US20150153130A1 - Proper grip conversion - Google Patents

Proper grip conversion Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150153130A1
US20150153130A1 US14/094,090 US201314094090A US2015153130A1 US 20150153130 A1 US20150153130 A1 US 20150153130A1 US 201314094090 A US201314094090 A US 201314094090A US 2015153130 A1 US2015153130 A1 US 2015153130A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
controller
rifle
firing
weapon
laser
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US14/094,090
Inventor
Jack Amis
Jesse Beaudin
Dennis Deutsch
Dan Ewert
Zoltan James
David A. Slayton
Susana Slayton
Doug Walker
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
DYANMIC ANIMATION SYSTEMS Inc
Original Assignee
DYANMIC ANIMATION SYSTEMS Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US63030404P priority Critical
Priority to US73427605P priority
Priority to US11/285,390 priority patent/US8770977B2/en
Priority to US13/459,020 priority patent/US20130022944A1/en
Application filed by DYANMIC ANIMATION SYSTEMS Inc filed Critical DYANMIC ANIMATION SYSTEMS Inc
Priority to US14/094,090 priority patent/US20150153130A1/en
Priority claimed from US14/212,053 external-priority patent/US20140295380A1/en
Publication of US20150153130A1 publication Critical patent/US20150153130A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41GWEAPON SIGHTS; AIMING
    • F41G3/00Aiming or laying means
    • F41G3/26Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/02Accessories
    • A63F13/04Accessories for aiming at specific areas on the displays, e.g. with photodetecting means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/20Input arrangements for video game devices
    • A63F13/24Constructional details thereof, e.g. game controllers with detachable joystick handles
    • A63F13/245Constructional details thereof, e.g. game controllers with detachable joystick handles specially adapted to a particular type of game, e.g. steering wheels
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/80Special adaptations for executing a specific game genre or game mode
    • A63F13/837Shooting of targets
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41AFUNCTIONAL FEATURES OR DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH SMALLARMS AND ORDNANCE, e.g. CANNONS; MOUNTINGS FOR SMALLARMS OR ORDNANCE
    • F41A33/00Adaptations for training; Gun simulators
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41AFUNCTIONAL FEATURES OR DETAILS COMMON TO BOTH SMALLARMS AND ORDNANCE, e.g. CANNONS; MOUNTINGS FOR SMALLARMS OR ORDNANCE
    • F41A33/00Adaptations for training; Gun simulators
    • F41A33/02Light- or radiation-emitting guns ; Light- or radiation-sensitive guns; Cartridges carrying light emitting sources, e.g. laser
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41GWEAPON SIGHTS; AIMING
    • F41G3/00Aiming or laying means
    • F41G3/26Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying
    • F41G3/2616Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying using a light emitting device
    • F41G3/2622Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying using a light emitting device for simulating the firing of a gun or the trajectory of a projectile
    • F41G3/2627Cooperating with a motion picture projector
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41GWEAPON SIGHTS; AIMING
    • F41G3/00Aiming or laying means
    • F41G3/26Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying
    • F41G3/2616Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying using a light emitting device
    • F41G3/2622Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying using a light emitting device for simulating the firing of a gun or the trajectory of a projectile
    • F41G3/2655Teaching or practice apparatus for gun-aiming or gun-laying using a light emitting device for simulating the firing of a gun or the trajectory of a projectile in which the light beam is sent from the weapon to the target
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B9/00Simulators for teaching or training purposes
    • G09B9/003Simulators for teaching or training purposes for military purposes and tactics
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/10Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals
    • A63F2300/1025Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals details of the interface with the game device, e.g. USB version detection
    • A63F2300/1031Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals details of the interface with the game device, e.g. USB version detection using a wireless connection, e.g. Bluetooth, infrared connections
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/10Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals
    • A63F2300/1043Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals being characterized by constructional details
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/10Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals
    • A63F2300/1062Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals being specially adapted to a type of game, e.g. steering wheel

Abstract

A rifle controller, having a first controller disposed near a trigger, the first controller comprising a joystick. The first controller is disposed such that a user of the rifle controller can manipulate the joystick with a thumb while properly holding the rifle controller to have a thumb of his firing hand above the safety selector lever.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to and the benefit of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/285,390, filed Nov. 23, 2005, entitled “Instructor-lead training in a collaborative immersive virtual environment,” and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/459,020, filed Apr. 27, 2012, entitled “Proper Grip Controllers,” both of which claim priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/630,304, filed Nov. 24, 2004, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/734,276, filed Nov. 8, 2005, the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes.
  • COPYRIGHT NOTIFICATION
  • This application includes material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • Embodiments of the present invention relate to weapon mounted controllers and components. In some embodiments, the present invention relates to weapon mounted controllers that train a user on a proper weapon grip and other advanced marksmanship techniques with or without projectiles, and allow the user to interact with a computer training simulation.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • As computer simulations are increasingly used to train armed personnel, such as military recruits and police officers, there is an increasing need for weapon simulators and controllers that allow the trainees to interact with the computer simulations. Weapon-shaped controllers adapted from the video game industry have been proposed as training simulation controllers. However, as video game controllers are designed for the convenience of the user, ergonomic considerations, and ease of manufacturing, video game controllers fail at teaching proper grip techniques for weapons and other armed personnel equipment. There are no currently available controllers that allow civilians or armed professionals to effectively shoot and/or move within a virtual training environment utilizing a personal weapon system (real or replicated).
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides weapon and equipment controllers that allow a trainee to interact with a computer training simulation while teaching proper grip during basic and advanced tactical usage of weapons and equipment.
  • The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present invention may be achieved by providing a rifle controller, including a rifle-type weapon, a first controller disposed near a trigger of the rifle-type weapon, a second controller disposed along a barrel of the rifle-type weapon, and a third controller disposed underneath a barrel of the rifle-type weapon to serve as a vertical foregrip, wherein, the position of the first, second, and third controller are configured to promote a proper holding of the rifle-type weapon, and wherein the first, second, and third controllers allow a user to navigate within an immersive collaborative simulated environment.
  • In one embodiment, when properly held, the trainee/user's non-firing hand is placed such that the user's non-firing thumb manipulates the second controller (102) while supporting the rifle controller.
  • In one embodiment, the first controller includes a joystick, and the joystick is disposed such that the thumb of a user's firing hand placed to squeeze the trigger is above a relative position of a safety selector lever present in the rifle-type weapon.
  • In one embodiment, the second controller includes a joystick configured such that, when a user's non-firing hand grasps the third controller, the user's non-firing thumb manipulates said joystick.
  • In one embodiment, the third controller includes front and back buttons, and the third controller is configured such that the user can manipulate the front buttons with the index finger of his non-firing hand, and the user can manipulate the back buttons with the thumb of his non-firing hand.
  • In one embodiment, the third controller is positioned to force a user's non-firing elbow toward the ground, closer to the body.
  • In one embodiment the rifle controller further includes a laser component, the laser component including a laser source, a laser controller, and an accelerometer, wherein the laser controller activates the laser according to a firing movement detected by the accelerometer, wherein the accelerometer determines a firing movement when a movement signature of the weapon detected by the accelerometer matches a previously obtain movement signature of the weapon during firing of the weapon, and wherein, the laser component allows the immersive collaborative simulated environment to detect the aim point of the rifle controller when fired.
  • The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present invention may be achieved by providing a rifle controller, including a weapon, a laser component, the laser component including a laser source, a laser controller, and an accelerometer, wherein the laser controller activates the laser according to a firing movement detected by the accelerometer, and wherein the accelerometer determines a firing movement when a movement signature of the weapon detected by the accelerometer matches a previously obtain movement signature of the weapon during firing of the weapon.
  • In one embodiment the movement signature corresponds to a minimum movement threshold detected by the accelerometer.
  • In one embodiment the movement signature corresponds to movement data continuously detected before, during, and after firing of the weapon.
  • In one embodiment the firing of the weapon is one of dry-firing, electric blow back-firing, and gas blow back firing.
  • In one embodiment the movement signature corresponds to one of dry firing of the weapon, firing of blank or pellet rounds, or firing of live ammunition.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • These and/or other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the various embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a simulated training environment according to some embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a rifle controller according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of the rifle controller of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of the rifle controller of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a first controller of the rifle controller of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a second controller of the rifle controller of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a third controller of the rifle controller of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a simulated training environment according to some embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a rifle controller according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 10A illustrates a first controller of the rifle controller of FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 10B illustrates a first and second controller of the rifle controller of FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of the rifle controller of FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a third controller of the rifle controller of FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a second and third controller of the rifle controller of FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a second and third controller according to some embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 15A illustrates a front view of a second and third controller according to some embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 15B illustrates a back view of the second and third controller illustrated in FIG. 15A.
  • FIG. 16 illustrates a third controller according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 17 illustrates a third controller according to some embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 18A illustrates a laser component according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 18B illustrates a laser component according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 18C illustrates a laser component according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 19B illustrates a laser component according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 19C illustrates a laser component according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 19D illustrates a laser component according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 20 illustrates a laser component according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 21 illustrates an exploded view of the laser component of FIG. 20.
  • FIG. 22 illustrates a side view of the laser component of FIG. 20
  • FIG. 23 illustrates a laser component according to another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 24 illustrates a side view of the laser component of FIG. 23.
  • FIG. 25 illustrates a laser component according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 26 illustrates a perspective view of the laser component of FIG. 25.
  • The drawings above are not necessarily to scale, with emphasis instead generally being placed upon illustrating the principles of the present invention. Further, some features may be exaggerated to show details of particular components. These drawings/figures are intended to be explanatory and not restrictive of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Reference will now be made in detail to the various embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to the like elements throughout. The embodiments are described below to provide a more complete understanding of the components, processes and apparatuses of the present invention by referring to the figures. These figures are merely illustrative representations based on convenience and the ease of demonstrating the present invention, and are, therefore, not intended to indicate relative size and dimensions of the devices or components thereof or to define or limit the scope of the embodiments.
  • Throughout the specification and claims, the following terms take the meanings explicitly associated herein, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. The phrases “In some embodiments” and “in an embodiment” as used herein do not necessarily refer to the same embodiment(s), though they may. Furthermore, the phrases “in another embodiment,” “in one embodiment,” and “in some other embodiments” as used herein do not necessarily refer to a different embodiment, although they may. Thus, as described below, various embodiments of the invention may be readily combined, without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. In addition, as used herein, the term “or” is an inclusive operator, and is equivalent to the term “and/or,” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. The term “based on” is not exclusive and allows for being based on additional factors not described, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. In addition, throughout the specification, the meaning of “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural references. The meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on.”
  • An embodiment of the present invention provides an immersive simulated environment in which a trainee (1) can be trained and become familiar with various weapons, techniques, and tactics. In one embodiment, the immersive simulated environment is a computer generated computer generated training simulation (500) displayed on a display system. In one embodiment, the computer generated training simulation (500) is a collaborative immersive training environment. In some embodiments, the computer generated training simulation (500) is an instructor-led computer generated training environment. In one embodiment, the computer generated training simulation (500) supports a variety of exterior terrain types, as well as various building interior and exterior types, and specific custom-built interiors. In some embodiments of the present invention, the display system allows a trainee (1) to view the virtual environment in a static or moving mode. For example, a moving viewpoint simulates walking, running, driving, or other movement within the computer generated training simulation (500), and can be controlled directly by the trainee (1), scripted in a scenario, or controlled by a secondary user. While walking or running through the environment, interior of buildings can be explored by moving through doorways from room-to-room, around corners, climbing up and down stairs, ropes, ladders, or the like.
  • In another embodiment of the invention, navigation of and interaction with the computer generated training simulation (500) is facilitated via one or more controllers. In one embodiment, the controllers are communicatively coupled to the computer generated training simulation (500) such that inputs from at least one controller modifies the computer generated training simulation (500) displayed on the display system according to the inputs. In one embodiment, the one or more controllers are mounted to a weapon, such as a rifle, carbine, machine gun, etc. In one embodiment, at least one of the controllers is detachably coupled to the weapon. In another embodiment, at least one of the controllers is integrally formed on the weapon. In one embodiment, the controllers are not physically tethered to the computer generated training simulation (500), but communicate wirelessly.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the weapon includes a weapon-mounted laser, and the computer generated training simulation (500) identifies the laser shot and simulates a shot from the weapon within the computer generated training simulation (500). In one embodiment, each laser is specific to a weapon such that the computer generated training simulation (500) can identify and simulate individual shots fired from multiple weapons within the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In one embodiment, the weapon may be an infantry type weapon assigned to the trainee, and the one or more controllers are detachable controllers installed on the trainee's weapon. In another embodiment, the weapon is a replica of an infantry weapon, such as a replica airsoft weapons, with one or more controllers mounted or integrally formed on the weapon. For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-15, a rifle controller (100) may be embodied as an M4 carbine with a first controller (101), a second controller (102), a third controller (103), a laser component (104), and a weapon controller (105) mounted on the M4 carbine. While some embodiments of a rifle controller (100) under the present invention are illustrated as a M4 carbine with various controllers and components (101-105) mounted thereon, the present invention is not limited thereto. Other embodiments of the present invention include one or more of the various controllers and components (101-105) used with other weapons, such as an M4, M16, or SCAR, any weapon with a flash suppressor, or replica weapons firing airsoft projectiles, BBs, paint, or laser and/or electric weapons. Other embodiments of the invention may be realized with weapons firing conventional, blank, or simunition type ammunition.
  • According to some embodiments of the present invention, the various controllers and components (101-105) of a rifle controller (100) may be located in positions designed to be convenient and comfortable to the trainee (1) while also training the trainee (1) on the proper grip of the weapon and preventing the formation of dangerous habits. In some embodiments, the location of the various controllers and components (101-105) may be adjusted in consideration of the trainee's (1) arm length, hand size, thumb length, etc. to ensure proper grip of the weapon.
  • In one embodiment, the present invention provides a proper grip rifle controller. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 1, in one embodiment of the present invention a rifle controller (100) allows a trainee (1) to simulate movement within and interact with a computer generated training simulation (500) while maintaining a proper grip of the rifle controller (100).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, in some embodiments the rifle controller (100) may be embodied as an M4 carbine with at least one of a first controller (101), a second controller (102), a third controller (103), a laser component (104), and a weapon controller (105).
  • In some embodiments, the laser component (104) includes a laser (104 a) and a laser controller (104 b). In some embodiments, the weapon controller (105) includes a battery (105 a) to power the electronic components of the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the weapon controller (105) includes a wireless transmitter (105 b) and a wireless controller (105 c) to communicate inputs made on the rifle controller (100) to the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In some embodiments, the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the third controller (103) control the navigation of the trainee (1) within the computer generated training simulation (500). In some embodiments, the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and/or the third controller (103) can be used to adjust the point of view or view angle of the trainee (1) within the computer generated training simulation (500). In some embodiments, the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the third controller (103) can also be used to simulate other functions within the computer generated training simulation (500). For example, the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the third controller (103) can be used to throw a simulated grenade, jump, unjam a weapon, switch weapons, etc. In other embodiments, the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the third controller (103) may control menu functions and operational commands for the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In some embodiments, the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the third controller (103) are disposed on the rifle controller (100) to instruct the trainee (1) on the proper grip of a rifle-type weapon. For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 3-4, in some embodiments the first controller (101) is disposed adjacent to the trigger. When properly held, the trainee's (1) firing hand is placed around a pistol grip (100 a) of the rifle controller (100) in a position that allows the trainee's trigger finger to move a trigger (100 b) straight to the rear while maintaining proper sight alignment and allowing the trainee to manipulate the first controller (101). For example, training on the proper grip of a carbine requires specific motor skills and hand placement. In carbines, tactical rifles, or submachine guns, the proper grip of the weapon allows for the correct use of a safety selector lever. In some embodiments of the present invention, the first controller (101) is disposed such that when the trainee's (1) hand is around the pistol grip (100 a), the trainee's (1) firing hand thumb is located above the safety selector lever of the weapon.
  • In some embodiment, the first controller (101) includes a joystick (101 a) and one or more buttons (101 b-101 d). In one embodiment, the position of the first controller (101) allows the trainee (1) to manipulate a joystick (101 a) with the thumb of his firing hand while ensuring that the trainee's (1) firing hand thumb is located above the safety selector lever (100 d). In some embodiments, the joystick (101 a) protrudes backwards at an angle (A1) between 15° and 55° with respect to a central axis (Z) of the rifle controller (100). In other embodiments, the joystick (101 a) protrudes backwards at an angle (A2) between 15° and 55° with respect to a perpendicular axis (P) defined by trigger (100 b). In some embodiments, the angle (A1) or (A2) of the joystick (101 a) is between 40° and 50°. In some embodiments, the angle (A1) or (A2) of the joystick (101 a) is 45°. In some embodiments, the angle (A1) or (A2) is adjustable. In some embodiments, the joystick (101 a) protrudes backwards at an angle (A3) between 15° and 55° with respect to an axis (Z2) perpendicular to the axis (Z) anchored on a bottom of the trigger (100 b). In some embodiments, the angle (A3) is between 40° and 50°. In some embodiments, the angle (A3) is 45°. In some embodiments, the angle (A3) is adjustable.
  • In some embodiments, the joystick (101 a) protrudes between 2 mm and 25 mm (D1) backwards from the perpendicular axis (P) to allow the trainee to manipulate the joystick (101 a) with his thumb while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In other embodiments, the distance that the joystick (101 a) protrudes backward is adjustable.
  • In some embodiments of the invention, a proper grip of the rifle controller (100) requires that the trainee's trigger finger be allowed free movement when the trainee's firing hand is placed around a pistol grip (100 a). As illustrated in FIG. 4, in some embodiments, the first controller (101) includes a third button (101 d) disposed on a front facing surface of the first controller (101). The position of the first controller (101) allows the trainee to manipulate the third button (101 d) with his trigger finger while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the trainee is made to push the third button (101 d) to indicate that his trigger finger has free movement while his firing hand is properly placed around the pistol grip (100 a). In some embodiments, the third button (101 d) is aligned with the perpendicular axis (P).
  • In some embodiments, the first controller (101) includes one or more buttons along with the joystick (101 a). In other embodiments, one or more buttons replace the joystick (101 a) or the joystick (101 a) may be embodied as a directional pad (101 a). For example, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the first controller (101) can include a first side button (101 b) disposed on a back facing surface of the first controller (101). In some embodiments, the first side button (101 b) is between 0.1 mm and 3 mm in height. In some embodiments, the first side button (101 b) is between 1.5 mm and 2 mm in height. In some embodiments, the back facing surface has a same angle (A1), (A2), or (A3) as the joystick (101 a). In some embodiments, the angle of the back facing surface is adjustable. In other embodiments, the joystick (101 a) and the first side button (101 b) are disposed on the same back facing surface of the first controller (101).
  • In some embodiments, the position of the first side button (101 b) allows the trainee (1) to press the first side button (101 b) with the thumb of his firing hand while properly holding the rifle controller (100).
  • In some embodiments, the back facing surface protrudes between 2 mm and 25 mm (D2) backwards from the from the perpendicular axis (P) to allow the trainee to press the first side button (101 b) with his thumb while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In other embodiments, the distance that the back facing surface protrudes is adjustable.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, the first controller (101) is formed integrally on the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, the first controller (101) is detachably mounted on a trainee's assigned weapon, such as an M4 carbine, to form the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, the first controller (101) is mounted on a rail interface system (RIS) of the M4 carbine.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 3-4, in some embodiments, the second controller (102) is located along a barrel (100 c) of the rifle controller (100). When properly held, the trainee's non-firing hand is placed on an upper hand guard (100 f) of the rifle controller (100) in a position that allows the trainee's thumb to manipulate the second controller (102) while supporting the rifle controller (100).
  • In some embodiments, the position of the second controller (102) allows the trainee (1) to manipulate a joystick (102 a) with the thumb of his non-firing hand while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the joystick (102 a) protrudes perpendicular from the central axis (Z) of the rifle controller (100). In other embodiments, the joystick (102 a) protrudes at an angle (A4) between 0° and 45° with respect to a perpendicular line (P) from the central axis (Z). In other embodiments, the joystick (102 a) protrudes at an angle (A5) between 80° and 100° with respect to the central axis (Z). In other embodiments, the angles of the joystick (102 a) are adjustable.
  • In some embodiments, the joystick (102 a) protrudes between 2 mm and 25 mm (D3) perpendicular from the surface of the upper hand guard (1001) to allow the trainee to manipulate the joystick (102 a) with his thumb while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In other embodiments, the distance that the joystick (102 a) protrudes perpendicular from the surface of the upper hand guard (100 f) is adjustable.
  • In some embodiments, the second controller (102) includes one or more buttons along with the joystick (102 a). In other embodiments, one or more buttons replace the joystick (102 a). For example, as illustrated in FIG. 6, the second controller (102) can include a first side button (102 b) disposed on an out facing surface of the second controller (102). In some embodiments, the first side button (102 b) is between 0.1 mm and 3 mm in height. In some embodiments, the first side button (102 b) is between 1.5 mm and 2.0 mm in height. In some embodiments, the out facing surface has the same angle as the joystick (102 a). In other embodiments, the joystick (102 a) and the first side button (102 b) are disposed on the same out facing surface of the second controller (102). In some embodiments, the position of the first side button (101 b) allows the trainee (1) to press the first side button (101 b) with the thumb of his non-firing hand while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the joystick (102 b) is embodiment as a directional pad (102 b).
  • In some embodiments, the out facing surface protrudes between 2 mm and 25 mm (D4) perpendicular from the surface of the upper hand guard (1001) to allow the trainee to press the first side button (102 b) with his thumb while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In other embodiments, the distance that the out facing surface protrudes is adjustable. In other embodiments, the angles of the out facing surface are adjustable.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, the second controller (102) is formed integrally on the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, the second controller (102) is detachably mounted on a trainee's assigned weapon, such as an M4 carbine, to form the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, the second controller (102) is mounted on an RIS of the M4 carbine.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 7, in some embodiments the third controller (103) is located along the barrel (100 c) of the rifle controller (100). When properly held, the trainee's non-firing hand is placed on the upper hand guard (100 f) of the rifle controller (100) in a position that allows the trainee's non-firing fingers to manipulate the third controller (103) while supporting the rifle controller (100).
  • In some embodiments, the third controller (103) is embodied as one or more buttons. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 7, the third controller (103) includes a first chord button (103 a), a second chord button (103 b), a third chord button (103 c), and a fourth chord button (103 d) disposed on an out facing surface of the third controller (103). In some embodiments, the first chord button (103 a), the second chord button (103 b), the third chord button (103 c), and the fourth chord button (103 d) are between 0.1 mm and 5 mm in height. In some embodiments, the first chord button (103 a), the second chord button (103 b), the third chord button (103 c), and the fourth chord button (103 d) are between 1.5 mm and 2 mm in height. In some embodiments, the third controller (103) is disposed on an opposite side of the rifle controller (100) from the second controller (102). In some embodiment, the chord buttons (103 a-103 d) are mounted on a button platform to form the third controller (103).
  • In some embodiments, the position of third controller (103) allows the trainee to press the first, second, third, and fourth chord buttons (103 a, 103 b, 103 c, and 103 d) with the fingers of his non-firing hand while properly holding the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the trainee can press combinations or chords of the first, second, third, and fourth chord buttons (103 a, 103 b, 103 c, and 103 d) to trigger specific instructions within the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In some embodiments, the third controller (103) is disposed a predetermined distance (D5) from the end of the barrel (100 c) to correspond with an edge of the upper hand guard (100 f). In some embodiments, the position of the third controller (103) corresponds to a proper placement of the trainee's (1) non-firing hand fingers on the barrel (100 c) according to the type of weapon represented by the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the position of the third controller (103) is adjustable. In some embodiments, the first, second, third, and fourth chord buttons (103 a, 103 b, 103 c, and 103 d) are between 10 mm and 20 mm apart from each other. In some embodiments, the distance between the first, second, third, and fourth chord buttons (103 a, 103 b, 103 c, and 103 d) corresponds to a general distance between a trainees non-firing fingers to allow manipulation of the third controller (103) while maintaining proper grip of the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the distance between the first, second, third, and fourth chord buttons (103 a, 103 b, 103 c, and 103 d) is adjustable to account for the trainee's (1) physical characteristics and hand size.
  • In some embodiments, an outward surface of the third controller (103) protrudes at an angle (A6) from a perpendicular line (P) of the central axis (Z). In some embodiments, the angle (A6) is between 10° and 60° with respect to the perpendicular line (P). In some embodiments, the angle (A6) is between 30° and 50° with respect to the perpendicular line (P). In some embodiments, the angle (A6) is 45°. In other embodiments, the angle (A6) is adjustable.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, the third controller (103) is formed integrally on the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, the third controller (103) is detachably mounted on a trainee's assigned weapon, such as an M4 carbine, to form the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, the third controller (103) is mounted on an RIS of the M4 carbine.
  • In another embodiment of the invention, the rifle controller (100) is embodied as a weapon with a vertical foregrip. In one embodiment, the weapon can be a real infantry-type weapon assigned to the trainee (1). For example, as illustrated in FIG. 8, one embodiment uses an M4 carbine with an attached vertical grip as a rifle controller (100). In other examples, the rifle controller (100) may also be embodied as any other real or replica weapon usable with a vertical foregrip. As illustrated in FIGS. 9-12, in one embodiment the rifle controller (100) may include at least one of a first controller (101), a second controller (102), and a third controller (103) embodied as a vertical foregrip controller (103). In another embodiment, the rifle controller (100) may also include a laser component (104) and/or a weapon controller (105).
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, the weapon controller (105) includes a wireless transmitter (105 b) and a wireless controller (105 c) to communicate inputs made on at least one of the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the vertical foregrip controller (103) to the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In one embodiment, the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the vertical foregrip controller (103) are disposed on the rifle controller (100) to instruct the trainee (1) on the proper grip of a weapon with a vertical foregrip. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 9, in some embodiments the first controller (101) is disposed adjacent to the trigger. When properly held, the trainee's firing hand is placed around a pistol grip (100 a) of the rifle controller (100) such that the trainee's (1) trigger finger moves a trigger (100 b) straight to the rear while maintaining proper sight alignment and allowing the trainee to manipulate the first controller (101). In some embodiments, the position of the first controller (101) allows the trainee (1) to manipulate a joystick (101 a) with the thumb of his firing hand while properly holding the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, the first controller (101) is located such that the trainee's (1) firing hand thumb is above the safety selector lever of the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, a joystick (101 a) of the first controller (101) is located such that the trainee's (1) firing hand thumb can manipulate the joystick (101 a) while the thumb is positioned above the safety selector lever of the rifle controller (100).
  • In one embodiment of the invention, the first controller (101) is formed integrally on the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, the first controller (101) is detachably mounted on a weapon, such as the trainee's (1) M4 carbine, to form the rifle controller (100). For example, the first controller (101) can be installed via attachment to a Rail Integrated System (RIS) of the M4 carbine. A Rail Interface System (RIS) or Rail Accessory System (RAS) allows the attachment of accessories to small firearms, such as pistols, assault rifles, and light machine guns. While there are different types of RIS systems, most are based on the M1913 Picatinny standard. Common names for Rail Interface Systems are Tactical Rails, Picatinny Rails, Weaver Rails, and NATO Accessory Rails. In one embodiment of the invention, the weapon component of the rifle controller (100), for example, the trainee's (1) issued M4 carbine, may included one or more RIS sections. For example, in one embodiment, the RIS may include a bottom RIS component (702) and a back or top RIS component (701).
  • As illustrated in FIG. 10, in one embodiment, the first controller (101) may include a joystick (101 a), an adjustable bar (101 e), an adjustable bar rail attachment (101 f), and tightening screws (101 g). In one embodiment of the present invention, the adjustable bar rail attachment (1011) is attached to the top RIS (701) of the rifle controller (100). For example, the adjustable bar rail attachment (101 f) may be attached to the top RIS (701) by tightening screws (101 g). In one embodiment, the adjustable bar (101 e) is connected to the joystick (101 a) and the adjustable bar rail attachment (1011). In another embodiment, the relative positions of the joystick (101 a), the adjustable bar (101 e), and the adjustable bar rail attachment (1011) to each other and to the top RIS (701) are adjustable to account for the arm length, thumb length, and/or shooting style of the trainee (1) to assure a proper grip of the weapon. In another embodiment, the adjustable bar rail attachment (101 f) may be fastened to a particular position on the top RIS (701) to allow installation of additional components and/or optimize placement of civilian and combat optics.
  • After fastening the adjustable bar rail attachment (101 f) to the top RIS (701), a relative angle, height, and position of the adjustable bar (101 e) can be selected and then fastened in place. In one embodiment, the position of the adjustable bar (101 e) determines the position of the joystick (101 a) relative to the trainee's (1) desired hand position. For example, in one embodiment, proper grip of a rifle controller (100) requires that the trainee's (1) trigger finger be allowed free movement when the trainee's (1) firing hand is placed around a pistol grip (100 a) and the non-firing hand is placed around the vertical foregrip controller (103). In another embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) provides the trainee (1) an index point for the non-firing hand, aligning the index finger of the non-firing hand with the bore of the rifle controller (100), and increasing a speed of target acquisition and hits to targets in the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 11-13, in one embodiment of the present invention, the adjustable bar (101 e) includes an adjustable bar wireway (101 h) to at least partially house and guide cable communications between the joystick (101 a) and the weapon controller (105). In another embodiment, the rifle controller (100) includes a front rail wireway (802) and a back rail wireway (801) to at least partially house and guide cable communications between the weapon controller (105) and at least one of the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and the vertical foregrip controller (103). For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 11-12, the back rail wireway (801) may be attached to the top RIS (701) by tightening screws (801 g). In one embodiment, the tightening screws (801 g) tighten clamps (801 h) defined in the back rail wireway (801) to clamp the back rail wireway (801) to the RIS. In one embodiment, the position of the back rail wireway (801) with respect to the RIS is non-adjustable. In one embodiment, the back rail wireway (801) is designed to fit the space beneath the carrying handle RIS on multiple weapons, particularly M4/M16 series rifles and carbines. In one embodiment, the back rail wireway (801) includes wireway (801 a) to partially house cable communications between the first controller (101) and the weapon controller (105). In another embodiment, wireway (801 a) partially houses and guides cable communications exiting the adjustable bar (101 e) to the weapon controller (105). In one embodiment, the back rail wireway (801) protects and directs the wires from the weapon controller (105) to the joystick (101 a) disposed above the selector switch.
  • In another embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) may be attached to the bottom rail of the RIS (702) by tightening screws (802 g). In one embodiment, the tightening screws (802 g) tighten clamps (802 h) defined in the front rail wireway (802) to clamp the front rail wireway (802) to the bottom rail of the RIS (702). In one embodiment, the position of the front rail wireway (802) with respect to the RIS is adjustable. For example, the position of the front rail wireway on the RIS may be adjusted forward or backward by selecting a slot of the RIS onto which the in the front rail wireway (802) is clamped to. This allows for different positions of the adjustable bar rail attachment (1011) to further adjust the position of the second controller (102) and/or the joystick (102 a). In one embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) is designed to fit between the side and bottom quad rails of the RIS to protect and guide the joystick (102 a) wires to the weapon controller (105) and optimize space for additional RIS accessories. In one embodiment, front rail wireway (802) includes wireway (802 a) to partially house cable communications from the vertical foregrip controller and/or the second controller and guide them to the weapon controller (105). For example, in one embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) may house the electrical wires that power the joystick (101 a) of the first controller (101), the joystick (102 a) of the second controller, and/or the button (103 a-d) of the vertical controller (103). In another embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) may house sensor cables communicating the status of components of the rifle controller (100) to the weapon controller (105). For example, in one embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) may house cables connecting trigger sensors monitoring the status of the trigger (100 b) or safety and/or selector switch sensors monitoring the status of the safety or selector switch of the rifle controller (100).
  • In some embodiments, the front rail wireway (802) and the back rail wireway (801) decrease the interference of the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and/or the vertical foregrip controller (103) on the operation of the rifle controller (100). For example, as illustrated in FIG. 9-12, the use of wireways (801-802) allows the mounting of the first controller (101), the second controller (102), and/or the vertical foregrip controller (103) on the weapon's RIS without permanent modifications to the weapon forming the rifle controller (100). The use of wireways (801-802) also facilitates the installation, and minimizes the interference, of cables or other communication devices used to connect the controllers (101-103 and 105) and components (104) of the rifle controller (100). For example, when first controller (101), the second controller (102), and/or the vertical foregrip controller (103) use external cables to communicate with the weapon controller (105), the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) protect the cables from accidental impact or damage, and hide the cables from interfering or distracting the trainee (1) from normal operation of the rifle controller (100).
  • In one embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) are formed from cast or extruded metal or plastic. For example, plastic wireways may be machined and/or molded into RIS attachable components and metal wireways may be machined and/or cast into RIS attachable components. In one embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) are formed of machined aluminum.
  • In one embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) are designed to minimize the obstruction to proper handling of the weapon. For example, the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) may have low profiles when mounted on the rifle controller (100). In one embodiment, the main bodies of the front rail wireway (802) and/or the back rail wireway (801) protrude no more than 3/8 of an inch from the surface of the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, low profile rail wireways minimize the changes of appearance and aesthetics to the rifle controller (100) which may negatively affect the trainee (1) and may increase the verisimilitude of the training with the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In one embodiment, the second controller (102) attaches to the RIS of the weapon to form the rifle controller (100). As illustrated in FIGS. 13-14, in one embodiment, the second controller (102) may include a joystick (102 a), an adjustable rail attachment (102 f), an adjustment screw (102 h), an RIS clamp (102 j), and tightening screw (102 g). In one embodiment of the present invention, the adjustable rail attachment (102 f) is attached to the bottom rail of the RIS (702). For example, the adjustable rail attachment (102 f) may be attached to the bottom rail of the RIS (702) by tightening screw (102 g). In one embodiment, the tightening screw (102 g) tighten clamp (102 j) to the bottom rail of the RIS (702). In one embodiment, the joystick (102 a) connects to the adjustable rail attachment (102 f) via adjustment screw (102 h). In another embodiment, the relative position of the joystick (102 a) is adjustable. For example, the adjustable rail attachment (102 f) may be fastened to a particular position on the bottom rail of the RIS (702) and the angle and position of the joystick (102 a) with respect to the adjustable rail attachment (102 f) may be changed and then secured via the adjustment screw (102 h).
  • In one embodiment, proper grip of the rifle controller (100) requires that the trainee's (1) non-firing hand be allowed to grasp the vertical foregrip controller (103) while allowing the thumb of the non-firing hand to manipulate the joystick (102 a). For example, the second controller (102) is positioned to maintain a positive ergonomic grip on the vertical foregrip controller (103) while engaging targets during short range marksmanship, providing the most stable platform for the trainee (1). In one embodiment, tightening screw (102 g) allow the second controller (102) to slide forward and backward on the bottom rail of the RIS (702) to maintain a proper grip of the weapon for trainees (1) with differing thumb lengths, and allowing the trainee (1) to easily maneuver through the virtual environment without losing a positive grip on the vertical foregrip controller (103).
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the adjustable rail attachment (1021) includes an adjustable bar wireway (102 i) to at least partially house and guide cable communications between the joystick (102 a) and the weapon controller (105). In one embodiment, wireway (802) may partially house cable communications exiting the adjustable rail attachment (102 f) and guide them to the weapon controller (105).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 11-15, in one embodiment of the present invention, the third controller (103) is embodied as a vertical foregrip controller (103). In one embodiment, a vertical foregrip is a grasping surface placed on the front of a weapon to help control it and prevent contact with the weapon's barrel during firing. When utilized during training for Close Quarter Combat (CQC), Close Quarter Battle (CQB), Close Quarters Marksmanship (CQM) in Urban Warfare/Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) and Jungle Operations, a vertical foregrip minimizes the profile of the shooter by naturally forcing the elbow toward the ground, closer to the body, instead of away from the body. The vertical foregrip provides a stable ergonomic grip on rifles, carbines, shotguns and submachine guns locking the buttstock of the weapon into the shoulder of the shooter, providing increased control of the barrel of the weapon while decreasing muzzle rise during reflexive fire.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the vertical foregrip controller (103) serves as the vertical foregrip of the weapon forming the rifle controller (100) and is used to improve handling, counter the effects of recoil (muzzle rise), reduce user fatigue, and mitigate heat issues as the weapon fires or is otherwise used during training with the computer generated training simulation (500). In one embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) allows training in advanced marksmanship and close combat techniques using vertical foregrips on a trainee's (1) own personal weapon or weapons assigned to the trainee (1). For example, the vertical foregrip controller (103) can be mounted to the RIS of any weapon, such as the trainee's (1) assigned M4 carbine, to provide a vertical foregrip or replace a conventional vertical foregrip for the weapon and to provide a stabilized tactical platform for training with the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In one embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) provides a convenient location for the placement of controllers and hardware devices associated with the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) stores at least one of the weapon controller (105), the battery (105 a), the wireless transmitter (105 b), and/or the wireless controller (105 c).
  • In one embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) is disposed on the rifle controller (100) such that, when the rifle controller (100) is properly held, the trainee's non-firing hand is placed around the vertical foregrip controller (103) in a position that supports the rifle controller (100), and allows the trainee (1) to manipulate the rifle controller (100).
  • In one embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) is integrally formed on the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) is detachably mounted to the weapon to form the rifle controller (100). For example, the vertical foregrip controller (103) can be installed via attachment to the RIS of the weapon forming the rifle controller (100). As illustrated in FIGS. 11-15, the vertical foregrip controller (103) may include RIS guide (103 f) and tightening screws (103 g). In one embodiment of the present invention, the vertical foregrip controller (103) is attached to the bottom rail of the RIS (702) of the rifle controller (100). In one embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) may be attached to the bottom rail of the RIS (702) by placing the RIS guide (103 f) over the bottom rail of the RIS (702) at a particular position and tightening screws (103 g) to lock the vertical foregrip controller (103) in place.
  • In one embodiment, the position of the first, second, and third controllers (101-103) are adjusted according to the arm length, thumb length, and shooting style of the trainee to assure a proper grip of the weapon.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the RIS guide (103 f) includes an RIS guide wireway (103 h) to at least partially house and guide cable communications between the vertical foregrip controller (103) and the weapon controller (105). In another embodiment, the front rail wireway (802) may be attached to the bottom rail of the RIS (702) and the front wireway (802) may partially house cable communications exiting the RIS guide wireway (103 h) and guide them to the weapon controller (105).
  • In some embodiments the vertical foregrip controller (103) includes one or more buttons. For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 15 a and 15 b, the vertical foregrip controller (103) includes a first front button (103 i) and a second front button (103 j) disposed on an front facing surface of the vertical foregrip controller (103), and a first back button (103 k) and a second back button (1031) disposed on an back facing surface of the vertical foregrip controller (103). In some embodiments, the position of the first and second front buttons (103 i-j) and the first and second back buttons (103 k-l) allows the trainee to press these buttons with the fingers of his non-firing hand while properly holding the vertical foregrip controller (103). For example, when properly held, the trainee (1) can manipulate the first and second front buttons (103 i-j) with the index finger of his non-firing hand, and the trainee can manipulate the first and second back buttons (103 k-1) with the thumb of his non-firing hand, without compromising the proper grip of the vertical foregrip controller (103) and/or the rifle controller (100).
  • In one embodiment, the buttons (103 i-1031) are located at an upper neck of the vertical foregrip controller (103) to increase speed of use with a four button configuration while decreasing accidental mashing of the buttons (103 i-1031). In another embodiment, the location of buttons (103 i-1031) allow the trainee (1) to maintain a positive grip on the vertical foregrip controller (103) while operating the menu screens in the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the vertical foregrip controller (103) houses the weapon controller (105). In another embodiment, the weapon controller (105) includes a battery (105 a) to power the electronic components of the rifle controller (100). In some embodiments, the weapon controller (105) includes a wireless transmitter (105 b) and a wireless controller (105 c) to communicate inputs made on the rifle controller (100) to the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • As illustrated in FIG. 15-16, in one embodiment, the vertical foregrip controller (103) includes a removable housing (103 m) to house at least one of the weapon controller (105), the battery (105 a), the wireless transmitter (105 b), and/or the wireless controller (105 c). For example, a removable housing (103 m) allows replacement or recharging of the battery (105 a) without removing the vertical foregrip controller (103) from the rifle controller (100), thus avoiding having to remove and reposition the vertical foregrip controller (103), the joystick (103 a), and/or any other accessories that may be mounted to the RIS. In another embodiment, a removable housing (103 m) also avoids having to disconnect and reconnect the cables communicating the first, second, and/or third controllers (101-103) to the weapon controller (105).
  • In another embodiment, the wireless transmitter (105 b) and the wireless controller (105 c) may allow for quick swapping and replacement, avoiding any delay to exchange or recharge a drained battery. For example, in one embodiment, the removable housing (103 m) is removed by realizing a catch holding removable housing (103 n) within the vertical foregrip controller (103) and pulling out the removable housing (103 m). The battery (105 a) may be a rechargeable battery (105 a) and the weapon controller (105) may include charging circuitry. The rechargeable battery (105 a) can be recharged by placing the removable housing (103 m) onto a charging base (600), or as illustrated in FIG. 16, in another embodiment, the removable housing (103 m) is not removed, and the vertical foregrip controller (103) is placed on the charging base (600) to recharge the rechargeable battery (105 a). In another embodiment, the removable housing (103 m) may be removed and a depleted battery (105 a) may be exchanged for a charged battery (105 a). In one embodiment, the removable housing (103 m) houses the wireless transmitter (105 b) and the wireless controller (105 c). In one embodiment, if another removable housing (103 m) is installed, a connection process must be initiated in order to connect the computer generated training simulation (500) to the rifle controller (100) with the new removable housing (103 m). For example, in one embodiment, each removable housing (103 m) is associated with a small USB receiver that can plug into the computer(s) running the computer generated training simulation (500). This allows connection of each USB receiver to the wireless transmitter (105 b) and wireless controller (105 c) in a particular removable housing (103 m). In one embodiment, if the connection process is not re-initiated in either the removable housing (103 m) or the USB receiver, then they remain connected. If a removable housing (103 m) is removed from a vertical foregrip controller (103) and/or the USB receiver is removed and they are replaced with another removable housing (103 m) and its associated USB receiver, then the connecting process may be automatic and no further action is required. If the removable housing (103 m) is not connected to the USB receiver, the connecting (or “re-syncing”) process may be as simple as pressing a small button on the USB receiver and then pressing one of the buttons on the vertical foregrip controller (103). While a USB receiver is used as an example above, the invention is not limited thereto and other types of wireless receivers may be used.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, the rifle controller (100) includes a laser component (104). In one embodiment, the laser component (104) allows the computer generated training simulation (500) to detect the aim point of the rifle controller (100) when fired.
  • According to embodiments of the present invention, the laser component (104) may be mounted on various locations of the rifle controller (100). For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 18-19, the laser component (104) may be embodied as: a bore mounted laser component (FIG. 18( a)); a muzzle-mounted laser component (FIG. 18( b)) or an off-set muzzle-mounted laser component (FIG. 18( c)); a barrel mounted laser component (FIG. 19( d)); or as RIS mounted laser components (FIG. 19( b-c)). In one embodiment, the RIS mounted laser components (104) illustrated in FIGS. 19( b-c) include a laser housing (104 c), a laser (104 a), an RIS clamp (104 r), access holes to micro-adjustment knobs (M1 and M2), and a bottom RIS rail (104 s). In some embodiments, the laser component (104 a) includes a data access point (104 x) to provide access to the laser controller (104 b).
  • As illustrated in FIG. 19( d), in another embodiment, a barrel mounted laser component (104) includes include a laser housing (104 c), a laser (104 a), a barrel mount clamp (104 w), access holes to micro-adjustment knobs (M1 and M2), and a data access point (104 x) to provide access to the laser controller (104 b).
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the laser component (104) is embodied as a muzzle-mounted laser (104). As illustrated in FIG. 20-22, in one embodiment, the laser component (104) may include at least one of a laser (104 a), a laser controller (104 b), a laser housing (104 c), a coupling base (104 d), a laser sleeve (104 e), and a laser battery (104 f).
  • In one embodiment, the laser housing (104 c) houses at least one of the laser (104 a), the laser sleeve (104 e), the laser controller (104 b), and the laser battery (104 f).
  • In one embodiment, the coupling base (104 d) attaches to a muzzle (100 e) of the weapon forming the rifle controller (100). For example, the coupling base (104 d) may be embodied as a suppressor clip-on base (104 d) which attaches to a flash suppressor (100 g) or other muzzle mounted device of a rifle-type weapon, such as an M4 carbine, used to form the rifle controller (100). In one embodiment, the muzzle (100 e) of the weapon is a threaded muzzle (100 e) and the flash suppressor (100 g) has a threaded end to connect to the threaded muzzle (100 e). In another embodiment, the coupling base (104 d) is threaded to thread directly onto the threaded muzzle (100 e). In another embodiment, the coupling base (104 d) may be embodied as a suppressor twist-on base that fastens to the muzzle (100 e). In another embodiment, the laser housing (104 c) couples to the coupling base (104 d) to install the laser component (104) to the muzzle of the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, the coupling base (104 d) is integrally formed with the laser housing (104 c).
  • In one embodiment, the laser (104 a) is an infrared (IR) laser (104 a). In another embodiment, the laser (104 a) is a vibration activated laser (104 a). In one embodiment, vibration of the rifle controller (100) activates the vibration activated laser (104 a). For example, the vibration activated laser (104 a) may be set to activate upon the pulling of the trigger (“dry firing”) of the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, wherein the rifle controller (100) is capable of firing ammunition, the vibration activated laser (104 a) may be set to activate upon the firing of a blank round of ammunition or a regular round of ammunition by the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, wherein the rifle controller (100) is capable of firing gas-powered projectiles, the vibration activated laser (104 a) may be set to activate upon the firing of a gas-fire projectile or the discharge of a predetermined amount of gas propellant by the rifle controller (100). In other embodiments, the threshold vibration to trigger the vibration activated laser (104 a) may correspond to dry firing, electric blow back-firing, and gas blow back-firing of the rifle controller (100). However, the present invention is not limited thereto, and other ways of activating the laser may be contemplated in other embodiments of the invention. For example, the laser may be connected to a trigger sensor, and the laser (104 a) may be activated upon sensing of the pulling of trigger (100 b).
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the vibration activated laser (104 a) includes a percussive laser (104 a). In those embodiments, the percussive laser (104 a) includes a weighted cantilever and a piezoelectric detector configured to detect a movement of the cantilever to activate the vibration activated laser (104 a). In some embodiments, the percussive laser (104 a) is configured to active only in response to a minimum threshold movement of the cantilever.
  • In another embodiment, the vibration activated laser (104 a) includes one or more accelerometers for monitoring and comparing movements of the rifle controller (100) to determine when to activate the vibration activated laser (104 a). For example, in one embodiment, the vibration activated laser (104 a) includes at least 2 accelerometers to detect movement in the X and Z axes. In one embodiment, the X axis is along a barrel (back/forward) of the rifle controller (100) and the Z axis corresponds to a vertical movement (up/down) of the barrel). In another embodiment, the vibration activated laser (104 a) includes a Y-axis accelerometer to measure movement corresponding to a Y-axis (yaw) of the barrel of the rifle controller (100).
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the laser component (104) is configured to detect “firing” of the rifle controller (100). For example, the laser component (104) may be configured to detect the dry-firing of the rifle controller (100) and/or the firing of blanks or live ammunition.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the laser component (104) detects “firing” of the rifle controller (100) by continuously monitoring and comparing a movement of the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, the vibration activated laser (104 a) includes at least one accelerometer. In that embodiment, the accelerometer is used during a “learning” phase to record a movement of the rifle controller (100) corresponding to the “firing” of the rifle controller (100). In another embodiment, the laser component (104) is then subsequently activated when future monitored movement of the rifle controller matches previous “firing” data obtained during the learning phase. In one embodiment, the movement data is a minimum movement threshold detected by the accelerometer. In another embodiment, the movement data corresponds to a movement signature associated with the dry firing of the weapon, firing of blank or pellet rounds, or firing of live ammunition.
  • For example, in one embodiment, the laser component (104) includes a 3 axis accelerometer set to record +/−4 g's of movement. For example, in one embodiment, the accelerometer records movement data every 250 microseconds which is stored in the laser controller (104 b). In one embodiment, the laser controller (104 b) includes a low pass filter to identify and exclude signals corresponding to an at-rest position or gravity effect. In another embodiment, the accelerometer includes a low pass filter configured to remove high frequencies from the signals that tend to not be repeatable between waveforms and reduce the ability to detect firing events. In another embodiment, the laser component (104) measures and records the movement of the rifle controller (100) before, during, and after a firing event to create a signature of a firing event for the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, during a learning phase, the sample rate of the accelerometer is 4000/sec for the x and z axis, and the accelerometer monitors the rifle controller (100) for movement after it exceeds a certain threshold, for example 0.5 g. After the threshold is reached, a number of samples, say 40, are collected over a predetermined time interval, say 10 milliseconds, and saved in the laser controller (104 b) to create a firing event signature. That is, in one embodiment, the firing signature includes 40 samples before the threshold has met and 10 samples afterward. This reference data is recorded and represents what the accelerometer data looks like when the rifle controller (100) is fired (i.e. “signature data”). This data is then used to create a firing threshold or signature used to compared subsequent streaming accelerometer data during normal operations in order to identify when the rifle controller (100) is fired. For example, in one embodiment, the signature data obtained during the learning phase is used to determine a firing threshold for the accelerometer indicating a firing of the rifle controller (100).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 20-22, in one embodiment of the invention, the laser (104 a) is disposed inside the laser sleeve (104 e) and then inserted into the laser housing (104 c). In one embodiment, the laser sleeve (104 e) is made of a resilient substance to insulate the laser (104 a) from accidental triggering. For example, the laser sleeve (104 e) may be made of an elastic substance, such as latex rubber, silicone rubber, polyurethane, Buna-N rubber, and polyethylene, chosen to dampen the vibration of the vibration activated laser (104 a) to vibrations above a threshold. In one embodiment, the laser sleeve (104 e) is a tube material with a Shore value of 50 or less. In another embodiment, the laser sleeve (104 e) is a tube material with a Shore value of about 45. In another embodiment, the laser sleeve (104 e) secures the laser (104 a) in line with the bore of the rifle controller (100) such that the laser light replicates the initial ballistic bore sight of a bullet or projectile that could be fired by the rifle controller (100). In one embodiment of the invention, the laser sleeve (104 e) is fastened to the laser housing (104 c) with micro adjustment screws (104 h). In one embodiment, adjustment of the micro adjustment screws (104 h) can center the laser (104 a) inside the bore of the rifle controller (100).
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the vibration activated laser (104 a) “fires” a laser light into the computer generated training simulation (500) and the computer generated training simulation (500) calculates a trajectory of a bullet or projectile that could be fired by the rifle controller (100) and displays it within the computer generated training simulation (500).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 20-22, in one embodiment of the invention, the suppressor clip-on base (104 d) is coupled to the flash suppressor (100 h) of the trainee's (1) weapon forming the rifle controller (100). The vibration activated laser (104 a) is placed within the laser sleeve (104 e), and the laser sleeve (104 e) is installed within the laser housing (104 c). The laser housing (104 c) is then coupled to the suppressor clip-on base (104 d). In one embodiment, a locking nut (104 k) connects to the clip-on base (104 d) to secure the housing (104 c). In one embodiment, the laser controller (104 b) and the laser battery (104 f) are also installed within the laser housing (104 c).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 22 and 24, in another embodiment of the present invention, the laser component (104) may also include a barrel plug (104 i) and/or a barrel plug blank adaptor (104 j).
  • In one embodiment, the barrel plug (104 i) couples to a muzzle 100 e of the rifle controller (100). For example, in one embodiment, the barrel plug (104 i) is held in place by the pressure produced when it is tightened into the bore of the rifle barrel. In another embodiment, the barrel plug (104 i) includes a barrel plug blank adaptor (104 j) to allow coupling with the coupling base (104 d) and/or the flash suppressor (100 f). In another embodiment, a locking nut (104 k) screws to the coupling base (104 d) to further secure the laser component (104).
  • In another embodiment, the barrel plug (104 i) includes gas vents (104 m) to discharge firing gas discharge. For example, when the rifle controller (100) fires blank ammunition or gas-powered projectiles, the barrel plug (104 i) impedes the path of any projectile or debris through the barrel and cycles the weapon, while allowing excess pressure to vent through gas vents (104 m). In one embodiment, the barrel plug (104 i) allows the cycling of the weapon when firing blank ammunition. In one embodiment, the barrel plug (104 i) is made of a strong, rigid material, such as a metal.
  • In another embodiment, the rifle controller (100) includes a barrel plug blank adaptor (104 j). In one embodiment, the a barrel plug blank adaptor (104 j)) is made of a resilient material to securely fix the barrel plug (104 i) within the bore of the rifle controller (100)
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 22-24, in one embodiment of the invention, the barrel plug (104 i) is inserted into the barrel plug blank adaptor (104 j), and installed within the bore of the rifle controller (100). In one embodiment, the blank adaptor (104 j) with barrel plug blank adaptor (104 j) can be inserted into any M4/M16 rifle used to form the rifle controller (100) and utilized with blank-type ammunition to fire when training with the computer generated training simulation (500) with or without additional controllers (101-103). In another embodiment, the first, second, and third controllers (101-103) allow a trainee (1) to maneuver inside the computer generated training simulation (500) with the rifle controller (100). The coupling base (104 d), embodied as a suppressor twist-on base (104 d) in FIGS. 20-21, is then coupled directly to the to the barrel plug (104 i) and/or to the suppressor (100 g). The vibration activated laser (104 a) is placed within the laser sleeve (104 e), and the laser sleeve (104 e) is installed within the laser housing (104 c). In one embodiment, O-rings (1041) may be used to further secure the laser sleeve (104 e) within the laser housing (104 c). The laser housing (104 c) is then secured to the suppressor twist-on base (104 d). In one embodiment, the laser housing (104 c) is secured to the flash suppressor (1001) with a captive washer and screw assembly (104 o)
  • In another embodiment of the invention, the rifle controller (100) may include a pass-through laser component (104). For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 23-24, in another embodiment of the present invention, a pass-through laser component (104) may accommodate a forward moving projectile, i.e. a fired shot, going through the bore of the rifle controller (100) and out of the laser housing (104 c).
  • In one embodiment, the laser component (104) includes at least one of a vibration activated laser (104 a), an off-set laser housing (104 c), a coupling base (104 d), a laser sleeve (104 e), a laser battery (104 f), a locking nut (104 k), and laser on and off nut (104 p).
  • In one embodiment, the rifle controller (100) has a flash suppressor (100 f) or other muzzle mounted attachment installed, and the laser component (104) attaches and securely fastens to the flash suppressor (100 f) with the locking nut (104 k). The laser locking nut (104 k) is then aligned with the front sight post of the rifle controller (100).
  • In embodiments where the rifle controller (100) is set to fire projectiles, the laser component (104) does not include a barrel plug (104 i), such that, when the trigger (100 b) is pulled, a projectile is fired through the bore of the rifle controller (100) and out of the laser component (104). For example, the fired projectile may be an air powered metal BB, a chalk marker BB, a paint marker BB, Simunition, Paint Maker Simunition, Live Rounds, airsoft ammunition, or blank-type rounds. In one embodiment, the vibration of the projectile firing triggers the vibration activated laser (104 a), which fires a laser into the computer generated training simulation (500). The training simulation (500) calculates and reproduces the trajectory of the projectile within the training simulation (500). In one embodiment, the projectile simultaneously leaves the barrel and strikes a target displayed by the training simulation (500).
  • In one embodiment, the position of the vibration activated laser (104 a) is offset with respect to the bore, such that the vibration activated laser (104 a) is securely fixed in line with the bore of the rifle controller (100) while the laser component (104) allows the projectile to freely pass through the flash suppressor.
  • For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 23-24, in one embodiment of the invention, the coupling base (104 d) is coupled to the flash suppressor (100 h). In one embodiment, the locking nut (104 k) is used to further secure the coupling base (104 d) to the flash suppressor (100 h). The vibration activated laser (104 a) and laser battery (104 f) are placed within the laser sleeve (104 e), and the laser sleeve (104 e) is installed within the laser housing (104 c) in an offset position. The laser housing (104 c) is then coupled to the coupling base (104 d). In one embodiment, the laser component (104) includes a laser on-off nut (104 p) to control turning on/off of the laser (104 a).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 25-26, in another embodiment, the laser component (104) is embodied as a muzzle mounted laser component (104 a). In some embodiments, the muzzle mounted laser component (104 a) includes a laser (104 a), an access port (104 x), micro adjustment nobs (M1 and M2) and a muzzle clamp (104 w) to couple to the rifle barrel (100 c). In some embodiments, the laser component (104) includes a laser on-off button and/or buttons to interface with the laser controller (104 b).
  • As illustrated in FIG. 18, in some embodiments of the invention, a bore-mounted laser (104) may be mounted within the bore of the weapon (100) and an alignment of the laser projected by the bore-mounted laser (104) to the bore of the weapon (100) may be adjusted using micro-adjustment knobs (M1 and M2). In one embodiment, the bore-mounted laser (104) includes an external on/off switch to control the laser, and the laser light projected may be a green persistent laser.
  • Although a few embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the present invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims and their equivalents.

Claims (12)

What is claimed is:
1. A rifle controller, comprising:
a rifle-type weapon;
a first controller disposed near a trigger of the rifle-type weapon,
a second controller disposed along a barrel of the rifle-type weapon; and
a third controller disposed underneath a barrel of the rifle-type weapon to serve as a vertical foregrip,
wherein, the position of the first, second, and third controller are configured to promote a proper holding of the rifle-type weapon, and
wherein the first, second, and third controllers allow a user to navigate within an immersive collaborative simulated environment.
2. The rifle controller of claim 1, wherein, when properly held, the user's non-firing hand is placed such that the user's non-firing thumb manipulates the second controller (102) while supporting the rifle controller.
3. The rifle controller of claim 2, wherein, the first controller comprises a joystick, and wherein the joystick is disposed such that a thumb of a user's firing hand placed to squeeze the trigger is above a relative position of a safety selector lever defined in the rifle-type weapon.
4. The rifle controller of claim 3, wherein, the second controller comprises a joystick configured such that, when a user's non-firing hand grasps the third controller, the user's non-firing thumb manipulates said joystick.
5. The rifle controller of claim 4, wherein, the third controller comprises front and back buttons, and wherein, when properly held, the third controller is configured such that the user can manipulate the front buttons with the index finger of his non-firing hand, and the user can manipulate the back buttons with the thumb of his non-firing hand.
6. The rifle controller of claim 5, wherein, the third controller is positioned to force a user's non-firing elbow toward the ground, closer to the body.
7. The rifle controller of claim 1, further comprising:
a laser component, the laser component comprising:
a laser source;
a laser controller;
an accelerometer,
wherein the laser controller activates the laser according to a firing movement detected by the accelerometer,
wherein the accelerometer determines a firing movement when a movement signature of the weapon detected by the accelerometer matches a previously obtain movement signature of the weapon during firing of the weapon, and
wherein, the laser component allows the immersive collaborative simulated environment to detect the aim point of the rifle controller when fired.
9. A rifle controller, comprising:
a weapon;
a laser component, the laser component comprising:
a laser source;
a laser controller;
an accelerometer,
wherein the laser controller activates the laser according to a firing movement detected by the accelerometer, and
wherein the accelerometer determines a firing movement when a movement signature of the weapon detected by the accelerometer matches a previously obtain movement signature of the weapon during firing of the weapon.
10. The rifle controller of claim 1, wherein the movement signature corresponds to a minimum movement threshold detected by the accelerometer.
11. The rifle controller of claim 1, wherein the movement signature corresponds to movement data continuously detected before, during, and after firing of the weapon.
12. The rifle controller of claim 1, wherein the firing of the weapon is one of dry-firing, electric blow back-firing, and gas blow back-firing of the weapon.
13. The rifle controller of claim 1, wherein the movement signature corresponds to one of dry firing of the weapon, firing of blank or pellet rounds, or firing of live ammunition.
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US13/459,020 US20130022944A1 (en) 2004-11-24 2012-04-27 Proper grip controllers
US14/094,090 US20150153130A1 (en) 2004-11-24 2013-12-02 Proper grip conversion

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AU2005334472B2 (en) 2012-07-05
US20080108021A1 (en) 2008-05-08
EG25541A (en) 2012-02-12
WO2007011418A3 (en) 2008-12-11
JP2013015313A (en) 2013-01-24
JP2008524542A (en) 2008-07-10
IL183316D0 (en) 2007-09-20
EP1825209B1 (en) 2013-03-06
WO2007011418A4 (en) 2009-01-29
EP1825209A2 (en) 2007-08-29
US20130022944A1 (en) 2013-01-24
EP1825209A4 (en) 2011-11-09
AU2005334472A1 (en) 2007-01-25
CN101438121A (en) 2009-05-20
MX2007006147A (en) 2008-01-14
ES2411307T3 (en) 2013-07-05
CA2589213A1 (en) 2007-01-25
US8770977B2 (en) 2014-07-08
NZ556012A (en) 2011-01-28
CA2589213C (en) 2013-01-15
US20140186801A1 (en) 2014-07-03
DK1825209T3 (en) 2013-06-10
HK1132034A1 (en) 2013-04-12
WO2007011418A2 (en) 2007-01-25

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