Title:
Paper flying toy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A reusable remote-controlled electric unit, comprising: a battery; a receiver connected with said battery, said receiver receiving control signals from a ground transmitter; and a drive train, said electric unit capable of detachably connecting to flying objects paper models.



Inventors:
Goitein, Shai (Pardes Hana, IL)
Application Number:
11/984474
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
11/19/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H27/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STANCZAK, MATTHEW BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brux Software Solutions Ltd. (Givatayim, IL)
Claims:
1. A reusable remote-controlled electric unit, comprising: a power source; a receiver connected with said power source, said receiver receiving control signals from a ground transmitter; and a drive train, said electric unit capable of detachably connecting to flying objects paper models.

2. The electric unit of claim 1, wherein said control signals comprise at least one of thrust and yaw commands.

3. The electric unit of claim 1, wherein said power source comprises a rechargeable battery.

4. The electric unit of claim 1, additionally comprising connecting means for detachably connecting to a flying object paper model.

5. The electric unit of claim 1, wherein said receiver is based on one of IR and radio frequencies.

6. The electric unit of claim 1, wherein said drive train comprises: a motor connected with said receiver; a rudder actuator connected with said receiver; a rudder connected with said rudder actuator; and a propeller connected with said motor.

7. The electric unit of claim 6, wherein said motor is mounted on one side of a planar body spanning the longitudinal axis of said electric unit.

8. The electric unit of claim 6, wherein said motor is mounted at a horizontal angle to a planar body spanning the longitudinal axis of said electric unit.

9. The electric unit of claim 6, wherein said power source, said receiver and said motor are encased in a hollow box.

10. The electric unit of claim 6, wherein said power source, said receiver and said motor are encased in a hollow tube.

11. The electric unit of claim 10, wherein said hollow tube is slideably mounted within a cylindrical clip.

12. The electric unit of claim 6, wherein said motor is moveable along the longitudinal axis of said electric unit.

13. The electric unit of claim 6, wherein said motor is mounted at a downwards slanting angle.

14. The electric unit of claim 6, wherein said propeller is mounted in a cylindrical duct.

15. The electric unit of claim 1, wherein said drive train comprises vertical rotors.

16. The electric unit of claim 1, wherein said drive train comprises: two motor connected with said receiver; and two propellers connected with said receiver, said electric unit capable of detachably connecting to flying objects paper models.

17. A reusable electric unit, comprising: a power source; a motor connected with said power source; and a propeller connected with said motor, said electric unit capable of detachably connecting to flying objects paper models.

18. The electric unit of claim 17, wherein said power source comprises one of a battery and a capacitor.

19. The electric unit of claim 17, additionally comprising a static rudder.

20. The electric unit of claim 17, wherein said power source and said motor are encased in a hollow tube.

21. A model flying object comprising: a folded sheet of paper comprising a crease; a reusable electric unit mounted in said crease; and attaching means for detachably attaching said electric unit to said folded paper sheet.

22. A method of transforming a sheet of paper into a controlled flying objects, comprising the steps of: folding the paper sheet so as to create a crease in the middle thereof; mounting a reusable electric unit in said crease; and detachably attaching said electric unit to said folded paper sheet.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of the filing date of co-pending U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/861,419 filed Nov. 29, 2006, entitled “RADIO CONTROLLED PAPER AIRPLANE”, said application incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a paper flying toy, and more particularly to a radio-controlled, light-weight paper flying toy.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Toy airplanes have been known to supply both entertainment and educational value, and a large number of designs have been developed over the years.

The early designs were simple gliders formed from folded sheets of paper that were thrown by the user into the air to glide back down to the ground.

The sophistication of the models grew as lighter and stronger materials became available, and powered flight became possible using rubber bands. A simple method of harnessing the resilient power of a rubber-band is to hook a glider to one end of a rubber band, stretch the rubber band, then release it in slingshot fashion to launch the glider with a higher launch speed than typically achieved by manually throwing the glider into the air. This is the concept behind the glider disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,768,198 to Fields, U.S. Pat. No. 4,863,413 to Schwarz, U.S. Pat. No. 5,947,785 to Bausch and others.

Today we see a trend of new emerging toys with various radio controlled capabilities (cars, boats, airplanes etc.). These new toys are produced in masses and are becoming widely spread due to their reduced cost.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,087,000 to Suto provides a radio-controlled toy airplane wherein the fuselage assembly is made up of a material prepared by laminating a resin film on the surface of foamed plastic which is light in weight, or the like, and has the external appearance shaped in an imitation of the fuselage of a real airplane.

U.S. Published Patent Application No. 20050191930 provides a radio-controlled toy airplane with an inflatable fuselage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a reusable remote-controlled electric unit, comprising a power source; a receiver connected with the power source, the receiver receiving control signals from a ground transmitter; and a drive train, the electric unit capable of detachably connecting to flying objects paper models.

According to a first embodiment of this aspect, the control signals comprise at least one of thrust and yaw commands.

According to a second embodiment of this aspect, the power source comprises a rechargeable battery.

According to a third embodiment of this aspect, the electric unit additionally comprises connecting means for detachably connecting to a flying object paper model.

According to a fourth embodiment of this aspect, the receiver is based on one of IR and radio frequencies.

According to a fifth embodiment of this aspect, the drive train comprises: a motor connected with the receiver; a rudder actuator connected with the receiver; a rudder connected with the rudder actuator; and a propeller connected with the motor.

According to a sixth embodiment of this aspect, the motor is mounted on one side of a planar body spanning the longitudinal axis of the electric unit.

According to a seventh embodiment of this aspect, the motor is mounted at a horizontal angle to a planar body spanning the longitudinal axis of the electric unit.

According to an eighth embodiment of this aspect, the power source, the receiver and the motor are encased in a hollow box.

According to a ninth embodiment of this aspect, the power source, the receiver and the motor are encased in a hollow tube.

According to a tenth embodiment of this aspect, the hollow tube is slideably mounted within a cylindrical clip.

According to an eleventh embodiment of this aspect, the motor is moveable along the longitudinal axis of the electric unit.

According to a twelfth embodiment of this aspect, the motor is mounted at a downwards slanting angle.

According to a thirteenth embodiment of this aspect, the propeller is mounted in a cylindrical duct.

According to a fourteenth embodiment of this aspect, the drive train comprises vertical rotors.

According to a fifteenth embodiment of this aspect, drive train comprises: two motor connected with the receiver; and two propellers connected with the receiver, the electric unit capable of detachably connecting to flying objects paper models.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a reusable electric unit, comprising: a power source; a motor connected with the power source; and a propeller connected with the motor, the electric unit capable of detachably connecting to flying objects paper models.

According to a first embodiment of this aspect, the power source comprises one of a battery and a capacitor.

According to a second embodiment of this aspect, the electric unit additionally comprises a static rudder.

According to a third embodiment of this aspect, the power source and the motor are encased in a hollow tube.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a model flying object comprising: a folded sheet of paper comprising a crease; a reusable electric unit mounted in the crease; and attaching means for detachably attaching the electric unit to the folded paper sheet.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of transforming a sheet of paper into a controlled flying objects, comprising the steps of: folding the paper sheet so as to create a crease in the middle thereof; mounting a reusable electric unit in the crease; and detachably attaching the electric unit to the folded paper sheet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the invention and to show how the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, purely by way of example, to the accompanying drawings.

With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice. In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the electric unit according to the present invention;

FIGS. 2A and 2B are isometric top and bottom views, respectively, of the assembled electric unit according to the present invention;

FIGS. 3A through 3D are schematic representations of folded paper flying object, suitable for attaching to the electric unit according to the present invention;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are isometric top and bottom views, respectively, of a flying object according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of a transmitter to be used with embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a schematic representation of an embodiment of the present invention comprising wheels;

FIG. 7 is a schematic representation of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a schematic representation of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a schematic representation of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 10A through 10E depict various exemplary models of clips for connecting the electric unit to the flying object according to the present invention;

FIGS. 11A through 11C are schematic representation of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a schematic representation of another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 13 is a schematic representation of yet another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The flying toy according to the present invention may be based on any object, preferably made of standard letter paper, A4 or any other paper size or shape, that gets its aerodynamic shape by folding/cutting manipulations. It can be designed to look like an airplane, a helicopter, a butterfly, a rocket, a bird, a bug, a UFO, an action figure, etc. The present invention is useful in upgrading simple known in the art paper gliding objects into fully functional and controllable paper flying objects.

Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is applicable to other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

The present invention provides an electric unit capable of being attached to any paper flying object, thus transforming it into a controlled flying object with increased endurance time aloft. The electric unit should be very light, and its components should be chosen accordingly.

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the electric unit, generally denoted by numeral 100. The unit comprises a clip 110, made of plastic material or Expanded Polypropylene Particle (EPP) foam, or bent wire, or any other suitable material. Clip 110 serves to attach the electric unit to the crease in the paper body and fixes the dihedral angle between the wings. Clip 110 may additionally serve as a housing for battery 120. Clip 110 may be shaped in various designs, such as a bird's head etc.

Battery 120 may be, for example, LP90 Bahoma LiPo Pack, available from Plantraco Ltd., Sascatoon, Canada. The battery may be charged in situ, by connecting a standard battery charger to socket 115 in the clip 110. The charger may alternatively comprise part of the remote control unit (not shown) for easier outdoor charging. Alternatively, the battery may be charged while dismounted. In another embodiment, a non-chargeable battery may be used. Battery 120 is connected with receiver 130.

Receiver 130 may be analog or digital, based on radio or IR frequencies. The receiver may be, for example, HFX900 Micro9-RX-0.9G—0.9 gram, available from Plantraco. Receiver 130 comprises an electric speed control channel and a rudder control channel and may additionally comprise protecting means for protecting the battery against over charging or minimum voltage. Receiver 130 communicates with a remote transmitter, as will be explained in detail below.

Body 140 provides the backbone of the electric unit assembly and may be made of any sheet of light material such as Dapron or EPP.

Motor 150 may be, for example, 7 mm 3.3 Ohm Coreless Motor, provided by Plantraco. Motor 150 is mounted inside motor-mount 160, having protruding pins (not shown), which may be passed through respective holes 145 in body 140, and fastened to motor mount bracket 170. It will be appreciated that other means of fastening are within the scope of the present invention.

In an alternative embodiment, body 140 may be formed as a hollow box encasing the electronic components, using molding or vacuum forming techniques known in the art, as shown in FIGS. 7 (700) and 8 (800).

In yet another embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 11A through 11C, a hollow tube 400, preferably made of extruded plastic material (e.g. polyethylene) serves as a housing for the electronic components. Tube 400 is slideably mounted inside cylindrical clip 500 (shown in detail in FIG. 10D), thus enabling the electric unit to be adjusted to different sizes of paper flying objects, while preserving the flying object's center of gravity.

According to another embodiment, motor 150 may be moveable along the longitudinal axis of the electric unit, enabling it to adjust to varying centers of gravity of different flying objects. The motor may be moved by providing several sets of fastening holes 145 along the body 140, or by mounting it inside a moveable sleeve.

Rudder 180 provides yaw control and is connected to rudder actuator 190, such as Plantraco hinge-act 0.23 gram, which receives electric power from receiver 130.

Actuator 190 may be fastened to body 140 in a similar mode as described in conjunction with motor-mount 160, using bracket 200, or using any other fastening means.

Tube shaft 210 (e.g. 1/1.2 mm stainless steel tube) connects propeller 220 with motor 150. In an alternative embodiment, propeller 220 may be directly connected to motor 150.

Propeller 220 may be, for example, a Plantraco tri turbo fan 1 mm bore.

The electric unit's drive train, comprising motor 150, rudder 180 and propeller 220 is preferably located at the back end, to avoid being damaged when hit by the ground. The drive train is preferably mounted aft of the flying object's center of gravity (CG), at a downwards slanting angle towards the flying object's front, to enable upward pitch of the flying object when the throttle is opened. A down angle will provide pitch up action when increasing thrust, in parallel to the forward thrust, and pitch down when decreasing thrust.

Alternatively, with an aft motor positioned in front of the CG, an up angle will provide pitch up action when increasing thrust, in parallel to the forward thrust.

Additionally, the drive train is preferably mounted at a horizontal angle to the main body axis, or on one side of body 140 (see FIGS. 2A and 2B), to cancel the roll moment when the throttle is opened.

The electrical unit 100 is designed to provide stable and controlled flight for most of the paper flying objects to which it is attached, by placing the center of gravity (CG) in front of the center of pressure (CP).

The electric unit according to the embodiment of FIG. 1 may weigh approximately 5 grams. Different components may be used as long as the overall weight is compatible with the motor thrust and the recommended paper weight.

FIGS. 2A and 2B provide isometric top and bottom views, respectively, of the assembled electric unit 100 according to the present invention.

The flying object model may be constructed by folding a regular A4 sheet of paper, which may be pre-printed with various designs, or alternatively by cutting out paper models from books or magazines or by downloading and printing models from the Internet.

FIGS. 3A through 3D are schematic representations of folded paper flying object, comprising a folded sheet of paper 230, wherein the folding creates a crease 240 in the middle, suitable for attaching to the electric unit 100 according to the present invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B provide isometric top and bottom views, respectively, of a flying object according to an embodiment of the present invention. Electric unit 100 is inserted in the crease 240 and fastened using clip 110. An on/off switch 250 connected to clip 110 may optionally be provided. Additionally or alternatively, clip 110 may comprise vocal or optical indication means for indicating communication between the receiver 130 and the transmitter.

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of a transmitter 300, a ground control unit which transmits thrust and yaw commands to the electric unit 100.

Transmitter 300 typically comprises an antenna 310, yaw control joystick or switch 320, thrust control (throttle) joystick or switch 330, on/off switch 340 and charging connector 350. Transmitter 300 may be any suitable RF or IR based remote control unit known in the art, such as HFX900 transmitter, available from Plantraco.

Electric unit 100 of the flying object receives control commands from the transmitter 300 and translates them into thrust and yaw functions, thus enabling the paper flying object to ascend, descend and turn left and right.

Launching the flying object of the present invention may be done in one of several ways:

    • manual launching;
    • positioning the flying object on a spring-loaded launcher, possibly connected to a joystick type transmitter;
    • adding wheels to the flying object, as depicted in FIG. 6, and using the transmitter 300 to start the engine; or
    • any other means known in the art, such as a rubber sling.

Once in the air, control is achieved using the transmitter 300.

According to some embodiments, as exemplified in FIGS. 7 and 8, the flying object is devoid of rudder and the transmitter only controls the thrust.

According to some embodiments, as exemplified in FIG. 12, the flying object is devoid of motor and propeller and the transmitter controls both rudder and an additional elevator 600 installed perpendicular to the rudder 180, for pitch control.

According to some embodiments, as exemplified in FIG. 13, the flying object may comprise an elevon 850.

According to some embodiments, no transmitter is used and the motor controls the flight pitch and duration as long as it is empowered by a power source such as a battery or a capacitor.

According to some embodiments, a static rudder may be mounted on the transmitter-less flying object, such as a hinged plastic sheet or a folded piece of styrafoam.

According to some embodiments (see FIG. 7), the rudder is replaced by rear driven twin motors and propellers. Equal propeller speed of both motors will provide thrust and pitch control, differential propeller speed will enable left/right yaw control.

According to some embodiments, the electrical unit 100 may comprise vertical rotors for a paper flying object designed as a helicopter.

According to some embodiments and particularly referring to the embodiment of FIGS. 11B through 11D, a capacitor may be mounted inside tube 400, instead of the battery. The capacitor may be connected to the motor with electric wires 560 spanning tube 400 and may be charged using a plug 550.

According to some embodiments, as exemplified in FIGS. 8 and 9, the propeller may be protected by a peripheral ring 260 (FIG. 8) or by being mounted inside a duct 270 (FIG. 9). In the embodiment of FIG. 9, duct 270 may comprise part of clip 110.

FIGS. 10A through 10E depict various exemplary models of clips for connecting the electric unit to the flying object according to the present invention.

In FIG. 10A, clip 110 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) comprises a main body 280, which may also serve as battery housing and two tabs 290 on the bottom side thereof for grasping the wings and fixing the dihedral angle between them. The space 295 between the two tabs 290 is designed to accommodate the crease 240 in the flying object's body as described above.

In FIG. 10B, clip 710 comprises an upper part 720, designed to cover the encasement body, as shown in FIG. 7 and two tabs 730, similar to those shown in FIG. 10A.

In FIG. 10C, wire clip 740 (as shown in FIG. 8) comprises two open ends 750 designed to be inserted in the electronics housing 800 and a downward bended end 760 designed to exert force against the wings' bottom side. Crease 240 in the folded paper is inserted between the two wire parts.

In FIG. 10D, cylindrical clip 500 (as shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B) comprises a hollow cylinder 510 and tabs 520 similar to those of FIG. 10A.

In FIG. 10E, wire clip 530 is similar to that of FIG. 10C, wherein two open ends 540, terminated by wheels 535. Clip 530 may serve for the embodiment of FIG. 6.

Alternatively, the electric unit 100 may be attached to the flying objects body using double sided tape, standard stapler, magnets and the like.

Disconnection of the electric unit 100 from the paper flying object will be easy, thus allowing reuse and reinstalling in other paper flying objects.

According to some embodiments flight simulator software may be provided with the electric unit 100 of the present invention, to enable “dry” practicing of the flying object's control.

The components of the electric unit according to the present invention may be manufactured separately and assembled, as depicted in FIG. 1. Alternatively, the components may soldered to a printed circuit board, which will supply the electric connections therebetween.

It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable sub-combination.

Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meanings as are commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods are described herein.

All publications, patent applications, patents, and other references mentioned herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will prevail. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited to what has been particularly shown and described hereinabove. Rather the scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims and includes both combinations and sub-combinations of the various features described hereinabove as well as variations and modifications thereof which would occur to persons skilled in the art upon reading the foregoing description.