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Patent Analysis of

Rollback ball

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10150013

Application Number

US15/131397

Application Date

18 April 2016

Publication Date

11 December 2018

Current Assignee

SOMCHAI PAARPORN

Original Assignee (Applicant)

PAARPORN, SOMCHAI

International Classification

A63B43/04,A63H33/00,A63H15/00,A63H29/00,A63B43/00

Cooperative Classification

A63B43/00,A63H15/00,A63H33/26,A63H33/005,A63H29/00

Inventor

PAARPORN, SOMCHAI

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10150013 Rollback ball 1
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Abstract

The Rollback Ball or Ballmerang is a ball toy consisting of a ball shell and a mechanical tracking device tracking the ball shell by using friction force or magnetic force converting the moving ball kinetic energy to potential energy, and then releasing the potential energy rolling the ball back at the same straight line path to the same launching destination when rolling the ball in any direction on a flat floor.

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Claims

1. A rollback ball comprising a ball shell and a mechanical tracking device, wherein the mechanical tracking device is housed inside the ball shell and wherein

a. the ball shell comprises an inner wall; andb. the mechanical tracking device comprises a symmetrical supporting frame with three symmetrical arms and three shafts, each shaft protruding perpendicularly from each arm of the frame, three wheels, wherein each wheel has a tire thereon, three spiral coil springs, wherein each coil spring is positioned within each wheel and has an outer end and a center end, and a weight, wherein

each of the three wheels is symmetrically arranged around the frame and supported on one of the three shafts, rotates freely thereon, and the tire on each of the wheels leans against the inner wall of the shell; each wheel comprises a notch and each shaft comprises a slot, wherein the outer end of each coil spring is anchored to the notch and the center end of each coil spring is anchored to the slot, so that each coil spring is wound around each shaft when each wheel rotates; and the weight is attached to a center of the symmetrical supporting frame at a bottom, wherein the inner wall of the ball shell comprises a bottom and the weight floats above the bottom of the inner wall of the ball shell, and the weight is configured to prevent the tracking device from rotating within the ball.

2. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein the ball shell comprises two hemisphere shells.

3. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein each wheel comprises an outer edge and the notch is in the outer edge of each wheel.

4. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein the shafts further comprise retaining rings to retain the wheels to the shafts.

5. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein the tires comprise rubber or synthetic rubber.

6. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein the ball shell comprises a high friction material and the tires comprise plastic or metal.

7. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein the ball shell comprises ferrous metal or ferrous alloy and the tires comprise a magnetic material.

8. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein the weight is attached to the symmetrical supporting frame with a threaded rod and secured by a nut.

9. A method, comprising the steps of

a. providing the rollback ball of claim 1; b. rolling the rollback ball from a start position to a stop position, wherein the rolling winds the spring anchored to one of the wheels, such that when the rollback ball reaches the stop position, the spring unwinds to roll the rollback ball to a second stop position.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the start and second stop positions are the same or approximately the same.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein the spring winds in the clockwise direction and unwinds in the counterclockwise direction.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein the spring winds in the counterclockwise direction and unwinds in the clockwise direction.

13. The method of claim 9, wherein the rolling winds springs anchored to two of the wheels.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. A rollback ball comprising
    • a ball shell and a mechanical tracking device, wherein the mechanical tracking device is housed inside the ball shell and wherein a. the ball shell comprises an inner wall
    • andb. the mechanical tracking device comprises a symmetrical supporting frame with three symmetrical arms and three shafts, each shaft protruding perpendicularly from each arm of the frame, three wheels, wherein each wheel has a tire thereon, three spiral coil springs, wherein each coil spring is positioned within each wheel and has an outer end and a center end, and a weight, wherein each of the three wheels is symmetrically arranged around the frame and supported on one of the three shafts, rotates freely thereon, and the tire on each of the wheels leans against the inner wall of the shell
    • each wheel comprises a notch and each shaft comprises a slot, wherein the outer end of each coil spring is anchored to the notch and the center end of each coil spring is anchored to the slot, so that each coil spring is wound around each shaft when each wheel rotates
    • and the weight is attached to a center of the symmetrical supporting frame at a bottom, wherein the inner wall of the ball shell comprises a bottom and the weight floats above the bottom of the inner wall of the ball shell, and the weight is configured to prevent the tracking device from rotating within the ball.
    • 2. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein
      • the ball shell comprises
    • 3. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein
      • each wheel comprises
    • 4. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein
      • the shafts further comprise
    • 5. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein
      • the tires comprise
    • 6. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein
      • the ball shell comprises
    • 7. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein
      • the ball shell comprises
    • 8. The rollback ball according to claim 1, wherein
      • the weight is attached to the symmetrical supporting frame with a threaded rod and secured by a nut.
  • 9
    9. A method, comprising
    • the steps of a. providing the rollback ball of claim 1
    • b. rolling the rollback ball from a start position to a stop position, wherein the rolling winds the spring anchored to one of the wheels, such that when the rollback ball reaches the stop position, the spring unwinds to roll the rollback ball to a second stop position.
    • 10. The method of claim 9, wherein
      • the start and second stop positions are the same or approximately the same.
    • 11. The method of claim 9, wherein
      • the spring winds in the clockwise direction and unwinds in the counterclockwise direction.
    • 12. The method of claim 9, wherein
      • the spring winds in the counterclockwise direction and unwinds in the clockwise direction.
    • 13. The method of claim 9, wherein
      • the rolling winds springs anchored to two of the wheels.
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Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is entitled to the benefit of Provisional Patent Application No. 62/178,808 filing dated Apr. 21, 2015 under the title of Ballmerang.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For centuries rollback cans or comeback cans were made as play toys. When rolling on the floor, the can rolls, stops, and returns back by itself along the same path to the same launching destination. The rollback can is made of a round cylinder can with both end lids, a rubber band tied between the centers of both lids, and a weight anchored at the middle of the rubber band and hung above the bottom of the cylinder. Another method of making the rollback can is to use a shaft and a spiral coil spring. The shaft is extended through the centers of the can's lids. A weight is anchored at the center of the shaft. The inner end of the spring is attached to the shaft and the outer end of the spring is attached to the cylinder. When rolling, kinetic energy from the rotating can is transferred to potential energy stored in the rubber band or spring. Once the can stops, the rubber band or spring releases its potential energy rolling the can back along the same path to the same launching destination.

Some manufacturers make the rollback can shape like a ball. The mechanism inside the ball is the same as the mentioned mechanism inside the rollback can. In order for the ball to rolling back, it has to be rolled only in the direction, perpendicular to the rubber band string or shaft, like the rollback can. The ball cannot roll back in other directions.

U.S. patent US 2005/0107192 A1 “Rolling Play Toy” provides a method of varying the center of mass of the ball by adjustable bolt heads from the nuts embedded in the ball. When rolling, the bolt heads move and rotate with the ball in one solid piece. Different positions of bolt heads give different trajectories. However, all of the trajectories that are potentially attainable are curves and not a straight line. Also, most of the trajectories cannot return to the same destination.

There is no prior art similar to my invention that a ball with a novel mechanical tracking device that can return by itself on the same straight line path to the same or approximately the same destination from which it was launched from any angle on a level floor

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, Rollback Ball or Ballmerang is comprised of a ball shell and a mechanical tracking device that leans against the shell and floats above the bottom of the shell. The tracking device consists of three or more wheels with high coefficients of friction tires, spiral coil springs, a weight, and a supporting frame. When rolling the ball on a level floor, the ball rolls in a straight line. Gravity pulls and maintains the weight in the vertical position preventing the tracking device from rotating with the shell. The tires rotate from friction forces and tracking the ball rotation. The degree of rotation of each wheel depends on its position related to the ball's moving path. The rotating wheels will wind the springs and convert kinetic energy of the rolling ball to potential energy which is stored in the springs.

Once the ball stops rolling, the springs unwind releasing their potential energy. The wheels reverse rotations proportionally to the amount of the stored potential energy. The tires drive the ball back on the same straight line path to the same or approximately the same destination from which it was launched.

A second method of tracking and driving the ball back is to use magnetic forces instead of the friction forces as previously described. The configuration of the magnetic force tracking system is the same for the friction force tracking system, except for the wheels are made of magnetic material and the shell is made of ferrous material. Instead of using the friction forces to rotate the tires, the magnetic tires use the magnetic forces pulling and adhering to the ferrous ball; when the ball rotates the magnetic tires rotate and track the ball.

Unlike the rollback can that can be rolled only in one direction, the Rollback Ball can be rolled in any direction. Also, unlike the patented Rolling Play Toy where all of the potentially attainable trajectories are curves and every piece in the ball rotates together with the ball as one solid piece; the Rollback Ball's trajectory is a straight line and the mechanical tracking device does not rotate with the shell as one solid piece.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1: Cross section of the shell to depict a full vertical view of the tracking device.

Section A-A: A horizontal cross-section of the tracking device.

Section B-B: A partial vertical section of the weight, supporting frame, and point of contact between the ball and the wheel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENT

An embodiment of the Rollback Ball or Ballmerang is illustrated in FIG. 1, section A-A, and section B-B. In accordance with the present invention the Rollback Ball consists of two hemisphere shells 10a and 10b coupled together to form a hollow ball or a ball shell 10, and a mechanical tracking device leans against the shell 10 and floats above the bottom of the shell 10. The tracking device consists of three or more wheels 30 with tires 20, spiral coil springs 40, a weight 70, and a supporting frame 50. The tires 20 are made of materials with high coefficients of friction such as rubber or synthetic rubber. The shell 10, wheels 30, weight 70, supporting frame 50, and shafts are made of plastic or metal. An alternative to having the tires 20 making of high friction materials is to have the shell 10 made of high friction materials; consequently, the tires 20 will have to be made of plastic or metal. The tires 20 lean against the shell 10; the wheels 30 and tires 20 freely rotate around the shafts 50a which are supported by and attached to the supporting frame 50. The wheels 30 and supporting frame 50 are arranged in a symmetrical pattern. The outer end of the spiral coil springs 40 are anchored in the notched 30a located at the outer edge of the wheels 30 and the center end of the springs 40 are anchored in the slots 50b located in the shafts 50a. The weight 70, hanging above the bottom of the ball 10, is attached to the threaded rod 80 that is inserted into the supporting frame 50 and is secured by a nut 90. The retaining rings 60 are installed at the shafts 50a to prevent the wheels 30 from slipping out of the shafts 50a.

When rolling the Rollback Ball without spinning on a level floor and with a force that generates kinetic energy below potential energy that could be stored by the springs 40, the ball will roll in a straight line. Gravity will pull and maintain the weight 70 in the vertical position preventing the tracking device from rotating with the shell 10.

If the wheel's position is in line with the ball's moving path, the tire 20 will rotate from the friction force rubbing against the shell 10 and fully track the whole length of the ball's moving path. The wheel 30 will wind in or wind out (depended on the spring's pattern either clockwise or counter-clockwise) the spring 40 and convert kinetic energy of the rolling ball to potential energy stored in the spring 40. If the wheel's position is perpendicular to the ball's moving path, the tire 20 will not rotate or wind the spring 40, and thus stores no potential energy. If the wheel's position is in between the two mentioned positions the tire 20 will rotate and store potential energy accordingly to its position.

Each wheel 30 in the tracking device has a position related to the ball's moving path differently from the other wheels 30. Thus, each wheel 30 will rotate and store energy differently from the other wheels 30. Once the ball stops rolling, the springs 40 will unwind releasing their potential energy, the wheels 30 will reverse their rotations proportionally to the amount of their stored potential energy, the tires 20 will drive the shell 10 and the ball back at the same straight line path to the same or approximately the same destination from which it was launched. With the novel mechanical tracking device, the ball can return back when rolling in any ball's direction on a flat floor.

The second embodiment of the Rollback Ball or Ballmerang is to use magnetic forces instead of the friction forces to track and drive the ball back. For this embodiment, the tires 20 are made of magnetic materials and the shell 10 is made of materials that are attracted to magnets, such as ferrous metal or ferrous alloy. Instead of using the friction forces tracking the ball as previously described, the magnetic tires 20 use magnetic forces pulling and adhering to the ferrous shell 10. When the shell 10 rotates the magnetic tires 20 rotate tracking the shell 10, and vice versa when the magnetic tires 20 rotate.

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Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
Toy GLASS 14 June 1957 23 August 1960
Magnetically interactive substrates DEVRIAN INNOVATIONS, LLC 01 May 2003 02 December 2004
Lawn edger JOHNSON CARL A 07 April 1961 14 August 1962
Quin-top ROGER NEILSON 05 January 1951 07 April 1953
Toy. MYTIC BALL COMPANY 19 March 1917 16 April 1918
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US10150013 Rollback ball 1