Title:
Agent To Remove Paint, Lacquer, Glue, Plastic Or Similar From Objects And The Use Of It
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An arrangement for playing miniature golf. Arranged over a part of a shortened miniature golf course is a display surface for the projection of an image of the entire extent of a miniature golf course. Arranged along a ball rolling surface of the shortened miniature golf course is a plurality of sensors that are arranged to sense the direction in which and the speed at which a ball is struck by a player, and to cause that information to be recorded. A computer is arranged to receive and record the ball movement information and to process the information for display on the display surface to show the estimated continued travel of the ball on the course. A golf ball return is arranged to return the ball to the tee for further driving or further putting on the virtual miniature golf course.



Inventors:
Hansen, Jan (Kungsbacka, SE)
Application Number:
11/795341
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
12/23/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/4, 473/158
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B47/02; A63B67/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PINHEIRO, JASON PAUL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alfred, Mangels J. (4729 CORNELL ROAD, CINCINNATI, OH, 452412433, US)
Claims:
1. An arrangement for playing a virtual game of miniature golf, said arrangement comprising: a display surface for displaying a miniature golf course; projection means for projecting on the display surface an image of the entire extent of a miniature golf course; a ball rolling surface extending in front of the display surface from a tee spaced from the display surface; a plurality of sensors positioned adjacent the ball rolling surface to sense a direction in which and a speed at which a ball is struck by a player; computer means arranged to receive and record in a computer information relative to ball movement direction and ball movement speed sensed by the sensors and to process the information for display on the display surface the travel of the ball on the miniature golf course; and golf ball return means arranged to return the ball to the tee for a further stroke by the player on the miniature golf course.

2. An arrangement as claimed in 1, wherein by actuation of the computer an image of the miniature golf course is displayed by a projector on the display surface.

3. An arrangement as claimed in claim 2, wherein the display of the image of the miniature golf course on the display surface is varied depending on a stopped position of a struck ball after subsequent strokes.

4. An arrangement as claimed in claim 3, wherein the image of the course is rotated through a maximum of 180° about a vertical axis.

5. An arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sensors are distributed along the longitudinal extent of the ball rolling surface.

6. An arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sensors are distributed along the sides of the ball rolling surface.

7. An arrangement as claimed in claim 5, wherein the sensors are positioned for sensing the speed of a ball as it is rolling along the ball rolling surface.

8. An arrangement as claimed in claim 5, wherein the sensors are positioned for sensing the direction of a ball as it is rolling along the ball rolling surface.

9. An arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein after a struck ball has traveled past the display surface the path of movement of the ball is displayed on the display surface.

10. An arrangement as claimed in claim 9, including a space beneath the display surface through which a struck ball passes on its onward path to the ball return means.

11. An arrangement as claimed in claim 5, wherein the sensors are photocells.

12. An arrangement as claimed in claim 6, wherein the sensors are photocells.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an arrangement for playing miniature golf.

2. Description of the Related Art

The need exists for a so-called virtual golf course in the case of miniature golf, since the outdoor season for it is short, and large areas are required for miniature golf courses indoors, even if an attempt is made to position the courses close together and next to one another. Previously disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,437,457 A, for example, is a golf simulator, but it does not solve the above-mentioned problems and is arranged for the purpose of sensing the rotation of a golf ball.

A principal object of the present invention is thus, in the first instance, to solve the above-mentioned problems in a simple and effective fashion and by effectively functioning means.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object is achieved by means of an arrangement in accordance with the present invention, which is characterized essentially in that a film projection screen, or some other similar display surface is arranged over a part of a shortened miniature golf course to permit the projection of an image of the entire extent of a miniature golf course of the kind in question. Arranged along the part in question of the shortened miniature golf course is a plurality of sensors that are so positioned as to sense the direction in which and the speed at which a ball is struck, and to cause those parameters to be recorded. Computer means are provided to record the information in a computer that is arranged to process the sensed information for subsequent display on the display surface of the continued travel of the ball on the course. A golf ball return means is provided to return the ball to the tee for further driving or further putting on the miniature golf course, or for new driving on a subsequent miniature golf course.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is described below as a preferred illustrative embodiment, in conjunction with which reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows schematically a side view of an arrangement for playing miniature golf on a small area,

FIG. 2 shows a display arrangement for displaying a miniature golf course,

FIG. 3 shows a side view of a part of the course with a ball return means in the active position, and

FIG. 4 shows an image of a miniature golf course on a screen.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

An arrangement 1 in accordance with the present invention for playing miniature golf 2 is shown in FIG. 1 and includes a film projection screen 3, a part 4 of a shortened miniature golf course, ball sensors 5, computer means 6 with a computer 7, and a golf ball return means 8. More precisely, a film projection screen 3 or some other suitable, similar projection surface, which is intended for the projection of an image 11 of a space situated in the area in front of the golfer 9 and an intended tee 10. The ball sensors 5 are so arranged as to sense the direction in which and the speed at which a ball in question is struck, and to cause those parameters to be recorded in computer means 6 in the form of a suitable recording memory in computer 7. With the help of a suitable program, the computer is arranged to process the sensed information relating to the stroke and to display on the display surface 3 the continued travel of the ball on the course 12. The golf ball return means 8 that is provided is shown in FIG. 3 and is intended to return the ball 13 to the tee 10 for further driving or for further putting on the miniature golf course 12 in question, or for new driving on a subsequent miniature golf course. As shown in FIG. 2, the golf course 12 in question is capable, by actuation of the computer 7, of being displayed by a projector 14, or some other display means, on a screen 3, or on some other display surface, in front of the miniature golf player 9.

The display of the image of the course is so arranged as to be capable of variation, depending on the stopped position of the struck ball 13 after subsequent strokes. The image of the course is capable of being rotated through a maximum of 180° about a vertical axis at least in one direction, so that before the next stroke the course is displayed in the direction in which the player would normally face if he were playing on an ordinary course, and if he continued to play after the first stroke, and the ball does not then go into the hole 15 or find its target in some other suitable fashion. All strokes are intended and arranged to move in this case in a common direction with the driving of the ball 13 from the same tee 10.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, sensors 5 in the form of photocells, or other sensors, are distributed along the longitudinal extent 16 of the course in question, along both sides 17, 18 of the course, and/or are distributed along the ball rolling surface 19 of the course. Sensors 5A are distributed across the longitudinal extent 16 of ball rolling surface 19. The sensors 5, 5A are so positioned as to sense the direction of striking and/or the speed of striking of the ball 13 as the ball 13 rolls along the ball rolling surface of course 12.

The display of the path of the ball 13 along the course 12 is preferably so arranged as to take place after the ball has traveled past the display surface 3A shown in FIG. 4, as a result of which the player 9 gains an impression from the image on the screen 3 that the course continues on its way behind the screen 3.

Arranged beneath the display surface 3A and the screen 3 is a space 20 in the form of a gap, through which the ball 13 is capable of passing on its onward path to the ball return mechanism 8 shown in FIG. 3.

The function of arrangement 1 in accordance with the present invention is, on a small area, to permit the creation of conditions suitable for playing miniature golf on a plurality of different courses, which courses are so arranged as to be projected in turn from a computer 7, via a projector 14, etc., onto a film projection screen 3, in conjunction with which the computer 7 is also arranged to keep track of the players and their respective number of strokes, etc.

First stroke: the course is displayed in its entirety, the player takes aim and strikes the ball; as the ball moves forward the speed and direction of the ball are sensed by photocells 5, 5A, from which the sensed information is passed to the computer 7. The ball disappears under the film projection screen 3, and the continuing path of the ball is displayed immediately as an image 11 on the film projection screen 3, after which the ball is returned automatically via the return mechanism 8 under the course 12.

Second stroke: in the event that the ball does not reach its target on the first stroke, but requires additional strokes, the image of the course is rotated prior to the subsequent stroke, so that all strokes always go in the same direction.

After removing the ball from the last hole, the next course is played, and so on.

The invention is naturally not restricted to the embodiments described above and illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Modifications are possible, in particular with regard to the nature of the various parts, or by the use of equivalent technology, but without for that reason departing from the area of protection afforded to the invention, as defined in the appended claims.