WO2010135343A1 - Reconfigurable transmission for toy vehicles - Google Patents

Reconfigurable transmission for toy vehicles Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010135343A1
WO2010135343A1 PCT/US2010/035285 US2010035285W WO2010135343A1 WO 2010135343 A1 WO2010135343 A1 WO 2010135343A1 US 2010035285 W US2010035285 W US 2010035285W WO 2010135343 A1 WO2010135343 A1 WO 2010135343A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
gear
transmission
gears
adapters
shafts
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2010/035285
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Gregory Doherty
Original Assignee
Invectra, Llc
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

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H17/00Toy vehicles, e.g. with self-drive; ; Cranes, winches or the like; Accessories therefor
    • A63H17/26Details; Accessories
    • A63H17/262Chassis; Wheel mountings; Wheels; Axles; Suspensions; Fitting body portions to chassis
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H31/00Gearing for toys
    • A63H31/08Gear-control mechanisms; Gears for imparting a reciprocating motion

Abstract

Electronic, motorized, battery-operated toy vehicles featuring interchangeable gears, wheels, and/or tires which may permit performance tuning without tools are disclosed. Features may include a translucent and/or transparent lower chassis, a programmable power switch, a try-me function, and/or internal lighting to illuminate gears and/or headlights. Some exemplary embodiments may include 1:20 scale plastic cars, for example.

Description

Title: RECONFIGURABLE TRANSMISSION FOR TOY VEHICLES

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/179,259, filed May 18, 2009, which is incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The present disclosure is directed to toy vehicles and, more particularly, to toy vehicles featuring interchangeable parts such as gears, wheels, and/or tires.

SUMMARY

[0003] In an aspect, a transmission may include a gear train in which any of the gears is interchangeably mounted to fixed axis of rotation and may be selectively reversed or exchanged in pairs to result in a new transmission ratio. The transmission may include a gear is mounted to an adapter before mounting to the shaft. The gear shafts may be moved to create new gear center distances.

[0004] In an aspect, a transmission for a toy vehicle may include a plurality of shafts mounted within a gear bay; a plurality of adapters for rotatably mounting on the shafts; and/or a plurality of replaceable gears for mounting on the adapters; where the gears may be rearranged to provide different gear ratios. The transmission may include an input gear driven by a motor and an output gear coupled to at least one wheel; and the replaceable gears may be interconnected between the input gear and the output gear. The transmission may further include at least one compound gear. The compound gear may include a double-length adapter and at least two gears slidably assembled onto the double-length adapter. The double-length adapter and the at least two gears may not be readily separable. The compound gear may be integrally formed. At least one shaft may receive at least two adapters, each of the two adapters receiving a respective replaceable gear, and where each of the two adapters is independently rotatable.

[0005] The shafts may extend into the gear bay in an orientation substantially orthogonal to a front-to-back line of the toy vehicle. The gears may rotate in a substantially horizontal plane when they are installed on the shafts. The output gear may be coupled to an adapter extending into the gear bay; and the output gear may be inaccessible from the gear bay. The transmission may further include a transaxle; where the transaxle mechanically couples a first axle and a second axle. The adapters may have a substantially hexagonal cross section. The adapters may have a substantially triangular cross section. The adapters may have a substantially cruciform cross section.

[0006] A transmission may further include a gear bay door selectively installable to at least partially cover the gear bay. The gear bay door may be at least one of translucent and transparent.

[0007] At least one of the shafts may be movable.

[0008] The gears may be at least one of substantially translucent and transparent. The gears may be tinted; and where colors of the gears may be associated with respective sizes of the gears.

[0009] The transmission may further include at least one light directed into the gear bay. The light may be adapted to turn on when the motor is activated.

[0010] At least two of the replaceable gears may be located behind a removable plate; where at least two of the replaceable gears are located in front of the removable plate; and where the removable plate may be installed and removed via the gear bay. The removable plate may interpose a first row of intermeshed replaceable gears and a second row of intermeshed replaceable gears.

[0011] The toy car may be remotely controlled. The toy car may be remotely controlled from a wireless remote control.

[0012] The transmission may further include at least one spacer slidably receivable on at least one adapter.

[0013] At least one of the shafts may be slidably repositionable.

[0014] At least one of the shafts may be releasably engaged with a plurality of openings provided in the gear bay.

[0015] In an aspect, a control device for a toy car may include an off position in which the toy car is deenergized; an on position in which depression of a button is operative to actuate the toy car for a first predetermined period of time; a try-me position in which depression of the button is operative to actuate the toy car for a

103414441 1 second predetermined period of time, the second predetermined period of time being shorter than the first predetermined period of time; and a program position, in which depression of the button for an arbitrary period of time followed by momentary depression of the button is operative to actuate the toy car for a period of time equal to the arbitrary period of time. Momentary depression of the button while the toy car is actuated may be operative to stop operation of the car.

[0016] In an aspect, an information device for a toy vehicle may include a display arranged to indicate information associated with operation of a toy vehicle; a processor operative to receive data from the toy vehicle and supply information to the display. The display may include at least one light emitting diode. The display may include at least one liquid crystal display. The information device may further include a connector for coupling with a port mounted to the toy vehicle. The information may include a gear ratio of a transmission installed in the toy vehicle. The information may include a rotational speed of at least one of a motor and a wheel. The information may include at least one of a battery voltage and a battery state of charge.

[0017] In an aspect, a transmission for a toy vehicle may include a plurality of gears interposing at least one motor and at least one wheel; where the plurality of gears may be installed in at least two arrangements, the arrangements providing different gear ratios; and where the gears may be removed and installed without the use of tools. The gears may be mounted to shafts using adapters. The gears may be slidably received on the adapters. The adapters may be slidably and/or rotatably received on fixed shafts mounted within a gear bay. The transmission may include at least one compound gear. The compound gear may include at least one adapter slidably engaged with at least two of the gears. The compound gear may include at least two integrally formed gears. At least one of the shafts may be slidably repositionable. At least one of the shafts may be releasably engaged with a plurality of openings provided in the gear bay.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0018] The detailed description refers to the following figures in which:

[0019] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present

103414441 1 invention;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0022] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0023] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0024] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0025] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0026] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0028] FIG. 10 is a bottom view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0029] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0030] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0032] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0033] FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present

103414441 1 invention;

[0034] FIG. 16A is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0035] FIG. 16B is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0036] FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0037] FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0038] FIG. 19 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0039] FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0040] FIG. 21 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0041] FIG. 22 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0042] FIG. 23 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0043] FIG. 24 is a plan view of several exemplary adaptor cross sections; all in accordance with at least some aspects of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0044] The present disclosure is directed to, among other things, electronic, motorized, battery-operated toy vehicles featuring interchangeable gears, wheels, and/or tires which may permit performance tuning without tools. Features may include a translucent and/or transparent lower chassis, a programmable power switch, a try-me function, and/or internal lighting to illuminate gears and/or headlights. Some exemplary embodiments may include 1 :20 scale plastic cars, for example.

103414441 1 [0045] Exemplary embodiments according to the present disclosure may include toy vehicles with working transmissions featuring interchangeable gears that a child may manipulate without the need for tools or complicated assembly. Selecting and/or arranging various gear combinations may allow a child to configure a toy car's transmission to achieve their performance objectives (e.g., speed, torque, traction, etc.). Exemplary embodiments may also allow a child to make other performance- enhancing modifications such as wheel size and tire traction changes, for example.

[0046] Some exemplary embodiments may include gear transmissions that are easy for a young child to manipulate (e.g., install, remove, and mesh with other gears) without the need for tools or complicated assembly. Exemplary embodiments may also allow for a wide range of gear combinations (perceptually unlimited) which may deliver meaningful performance that the child can observe and understand.

[0047] Exemplary embodiments may be reconfigurable to achieve different goals. For example, a child may wish to configure a car to go as fast as possible. To accomplish this, the child may arrange the gears in the transmission to minimize the gear reduction in order to deliver the highest rotational speed to the driving wheels. As another example, a child may wish to configure a car to climb a step incline. To accomplish this, the child may rearrange the gears and may substitute new gears to maximize the gear reduction, which will increase torque, thus improving the car's climbing ability.

[0048] In some exemplary embodiments, rearranging gears within the transmission of a toy vehicle may be performed without tools. In some exemplary embodiments, some performance adjustment may be accomplished using tools. Thus, an exemplary embodiment may be suitable for younger children (no tools features) and older children (advanced features requiring tools). In an exemplary embodiment, changing and/or rearranging transmission gears, adding a transaxle to convert from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive, changing one or more wheels (outer wheel diameter contributes to speed and performance), and/or changing tires (tire material and tread pattern contribute to traction and performance) may be performed without tools. In an exemplary embodiment, replacing a motor, replacing a motor pinion (e.g., the gear interconnecting the motor and the transmission), and/or

103414441 1 changing normally inaccessible output gears (which may include removing a cover) may include the use of tools, such as a screw driver.

[0049] Some exemplary embodiments may include lighted head lights and/or tail lights, a programmable power switch, a telemetry monitor, interchangeable body parts (e.g., spoiler, chin, rear fascia, hood), an illuminated gear bay, and/or a translucent gear bay door. In some exemplary embodiments, various items such as the rear wing spoiler, hood, and/or ground effects "underskirt" may be snapped on/off via a positive snap or friction-fit design, for example.

[0050] In an exemplary embodiment, a motor may be mounted to a chassis, and the motor may include a pinion (or other appropriate gear component, such as a crown gear) mounted to its output shaft. The motor may be mounted behind or in front of a gear bay wall so that it is not visible when looking into the gear bay. The gear bay door may be translucent and/or transparent so that the gears may be observed in motion. The gear bay door may be removable for easy gear replacement, such as by being hinged on one side and/or including one or more latching tabs. Wheels and tires may be assembled using a friction-fit with a light snap feature, thus allowing easy replacement.

[0051] In an exemplary embodiment, transmission gears may be supplied as "single layer" spur gears, but may be "stacked" to create compound gears, and may be re-arranged "at-will" by a consumer to create virtually any gear combination they desire. Some exemplary embodiments may include one or more "adapters," which may be used to couple one or more gears to a shaft. For example, an exemplary adapter may mount to a shaft, and one or more gears may mount to the adapter. The ability to make a compound gear may be "switched off or on" simply by changing the shaft adapter to which the gear mounts. An exemplary adapter may have a substantially hexagonal cross section, with a center hole for mounting to a steel axle. An exemplary "double length" shaft adapter may support stacking two gears to create a compound gear. If instead a "single length" adapter is used, then the gears will not rotate together and thus will not serve as a compound gear.

[0052] In an exemplary embodiment, it may be possible to completely "tear down" (remove) the gears from the transmission and "rebuild" (replace with any

103414441 1 configuration) without the need for tools. The users may simply stack the parts they wish onto the steel shafts and creates the gear trains of their choice.

[0053] An exemplary toy vehicle may be powered by 2 AAA batteries and/or may be driven by a 3V DC motor. An exemplary gear train may include "accessible" and "inaccessible" gears. Users may open a "gear bay door," which may be located on the bottom of the chassis, to access the accessible gears. Users may interchange the gears and change their positions to obtain different gear ratios. In some embodiments, the "accessible" gears may be referred to as "GM" gears, and the "inaccessible" gears may be referred to as "hidden" gears because the child may not normally see or access them.

[0054] In an exemplary embodiment, the GM gears may be replaced without the need for tools, and the GM gears may be readily accessible. The child may access the GM gears via a translucent and/or transparent door which may be located on the bottom of the vehicle. In some exemplary embodiments, this may be an important aspect because it may enable a greater demographic audience by lowering product complexity and/or reducing cost because it may not be necessary to include an assembly tool (such as a ratchet or screw driver). In some exemplary embodiments, the gears may be translucent and/or transparent and may be illuminated by lights when the vehicle is activated. In some exemplary embodiments, gears of different sizes may be tinted different colors.

[0055] An exemplary embodiment may include a multi-position switch, such as a four-way switch,, and may include On, Off, Try-Me, and/or Program features. In an Off position, no power may flow through system. In an On position, a "GO" button may activate the motor and/or the lights for a predetermined period of time, such as 8 seconds, for example. In a Try-Me position, the "GO" button may activate the motor and/or the lights for only as long as the user holds down the "GO" button and/or for a predetermined period of time. In an exemplary embodiment, the Try-Me position may be utilized for retail display. I a Program position, ff the "GO" button is held in for more than 1 second, then an IC (integrated circuit) may record the length of time the button is held, up to 30 seconds (or another predetermined period of time). The next time the "GO" button is pressed (for less than 1 second), it may

103414441 1 activate the motor and/or lights for that period of time. For example, if the "GO" button was held for 20 seconds, released, and pushed again, the car may run for 20 seconds.

[0056] In an exemplary embodiment, the chassis may allow for upgrade from two to four wheel drive. This is accomplished, for example, by using a "transaxle" which may mechanically connect the rear drive shaft (axle) to the front axle. Both the front and rear axles may include a crown gear for this purpose. The transaxle may include spur gears at each end which may mesh with the crown gears of the rear and front axles. In an exemplary embodiment, the transaxle may be snapped in or out of the assembly as a single part.

[0057] The present disclosure contemplates that the outer diameter, tire width, and/or tire material (coefficient of friction) may contribute to the overall performance of the vehicle. In an exemplary embodiment the wheels may be removed by the consumer via a friction-fit slide-on design, for example. The tires may be molded with a slight undercut and may be removed from the wheels.

[0058] In an exemplary embodiment, the electric motor may be removed with the use of a screw driver and/or another tool. For example, the hood may be removed and then a motor retainer may be unscrewed from two points in the chassis.

[0059] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary toy vehicle chassis. An exemplary chassis 100 may include a frame 102 wheels 104, 106, 108, 110 (which may be mounted to axles 112, 114), and/or a motor 116. Cover 184 may be attached to frame 102. As discussed below, chassis 100 may be at least partially covered by various body components.

[0060] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary drive train for a toy vehicle. An exemplary drive train may be mounted in a chassis 110 and may include motor 116, wheels 104, 106, 108, 110, and/or various power transmission components interposing motor 116 and wheels 104, 106, 108, 110. For example, motor 116 may include an output shaft including a crown gear 120 mounted thereto. Crown gear 120 may drive a spur gear 122, which may be rotatably mounted to a shaft 124. Spur gear 122 may drive spur gear 126, which may be rotatably mounted to shaft 128. Spur gear 126 and spur gear 130 may form a compound gear (e.g., two or

103414441 1 more gears which are coupled together and rotate together about a common shaft). Spur gear 130 may drive spur gear 132, which may be rotatably mounted to shaft 134. Spur gear 132 may form part of a compound gear also including spur gear 158 (see FIG. 4), which may drive spur gear 160. Spur gear 160 may be rotatably mounted to shaft 138 and may form part of a compound gear including spur gear 136. Spur gear 136 may drive spur gear 140, which may be rotatably mounted to shaft 142. Spur gear 140 may form a compound gear with crown gear 144. Crown gear 144 may drive spur gear 146, which may drive axle 114. Although drive train 118 is depicted with the various gears installed in a particular arrangement, it is to be understood that the gears may be rearranged to provide alternative gear ratios.

[0061] FIG. 3 is an inverted perspective view of exemplary chassis 100. Chassis 100 may include a battery housing 148 (which may receive one or more batteries 150, 152) and/or a gear bay door 154.

[0062] FIG. 4 is an inverted perspective view of exemplary chassis 100 with gear bay door 154 removed, exposing gear bay 156. Various components of drive train 118 are visible, including spur gear 158, which may form part of a compound gear with spur gear 132.

[0063] FIG. 5 is an inverted perspective view of exemplary chassis 100 with many of the components of drive train 118 removed. Shafts 124, 128, 134, and 138 extend into gear bay 156 for receiving various drive train components.

[0064] FIG. 6 is an inverted perspective view of exemplary chassis 100 with adapters 162, 164, 166, 168 installed on respective shafts 124, 128, 134, 138. Spacer 170 is shown installed on shaft 138.

[0065] FIG. 7 is an inverted perspective view of an exemplary chassis 100 with a first "layer" of gears installed. Gear 122 is installed on adapter 162, and gear 126 is installed on adapter 164.

[0066] FIG. 8 is an inverted perspective view of an exemplary chassis 100 with a second layer of gears installed. Spacer 172 (with may have a height approximately equal to two of the gears) is installed on adapter 162, gear 130 is installed on adapter 164, and gear 132 is installed on adapter 166.

103414441 1 [0067] FIG. 9 is an inverted perspective view of an exemplary chassis 100 with a third layer of gears installed. Spacer 174 is installed on adapter 164, gear 158 is installed on adapter 166, and gear 160 is installed on adapter 168.

[0068] FIG. 10 is a bottom view of an exemplary chassis 100 with the gear bay door removed. Transaxle 176, may include a shaft 182 to which gears 178, 180 may be mounted. Gears 178, 180 may engage gears associated with axles 112, 114 such that power from rear axle 114 may be transmitted to front axle 112. In an exemplary embodiment, three or more of shafts 124, 128, 134, 138 may be arranged in substantially linear positions, such as in a line extended from a forward end of the chassis to the rear end of the chassis.

[0069] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an exemplary chassis 100 with cover 184 removed. In an exemplary embodiment, gears 136, 140 may be mounted outside of gear bay 156, thus making them inaccessible during normal use.

[0070] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an exemplary compound gear assembly 186, which may include, for example, adapter 164, spacer 174, gear 130, and/or gear 126. In some exemplary embodiments, one or more compound gear assemblies may include integrally formed and/or permanently joined components. For example, an integrally formed component may be substantially shaped like adapter 164, spacer 174, gear 130, and/or gear 126.

[0071] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an exemplary adapter 164, which may include a hole 164A for receiving a shaft 124, 128, 134, 138. Although exemplary adapter 164 includes a substantially hexagonal cross section, some exemplary embodiments my utilize adapters having other cross sections, such as, but not limited to, those depicted in FIG. 25. Although exemplary adapter 164 has a length (in a direction parallel with hole 164A) approximately corresponding with the thickness of three gears, some exemplary adapters may have other lengths, such as lengths approximately corresponding to one gear, two gears, four gears, etc.

[0072] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an exemplary spacer 174, which may include an opening 174A for receiving adapter 164. Although exemplary spacer 174 includes a substantially hexagonal opening 174A, some exemplary embodiments my utilize spacers having of other shapes, such as, but not limited to, those depicted in

103414441 1 FIG. 25. Although exemplary adapter 174 has a length (in a direction parallel with opening 174A) approximately corresponding with the thickness of one gears, some exemplary adapters may have other lengths, such as lengths approximately corresponding to two gears, three gears, four gears, etc.

[0073] FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an exemplary gear 126, which may include an opening 174A for receiving adapter 164. Although exemplary spacer 174 includes a substantially hexagonal opening 174A, some exemplary embodiments my utilize spacers having of other shapes, such as, but not limited to, those depicted in FIG. 25. An exemplary gear 126 may include a plurality of teeth 126B. In an exemplary embodiment, teeth of various gears may be sized and shaped to be interoperable such that any gear may engage any other gear.

[0074] FIGS. 16A and 16B are perspective views of an exemplary toy car 200 including a chassis 100. An exemplary toy car 200 may include a "GO" button 202.

[0075] FIG. 17 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary toy car 200 including a chassis 100. Various removable components and features are depicted.

[0076] FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an exemplary toy car 200 including a chassis 100.

[0077] FIG. 19 is a bottom view of an exemplary toy car 200 including a chassis 100. An exemplary toy car 200 may include a slide switch 204, which may be selectable between a plurality of positions.

[0078] FIG. 20 is an inverted perspective view of an exemplary toy vehicle 300. Vehicle 300 may include a plurality of shafts which may be arranged in laterally and/or longitudinally spaced positions. Gears 302, 304, 306, 308, 310, 312, 314 may be associated with the shafts.

[0079] FIG. 21 is an inverted perspective view of an exemplary toy vehicle 350 including an exemplary transaxle 352. Transaxle 352 may be operative to drive a front axle from a rear axle or vice versa.

[0080] FIG. 22 includes various perspective views of exemplary toy vehicle body components and combinations.

[0081] FIG. 23 depicts an exemolarv oerformance meter 400 which may be

103414441 1 connected to an exemplary toy vehicle 402 according to the present disclosure. In an exemplary embodiment, performance meter 400 may be operatively connectable to vehicle 402 via a wired connection 404, which may include a plug releasably engaging a port located beneath the vehicle's hood, for example. In an exemplary embodiment, performance meter 400 may be operative to indicate on a display 406 one or more performance characteristics associated with vehicle 400. For example and without limitation, display 406 may indicate one or more of a gear ratio, a speed, a torque, a battery power level, and/or a voltage. In an exemplary embodiment, performance meter 400 may be operative to measure a back EMF associated with an electric motor in vehicle 402. In some exemplary embodiments, performance meter 400 may include one or more buttons 408 (or other user interface components), which may be operative to adjust the display 406 and/or control operation of the vehicle 402. In some exemplary embodiments, performance meter 400 may be operative to store and/or retrieve data associated with vehicle 402.

[0082] In an exemplary embodiment, a "Telemetry monitor" may include a circuit connected with the motor which may measure various electrical characteristics, such as motor feedback (e.g., back electromotive force) and/or battery power. In an exemplary embodiment, an integrated circuit may processes these signals to calculate, for example, the effective gear ratio for the system setup and may also provide useful information such as speed and/or torque. This information may be delivered through a port mounted to a printed circuit board located in under the hood, for example. In an exemplary embodiment, a child may plug a "Power Meter" device into the port in order to read the information on the LCD screen of the Power Meter. An exemplary toy vehicle may include a telemetry socket, which may provide feedback directly from the motor such that a "Power Meter" accessory unit can plug into the telemetry socket to interpret activity such as motor rpm, system current, and/or voltage drop to permit determination of the effective wheel rotational speed and/or ground speed. Such information may be displayed on the Power Meter accessory unit, such as on a digital display.

[0083] One or more gears may be metric and/or may have a module of 0.50 mm, for example. "Accessible" gears (gears 34,35) may be approximately 4mm thick at their widest point and/or may be cored in the center section. "Inaccessible" gears

103414441 1 (gears 6,7,8,9) may be 2 mm thick. The center post for the gears may feature a cruciform design that accepts a 3mm shaft and rides on a 2mm steel pin. The steel pins may not be readily removable from the toy. The 3mm shafts, or "sleeves" may be available in 2 varieties: (1 ) Connector Pass (#29), which may be a 3mm diameter sleeve x 4.75mm tall that allows a single gear to fit onto a 2mm steel pin, and (2) Connector Lock (#30) which may be a 3mm diameter sleeve x 9.5 mm tall, with cruciform detail which allows two gears to turn together on the same shaft. A single spacer (#31 ) may be 3mm diameter sleeve x 4.75mm tall which may take up spacing for a single gear. A spacer plate (#32) may be a flat plate 4.75mm tall which may take the place of 1 "accessible" gear thickness inside the gear box for all three gear shafts. Its purpose may be to simplify the gear assembly so that only 2 layers of gear may be used. This plate may friction-fit into place. Compound connector (#37) may be a 3mm diameter sleeve x 14 mm tall that allows a single "accessible" gear to turn with an "inaccessible" gear, and it may be used for transmission continuity. An exemplary motor may be a Mabuchi FA-130-10800. A 20 tooth crown gear may be fitted to the output shaft. The motor may be fixed to the chassis using a retaining arm which may screw into place.

[0084] An exemplary driveline transmission may operate as follows. The motor (#4) may turn the crown gear (#5), which may drive the box-idler-gear (#7), which may drive the box-input-gear (#6). The box-input-gear (#6) may be connected to the GM20 (#34) via a compound connector (#37). GM20 (#34) may ride on gear shaft "A" (#38), fitting between spacer plate (#32) and single spacer (#31 ). GM20 (#34) may drive GM80 (#35), which may drive a second GM20 using a connector lock (#30). These two gears may ride on the center gear shaft "B" and may finally drive the second GM80 riding on gear shaft "C." A second compound connector (#37) may allow the gears on shaft "C" to turn together. Thus, box-output-gear (#8) may drive box-follower-gear (#9). Box-follower-gear (#9) may be a compound gear which may combine a 76 tooth spur with a 16 tooth crown at the base. The crown feature may turn the gear-axle (#10) fixed on the axle-rear (#12). If so equipped, a transaxle (#27) may allow the rear axle to drive the front axle at the same speed.

[0085] The wheels (#22) may be friction-fit onto hexagonal (for example) posts (#24) for easy removal by the child. The child mav also replace the tires (#23) easily

103414441 1 by pulling them off. The "Go" button (#19) may be located in the roof of the car, and it may presses down on a tac switch (#18), which may rest on a plastic button retainer (#36), which may be heat-staked onto the inside of the roof. The car electronics may be located on the underside of part #36. On the bottom of the chassis may be a removable gear-door (#2) to allow access the gears. The gear door may use a deflectable plastic tab to lock it into place. The gear-door may be removed completely and may not be secured by a screw or hinge. The battery door (#14) may be retained by a screw.

[0086] FIG. 24 depicts several exemplary adapter cross sections.

[0087] In some exemplary embodiments, one or more shafts to which gears may be mounted may be repositionable. For example, the gear bay may include a plurality of holes for receiving the shafts, and the shafts may be installed in appropriate holes to allow the desired gear arrangement. In some exemplary embodiments, one or more shafts may be attached to and slidable relative to the gear bay. Such an embodiment may provide repositionable shafts while avoiding small loose parts. In still other exemplary embodiments, one or more shafts may be pivotably mounted within the gear bay. Such shafts may pivot outward to allow installation of various gears and/or may pivot into the gear bay for operation of the toy vehicle. In some exemplary embodiments, one or more shafts may be arranged in a substantially front to back orientation.

[0088] Some exemplary embodiments may be provided with remote control capabilities, such as wired or wireless remote control. Such remote control capabilities may include steering and directional controls in some exemplary embodiments.

[0089] Some exemplary embodiments may include a secondary motor, which may be optionally inserted into the drive train. For example, a secondary motor may provide additional power, which may provide additional torque and speed capabilities.

[0090] An exemplary toy car may be provided with 4 gears and 8 adapters, for example. An exemplary accessory kit (which may be provided separately from the toy car) may include 4 gears, for example.

103414441 1 [0091] While exemplary embodiments have been set forth above for the purpose of disclosure, modifications of the disclosed embodiments as well as other embodiments thereof may occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not limited to the above precise embodiments and that changes may be made without departing from the scope. Likewise, it is to be understood that it is not necessary to meet any or all of the stated advantages or objects disclosed herein to fall within the scope of the disclosure, since inherent and/or unforeseen advantages of the may exist even though they may not have been explicitly discussed herein.

103414441 1

Claims

1. A transmission for a toy vehicle comprising a plurality of shafts mounted within a gear bay; a plurality of adapters for rotatably mounting on the shafts; and a plurality of replaceable gears for mounting on the adapters; where the replaceable gears are rearrangeable to provide different gear ratios.
2. The transmission of claim 2, wherein the transmission includes an input gear driven by a motor and an output gear coupled to at least one wheel; and wherein the replaceable gears are interconnected between the input gear and the output gear.
3. The transmission of claim 1 , further comprising at least one compound gear.
4. The transmission of claim 3, wherein the compound gear includes a double- length adapter and at least two gears slidably assembled onto the double-length adapter.
5. The transmission of claim 4, where the double-length adapter and the at least two gears are not readily separable.
6. The transmission of claim 5, where the compound gear is integrally formed.
7. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein at least one of the plurality of shafts receives at least two of the plurality of adapters, each of the two adapters receiving a respective on of the replaceable gears; and wherein each of the two adapters is independently rotatable.
103414441 1
8. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein the plurality of shafts extend into the gear bay in an orientation substantially orthogonal to a front-to-back line of the toy vehicle.
9. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein the gears are rotatable in a substantially horizontal plane when they are installed on the shafts.
10. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein the output gear is coupled to an adapter extending into the gear bay; and wherein the output gear is substantially inaccessible from the gear bay.
11. The transmission of claim 1 , further comprising a transaxle; wherein the transaxle mechanically couples a first axle and a second axle.
12. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein the adapters have a substantially hexagonal cross section.
13. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein the adapters have a substantially triangular cross section.
14. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein the adapters have a substantially cruciform cross section.
15. The transmission of claim 1 , further comprising a gear bay door selectively installable to at least partially cover the gear bay.
16. The transmission of claim 15, wherein the gear bay door is at least one of translucent and transparent.
17. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein at least one of the shafts is movable.
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18. The transmission of claim 1 , further comprising at least one light directed into the gear bay.
19. The transmission of claim 18, wherein the light is adapted to turn on when the motor is activated.
20. The transmission of claim 1 , wherein at least two of the replaceable gears are located behind a removable plate; wherein at least two of the replaceable gears are located in front of the removable plate; and wherein the removable plate may be installed and removed via the gear bay.
103414441 1
PCT/US2010/035285 2009-05-18 2010-05-18 Reconfigurable transmission for toy vehicles WO2010135343A1 (en)

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US61/179,259 2009-05-18

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US20150306514A1 (en) 2014-04-23 2015-10-29 Innovation First, Inc. Toy Skateboard
CN105283234B (en) * 2014-04-23 2017-07-07 创新第有限公司 With an adjustable dc-dc switch toy vehicle

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US3647025A (en) * 1969-07-07 1972-03-07 Raimundo Paya Rico Spring-operated driving mechanism for toy microvehicles
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US2881626A (en) * 1956-05-16 1959-04-14 Howard E Morris Variable speed reducer
US4776116A (en) * 1987-08-27 1988-10-11 Eee Corporation Rotational signholder support assembly
US5715633A (en) * 1995-11-06 1998-02-10 Finish Group Ltd. Versatile modular office partitions
US7128634B2 (en) * 2003-10-08 2006-10-31 Radioshack Corporation Convertible drive train for radio-controlled toy
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US20070037480A1 (en) * 2005-08-12 2007-02-15 Paul Jarck Egg-shaped toy cars and methods of making the same

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