US2115533A - Sound actuated automaton - Google Patents

Sound actuated automaton Download PDF

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US2115533A
US2115533A US32757A US3275735A US2115533A US 2115533 A US2115533 A US 2115533A US 32757 A US32757 A US 32757A US 3275735 A US3275735 A US 3275735A US 2115533 A US2115533 A US 2115533A
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automaton
sound
current
switch
closure
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US32757A
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Joseph W Myers
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Joseph W Myers
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09FDISPLAYING; ADVERTISING; SIGNS; LABELS OR NAME-PLATES; SEALS
    • G09F19/00Advertising or display means not otherwise provided for
    • G09F19/02Advertising or display means not otherwise provided for incorporating moving display members
    • G09F19/10Devices demonstrating the action of an article to be advertised

Description

April 1938. J. w. MYERS 2,115,533
SOUND ACTUATED AUTOMATON Filed July 23, 1935 2 Sheets-Sheet l 11.5 .1| |HI ll 2 2,7
ijl HH H 25 i 56 I u I! INVENTOR ATTORNEY April 26, 1938. J. w. MYERS 2,115,533
SOUND ACTUATED AUTOMATON Filed July 23, 1935 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 mvNToR Jase 0 h Wflye rs,
ORNE
Patented Apr. 26, 1938 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 6 Claims.
This invention relates particularly to soundactuated automatons, but more especially embodying the inherent idea or principle of the automatons being adapted to operate in substantially exact synchronism with the voice characteristics of a speaker, or with the sound reproduced by radio, talking machine, or other form of electrical or electro-mechanical devices.
The general purpose of such an automaton is to attract attention, as for instance in advertising displays of various kinds, as well as to entertain and hold ones interest, as in the case of toys and general amusement devices, wherefore instead of providing merely a movable object of no particular shape, it is found desirable to employ an automaton having the likeness of a wellknown cartoon, actor, or other person, so that the movements of such automaton, when reproducing the movements of the corresponding person or his impersonator, will recall to those watching it the intimate movements, which are associated with the party with whom the sounds are originating, or originated in the first instancein the case of reproduction of sounds from a suitable record.
Heretofore, it is believed that most if not all such devices have depended upon the inclusion of a relay, and various other elements which have together contributed to make the devices in question relatively expensive. By contrast, an object of the present invention is to eliminate all relays, to provide a much simplified soundactuatable switch, to provide a relatively inexpensive yet most attractive device, to make the mechanism as a whole operable upon either direct or alternating current from common lighting circuits, to make the automaton function more nearly perfect than has heretofore been possible, to employ an electric resistance which also serves for stage lighting purposes, and to provide furtherimproved details of construction and operation, as are hereinafter brought out.
With this initial statement of the objects of the invention, its construction and operation are fully brought out in the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. l is a front elevational view of the stage and automaton supporting element per se;
Fig. 2 is a plan view of the underside of the cover of the said element;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary section of a portion of such element on the line 33 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is an elevational/view of the vibrationactuated switch element per se;
Fig. 5 is a plan view of the underside of the cover of said switch element;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a portion of the supporting e1ement,. especially showing one of the solenoids and asso- 5 ciated automaton-carried armature;
Fig. 7 is a similar sectional view of a binding post mounting;
Fig. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of the switch members and associated parts; and
Fig. 9 is a diagrammatic wiring diagram of the electrical connections within the system, comprising the two elements hereinbefore referred to.
Referring to the drawings, the automaton supporting and activating unit per se is shown in Figs. 1, 2, 3 and 6, and broadly this unit comprises essentially a hollow container I which may be of any desired shape, size and construction, but in the present instance is shown as com- 20 prising a relatively shallow cylindrical metal box, having a removable metal closure 2, said closure having a substantially horizontal top wall 3 to which are secured and from which are suspended by suitable means 3' any desired number of solenoids l, representing any suitable form of electromagnetic element capable of actuating the corresponding automatons 5. Each automaton is supported by an L-shaped bracket 6, the lower angularly directed portion 1 of which is preferably provided with a pair. of spaced apertures 8 and 9 thru which normally extend respectively a positioning lug I0, carried by the closure wall 3, and the stem ll of a suitable bolt or other looking device I2, which latter normally secures said bracket firmly to said closure wall, and cooper-2, ates with the lug Ill to prevent said bracket from moving angularly about a vertical axis, but permits said bracket to be detached and another automaton and its own bracket substituted. When desirable there may be also provided a back-ground member l3, formed of cardboard, light wood, metal or the like, and normally extending upwardly to the rear of the automaton, the lower forwardly extending angularly directed portion ll of said member, being preferablyalso directly secured beneath the locking device l2, or beneath the angularly directed portion 1 of each of the brackets with which said automatons are supported.
Slightly forwardly of the brackets 6 said closure wall is provided with apertures I5, thru which loosely extend rods l6, which are suitably connected to the movable portions of the respective automatons 5, and at their opposite orlower ends are provided with a relatively larger arma ture l1, which will slide loosely thru the solenoids 4.
Still forwardly of the apertures i5 is another aperture l8, which extends transversely across the forward portion of said closure wall, the metal l9 removed to provide said aperture being deflected upwardly and forwardly so as to provide a shield and reflector for rays from a lamp 20 also carried by said closure wall, and directly supported by any suitable form of bracket 2| secured thereto.
The windings 22 of the solenoids (or other form of electro-magnetic actuating means) are connected in series with each other, as shown in Fig. 9, and also in series with the lamp 20 and a suitable source of electric current to which wires 23 lead. It is to be noted that the inactive position of each of the armatures I1 is such that its center of mass is somewhere below the center of the magnetic field of the corresponding solenoid, with the result that after the solenoid is energized and the armature is raised temporarily, thereby causing the automaton attached thereto to move in a given manner, deenergizing of the solenoid permits said armature to drop by gravity, thereby causing a reaction or substantial reversal of the previous movements on the part of the automaton connected thereto. It is therefore obvious that intermittent and irregularly alternating the energizing and de-energizing of the solenoid causes the automaton to move in a corresponding manner, and that by properly selecting the type, appearance, and detailed structure of the particular automaton involved, such for instance to represent a given person, impersonator, or cartoon, the automaton can be made to move in a manner so similar to the originator of the sound, as thru the intermediacy of sound waves from a radio, loud speaker, or talking machine, that the actual movements of the sound originator can be faithfully reproduced or mimicked to a remarkable degree of accuracy.
Referring'to Figs. 4, 5, 7 and 8, there are shown details of the sound actuatable switch mechanism used in conjunction with the automaton actuating device above described. In the present embodiment of the invention, this switch mechanism is preferably mounted within a hollow container 24 of any suitable shape, size, material, etc., and is provided upon one side with an aperture 25, and normally having its upper and otherwise open side spanned by a removable closure 25, which closure is characterized by a sound sensitive vibratory wall 21, which may comprise the entire upper wall of said closure, or instead may comprise only the central portion of the same. In either case the center of said vibratory wall obviously oscillates to a greater degree than any other portion of the same, and is therefore preferably provided with a depending bracket 28, to which is secured an electric contact member 29, which, however, is preferably insulated from said bracket and is connected by means of a wire 30 to that wire 3|, which in the automaton actuating device connects the solenoid to the lamp.
The closure 26 is also provided at any suitable position with a bracket 32, having a depending angular portion 33, provided with a threaded aperture 34 in which is secured an adiustably positioned set-screw 35, the outer and manually engageable end portion 36 of which extends freely thru the container aperture 25, and is preferably at all times accessible to the operator. The secaliases 0nd bracket 32 also supports but is pref rably insulated from a depending resilient member 31,
against the free end portion of which abuts the set-screw 35, except for the inter-positioning of I conductive metal, and comprises any desired shape and construction. The free end portion 40 of this resilient member is provided with an electrical contacting member 4|, which engages the contact member 29, when, as and in accordance with the vibration of the bracket 28 under the influence of the vibratory closure wall 21, which in effect constitutes a diaphragm such as is responsive to at least certain of the sound waves emanating from a radio, talking machine, or the voice of one speaking or other suitable source of sound. Preferably also the bracket 28 is provided with a U-shaped guard member 42, which when this device is being handled and transported from place to place, prevents the nicely balanced end portion 40 of the resilient member 39 from moving or swaying, beyond a certain predetermined distance away from the bracket 28 and possibly becoming unduly bent or flexed, it being understood that the resiliency of the member 39 is such as to just slightly cause the contacts 29 and 4| to engage each other, the degree of contact between these members being nicely adjustable by means of the set-screw 35.
In order to reduce the amount of current flowing between the brackets 29 and 4|, a suitable resistance 43 is interposed in the circuit as indicated in Fig. 9, while a condenser 44 is shunted across the make and break contacts, also as indicated. Still further, a second condenser 45 may if desired ground the metal container with the wire 46, which connects the opposite end of the resistance 43 to the wire 41, which wire in turn connects the opposite line wire 23 to the solenoids 22. The said condensers 44 and 45, and the resistance 43 may for the sake of convenience be connected together, thru a single binding post 48 supported by a suitable bracket 49, in turn carried by the closure 3, as indicated in Fig. 7.
With the automaton supporting mechanism and the sound actuated device constructed along the lines herein described and connected together as indicated by the wiring diagram Fig. 9, it will be evident that within a certain range, determined by the position of the set-screw 35, when the vibratory closure wall 21 vibrates it will intermittently break the delicate contact normally established between the members 29 and 4|, since the frequency of free vibration of the member 39 and its contact 4| is very low, and it is unable to follow the sound frequencies imposed on contact 29, supported by the vibrating diaphragm 21. Thus, any considerable sound will cause a separation of, and substantially stop the current normally flowing thru, these contacts. Therefore, when these contacts are separated the solenoids 22 being in series with the lamp 2!], and their impedance being greater than that of the resistor 43, the brilliancy of the lamp is lowered, and its light will thus flicker as the contact is made and broken. At the same time the armatures H are lifted into the solenoids suddenly and positively actuating the automatons connected thereto each time the contact is broken for a suflicient period of time to overcome their inertia. It should be understood that the solenoid-short-circuiting currents normally flowing thru the contacts, when disturbed by sound are not of the same frequency as the sound, but are intermittent currents of the same frequency as the natural frequency of the spring member 39, which may be as low as four vibrations per second, and this resulting current through the resistor 43 is sufiicient to prevent solenoids 22 raising their armatures, to which the automatons are attached. When the sound stops for a fraction of a second, or its intensity lowers substantially, the contacts begin to act as a substantial short circuit for the current around the solenoids, and each armature drops or lowers to some intermediate position. It will thus be evident that the armature I! will rise and fall in accordance with changes in the intensity of sound vibrating the diaphragm 21, and the current in the solenoids is substantially independent of the frequency of the diaphragm, but is extremely sensitive to the intensity of its vibration and somewhat proportional thereto. This intermittent making and breaking of the said contacts produce a jiggling, gyration, or other movement, of the automatons simultaneously with a flickering of the rays of the lamp 20, which cooperate to produce a most unique, novel and highly interesting result in synchronism with speech or music.
Having thus described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a vibration actuated mechanism, the combination of a source of current, an automaton, an armature connected to said automaton, an electro-rnagnetic element for actuating said armature, a resistance in series with said element and said source of current, and a vibrationsensitive switch shunted across said element, to permit current from said source to energize and de-energize said element in accordance with ex traneous vibrations, current from said source being limited by said resistance when said switch is closed.
2. In a vibration actuated mechanism, the combination of a source of current, an automaton, an
closed by lack of vibrations short-circuits and thereby de-energizes said element and permits said armature to fall.
3. In a vibration actuated mechanism, the combination of a source of current, an electro-magnetic element, an automaton actuatable by said element, a resistance in series with said element and said source of current. a vibration-sensitive switch, a resistance connected in series with said switch and together with said switch being shunted across said element, and a condenser shunted across said resistance and said switch, whereby said element is alternately energized and deenerglzed as said switch is opened and closed respectively, so as to actuate said automaton in accordance with sound waves or vibrations, and whereby radio disturbing electrical oscillations are prevented by said resistance and condenser.
4. In a vibration actuated mechanism, the combination of a base, an automaton supported by said base, an armature carried by said automaton, an electro-rnagnetic element also carried by said base to actuate said armature, a lamp also carried by said base and in series with said element, and a vibration-actuated switch shunted across said element, causing said lamp to cast a flickering illumination upon and in accordance with the gyrations of said automaton.
5. In a vibration actuated mechanism, the coinbination of a container, an automaton supported upon said container, an electro-magnetic element carried by and within said container, an actuating armature carried by said automaton and operatively associated with and in the magnetic field of said element, a lamp carried by and within said container and adapted to illuminate said automaton, and a vibration-actuated switch controlling the flow of current through said element, causing said lamp to cast a flickering illumination upon and in accordance with the gyrations of said automaton.
6. In a vibration actuated mechanism, the combination of a source of current, an automaton, an armature connected to said automaton, an electro-magnetic element for actuating said armature, a resistance in the form of a lamp so positioned as when lighted to illuminate said automaton, and connected in series with said element, and said source of current, and a vibrationsensitive switch shunted across said, element, to permit current from said source to energize and de-energize said element in accordance with extraneous vibrations, current from said source being limited by said resistance when said switch is closed.
JOSEPH W. MYERS.
US32757A 1935-07-23 1935-07-23 Sound actuated automaton Expired - Lifetime US2115533A (en)

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3531891A (en) * 1968-03-18 1970-10-06 Mattel Inc Switch means for controlling an animation device in a figure toy
US5370569A (en) * 1994-02-10 1994-12-06 Mo-Hsin; Lin Sound actuated, magnetic, oscillating toy figure
US6682392B2 (en) * 2001-04-19 2004-01-27 Thinking Technology, Inc. Physically interactive electronic toys
US20040051704A1 (en) * 2000-06-15 2004-03-18 Mark Goulthorpe Display system
US7318766B2 (en) * 2004-01-21 2008-01-15 Mattel, Inc. Doll with stand

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3531891A (en) * 1968-03-18 1970-10-06 Mattel Inc Switch means for controlling an animation device in a figure toy
US5370569A (en) * 1994-02-10 1994-12-06 Mo-Hsin; Lin Sound actuated, magnetic, oscillating toy figure
US20040051704A1 (en) * 2000-06-15 2004-03-18 Mark Goulthorpe Display system
US7277080B2 (en) * 2000-06-15 2007-10-02 Mark Goulthorpe Three dimensional dynamic display system
US6682392B2 (en) * 2001-04-19 2004-01-27 Thinking Technology, Inc. Physically interactive electronic toys
US7318766B2 (en) * 2004-01-21 2008-01-15 Mattel, Inc. Doll with stand

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