US20070158911A1 - Interactive role-play toy apparatus - Google Patents

Interactive role-play toy apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070158911A1
US20070158911A1 US11594020 US59402006A US2007158911A1 US 20070158911 A1 US20070158911 A1 US 20070158911A1 US 11594020 US11594020 US 11594020 US 59402006 A US59402006 A US 59402006A US 2007158911 A1 US2007158911 A1 US 2007158911A1
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Prior art keywords
launch
assembly
input
include
projectiles
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US11594020
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Gabriel Torre
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Torre Gabriel D L
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41BWEAPONS FOR PROJECTING MISSILES WITHOUT USE OF EXPLOSIVE OR COMBUSTIBLE PROPELLANT CHARGE; WEAPONS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F41B11/00Compressed-gas guns, e.g. air guns; Steam guns
    • F41B11/80Compressed-gas guns, e.g. air guns; Steam guns specially adapted for particular purposes
    • F41B11/89Compressed-gas guns, e.g. air guns; Steam guns specially adapted for particular purposes for toys
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/02Shooting or hurling games
    • A63F9/0252Shooting devices therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/02Shooting or hurling games
    • A63F9/0278Projectiles
    • A63F2009/0282Projectiles with shapes other than balls
    • A63F2009/0286Discs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • A63F2009/2483Other characteristics
    • A63F2009/2488Remotely playable
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2250/00Miscellaneous game characteristics
    • A63F2250/49Miscellaneous game characteristics with provisions for connecting to a part of the body
    • A63F2250/495Hand, arm or wrist
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F7/00Indoor games using small moving playing bodies, e.g. balls, discs or blocks
    • A63F7/0058Indoor games using small moving playing bodies, e.g. balls, discs or blocks electric

Abstract

An interactive toy apparatus. The apparatus may include a launch assembly adapted to receive a communication signal and to project one or more projectiles corresponding to a launch result corresponding thereto. The launch result may be representative of one of a plurality of actions of the launch assembly including projecting at least one projectile from the launch assembly. The apparatus may include an input assembly disposed remotely from the launch assembly and having a plurality of manually operable input devices each adapted to transmit an input signal. Optionally, the apparatus may include a control system in communication with the launch assembly and with the input assembly. The control system may be adapted to receive a combination of input signals and to determine a launch command, corresponding to one of the plurality of actions of the launch assembly therefrom. The control system may be further adapted to transmit the communication signal representative of the launch command to the launch assembly.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/734,686, filed on Nov. 7, 2005, the complete disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety and for all purposes.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present disclosure relates to interactive role-play toy apparatus, and more particularly to interactive role-play toy apparatus that include an input assembly having a plurality of manually operable input devices, a control system in communication with the input assembly and with a launch assembly that is adapted to project at least one projectile from the launch assembly.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • [0003]
    An interactive role-play toy apparatus may include one or more input devices that may be manipulated by a participant, and a launch assembly may be adapted to perform one or more actions corresponding to the manipulations. Examples of interactive apparatus, hand-operated electronic input devices, and/or projectile launchers are found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,603,203; 3,487,824; 3,515,114; 3,876,201; 4,248,202; 4,414,537; 4,613,139; 5,050,575; 5,288,078; 5,488,362; 5,613,482; 5,647,338; 6,110,000; 6,128,004; 6,141,643; 6,224,457; 6,227,968; 6,244,873; 6,253,058; 6,273,421; 6,422,911; 6,454,625; 6,497,604; 6,497,606; 6,514,117; 6,544,098; 6,586,942; 6,599,166; 6,682,390; 6,884,186; 6,967,596; 6,700,051; and 6,878,870; in U.S. Design Patent No. D472035; in U.S. Patent Application Publication Nos. 2001/0040550; 2002/0037759; 2003/0003839; 2004/0012557; 2004/0048666; 2005/0139679; and 2005/0233707; and in PCT Patent Application Publication No. WO96/03190. The entire disclosures of each of the patents, patent applications, and patent application publications recited in this and in other paragraphs are all incorporated by reference herein in their entirety and for all purposes.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • [0004]
    An interactive toy apparatus may include a launch assembly adapted to receive a communication signal and to project one or more projectiles corresponding to a launch result corresponding thereto. The launch result may be representative of one of a plurality of actions of the launch assembly including projecting at least one projectile from the launch assembly. The apparatus may also include an input assembly disposed remotely from the launch assembly and having a plurality of manually operable input devices each adapted to transmit an input signal. Optionally, the apparatus may include a control system in communication with the launch assembly and with the input assembly. The control system may be adapted to receive a combination of input signals and to determine a launch command, corresponding to one of the plurality of actions of the launch assembly therefrom. The control system may be further adapted to transmit the communication signal representative of the launch command to the launch assembly.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0005]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary interactive role-play toy apparatus according to the present disclosure.
  • [0006]
    FIG. 2 is a schematic of an interactive role-play toy apparatus according to the present disclosure.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the remote module of the exemplary interactive role-play toy apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 4 is a top view of the remote module of the exemplary interactive role-play toy apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 5 is a table showing exemplary game activity that may be responsive to exemplary combinations of input signals of the interactive role-play toy apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0010]
    Interactive role-play toy apparatus may provide play experiences for child users to perform various user actions and to experience, as a result of the user actions, one or more visible, audible, and/or tactile sensations. For example, the interactive role-play toy apparatus may include an input assembly adapted to be manipulated by the user to provide input signals that are transmitted to a processor. The processor may determine a launch command corresponding to the received input signals representative of the launch command, and to transmit communication signals to a launcher assembly. The launcher assembly may be adapted to project one or more projectiles corresponding to the launch command.
  • [0011]
    Turning now to the drawings, a schematic representation of an exemplary interactive role-play toy apparatus is shown in FIG. 1, and is indicated generally at 20. FIG. 1 shows an interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22 as an example of interactive role-play toy apparatus 20, that may provide a role-play environment. Other embodiments may provide other role-play environments such as athletic events, combat activities, or the like.
  • [0012]
    Interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22 may include an input assembly 24, a control system 26, and a launch assembly 28. Optionally, the input assembly may be coupled to the control system to cumulatively form a remote module 30 that may be adapted to be worn on the body of a player or user 32 of the interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus. For example, the remote module may be adapted to attach to the wrist 34 and/or hand 36 of the user. Accordingly, the remote module may include one or more straps 38 that may be adapted to affix the remote module to the wrist and/or the hand.
  • [0013]
    Remote module 30 may be coupled to launch assembly by a communication linkage 40, for example a wireless linkage 42. The remote module may be adapted to transmit wireless signals 44 to and/or receive wireless signals from launch assembly 28. Wireless signal 44 may include any suitable electromagnetic energy such as electric fields, magnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation at radio-frequency (RF), infrared radiation, or optical radiation. Wireless linkage 42 may have any suitable range of effective transmission of wireless signals 44. For example, the range of effective transmission may be five feet, eight feet, ten feet, fifteen feet, or longer. This effective range of transmission may correspond to a distance that player 32 may stand away from the launch assembly while performing role-play tasks with the remote module. Accordingly, the launch assembly may be disposed remotely from the remote module.
  • [0014]
    The launch assembly may be adapted to project one or more projectiles representative of a launch result that is representative of one a plurality of actions of the launch assembly may be adapted to perform, including projecting at least one projectile 46 from the launch assembly. In some examples, the launch assembly may be adapted to operate at a location that is remote from input assembly 24 and/or from control system 26.
  • [0015]
    As particularly shown in FIG. 2, remote module 30 may include input assembly 24, control system 26, a power supply 48, and a sensory output device 50. Input assembly 24 may include a plurality of manually operable input devices 52 that are each adapted to transmit an input signal 54. In some examples, the input devices may include a plurality of contact switches 56 that are each adapted to be manually actuated to close a circuit, thereby producing the input signals. However, the input devices may include any combination of joysticks, trackballs, level switches, contact switches, or other devices that have electrical properties modified by manual actuation, such as by creating an open circuit, a closed circuit, and/or a modified impedance, resistance, capacitance, and/or inductance.
  • [0016]
    Power supply 48 may include one or more batteries, an AC/DC converter, and the like. Sensory output device 50 may include one or more elements that are adapted to produce one or more sensory outputs to the user of the interactive role-play toy apparatus, such as visible, audible, and/or tactile sensations. For example, the sensory output device may include a speaker device 58 that is adapted to produce sounds 60. Remote module 30 may further include a plurality of linkages 62 that may include a combination of cables, wires, and/or wireless connections that are adapted to transmit input signals 54 and/or power between components of interactive role-play toy apparatus 20.
  • [0017]
    Control system 26 may include one or more analog or digital circuits, logic units, or processors for operating programs stored as software in memory, and may include one or more distinct units in communication with each other. The control system may be adapted to produce and transmit output signals 64 to one or more other elements of the interactive role-play toy apparatus. For example, the control system may be adapted to produce and transmit audio output signals 66 to speaker device 58 along one or more linkages 62.
  • [0018]
    As has been suggested, remote module 30 may be adapted to transmit wireless signals 44. Accordingly, the remote unit may include a wireless transmitter 68 that is electrically coupled to the control system via one or more linkages 62.
  • [0019]
    Optionally, remote module 30 may include a computer readable medium 70 such as memory components to store game parameters. Computer readable medium 70 may be either non-removable, or removable in order to transfer parameters to other interactive role-play toy apparatus 20, and may each be a read-only medium or a read-write medium. Additionally or alternatively, the computer readable medium may include one or more sequences of instructions that, when executed by one or more processors such as control system, interactive role-play toy apparatus 20 may play alternatively themed role-play games.
  • [0020]
    Launch assembly 28 may include a power supply 72, a wireless receiver 74, one or more launch assembly input devices 76, a launch processor 78, and a launcher 80. Power supply 72 may include one or more batteries, an AC/DC converters or the like. Wireless receiver 74 may be adapted to receive wireless signals 44 that are transmitted from remote module 30, for example at wireless transmitter 68. Launch assembly input devices 76 may include any combination of joysticks, trackballs, level switches, contact switches, and so forth.
  • [0021]
    Launch processor 78 may include one or more analog or digital circuits, logic units, or processors for operating programs stored as software in memory, and may include one or more distinct units in communication with each other. The launch assembly may include one or more linkages 82 that may be adapted to electrically couple the several components of the launch assembly. Launcher 80 may include one or more launch units 84 that may be adapted to project one or more projectiles 46 away from the launch assembly.
  • [0022]
    Each launch unit 84 may be adapted to project a different type and/or size of projectiles or disks. Optionally, each launch unit may be adapted to launch the same type and size projectiles, such as disks 86. Launcher 80 may include a feed mechanism 88 that may include one or more storage units 90 that are adapted to store projectiles within the launch assembly before they are projected.
  • [0023]
    As has been suggested previously, the launch assembly may be adapted to project one or more projectiles that represent a launch result that represents one of a plurality of actions including projecting at least one projectile 46 from the launch assembly. In some examples, control system 26 may be adapted to determine a launch command that may correspond to one of the plurality of actions of the launch assembly, and to transmit communication signals representative of the launch command to the launch assembly, for example at launch processor 78.
  • [0024]
    The transmitted launch command may be selectable from a group of launch commands. Different launch commands of the group of launch commands may correspond to a different number of projected projectiles 46. Optionally, different launch commands of the group of launch commands may correspond to projecting projectiles 46 in different directions relative to the launcher. For examples, projectiles may be launched in substantially opposite directions. In one example, the launch assembly may be adapted to launch projectiles either away from player 32 or toward the player.
  • [0025]
    In examples that include more than one launch unit, the launch unit may perform a launch action such as projecting one or more projectiles either simultaneously or seriately (one-at-a-time). Each launch unit may be adapted to project any number of projectiles in a launch action. For example, each launch unit may be adapted to project one, two, three, or more projectiles at a time. In examples where the launch unit are adapted to project seriately, or one or more projectiles at a time, the launch units may simulate launching multiple projectiles by executing multiple launch actions of a single projectile.
  • [0026]
    In interactive role-play toy apparatus 22 shown in FIGS. 1-2, launcher 80 includes two launch units 84 that may each be adapted to project projectiles or disks seriately. Optionally, the launch units may seriately perform the launch action of one or more disks. In some examples, launch units 84 may each be adapted to project projectiles 46 in a common direction away from the launcher. Accordingly, launch assembly may include a body 92 that may be rotatable about a substantially vertical axis A to move between a plurality of positions that correspond to projecting projectiles away from launch assembly 28 in different directions. In some examples, one position may correspond to launching one or more projectiles toward player 32. In these examples, the launch assembly may include one or more markings 94 that provide the player an indication of one or more launch directions.
  • [0027]
    Body 92 may house launcher 80 and may have one or more orifice 96 through which the launcher projects the projectiles. Additionally or alternatively, the launcher may include a rotation module 98 that is adapted to effect the rotation of the body. The launcher may further include a power distribution module 100 that may be adapted to convert energy supplied by power supply 72 into the energy required to project projectiles 46 and to rotate body 92. In a non-exclusive example, the power distribution module may include one or more gear assemblies 102 that are adapted to transfer the rotation of at least one electric motor 104 into motion to effectively project the projectiles from the launcher. Power distribution module 100 may also include at least one gear assembly 102 that may be linked to an axle 106 to convert rotation of the one or more electric motors 104 into rotation of body 92.
  • [0028]
    Referring now to FIGS. 3-4, remote module 30 is shown affixed to the wrist and the hand of player 32. The remote module includes a glove portion 120 that may be adapted to be worn over at least a portion of hand 36 and a housing 122, in which control system 26 is disposed. The glove portion may be fabricated from a soft and/or conforming material, for example, fabric, and may be adorned with one or more insignia 124 that illustrate the role-play theme. In some examples, the glove portion may include one or more input devices 52, such as one or more contact switches 56. The contact switches may be disposed on an outer surface of the glove portion, or may be sewn into a compartment 126 that may be fabricated within the glove portion fabric.
  • [0029]
    The example shown in FIGS. 3-4 includes four contact switches 56. Two contact switches may be disposed on each side 128 of glove portion 120. For example, one contact sensor 56 may be located in finger area 130 of each side 128. Optionally, one contact sensor 56 may be located in the central area 132 of each side. In some examples, one or more contact switches may be disposed at locations corresponding to one or more insignia 124.
  • [0030]
    Linkages 62 such as wires 134 may extend from the one or more contact switches 56 to the control system within housing 122. The housing may also include speaker device 58 and one or more buttons 136. The buttons may be adapted to be actuated by player 32 to transmit one or more input signals 54 that may control one or play modes of interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22, the volume of the sound output of speaker device 58, and the like.
  • [0031]
    Referring again to FIG. 1 and with continued reference to FIG. 2-4, interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22 may include play modes that allow the player to perform a plurality of role-play tasks by manipulating one or more contact switches 56. The contact switches 56 may be actuated in any combination.
  • [0032]
    Each combination of input signals 54 created by combinations of contact switches 56 may correspond to one or more ninja hand seals to be executed while performing the role-play tasks. Optionally, player 32 may continue to depress one or more contact switches 56 while actuating one or more additional contact switches to form a combination of the contact switches, thereby transmitting a combination of input signals 54. Contact switches 56 may be adapted to be depressed in any suitable manner. For example, player 32 may depress the contact switches with fingers 138 of an opposite hand 140, as shown in FIG. 1. Contact switches may also be depressed by pressing the contact switches against other body parts such as a chest, a leg, etc., or against one or more fixed surfaces such a table or a chair. Optionally, one or more input devices 52, such as contact switches 56, may be disposed in other components of interactive role-play apparatus 20, for example within opposite glove 142.
  • [0033]
    In some examples, an order in which the contact switches are depressed may determine the combination of contact switches executed. At the conclusion of each sequence, the player may release each of the depressed contact switches. Optionally, if the player waits for at least a predetermined period of time, for example two seconds, before actuating a successive contact sensor, the control system may determine that the current combination has been completed and that a new combination has been started.
  • [0034]
    In the present example in which four contact switches are used, combinations may include one, two, three, or four contact switches. One or more role-play tasks may include performing a sequence of combinations of actuated contact switches. In some examples the player may wait a predetermined period of time after releasing the contact switches corresponding to one sequence prior to commencing a successive sequence.
  • [0035]
    Also in the illustrated example, remote module 30 is worn on the left hand and wrist of player 32, and opposite glove 142 is worn on the right hand. In some examples, the remote module may be adapted to be worn on either hand of the player. Optionally, the remote unit may be adapted to be worn on alternative locations on the body of the player, such as on the head, waist, legs, or chest of the player.
  • [0036]
    Interactive role-play toy apparatus 20 such as interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22 may include a plurality of game modes that allow player 32 to perform one or more tasks, or series of tasks, with remote module 30, for example input assembly 24. Additionally, the interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus may include a number of skill level settings that may determine the complexity of the tasks of each mode. Available modes may include race-like modes and accuracy modes.
  • [0037]
    Accordingly, interactive ninja role-play apparatus 22 may provide one or more mode selection and/or difficulty selection prompts. Control system 28 may transmit audio output signals 66 that speaker device 58 converts into sounds 60 that include selection instructions. In response, player 32 may actuate one or more input devices 52 to generate one or more input signals 54 that the control system receives and determines therefrom the selected mode and/or difficulty level. Input devices 52 may include launch assembly input devices 76, contact switches 56, and/or buttons 136.
  • [0038]
    Race-like modes of interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22 may include a “The Way of the Shenobi” mode, in which the player is challenged to cause launch assembly 28 to project a specific number and/or type of projectiles 46 in as short a time span as possible by executing specific manipulations of input assembly 24. In this mode, players may compete against playmates to see who can complete the task in the fastest time.
  • [0039]
    In this “The Way of the Shenobi” mode, control system 26, in response to receiving different combinations of input signals 54 from contact switches 56, may determine the launch command based upon the received combination of input signals, or upon the received sequence of combinations. Optionally, the control system, in response to receiving sequences corresponding to different degrees of difficulty, may determine different launch commands that correspond to different numbers of projected projectiles 46. Receiving combinations that include a greater number of input signals may result in launch commands corresponding to projecting a greater number of projectiles.
  • [0040]
    For example, FIG. 5 shows a table 150 that shows non-exclusive relationships between the number of contact switches that are actuated in a given combination and the number of projected projectiles in a corresponding launch result. As shown in table 150, a combination that includes actuating one contact switch may effect a launch result corresponding to one projected projectile. Similarly, a combination that includes actuating either two or three contact switches may effect a launch result corresponding to two projected projectiles. Additionally, a combination that includes actuating all four contact switches may effect a launch result corresponding to five projected projectiles. In other examples, different combinations of the same number of contact switches may effect launch results corresponding to different numbers of projected projectiles.
  • [0041]
    Additionally or alternatively, interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22 may include a “The Chakra Speed Test” mode, in which player 32 attempts to effect one or more launch results corresponding to the launch assembly cumulatively projecting a specific number and/or type of projectiles before a predetermined period of time has elapsed. During play of the “The Chakra Speed Test” mode, all projected projectiles may be projected in a common different direction. For example, the projectiles may be launched in a direction away from player 32. If the player is unsuccessful in completing the task, the remote unit may rotate about axis A and project at least a portion of all remaining projectiles in a different direction, for example toward the player.
  • [0042]
    Interactive ninja role-play toy apparatus 22 may also include an accuracy mode, “The Sensai Command,” in which player 32 is challenged to execute one of a group of one or more combinations of contact switches and/or one or more sequences of combinations. In this mode, control system 26 may transmit audio output signals 66 to sensory output device 50, for example speaker device 58, that correspond to an expected combination of input signals and/or to an expected sequence of combinations.
  • [0043]
    The transmitted audio output signals may correspond to sounds 60 that include audible commands. The audible commands may call out specific named combinations or sequences, which the player may then execute. Additionally or alternatively, audible commands may call out a specific number and/or type of projectiles that are to be projected. The player may then select a combination or sequences to execute, based upon knowledge of which specific combinations or sequences correspond to the number and type of projected projectiles. Optionally, sounds 60 may include audible feedback or acknowledgements of executed combinations of input signals and/or sequences of combinations.
  • [0044]
    The control system may determine the launch command by comparing the received combination or the received sequence of combinations with the expected combination or sequence. If the received combination or sequence corresponds to expected combination or sequence, then the launch command may correspond to projecting the projectiles from the launch assembly in a common direction that may be away from the player and/or continuation of the game. However, if the received combination or sequence does not correspond to the expected combination or sequence, then the launch command may correspond to projecting the projectiles in a different direction, for example toward the player and/or ending the game.
  • [0045]
    Play with interactive role-play toy apparatus 20 may include any number of “special” combinations or sequences that may have special meaning in various modes of game play. Different “special” combinations or sequences may correspond to different degrees of difficulty. For example, “special” combinations or sequences may release all remaining projectiles and cause the player either to “win” or to “lose.” Additionally or alternatively, “special” combinations or sequences may grant a player more time to complete a task, increase the player's score, or the opposite actions. Instructions to execute some or all combinations or sequences may be disclosed to players in a user's manual. Alternatively, at least one combination or sequence, and especially “special” combinations or sequences, may not be disclosed to encourage the player to experiment with the apparatus.
  • [0046]
    This disclosure may include one or more independent or interdependent inventions directed to various combinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties. While examples of apparatus and methods are particularly shown and described, many variations may be made therein. Various combinations and sub-combinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties may be claimed in one or more related applications. Such variations, whether they are directed to different combinations or directed to the same combinations, whether different, broader, narrower or equal in scope, are regarded as included within the subject matter of the present disclosure.
  • [0047]
    The described examples are illustrative and directed to specific examples of apparatus and/or methods rather than a specific invention, and no single feature or element, or combination thereof, is essential to all possible combinations. Thus, any one of various inventions that may be claimed based on the disclosed example or examples does not necessarily encompass all or any particular features, characteristics or combinations, unless subsequently specifically claimed. Where “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof is recited, such usage includes one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements. Further, ordinal indicators, such as first, second or third, for identified elements are used to distinguish between the elements, and do not indicate a required or limited number of such elements, and do not indicate a particular position or order of such elements unless otherwise specifically indicated.
  • INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
  • [0048]
    The methods and apparatus described in the present disclosure are applicable to toys, games, and other devices, and to industries in which amusement devices are used.

Claims (24)

  1. 1. An interactive toy apparatus, comprising:
    a launch assembly adapted to receive a communication signal and to project one or more projectiles representative of a launch result corresponding to the communication signal, the launch result being representative of one of a plurality of actions the launch assembly is adapted to perform including projecting at least one projectile from the launch assembly;
    an input assembly disposed remotely from the launch assembly and including a plurality of manually operable input devices that are each adapted to transmit an input signal; and
    a control system in communication with the launch assembly and with the input assembly, the control system adapted to receive a combination of input signals and to determine a launch command therefrom, the launch command corresponding to one of the plurality of actions of the launch assembly, the control system further adapted to transmit the communication signal representative of the launch command to the launch assembly.
  2. 2. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 1, wherein the launch command is selectable from a group of launch commands including at least a first launch command and a second launch command, wherein the first launch command corresponds to a first number of projected projectiles, and wherein the second launch command corresponds to a second number of projected projectiles that is different from the first number of projected projectiles.
  3. 3. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 1, wherein the launch command is selectable from a group of launch commands including at least a first launch command and a second launch command, wherein the first launch command corresponds to projecting one or more projectiles in a first direction and wherein the second launch command corresponds to projecting one or more projectiles in a second direction that is different from the first direction.
  4. 4. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 3, wherein the second direction is substantially opposite the first direction.
  5. 5. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 3, wherein the launch assembly includes a body that houses a launcher that is adapted to project the at least one projectile from the launch assembly, the body having at least one orifice through which the launcher projects the at least one projectile, the body being rotatable about a substantially vertical axis to move between a first position in which the projectiles are projected in the first direction and a second position in which the projectiles are projected in the second direction.
  6. 6. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 1, wherein the control system is adapted to transmit the communication signals as electromagnetic energy, and wherein the launch assembly is adapted to receive the electromagnetic energy.
  7. 7. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a remote module that includes the input assembly and the control system.
  8. 8. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of input devices includes a plurality of contact switches that are each adapted to be manually actuated to close a circuit, thereby transmitting the input signal.
  9. 9. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 1, wherein the control system is further adapted to transmit output signals to a sensory output device that is adapted produce a sensory output that includes at least one of an indication of game performance and instructions to the user of the interactive toy apparatus to manually operate the input assembly to produce one of a corresponding group of combinations of input signals.
  10. 10. The interactive toy apparatus of claim 9, wherein the sensory output device includes a speaker device disposed within the remote module.
  11. 11. A method of interactive gameplay, comprising:
    transmitting a combination of one or more input signals, each input signal being generated in response to activation of one input device of a plurality of input devices;
    receiving the combination of one or more input signals;
    transmitting a communication signal representative of one of a group of launch commands, each launch command corresponding to one of a plurality of actions of a launch assembly including projecting at least one projectile from the launch assembly;
    receiving the communication signal at the launch assembly that is disposed at a location that is remote from the input devices; and
    projecting from the launch assembly one or more projectiles corresponding to a launch result in response to the received communication signal, the launch result corresponding to the one of the group of launch commands and including projecting at least one projectile from the launch assembly.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11, wherein the plurality of input devices are included with a input assembly, and wherein the method further comprises:
    attaching the input assembly to a body of a user.
  13. 13. The method of claim 11, wherein the actions of the launch assembly include projecting a first number of projectiles from the launch assembly and projecting a second number of projectiles from the launch assembly, wherein the second number is different from the first number.
  14. 14. The method of claim 13,
    wherein transmitting a combination of one or more input signals includes one of transmitting a first combination of input signals and transmitting a second combination of input signals,
    wherein a first launch result represents projecting a first number of projectiles from the launch assembly, and
    wherein a second launch result represents projecting a second number of projectiles from the launch assembly;
    wherein transmitting a communication signal includes one of transmitting a first command signal and transmitting a second command signal,
    wherein the first command signal is representative of a first launch command that corresponds to projecting the first number of projectiles from the launch assembly, and
    wherein the second command signal is representative of a second launch command that corresponds to projecting the second number of projectiles from the launch assembly; and
    wherein the first combination of input signals corresponds to a first degree of difficulty and the second combination of input signals corresponds to a second degree of difficulty that is different from the first degree of difficulty.
  15. 15. The method of claim 11, wherein the actions of the launch assembly include projecting one or more projectiles from the launch assembly in a first direction and projecting one or more projectiles from the launch assembly in a second direction that is different from the first direction.
  16. 16. The method of claim 15,
    wherein transmitting a combination of one or more input signals includes one of transmitting a first combination of input signals and transmitting a second combination of input signals,
    wherein transmitting a communication signal includes one of transmitting a first command signal and transmitting a second command signal,
    wherein a first launch result represents projecting the one or more projectiles from the launch assembly in the first direction, and
    wherein a second launch result represents projecting the one or more projectiles from the launch assembly in the second direction;
    wherein the first command signal is representative of a first launch command that corresponds to projecting the one or more projectiles from the launch assembly in the first direction, and
    wherein the second command signal is representative of a second launch command that corresponds to projecting the one or more projectiles from the launch assembly in the second direction; and
    wherein the first combination of input signals corresponds to an expected combination of input signals and the second combination of input signals does not correspond to the expected combination of input signals.
  17. 17. The method of claim 16, further comprising providing audible commands corresponding to the expected combination of input signals.
  18. 18. The method of claim 11, wherein transmitting a communication signal includes transmitting electromagnetic energy, and wherein receiving the communication signal includes receiving the electromagnetic energy.
  19. 19. The method of claim 11,
    wherein transmitting a combination of one or more input signals includes actuating one or more of a plurality of switches that are each adapted to be actuated to close a circuit thereby transmitting the input signals.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, wherein transmitting a combination of one or more input signals includes:
    actuating a first switch of the plurality of switches to transmit a first input signal; and
    actuating a second switch of the plurality of switches to transmit a second input signal, wherein the second switch is different from the first switch.
  21. 21. The method of claim 20, wherein actuating a second switch includes continuing to actuate the first switch.
  22. 22. The method of claim 19, wherein transmitting a combination of one or more input signals includes:
    transmitting a first combination of one or more input signals including actuating a first switch of the plurality of switches to transmit a first input signal;
    waiting a predetermined period of time; and
    transmitting a second combination of one or more input signals including actuating a second switch of the plurality of switches to transmit a second input signal, the second switch being different from the first switch.
  23. 23. The method of claim 22, wherein waiting includes releasing the first switch.
  24. 24. The method of claim 11, further comprising providing sensory output corresponding to the launch command.
US11594020 2005-11-07 2006-11-06 Interactive role-play toy apparatus Abandoned US20070158911A1 (en)

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US11594020 US20070158911A1 (en) 2005-11-07 2006-11-06 Interactive role-play toy apparatus

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US11594020 US20070158911A1 (en) 2005-11-07 2006-11-06 Interactive role-play toy apparatus
PCT/US2006/043500 WO2007056461A3 (en) 2005-11-07 2006-11-07 Interactive role-play toy apparatus

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