By Use Of Video Or Projected Picture Patents (Class 472/60)
  • Patent number: 6462769
    Abstract: An image correction method of compensating for point of view image distortion in pictures includes the steps of obtaining an image at a first position within a predetermined frame, wherein at the first position the image is distorted due to point of view image distortion. The image obtained comprises an array of pixels. The distorted image is transformed into a compensated image by re-mapping the array of pixels of the distorted image using a predetermined transforming function that stretches the distorted image to fill the entire frame. The transformation function depends on the geometric orientation of the camera, projector, projecting surface, and viewer. The compensated image is projected at a second position different from the first position, wherein the projection of the compensated image substantially reduces point of view image distortion at the first position. This method can be employed for stationary and moving point of views.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Universal City Studios, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Trowbridge, Thierry J. Coup
  • Publication number: 20020119826
    Abstract: A contents distribution system for a simulation ride system has a seat rocking unit, a video unit, an acoustic unit, and a simulation ride control apparatus. The simulation ride control apparatus has the simulation ride system controlling operations of the seat rocking unit, the video unit, and the acoustic unit by using content data, and a distribution apparatus for a ride contents administration center. The distribution apparatus for the ride contents administration center distributes the content data and the simulation ride control apparatus receives the distributed content data.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2001
    Publication date: August 29, 2002
    Inventors: Yuji Matsuda, Tsukasa Shiina, Masayuki Oshiro, Kazuhide Ebine, Kenjiro Fujii, Katsumasa Nagai
  • Patent number: 6431989
    Abstract: In order to display distortion-free and high-precision images which give a three-dimensional appearance to many crews in a ride simulation system, there is provided a ride simulation system comprising a ride casing which is in shape of a capsule and can accept one or more people and a driving mechanism for driving this ride casing, wherein a horizontally long, curve screen is provided at the front of the interior of the ride casing, a plurality of projectors are provided at the rear of the interior of the ride casing, and because of projection on each corresponding divided area of the curve screen by means of the plurality of projectors, one picture is displayed on the curve screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Atsushi Katayama, Nobuhiko Matsukuma, Yoshihiro Iwama, Atsuhiko Nishikawa, Douglas Trumbull, Eric A. Wilson, Brahm Rhodes, Steven D. Bronson, Joshua D. Minges, Erich A. Greenebaum
  • Patent number: 6428419
    Abstract: An amusement ride or theater attraction has a moveable floor for guest loading and unloading. A screen displays images. A motion base moves guests in at least one degree of freedom. The moveable floor that has a cutout for the motion base. The moveable floor is positioned to a raised position during guest loading and unloading. The moveable floor is lowered to a lowered position during ride operation, with the motion base passing through the cutout. Loading and unloading of passengers is simplified, without limiting motion base movement during operation of the ride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Universal City Studios, Inc.
    Inventor: Benjamin L. Sheldon
  • Publication number: 20020091004
    Abstract: The present invention is a process of staging a live or pre-recorded performance that follows a schedule, optionally before a mass audience. The performance involves electronic and/or mechanical media that is computer controlled, preferably so as to create a virtual reality of one or more events. In the course of the performance, when an action that is not normal to the schedule occurs, the timing, speed, or sequence of one or more electronic and/or mechanical media activities are adjusted, whereby to compensate for the action so that the action does not adversely affect the continuity and totality of the performance to the audience. The present invention also encompasses an apparatus that comprises a sensory stimuli device(s), a mass audience area substantially within a space for reception of the sensory stimuli device(s), and computer hardware and software.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2002
    Publication date: July 11, 2002
    Inventor: Guy Jonathan James Rackham
  • Publication number: 20020091003
    Abstract: A multiplayer electronic entertainment system with a central simulator style device surrounded by a plurality of video game style devices. The simulator style device has a two-player cab with collimated visual displays. The two-player cab is mounted on a hydraulic motion base. Each video game style device is fixed and has a direct view cathode ray tube display. All game devices are interconnected via an Ethernet switch, so that each participant is visible to the others in the electronic imagery that is created on the game devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2001
    Publication date: July 11, 2002
    Inventor: Robert A. Beken
  • Publication number: 20020068640
    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: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2001
    Publication date: June 6, 2002
    Inventors: Hiroshi Uemura, Teruo Matsumoto
  • Publication number: 20020068641
    Abstract: An amusement device or simulator includes a vehicle arranged to travel around a track having slopes and turns. The vehicle includes an opaque canopy enclosing a user. A sequence of images is displayed to the user on the interior of the canopy. The sequence is time synchronized with the motion of the vehicle so that the user experiences forces from the motion of the vehicle which are coordinated with the displayed sequence of images.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2001
    Publication date: June 6, 2002
    Inventor: Thomas Dicicco
  • Patent number: 6386984
    Abstract: Amusement facilities for providing predetermined images to passengers inside a vehicle for amusement on the basis of a scenario while the vehicle (ride)(1) is moving in a predetermined course, wherein the course includes bright areas and dark areas, and acceleration/deceleration of the ride (1) is done at the boundaries of these areas. A video camera (11) provides images outside the vehicle to the passengers in the bright areas and images of a video disk player (34) are provided to the passengers in the dark areas. Further, sways are imparted by a motor (23) for rolling and a motor (24) for pitching to the ride (1) in accordance with scenarios. These images, acceleration/deceleration and sway give the passengers an illusion as if they had moved over a longer distance than an actual distance in the dark areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Yoshiteru Hara, Kenichiro Hayashi, Kazuhide Arai, Tatsuya Kono, Hiroshi Uemura, Hiroki Ito
  • Patent number: 6354954
    Abstract: A motion simulator including passenger carrying apparatus designed to receive and carry a number of seated passengers from a first position in which the passengers board the apparatus into a second position from which the passengers view visual images displayed on a presentation screen. The apparatus includes multiple passenger carriers, each carrier including multiple rows of passenger seats, arrayed with a single presentation screen. Operation of the apparatus is such that the passenger seats are pivoted upwardly into a position directly above a portion of the presentation screen. A wing-shaped deployable canopy is provided over each passenger seat. In the deployed position, the canopy is positioned to block a portion of the passenger's visual field outside the presentation screen. Apparatus is provided for moving air and scent materials over the passengers to enhance the sense of flight created in the minds of the passengers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark W. Sumner
  • Patent number: 6347999
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a new pinball simulator game system in which a view from a perspective of a pinball is displayed such that a player experiences a sensation as riding inside the pinball. The experience is further enhanced with a game console mounted on top of a motion base that moves the player inside the game console according the pinball's movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2002
    Inventor: Jay C. Yuan
  • Patent number: 6336811
    Abstract: A VR motion producing apparatus includes a reception unit for receiving a presently projected picture frame No. from a picture apparatus; a detection unit for detecting a frame No. of operation data of a motion base presently executed by a motion base; a difference unit for comparing the picture frame No. with the motion frame No. to calculate a difference between them; a calculation unit for calculating an operation velocity of a motion base so as to correct this difference value; and a synchronization unit for reducing the difference between the picture frame No. and the motion frame No. for operating the motion base from the calculated velocity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2002
    Assignees: Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Keiyo Engineering Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tsukasa Shiina, Minoru Katoh, Masayuki Oshiro, Takayuki Kamiya, Hiroshi Sakairi, Masami Otomo, Kenji Seino
  • Patent number: 6315673
    Abstract: In one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a motion simulator for a video game. The motion simulator includes a base and a platform supported on the base. The platform has first and second sides. First and second motors drive respective first and second shafts. First and second cams are mounted to the respective first and second shafts. First and second cam followers are connected to the platform proximate the respective first and second sides. The first and second cam followers rest on the respective first and second cams such that rotation of either the first or second shaft causes vertical movement of the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Midway Amusement Games LLC
    Inventors: Thomas M. Kopera, Thomas P. Anderson, Patrick E. Goschy, Christopher T. Bobrowski
  • Patent number: 6309306
    Abstract: An entertainment attraction (100) comprises remote-controlled, telepresence vehicles (204) and an environment (200) for the vehicles to traverse. The environment includes a plurality of reconfigurable portions (206). A vehicle includes an identification device (208) for providing an identifier and a camera (210) for imaging its field of view. A driver console (102) corresponding to a vehicle includes a monitor (212) for displaying the imaged field of view of the camera and a control device (214) for providing a driver-initiated control signal. A control system (218) includes detectors (220) dispersed about the environment. A detector is configured to receive the identifier or to sense the vehicle or both. The control system composes the interactions among the vehicles, the driver console, and the reconfigurable portions according to the received identifier, the sensing of the vehicle, or the driver-initiated control signal or some combination thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley K. Geagley, Joseph O. Garlington, John T. Hagen-Brenner, Gary J. Nadler, William G. Redmann
  • Patent number: 6270414
    Abstract: A system, apparatus and method enabling a participant to control the multi-dimensional kinetics of their avatar in a virtual environment. The participant accomplishes this control by selectably transitioning among various movements (“motion states”) from which are derived avatar motions and motion-related positions. The participant's motion states not only comprise interaction data and are correlated to avatar motion, but also are associated with selected, minimal actual motion in the participant's physical surroundings. The apparatus comprises a mount, a motion base and a support: the mount interfaces with the participant, enabling the participant to have a selected range of motion; the motion base is disposed relative to the mount so as to enable contact with the participant and, associated with such contact, provides for detection of the motion states; and the support couples the mount and the motion base so as to provide the relative disposition thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventor: Gregory Robert Roelofs
  • Patent number: 6254489
    Abstract: An amusement attraction is housed within a building. The building contains several different settings. Each setting contains a variety of scenic elements. One setting acts as a pre-show and includes an audio-visual presentation. A second setting is designed to resemble a tornado-damaged building. A third setting contains various scenic elements designed to resemble an outdoor scene. In the third setting, a special effects show takes place that includes a man-made tornado. Other special effects are used to simulate the effect of the tornado on the scenic elements in the outdoor scene. Guests can safely view the man-made tornado from a guest viewing area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Assignee: Universal City Studios, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas H. Drobnis, Craig R. Hanna, Philip D. Hettema, James H. Hightower, Cecil D. Magpuri, Edward S. Newquist
  • Publication number: 20010003102
    Abstract: In a VR motion producing apparatus and an apparatus, comprising: a reception unit for receiving a presently projected picture frame No. from a picture apparatus; a detection unit for detecting a frame No. of operation data of a motion base presently executed by a motion base; a difference unit for comparing the picture frame No. with the motion frame No. to calculate a difference between them; a calculation unit for calculating an operation velocity of a motion base so as to correct this difference value; and a synchronization unit for reducing the difference between the picture frame No. and the motion frame No.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2001
    Publication date: June 7, 2001
    Applicant: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tsukasa Shiina, Minoru Katoh, Masayuki Oshiro, Takayuki Kamiya, Hiroshi Sakairi, Masami Otomo, Kenji Seino
  • Patent number: 6224491
    Abstract: Provides a ride-type game machine which can provide special stimuli individually to a plurality of players. A game machine 1 designed to be ridden by a player, comprising a posture immobilization device 105 for immobilizing the posture of the player, and a medium-discharging device 109 or the like for discharging a prescribed medium (mist spray or the like) onto a specific bodily region (cheek or the like) of the immobilized player. The posture immobilization device 105 presses against the player's body, preventing the player's head from moving. Thus, the medium can be reliably directed onto a specific bodily region of the player, effectively scaring the player.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Keisuke Hiromi, Tatsuya Kono, Riichiro Toyama
  • Patent number: 6220171
    Abstract: A roller coaster includes a plurality of ride vehicles that ride along a track. Each vehicle provides seating for at least one passenger. The track is elevated off the ground and includes a variety of hills, curves, loops, rolls, drops, inversions and the like. The vehicles are totally enclosed and preferably designed to represent a space capsule. Sight line controls and a yaw mechanism are used at the load platform to prevent passengers from seeing the other ride vehicles. In addition, the track at the load platform is angled upwards to allow for easy access to the ride vehicles. Portals in the cabin are designed to control sight lines to focus the passengers' attention on show elements that are placed along the track. An on-board audio system enhances the realism of the ride experience. Adjustable restraint systems are provided in each vehicle to keep the passengers in their seats and inside the vehicle during the ride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: Universal City Studios
    Inventors: Philip D. Hettema, Cecil D. Magpuri, Aidan J. Bradley, Kevin T. Parent, Edward S. Newquist
  • Patent number: 6210286
    Abstract: A riding game system provides a feeling as if a player is riding on a real animal. The riding game system includes a mimetic animal device and a display showing a virtual space. The mimetic animal device is in the form of a horse having a head and a body. The player controls the mimetic animal device like controlling an animal in the virtual space by riding on the body, gripping a rein portion provided on the head and placing the player's foot on a pair of steps provided at the body. The head is inclined up and down and rotated from side to side. The body is rocked back and forth while the steps are also rocked back and forth. The rotational movement of the head from side to side and the rocking movement of the body backward and forward are detected as information for controlling the virtual horse in the virtual space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Assignee: Namco, Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshiya Ohara, Hideaki Yamamoto, Sumito Oda, Takashi Ohwaki
  • Patent number: 6179619
    Abstract: A game machine for a moving object having both a position detecting device being operable to detect a position of a person riding on the moving object on a course of movement to obtain position information and a direction detection device being operable to detect a direction of a field of vision of the person to obtain direction information. The game machine also has a memory being operable to store visual and auditory information regarding a change in the course of movement and a central processing part being operable to select visual and auditory information corresponding to the position of the person and the direction of the field of vision of the person riding on the moving object based on the position information of the position detection device and the direction information of the direction detection device. A speaker and a display are used to output the selected auditory and visual information, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Inventor: Shigenobu Tanaka
  • Patent number: 6159100
    Abstract: A virtual reality system is provided including at least one game station. Such game station has at least one virtual reality outfit equipped with a helmet having an input device for subjecting a user to visual and audio stimuli upon the receipt thereof. The outfit also has a plurality of output devices including a movement sensor for generating an output signal upon the detection of a movement of the user and an audio sensor for generating the output signal upon the detection of a vocalization of the user. Further provided is a plurality of auxiliary sensory mechanisms for subjecting the user to various feeling sensory conditions upon the actuation thereof. A server is connected to each game station and adapted to transmit the audio and visual stimuli and further actuate a predetermined number of the auxiliary sensory mechanisms as a function of the output signals of at least one game station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventor: Michael D. Smith
  • Patent number: 6152828
    Abstract: Three driving means for rocking a rocking object are provided, each of the foregoing driving means has a motor and an arm which rotates with one end thereof as an axis by the rotation of the motor, the other end of the foregoing arm is rotatably mounted to the front central portion and the rear both side portions of the foregoing rocking object, and each of the foregoing driving means is drivingly controlled to thereby pitch, roll and heave the foregoing rocking object. Such a rocking device capable of performing complicated operations with simple structure will be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Seijiro Tomita, Ichiro Katagiri
  • Patent number: 6113500
    Abstract: A 3-D simulator amusement ride is disclosed. The ride includes a motion base formed in a hexagonal pattern with up to six degrees of freedom of movement, a passenger enclosure supported upon the motion base, a 3-D video image system attached to the enclosure and a computerized control system which functions to synchronize the movement of the enclosure to a viewed 3-D video.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Cinema Ride, Inc.
    Inventors: Mitchell J. Francis, Gary H. Packman
  • Patent number: 6079982
    Abstract: A new interactive simulator ride for providing an entertaining interactive visual, audio, and motion simulation. The inventive device includes a guidance track comprised of a plurality of laterally spaced guidance rails, a simulator vehicle housing having an interior and having lateral side walls having a plurality of support wheels mounted thereon for supporting the simulator vehicle housing on the spaced guidance rails. A seat for seating by a person is provided within the interior of the simulator vehicle housing. A viewing screen is provided within the simulator vehicle housing interior for providing a computer generated visual image for viewing by a person located in the simulator housing. The invention also includes a projection means for projecting a computer generated visual image on the viewing screen, a means for providing computer generated visual images to the projection means, and a user input device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Inventor: Gregory M Meader
  • Patent number: 6059666
    Abstract: A riding game system provides a feeling as if a player is riding on a real animal. The riding game system includes a mimetic animal device and a display showing a virtual space. The mimetic animal device is in the form of a horse having a head and a body. The player controls the mimetic animal device like controlling an animal in the virtual space by riding on the body, gripping a rein portion provided on the head and placing the player's foot on a pair of steps provided at the body. The head is inclined up and down and rotated from side to side. The body is rocked back and forth while the steps are also rocked back and forth. The rotational movement of the head from side to side and the rocking movement of the body backward and forward are detected as information for controlling the virtual horse in the virtual space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Namco Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshiya Ohara, Hideaki Yamamoto, Sumito Oda, Takashi Ohwaki
  • Patent number: 6053576
    Abstract: A bank of seats for use in an amusement type environment has at least two seats arranged in side-by-side orientation with all seats facing in the same direction. The bank of seats has a substantially planar platform and upstanding, forward support arms attached to the platform in spaced apart positions adjacent at the front edge of the platform. In addition, upstanding, rearward support arms are attached to the platform at spaced apart positions adjacent to the back edge of the platform to form respective pairs of forward and rearward support arms. Each of the seats is mounted for pivotal movement about a pivot axis that is adjacent to the distal ends of a respective pair of forward and rearward support arms. All of the seats are pivoted in unison about their respective pivot axes so that each seat sways from side to side in substantially the same pivotal movement as all other of the seats. Independent mechanisms raise and lower the front and back edges of the planar platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Inventor: Michael J Jessee
  • Patent number: 6042382
    Abstract: A centripetal acceleration movement apparatus includes a base support having a rotatable portion rotatably disposed about a first axis. A plurality of carrying pods are attached to the rotatable portion of the base support and are positioned remotely with respect to the first axis for carrying at least one passenger. A rotating device is provided for rotating the rotatable portion of the base support about the first axis and thereby causing the attached carrying pod to (i) orbit the first axis along an orbital movement path and (ii) apply a centripetal force to the at least one passenger. A motion picture device is provided for producing a motion picture display confined to orbital movement with the carrying pods in a manner sufficient to enable the motion picture display to be viewed by a seeing passenger being carried by the carrying pods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Inventor: Robert Halfhill
  • Patent number: 6039653
    Abstract: An apparatus, a system and a method for creating motion are provided. The apparatus includes a base and a frame connected by legs with a rod extending from the base towards the frame. Cylinders, preferably pneumatic, connect to the rod to the frame. Air or fluid to the cylinders may be controlled in a programmable manner to create motion to the rod and, hence, to the base. Another connecting element is provided between the base and one of the legs which may also include a cylinder creating an additional degree of freedom and motion to the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Inventor: Brad Engstrand
  • Patent number: 6017276
    Abstract: An entertainment device is based on a sphere that moves in coordination with visual and auditory stimuli. Audience members are seated inside the sphere in one hemisphere while an image is displayed on the inside of the opposite hemisphere. The sphere is driven by actuators to roll, pitch and yaw without limit in synchrony with the images displayed. An audio system works in synchrony with the motion to further enhance the experience. Pure horizontal or vertical motion effects may be obtained by adding one or more linear motion stages which translate the entire sphere assembly horizontally or vertically. The audience members may interact with the ride using actuators. Multiple spheres may interact with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Inventors: Matthew Elson, Eric A. Holmberg
  • Patent number: 5964064
    Abstract: A theater includes an audience seating area, a stage and at least three projection screens. Multiple film projectors simultaneously project a three dimensional film onto the three projection screens. Three dimensional film elements appear to move seamlessly from one projection screen to the next. In a live action show, actors, stage sets and show action equipment appear to interact with the three dimensional film. The filmed set blends with the stage sets to give dimension and a feeling of depth to the viewing audience. The audience cannot easily distinguish between the real elements and filmed elements thereby intensifying the theater experience.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Universal City Studios, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary Goddard, Adam Bezark
  • Patent number: 5961195
    Abstract: One embodiment of the invention includes an image display device. The image display device includes a projector for emitting an image, a screen on which the image is projected, and a mirror for reflecting the image from the projector toward the screen. The mirror has a planar surface reflection area and a curved surface reflection area continuous with the planar reflection area. Images projected onto the mirror are reflected with no distortion in one area and distortion in another area. The distorted area fills a portion of a user's peripheral vision. Also, the distorted area allows some embodiments of the invention to provide the user with a greater sense of motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Namco Ltd.
    Inventors: Naotaka Yoshimatsu, Hideki Inoue
  • Patent number: 5951404
    Abstract: A riding game machine for playing the game of a jet ski race, for example has a display unit for displaying a simulated image of an object on a wavy surface, and a riding device swingable depending on the simulated image displayed by the display unit. The riding device has a riding unit for a player to ride thereon, a handle coupled to the riding unit for changing a direction of travel of the object of the simulated image displayed by the display unit, an accelerator lever mounted on the handle for changing a speed of the object of the simulated image displayed by the display unit, a pitching member for swinging the riding unit about a horizontal transverse axis, a rolling member for swinging the riding unit about a horizontal longitudinal axis, and a pitching mechanism for actuating the pitching member in relation to travel of the object on the wavy surface in the simulated image displayed by the display unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Konami Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshimitsu Oishi, Hirofumi Nagao
  • Patent number: 5931739
    Abstract: A fail-safe ride simulator (10) broadly includes a base (11), a platform (13) mounted for movement relative to the base, an actuation mechanism (14) operatively arranged between the platform and an actuation mechanism operatively arranged between the platform and the base. The actuation mechanism includes a plurality of electro-mechanical servoactuators (23) acting between the platform and base for causing relative movement therebetween. A fail-safe circuit (34) is operatively arranged to continuously monitor the condition of the actuation mechanism, and to cause the platform to move automatically toward a predetermined position relative to the base in the event of an unsafe condition in the actuation mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Assignee: Moog Inc.
    Inventors: John Christian Layer, Gregory Joseph Guzewich, Larry D. Hall
  • Patent number: 5865624
    Abstract: A reactive ride simulator includes package of sensors along with a telemetry radio transmitter and/or a recorder. This package is carried at a movable remote site, such as aboard an actual vehicle. A radio receiver, or a player for the recorded data from the remote site, is interfaced with a decoder providing a electronic signals which include a replication of the sights, sounds, and motions experienced at the remote site. A motion base is used to provide the accelerations necessary to replicate the G-forces experienced at the remote site, while a cabin on this motion base is associated with audio/visual presentation devices so that a passenger on the reactive ride simulator also receives the audio/visual sensations of being present at the remote site. As a result, the passenger on the reactive ride simulator receives a sensory experience of being at the remote site, or of riding on the actual vehicle, while actually moving only slightly on the motion base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Inventor: Larry Hayashigawa
  • Patent number: 5857917
    Abstract: A 3-D simulator amusement ride dimensioned to fit within existing buildings having 12 to 15 foot high ceilings. The ride includes a motion base formed in a hexagonal pattern with up to six degrees of freedom of movement, a passenger enclosure supported upon the motion base, a 3-D video image system attached to the enclosure and a computerized control system which functions to synchronize the movement of the enclosure to a projected 3-D video.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Inventors: Mitchell J. Francis, Gary H. Packman
  • Patent number: 5853330
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and a method for interactively experiencing a recording. At least one seat is provided which moves in a plane simultaneously either through active participation of the viewer through movement of a joystick or passively by a signal recorded on the recording medium. The recording medium includes a motion signal provided to a controller for actuating release and supply of air to pneumatic cylinders moving the at least one seat simultaneously in the same plane in a maximum degree of movement. The recording medium may also include video and/or audio signals for displaying an image on a screen which moves in the same plane as the seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Inventor: Brad Engstrand
  • Patent number: 5848939
    Abstract: A free standing coin operated game system includes a computer and a mechanical animal for a player to ride. The game further includes a first video display screen displaying computer generated video graphics of a moving head section of an animal of the same species as the mechanical animal. The first screen is disposed in front of the mechanical animal and viewable by the player. A second video display screen displays the score of the player. A third video display screen displays computer generated video graphics of an animal of the same species as the mechanical animal and a mounted rider on the animal. During play of the game, movement of the head section image in relation to the surrounding arena images creates a sensation of movement in the player. The video graphics image displayed on the first video display screen induces physical movement by the player who is positioned on the back of the mechanical bull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Inventor: James R. Smith
  • Patent number: 5846134
    Abstract: A method for immersion of a user into virtual reality consisting in that a closed shell limiting a real closed space is formed and the shell is arranged on a support means with the possibility of rotation about its center. A user who has the possibility for free movement along the inner surface of the shell is placed in the shell. Wherein the shell turns in a direction opposite to the direction of movement of the user due to the effect of the moment of force produced when the center of gravity of the user is displaced relative to a vertical passing through the center of the shell. Then a virtual space is formed in which objects appear and move in a predetermined and random manner. This formed virtual space is displayed to the user. Continuous conversion of the virtual space is carried out in accordance with real physical hand, foot and head movements of the user in the real space, taking into account interaction with the objects in virtual space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Inventor: Nurakhmed Nurislamovich Latypov
  • Patent number: 5829201
    Abstract: An amusement attraction has a theater with an audience seating area. The audience seating area faces a projection screen and a film presentation is projected onto the projection screen. The audience seating area contains seats that are arranged in rows. The seats are supported on seat drop units that vertically shift the seats. The theater also contains wheelchair platforms that are installed between some of the seats. The wheelchair platforms are also capable of moving in a vertical direction. During a predetermined sequence in the film presentation, an explosion takes place on the projection screen, and the seats and the wheelchair platforms drop suddenly to simulate the theater floor being blown out. In this manner, the audience, including members of the audience who are physically disabled, is provided with a participatory theater experience.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Universal City Studios, Inc.
    Inventors: James Schelter, Frank Masi
  • Patent number: 5807114
    Abstract: A virtual reality system provides effective exposure treatment for psychiatric patients suffering from a particular anxiety disorder. The system is characterized by a video screen disposed in front of the patient to display an image of a specific graphical environment that is intended to trigger anxiety within the patient as a result of the particular patient phobia. A headset is worn by the patient, and has sensors disposed to detect movement and positioning of the patient's head. A computer program controls the operation of the system, and is designed to control the display of the graphical environment on the video screen, monitor the headset sensors and determine the position of the patient's head, and controllably manipulate the graphical environment displayed on the video screen to reflect the movement and position of the patient's head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Emory University and Georgia Tech Research Corporation
    Inventors: Larry F. Hodges, Barbara O. Rothbaum
  • Patent number: 5791903
    Abstract: A flight simulator for amusement rides simulating aircraft or space flight with visual presentations and motion having an operator station attached to a structural support frame through an articulating member providing unlimited angular rotation about a roll axis and limited angular rotation about a pitch axis. An electrical coupling concentric with a drive axle is rotatable through at least 360.degree. about the roll axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: Fir Ride & Show Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Eduard Feuer, Ronald L. Brown, Banyat Somwong
  • Patent number: 5772513
    Abstract: A rotating apparatus for simulatively rotating a playing box of a simulation game machine includes: a turn table on which the playing box is mounted, the playing box being provided with a controlling portion having a first signal transmission wire; a driver which rotates the turn table, the driver being provided with a controller having a second signal transmission wire; and a rotary connector provided in a center of the turn table. The rotary connector includes: a first conductive member rotatable with the turn table, and electrically connected with the first signal transmission wire; and a second conductive member being stationary in relative to and electrically connected with the first conductive member, and electrically connected with the second signal transmission wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: Konami Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Toshimitsu Ohishi
  • Patent number: 5759107
    Abstract: A gyroscopic amusement apparatus including a cradle having upright supports and carrying a pair of concentric rings capable of rotation about perpendicular axis. A hydraulic motor is supported on one of the upright supports and drives the outer ring bi-directionally about a horizontal axis. A second hydraulic motor is mounted on the outer ring and drives the inner ring about a vertical axis. A seat is supported within the inner ring to support an operator and a video display unit and control stick are sued by the operator to control rotation of the rings and the image on the video display unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Amusement Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry Nagel
  • Patent number: 5722897
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and a method for interactively experiencing a recording. At least one seat is provided which moves in a plane simultaneously either through active participation of the viewer through movement of a joystick or passively by a signal recorded on the recording medium. The recording medium includes a motion signal provided to a controller for actuating release and supply of air to pneumatic cylinders moving the at least one seat simultaneously in the same plane in a maximum degree of movement. The recording medium may also include video and/or audio signals for displaying an image on a screen which moves in the same plane as the seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Inventor: Brad Engstrand
  • Patent number: 5716281
    Abstract: A game apparatus has a vehicle which can display an image matching a background scene of a playing area by synthesizing the image with the background scene. The vehicle moves along a vehicle path provided through the playing area. A player plays a game in the playing area while the player views the background scene of the playing area. An image matching the background scene of the playing area is displayed by a virtual image forming system provided on the vehicle. A scene in which the virtual image is synthesized with the background scene is viewed by the player.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1998
    Assignee: Sega Enterprises, Ltd.
    Inventor: Shingo Dote
  • Patent number: 5711670
    Abstract: A motion-base ride simulator includes a passenger cabin which is carried by a plurality of actuators within a limited operating envelope. During operation of the ride the movements of the passenger cabin simulate G-forces associated with an audio-visual presentation to the passengers within the cabin. The combination of sight, sound, and feeling (i.e., G-forces) provides the passengers of the ride with a sense of riding on a vehicle, such as a racing car or rocket ship. In order to facilitate one or both of passenger ingress and egress of the cabin, the motion base is so associated with a stationary passenger platform that the passenger cabin may be moved to a passenger access position immediately adjacent to but not touching an adjacent edge of this platform. In this passenger access position of the cabin passengers may enter into or leave from the passenger cabin without use of a movable passenger platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1998
    Inventor: Craig Kevin Barr
  • Patent number: 5702307
    Abstract: A motion simulator in the form of a motorized skeletal sphere suspended from a gimbal platform. The skeletal sphere comprises two orbital tracks, each having contollable motorized ballasts devices with attachment mechanism to the orbital tracks. These tracks provide a predetermined path for the ballasts to travel on. The ballasts provide a shifting mechanism for controlling the center of gravitys' position from within the occupied sphere. The ballasts rotate the sphere on its' axis 360.degree., in a controlled and deliberate manner. Different positions of the rotating axis are provided by the use of a multi-pivotal platform, that suspends the sphere and allows it to rotate freely in a plurality of directions. Direction is determined by an occupant using a control device for the ballasts movement. An adjustable chair is provided for centering the occupant as close to the center of the sphere as is possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Inventor: Kristen G. Moran
  • Patent number: 5678889
    Abstract: A modular assembly of theater seats aligned in a row. Each of the seats in the row moves with an identical motion in response to a coordinated sequence to create seat motions which can complement a scene being protrayed on a movie screen. Three or more rotatable shafts run along the row under the seats. The shafts are caused to rotate by hydraulic cylinders coupled to the shafts through bell cranks. Each seat is supported by three legs which are also coupled to the shafts by bell cranks. Rotation of the shafts causes vertical motion of the legs, and by coordinating the motions of the individual legs, in the presently preferred embodiment of the invention, the seats can be made to move with linear vertical motion, or to rotate either side to side or fore and aft in the vertical plane. Linear fore and aft motion of the seats may be provided by a fourth rotatable shaft running along the row under the seats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1997
    Inventor: Joseph William Purcell, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5669821
    Abstract: An easily modifiable ride is provided with a track and a car for carrying at least one passenger along the track. The track creates changes of movement of the car to thereby produce G-forces to the passenger. A plurality of detectors are provided for detecting movements of the car. At least one display device is used for producing a series of images to create a displayed scenario of an amusement ride. There is also provided signal generators responsive to the detectors for synchronizing between the images and the movements of the car.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Inventors: James G. Prather, Richard T. Headrick