring customers back time and time again for a new ride experience on the same ride design. This may allow amusement ride operators to provide varying ride experiences without requiring a completely different ride, thus saving cost and space. The amusement ride system may include a plurality of pods adapted to house riders. The pods may be adapted to move up and down, spin about a central tower, and spin and swivel about the pod's axes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 8, 2011
    Publication date: January 10, 2013
    Inventor: Nathan Schreibfeder
  • Patent number: 8302590
    Abstract: A controllable launcher for propelling a payload through a predictable and repeatable trajectory to a desired height. The launcher has an energy source for propelling a carriage and a piston in substantially opposing directions and a controller for controlling the trajectory of the propelled payload to enable the payload to land gently at a safe impact distance from the edge of a destination structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: DEKA Products Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Dean Kamen, Larry B. Gray, Richard J. Lanigan
  • Patent number: 8122999
    Abstract: An escape and rescue device used in a multistory building during a terrorist threat or a fire to: a) evacuate a person or persons attached to an expandable disc support with an attachment that is lowered from an upper level of a building through a vertical tube, by using a lesser pressure at the top of the tube and a higher pressure at the bottom of the tube, using a door at the top or a door at the bottom to maintain pressure or by artificial air pressure, thereby permitting the fast evacuation of many people in a short time, b) it can be used by firemen in training in its use and benefits, c) also at amusement parks, where there would be a ride that would teach the users about its reliability and safety, and d) to transport firemen in a fast way from the ground to the upper floors without interfering with the evacuation in process at the congested stairways of the building.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Inventor: Manuel Iván Guillermety
  • Publication number: 20110300957
    Abstract: A ride system for moving a passenger vehicle through a dynamically-defined work space. The system includes a track structure that guides one or more motorized or driven carriers on the track structure. The system includes winches on the carrier(s) that are independently operable to set lengths of the vehicle supporting cables, which extend outward from the winches to the vehicle. During operation, the winch systems provide upper anchor points for suspending the passenger vehicle such that these anchor points are selectively positioned. The winches may be independently operated as the carrier(s) travels from a first position to a second position, such that the vehicle body pitches, rolls, or yaws and moves transversely relative to the track. The winches may be operated concurrently to drop or raise the vehicle to define the work space for the vehicle in the vertical direction. Passenger input may interactively control motion of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2010
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventors: David W. CRAWFORD, Edward A. NEMETH
  • Patent number: 8066576
    Abstract: An amusement ride, such as a roller coaster or vertical tower track ride, includes an attachment assembly movably connected to a track system. A vehicle assembly is connected to the attachment assembly and includes a seat assembly having at least one rider seat. The vehicle assembly is coupled to the attachment assembly and configured such that the seat assembly is capable of fully rotating about first and second, and preferably even third axes independent of the track system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Inventor: David V. Threlkel
  • Patent number: 8061343
    Abstract: A controllable launcher for propelling a payload through a predictable and repeatable trajectory to a desired height. The launcher has an energy source for propelling a carriage and a piston in substantially opposing directions and a controller for controlling the trajectory of the propelled payload to enable the payload to land gently at a safe impact distance from the edge of a destination structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: DEKA Products Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Dean Kamen, Larry B. Gray, Richard J. Lanigan
  • Publication number: 20110136581
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a motion-based attraction device engagable with a plurality of spaced guest supports that are movable along a path, having a rotatable carousel configured to temporarily and separately synchronize with the plurality of spaced guest supports, at least one pair of domes supported by the carousel, each dome having a viewing portion that is positioned towards the guest supports and the dome being movable to temporarily cover the guest supports, and an image projecting assembly supported by each dome and configured to display an image on the viewing portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2009
    Publication date: June 9, 2011
    Inventors: Robert J. Cortelyou, Steven C. Blum, Thierry Jean-Andre Coup, Brian McQuillan
  • Patent number: 7931539
    Abstract: An elevating mechanism includes a cage, a connecting element, a balancing weight body, a sheave and a power output unit. The cage includes an outer box and an inner box. The outer box for containing a fluid has an inlet and an outlet. The inlet is for the fluid flowing into the outer box. The outlet is for the fluid flowing out of the outer box. The inner box is placed inside the outer box for containing a loading body, and suspended in the fluid. The connecting element is wound around the sheave. The power output unit is for driving the sheave. One end of the connecting element is connected to the outer box, and the other end connected to the balancing weight body. The weight of the balancing weight body is equal to the total weight of the outer box, the fluid, the inner box and the loading body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2011
    Inventor: Shin-Guang Chen
  • Patent number: 7927223
    Abstract: An amusement ride includes a support structure generally having the shape of a vertical standing arch that spans from a first ground base to a second ground base. Movably supported on the support structure is at least one vehicle for carrying one or more passengers at least partially along a length of the support structure from an initial loading position at one of the first and second ground bases. The vehicle is hereby lifted by a lifting device from the initial loading position upwards along the support structure and slowed down by a braking mechanism when it travels from an elevated position in a downward direction along the support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Assignee: Ronald Bussink Amusement Design GmbH
    Inventor: Ronald Alexander Bussink
  • Patent number: 7922594
    Abstract: An amusement ride has guides and at least one carriage movable along the guides. At least three first arms each having a first end and a second end are provided, wherein the first ends are connected pivotably to the at least one carriage. First drives are provided that each are movable along one of the guides, respectively, independently from one another. The at least three first arms are pivotably connected with the second ends to the first drives so that the at least one carriage and the first drives are pivotably connected to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Inventors: Alexander Verl, Gino De-Gol, Niko Croon
  • Patent number: 7686697
    Abstract: An amusement ride includes a support structure and at least one vehicle movably supported on the support structure for carrying one or more passengers at least partially along a length of the support structure. The vehicle is moved along the support structure by a drive mechanism and decelerated by a braking mechanism. A cable connects the vehicle with the drive mechanism and/or the braking mechanism and is guided by a guide mechanism which is constructed for passage by the vehicle as the vehicle moves along the support structure. The guide mechanism includes two guide wheels in spaced-apart confronting relationship for allowing the cable to pass in-between the guide wheels, with the cable partially running over one guide wheel, when the vehicle moves along a first section of the support structure, and partially running over the other guide wheel, when the vehicle moves along a second section of the support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Ronald Bussink Amusment Design GmbH
    Inventor: Ronald Alexander Bussink
  • Publication number: 20100062868
    Abstract: The invention relates to an entertainment device with a main construction (1) designed as a character which has displaceable limbs (2), and a passenger unit (3) which is attached to the limbs (2), and the passenger unit (3) can be moved from an embarkation position into a plurality of ride positions and the limbs (2) can be moved independently of one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2007
    Publication date: March 11, 2010
    Inventor: Karl-Heinz Mordelt
  • Publication number: 20090181781
    Abstract: An amusement ride has guides and at least one carriage movable along the guides. At least three first arms each having a first end and a second end are provided, wherein the first ends are connected pivotably to the at least one carriage. First drives are provided that each are movable along one of the guides, respectively, independently from one another. The at least three first arms are pivotably connected with the second ends to the first drives so that the at least one carriage and the first drives are pivotably connected to one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 13, 2009
    Publication date: July 16, 2009
    Inventors: Alexander Verl, Gino De-Gol, Niko Croon
  • Patent number: 6988951
    Abstract: A system and method are disclosed for providing movement to a person having a person center of gravity and a person moment. The system includes a receptacle configured to allow the person to adjust the person center of gravity, a counterweight for counterbalancing the person moment, a beam connecting the receptacle and the counterweight, a base for supporting the beam, a base joint connecting the base and the beam, configured to allow the beam to rotate with respect to the base joint; wherein an adjustment in the person center of gravity provides rotation of the beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Inventors: Sven D. Newman, Kevin R. Fine
  • Patent number: 6808459
    Abstract: An amusement ride with cable-launched carrier having one or more towers with the upper portion of at least one such tower being flexible. Each tower supports a cable. Attached to the first end of such cable is a means for propelling a carrier that is attached to the second end of each cable. The means for propelling is a high-speed winch, a fluid-powered cylinder having a continuous cable, or a fluid-powered cylinder having a non-continuous cable. Optionally, a controllably rotatable seat can be attached to the carrier; a harness connected to a serrated rod that slides into a biased block holds each participant to the seat; and a spring, weight, or pressurizable cylinder prevents each cable from becoming slack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Inventor: Stanley J. Checketts
  • Patent number: 6755749
    Abstract: The invention relates to a free-fall tower for a roller coaster, comprising an approximately or a precisely vertical rail system for a passenger unit, which moves from the lower end to the upper end of said tower, from where the passenger unit can freely fall down to subsequently reach said roller coaster course. In the region of the upper end of said tower, the fixedly secured passenger unit is rotated around an approximately or a precisely vertical axis to allow the passenger unit to freely fall down on another rail of said tower. This results, in combination with a roller coaster course, particularly in combination with a second tower of similar construction, in new, eventful ride effects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Inventor: Werner Stengel
  • Patent number: 6746335
    Abstract: A winch 10 has a drum 26 that winds and unwinds a cable 28 in response to winding and unwinding of tethers 30 about an axle 24. The tethers 30 are connected to telescopic spring devices 46 with staged concentric springs 48 that store energy, and a brake 45 is releasable to permit the drum 26 to rotate under the force of the stored energy. The drum 26 has a diameter that is greater than a diameter of the axle 24, thereby producing a mechanical advantage. The cable 28 is also connected to a passenger carriage 201 of an amusement ride 200 that travels under the force of the stored energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Inventors: Mark Kleimeyer, Michael J. Mehrman
  • Publication number: 20040082395
    Abstract: A board for gliding over snow, the camber of the side cut of which is accentuated, comprising a bottom surface (7) with a forward contact line (LCAV), defined as being a forward limit of the contact zone of the bottom surface (7) of the board (1) on a horizontal planar surface (PH), the board (1) being placed on the horizontal planar surface (PH), and a shovel (2), defined as being a forward part of the board (1) that is curved upward in order to overcome obstacles, the shovel (2) having a width of the shoulder of the ski line (LbV), defined as being a line on the bottom surface (7) in the shovel zone (2) at the location where its width (bV) is at a maximum, wherein the height (hAV) of the width of the shoulder of the ski line (LbV), measured between said bottom surface (7) and said horizontal planar surface (PH), is substantially between 5 mm and 15 mm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 29, 2003
    Publication date: April 29, 2004
    Applicant: Skis Rossignol S.A.
    Inventor: Jean Liard
  • Patent number: 6695291
    Abstract: Drums 56 wind and unwind cables 18 connected to a passenger carriage 14 of an amusement ride 12 in response to winding and unwinding of tethers 48 about an axle 46. The tethers 48 are connected to elastic members 44 that store energy, and a lock 32 is releasable to permit the carriage 14 to travel under the force of the stored energy. The drums 56 have a diameter that is greater than a diameter of the axle, thereby providing a mechanical advantage to launch and accelerate the carriage 14 to a high velocity and/or to provide a dampening effect on the motion of the carriage. Alternative embodiments include ramps with loops, corkscrew sections, and/or inclined sections for carrying the carriage, safety cables strung through attachment members connected to the tethers, and telescopic spring devices with concentric coil springs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Inventors: Mark Kleimeyer, Michael J. Mehrman
  • Patent number: 6666773
    Abstract: A zip line thrill ride system includes a cable suspended between a upper cable support tower and platform which, together, function as the harnessing, loading, and take-off point for the ride, and a lower cable support tower and platform which, together, function as the landing, unloading and unharnessing point of the ride. Multiple, substantially identical trolleys are designed to quickly engage and disengage the cable. The trolley includes a frame of generally I-beam cross section, a generally tubular brake retainer, having a longitudinal slit therein, is welded to an upper rear portion of the frame. A grooved, generally cylindrical brake fabricated from a durable polymeric material is rotatably affixed within the tubular brake retainer. When the trolley is affixed to the suspended cable by sliding the cable into the slit and rotating the brake, the grooved insert rides against the suspended cable and generates friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Inventor: Michael Troy Richardson
  • Patent number: 6629895
    Abstract: An amusement ride system having an amusement ride for carrying a rider thereon while giving the rider a high-speed view of a screen provided along a traveling path of the amusement ride extending vertically, for example. A plurality of image projectors for projecting an image toward the screen are positioned in one side of the traveling path opposite from the screen and configured to project an image in a direction transverse to a line of vision of the rider thereby to give the rider vivid representation of the image improved in the feeling of presence of the rider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2003
    Assignee: Sega Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Uemura, Teruo Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 6592463
    Abstract: An amusement ride has a plurality of cars, a unit for guiding the cars in a substantially vertical direction so that the cars are liftable and lowerable, a passenger seat provided in each of the cars, and a unit for cooperating the passenger seat with a respective one of the cars so that the seat is freely moving in a non-motorized way relative to the car whereby a user sitting in the seat obtains a plurality of inclined positions relative to a respective one of the cars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Inventor: Vladimir A. Gnezdilov
  • Patent number: 6575403
    Abstract: The present invention is an apparatus to counter normal gravitational force in order to provide a personnel lifting device. The personnel lifting device is a lighter-than-air gas-filled balloon having a harness to suspend a user therefrom. The balloon further includes a weighted tether to automatically control the height of any ascent and the speed of any descent—wherein the balloon may be used as a component of an amusement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Inventor: James I. Monroe
  • Patent number: 6561916
    Abstract: Drums 56 wind and unwind cables 18 connected to a passenger carriage 14 of an amusement ride 12 in response to winding and unwinding of tethers 48 about an axle 46. The tethers 48 are connected to elastic members 44 that store energy, and a lock 32 is releasable to permit the carriage 14 to travel under the force of the stored energy. The drums 56 have a diameter that is greater than a diameter of the axle, thereby providing a mechanical advantage to launch and accelerate the carriage 14 to a high velocity and/or to provide a dampening effect on the motion of the carriage. Alternative embodiments include ramps with loops, corkscrew sections, and/or inclined sections for carrying the carriage, safety cables strung through attachment members connected to the tethers, and telescopic spring devices with concentric coil springs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Inventors: Michael J. Mehrman, Mark Kleimeyer
  • Publication number: 20030083137
    Abstract: An oscillatory amusement ride having a housing containing a slidably mounted piston. A cable attaches the piston to a holder for a participant. A first end of the housing is closed except for an aperture through which the cable passes. Optionally, the side of the housing contains an aperture or a valve to assist initial movement of the piston when a participant jumps or falls. The second end of the housing can either be open or closed. Optionally, a fluid supply valve can provide compressible fluid between the piston and the first end of the housing. Also optionally, the housing can have a continuous cable that is attached to a second cable which supports the participant. Preferably, two cylinders are utilized, a movable platform is available from which the participant can jump or fall, and the holder can be rotated by the participant.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2001
    Publication date: May 1, 2003
    Inventor: Stanley J. Checketts
  • Publication number: 20030027642
    Abstract: An installation for moving a person along a pat such that the body of said person is subjected to certain speeds and/or accelerations comprises a frame, at least one arm movably joined to said frame, drive means for driving the am, as well as at least one accommodating means tat is constructed to hold a person securely in place. The accommodating means comprise a saddle-shaped part on which the person can sit astride.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2002
    Publication date: February 6, 2003
    Applicant: Cobra Beheer B.V.
    Inventors: Louisito Johannes Eusebio Kroon, Albert Louisito Phillipus Kroon
  • Patent number: 6497623
    Abstract: An amusement device, such as a sling-shot machine, for successively propelling and retarding a rider to cause the rider to undergo a vertically oscillatory motion. The amusement device comprises cables (31, 32) one end of each of which is connected to a carrier (19) for supporting one or more riders. A releasable anchoring means is provided for releasably anchoring the carrier (19) at a launch site (17). An elastic structure (71) has opposed ends between which the elastic structure can undergo extension and contraction. One end of the elastic structure (71) is connected to a first support means (57). Each cable (31, 32) passes around a support tower (11) and has a section thereof winding back and forth between first and second guide means (83, 85). The first guide means (83) is connected to the other end of the elastic structure (71) and the second guide means (85) is connected to a second support means (47).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2002
    Inventors: Brian Mirfin, Walter Pondorfer
  • Publication number: 20020193170
    Abstract: Drums 56 wind and unwind cables 18 connected to a passenger carriage 14 of an amusement ride 12 in response to winding and unwinding of tethers 48 about an axle 46. The tethers 48 are connected to elastic members 44 that store energy, and a lock 32 is releasable to permit the carriage 14 to travel under the force of the stored energy. The drums 56 have a diameter that is greater than a diameter of the axle, thereby providing a mechanical advantage to launch and accelerate the carriage 14 to a high velocity and/or to provide a dampening effect on the motion of the carriage. Alternative embodiments include ramps with loops, corkscrew sections, and/or inclined sections for carrying the carriage, safety cables strung through attachment members connected to the tethers, and telescopic spring devices with concentric coil springs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2002
    Publication date: December 19, 2002
    Inventors: Mark Kleimeyer, Michael J. Mehrman
  • Publication number: 20020128083
    Abstract: A winch 10 has a drum 26 that winds and unwinds a cable 28 in response to winding and unwinding of tethers 30 about an axle 24. The tethers 30 are connected to telescopic spring devices 46 with staged concentric springs 48 that store energy, and a brake 45 is releasable to permit the drum 26 to rotate under the force of the stored energy. The drum 26 has a diameter that is greater than a diameter of the axle 24, thereby producing a mechanical advantage. The cable 28 is also connected to a passenger carriage 201 of an amusement ride 200 that travels under the force of the stored energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 1, 2002
    Publication date: September 12, 2002
    Inventors: Mark Kleimeyer, Michael J. Mehrman
  • Publication number: 20020103033
    Abstract: The invention relates to a free-fall tower for a roller coaster, comprising an approximately or a precisely vertical rail system for a passenger unit, which moves from the lower end to the upper end of said tower, from where the passenger unit can freely fall down to subsequently reach said roller coaster course. In the region of the upper end of said tower, the fixedly secured passenger unit is rotated around an approximately or a precisely vertical axis to allow the passenger unit to freely fall down on another rail of said tower. This results, in combination with a roller coaster course, particularly in combination with a second tower of similar construction, in new, eventful ride effects.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2001
    Publication date: August 1, 2002
    Inventor: Werner Stengel
  • Patent number: 6397755
    Abstract: An amusement ride comprises a hollow launch tube having an inner surface and first and second ends, the first end being open; a passenger vehicle having an outer peripheral surface which forms a substantial seal with the inner surface of the launch tube so as to form a substantially sealed space inside said launch tube from said passenger vehicle to the second end of the launch tube; guidance means for guiding said passenger vehicle along a pre-determined path to exit the launch tube, said guidance means being self-rigid and extending through said open first end along said pre-determined path; and a pressurized gas source for introducing pressurized gas into the substantially sealed space inside said launch tube sufficient to launch the passenger vehicle along said guidance means and out of the launch tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Ride Factory Incorporated
    Inventor: Frank Kamler
  • Publication number: 20020061784
    Abstract: An amusement device, such as a sling-shot machine, for successively propelling and retarding a rider to cause the rider to undergo a vertically oscillatory motion. The amusement device comprises cables (31, 32) one end of each of which is connected to a carrier (19) for supporting one or more riders. A releasable anchoring means is provided for releasably anchoring the carrier (19) at a launch site (17). An elastic structure (71) has opposed ends between which the elastic structure can undergo extension and contraction. One end of the elastic structure (71) is connected to a first support means (57). Each cable (31, 32) passes around a support tower (11) and has a section thereof winding back and forth between first and second guide means (83, 85). The first guide means (83) is connected to the other end of the elastic structure (71) and the second guide means (85) is connected to a second support means (47).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2001
    Publication date: May 23, 2002
    Inventors: Brian Mirfin, Walter Pondorfer
  • Patent number: 6360988
    Abstract: The present invention is an apparatus to partially counter normal gravitational force. The personnel lifting device is a paraballoon, a lighter-than-air gas-filled balloon having a harness to suspend a user therefrom. The paraballoon further includes a plurality of flaps extending therefrom in order to allow the paraballoon to be maneuvered during descent, wherein the paraballoon may be used as a component of an amusement. In addition, various applications and attachments and embodiments are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Inventor: James I. Monroe
  • Patent number: 6342017
    Abstract: Amusement ride that allows for enhanced control of the ride path and, thus, the riders' experience. In one embodiment, the ride allows for manual control of the acceleration, speed and direction of the carrier into which at least one rider is secured. In one embodiment, the ride also allows for selection of one from a plurality of pre-programmed ride paths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Gravity Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter T. Kockelman
  • Patent number: 6319140
    Abstract: An amusement device, such as a sling-shot machine, for successively propelling and retarding a rider to cause the rider to undergo a vertically oscillatory motion. The amusement device comprises cables (31, 32) one end of each of which is connected to a carrier (19) for supporting one or more riders. A releasable anchoring means is provided for releasably anchoring the carrier (19) at a launch site (17). An elastic structure (71) has opposed ends between which the elastic structure can undergo extension and contraction. One end of the elastic structure (71) is connected to a first support means (57). Each cable (31, 32) passes around a support tower (11) and has a section thereof winding back and forth between first and second guide means (83, 85). The first guide means (83) is connected to the other end of the elastic structure (71) and the second guide means (85) is connected to a second support means (47).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Inventors: Brian Mirfin, Walter Pondorfer
  • Patent number: 6315674
    Abstract: An amusement ride for providing vertical movement of a passenger is disclosed. Typically, a support tower having a vertical movement mechanism defining a vertical movement path is present. The carriage is typically coupled to the movement mechanism for providing travel along the vertical movement path. Connected to the carriage is a support structure which extends radially from the carriage for supporting passenger seats. The support structure can be a wall, a rigid post, or some other structure extending outwardly from the tower. In one embodiment, the seats can be positioned along the support structure such that a first seat is closer to the carriage than a second seat. The passenger seats can be positioned to face outwardly or toward other passenger seats. Additionally, the passenger seats can be coupled to the support structure along a support structure side, above the support structure, beneath the support structure, or any combination thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Interactive Rides, Inc.
    Inventors: E. Clay Slade, Janos I. Lakatos, Clayton R. Carter, Flint O. Hamblin, Layne W. Finlinson
  • Patent number: 6126550
    Abstract: Method an apparatus for providing a thrilling amusement ride to a passenger stemming predominantly from the inducement of a feeling of dropping through the air and falling from the ride's supporting chair. The method includes positioning a passenger in a passenger support or chair of an amusement ride in a forward facing orientation. The passenger support is located at a drop position in a pre-fall orientation. This drop position may be an origination position, or may be a position to which the support is raised. The passenger support, together with the passenger, is tilted forward into a falling orientation which is at a predetermined tilt-angle to the pre-fall orientation. The passenger support, together with the passenger, is dropped from the drop position to a lower position while the passenger support and the passenger are in the forward tilted falling orientation thereby providing a thrilling amusement ride to the passenger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Inventors: Alfeo Moser, Stefano Moser, Nicola Moser, Mattia Moser, Sebastiano Moser
  • Patent number: 6083111
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for providing a thrilling amusement ride to a passenger stemming predominantly from the inducement of a feeling of being propelled downward toward the ground and from the inducement of a feeling of falling from the ride's supporting chair. The method includes positioning a passenger in a passenger support or chair of an amusement ride in a forward facing orientation. The passenger support is located at a drop position in a pre-fall orientation. This drop position may be an origination position, or may be a position to which the support is raised. The passenger support, together with the passenger, is tilted forward into a falling orientation which is at a predetermined tilt-angle to the pre-fall orientation. The passenger support, together with the passenger, is dropped and/or propelled from the drop position to a lower position while the passenger support and the passenger are in the forward tilted falling orientation thereby providing a thrilling amusement ride to the passenger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Inventors: Alfeo Moser, Stefano Moser, Nicola Moser, Matria Moser, Sebastiano Moser
  • Patent number: 6076638
    Abstract: An elevator for moving passengers from a first, outside level to a second, inside level at a theme park, and for providing themed special effects during the journey is provided. The elevator includes an elevator car divided into a passenger compartment and a special effects equipment compartment. The passenger compartment appears to the unsuspecting passenger to be a conventional elevator. However, at least one partition in the passenger compartment is opaque when the passenger compartment is illuminated and becomes transparent to reveal illuminated special effects when the lighting in the passenger compartment is extinguished. Special effects equipment can include a pair of video projectors for creating a virtual image which appears to be located outside of the elevator car, along with audio speakers for generating appropriate sound to accompany a video sequence for creating an active visual and audio presentation which can be appropriately themed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Laurence D. Gertz
  • Patent number: 6062350
    Abstract: The invention concerns an amusement device (1) with one or several passenger carriers (2) and a framework (3). It is preferably designed as dropping framework. To brake down the movable passenger carriers is provided an eddy current brake (4). It is preferably designed as linear brake. It is so designed that by influence of the different brake factors it develops basically a constant braking effect by compensating the declining drop speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignees: Alfons Saiko, Reinhold Spieldiener, Robert Spieldiener, Patrick Spieldiener
    Inventors: Robert Spieldiener, Reinhold Spieldiener, Patrick Spieldiener, Alfons Saiko, Peter Rosner
  • Patent number: 6044768
    Abstract: A support for aiding a person, robot or material-moving member in a gravity free environment. The support comprises a platform having slots therein with releasable securing means disposed on either side thereof which cooperate with a wheeled member disposed in the slot having a shoe connected thereto with cooperating means engaging the releasable securing means to permit the person, robot or the like wearing the shoes to traverse the support in a safe, regulated manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Inventor: Tibor Czinki
  • Patent number: 6001022
    Abstract: An amusement facility having a frame with a passenger carrier movably mounted on the frame and a drive connected to the passenger carrier for moving the passenger carrier on the frame. The drive includes a cylinder and a piston with a tension member connecting the passenger carrier to the piston. The piston is movable in the cylinder between a top dead center position and a bottom dead center position. Also the cylinder preferably has ends which are closable, and a lateral fluid inlet and outlet for fluid, preferably air, to move the piston in the cylinder. The fluid outlet is positioned between the top dead center position and the bottom dead center position of the piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Inventors: Robert Spieldiener, Reinhold Spieldiener, Patrick Spieldiener, Alfons Saiko