Title:
REMOTE CONTROL SNOWBOARD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A radio controlled snowboard system having a steerable snowboard and an erect figurine. The erect figurine is pivotally attachable to the steerable snowboard. The steerable snowboard includes a plurality of steering edges and a steering system configured to control the movement of the snowboard by relative weight transitions relative to one of the plurality of steering edges.



Inventors:
Derrah, Steven J. (Portsmouth, RI, US)
Application Number:
12/029441
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
02/11/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
K.P. CORRELL AND ASSOCIATES, L.L.P. (NEWPORT, RI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A radio controlled snowboard system comprised of: a steerable snowboard; an erect figurine pivotally attachable to the steerable snowboard, wherein the steerable snowboard comprises a plurality of steering edges; and a steering system configured to control the movement of the snowboard by weight transition relative to one of the plurality of steering edges.

2. The radio controlled snowboard system as in claim 1 further comprising a power source operatively connected to the steering system.

3. The radio controlled snowboard as in claim 1, wherein the steering system further comprises: at least one board component weight adapted to tangential positioning relative to the steerable snowboard; at least one lower figurine lower weight adapted to tangential positioning relative to the at least one board component weight; and at least one upper figurine upper weight adapted to tangential positioning relative to the at least one lower figurine lower weight.

4. The radio controlled snowboard as in claim 1 wherein the steerable snowboard further comprises a rigid center frame; a flexible snowboard; and fore and aft camber battens.

5. The radio controlled snowboard as in claim 1 wherein the plurality of steering edges comprise hour glass shape.

6. The radio controlled snowboard as in claim 1 further comprising at least one centered track.

7. The radio controlled snowboard as in claim 1 further comprising at least one paddle wheel.

8. The radio controlled snowboard as in claim 1 further comprising a snowboard component cover adapted to fasten to the steerable snow board center and free-flexible from the steerable snow board center out to opposing ends of the steerable snow board.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/889,271 filed Feb. 10, 2007. The disclosure of this Provisional patent application is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a small scale remote control snowboard system; more specifically to a model snowboard system suitable for a table top.

2. Description of Background

The sport of snowboarding has become increasingly popular as a recreational activity for persons of ordinary skill levels, and as a competitive sport for persons with extraordinary skill levels together with its attendant entertainment value for spectators. As a consequence, various types of similar toys such as toy skateboards have been proposed. Such skateboards range from simple wind-up toy skateboards with mounted figurines, such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,836,819 issued to Oishi et al., to more advanced radio-controlled toy skateboards with figurines that can be controlled in some degree to portray body movement during skateboarding maneuvers and stunts.

However, many remote controlled systems require complicated electronics and external power such as batteries and often do not replicate the natural control of a skateboard or snowboard. Thus, there exists a need for a remote controlled (RC) snowboard that closely replicates natural snowboard performance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention a remote control snowboard system is provided. The snowboard system includes a snowboarder includes a snowboarder adapted to control a snowboard via remote control signals.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention a radio controlled snowboard system having a steerable snowboard and an erect figurine is provided. The erect figurine is pivotally attachable to the steerable snowboard. The steerable snowboard includes a plurality of steering edges and a steering system configured to control the movement of the snowboard by relative weight transitions relative to one of the plurality of steering edges. The steering system also includes track or paddles for multiple terrains and weight tipping arbors.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The subject matter which is regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows Remote Control (RC) Snowboarder system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows an end view of RC Snowboarder 9 in a back hand turn in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows an end view of RC Snowboarder 9 in a go straight position in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows an end view of RC Snowboarder 9 in a front hand turn in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 shows a direct end view of the snowboard 11 and track 20 only in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 shows a direct end view of the snowboard 11 only in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 shows a direct end view of the snowboard 11 and track 20 only in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 shows a technical side view of the board 11 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 shows a technical side view of the board 11 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 shows a technical side view of the board 11 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 shows a pair of large in-line paddle wheels 21 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 shows a paddle track 20 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 13 shows a sideview of a pair of small in-line paddle wheels 22 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 shows a sideview of the paddle track in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 15 shows a port side view of the RC snowboarder 9 and snowboard 11 leaned over in a front side turn in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 16 shows the RC snowboard's cover 12 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 17 shows an overhead view of the RC snowboard with the cover 12 off in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 18 shows the running surface or underside of the snowboard 11 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 19 shows the bottom running surface of the snowboard with the extreme width and depth paddle track 37 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 20 shows an end view of the snowboard 11 heeled over on its port edge with the extra wide track 37 showing its large face value in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 21 shows an end view of the snowboard 11 going straight ahead in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 22 shows and end view of the snowboard 11 heeled over on its starboard edge with the extra wide track 37 showing its large square inch face value in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 23 shows a full scale snowboarder on a full scale electric powered snowboard in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Although the present invention will be described with reference to the embodiments shown in the drawings, it should be understood that the present invention could be embodied in many alternate forms of embodiments. All like components are labeled with the same identifying numbers. Small scale is defined as less than normal human size. Referring to FIGS. 1-23, a robotic figurine turns a motorized snowboard 11 just like a real snowboarder does, leaning the rider's weight over one side of the board or the other. The centered track 20 or paddle wheels 21 double as a tipping arbor on which the rider 9 can use as a control point to rotate weight shifts; left to right, or fore and aft. An adjustable flex pattern uses camber battens to create a unique, adjustable suspension for a snowboard with the combination of 3 parts; a rigid center frame 33, a flexible snowboard 11 and camber battens fore and aft 28 and 27. The weights and measures features on this RC snowboarder 9 locates the centered component weight on board the snowboard's frame 33, and is combined with extra weight added to the rider's lower body 13, which when combined with the rider's crouched stance provide the necessary amount of weight to press the edges 39 of the snowboard 11 to the surface without being top heavy. It will be appreciated that the dramatic side cut (hour glass outline shape) of the snowboard 11 works well with the high centered tipping arbor created by the rounded paddle track 20 or rounded paddle wheels 21 for different terrain conditions. The snowboard's frame 33 is adjustable to raise or lower the track 20 or paddle wheels 21 for different terrain conditions. Finally, snowboard components cover 23 that fastens to the board in the center but free-flexes from the center out to the ends is provided.

DETAILED DRAWING DESCRIPTIONS

FIG. 1 shows RC Snowboarder figurine 9 in a backhand turn. The figurine upper body 10 is twisted toward the port side of the snowboard 11,12; as the lower body is leaned over the port side of the snowboard 11, 12 as well. The cover 12 is shown in place over the snowboard 11. The flex pattern sub-frame 18 is visible resting atop the snowboard's sidewall color panel 19. The lower body motor and gear set 14 or servo is seen on the forward starboard side of the snowboard 11. The power arm 15 is seen fastened atop the servo 14 which connects up toward the lower body's 13 knee through an opening in the front leg. This arm clip 36 needs no fasteners and is allowed to free-float for ease of movement. The snowboarder's 9 boots 16 and hi-back bindings 17 are also visible.

FIG. 2 shows an end view of RC Snowboarder 9 in a back hand turn. The figure upper body 10 is twisted toward the port or left side of the snowboard 11, 12; as the lower body 13 is leaned out over the port side of the snowboard 11, 12 as well. The snowboarder's lower body 13 carries substantial weight in order to press the snowboard edge 39 into the snow surface to initiate and carry thru a back hand turn. This view also shows the rear 16 lower body axle hole 38.

FIG. 3 shows an end view of RC Snowboarder 9 in a go straight position. The figurine upper body 10 and lower body 13 are both centered squarely over the snowboard facing straight forward.

FIG. 4 shows an end view of RC Snowboarder 9 in a front hand turn. It will be appreciated that the upper body 10 is twisted toward the starboard or right side of the snowboard 11, 12 as the figurine lower body 13 is leaned out over the starboard side as well. The snowboarder's lower body 13 carries substantial weight in order to press the snowboard edge 39 into the snow surface to initiate and carry thru a front hand turn.

FIG. 5 shows a direct end view of the snowboard 11 and track 20 only; while the snowboard is in a backhand turn. This figure demonstrates how the track 20 serves as a tipping arbor placed in the center of the board 11 making a pivot point to see-saw the snowboard from side to side, burying the port side while leaving the starboard side high and dry. At the same time the nose and tail of the snowboard 11 are lifted off the surface except where the edge touches the snow surface.

FIG. 6 shows a direct end view of the snowboard 11 only. While the snowboard is in a neutral turn position. It will be appreciated that the track is not visible, this is because the built-in camber of the snowboard is forcing the nose and tail down to make surface contact allowing the snowboard to steer straight ahead when desired.

FIG. 7 shows a direct end view of the snowboard 11 and track 20 only. While the snowboard is in a front hand turn. This also demonstrates how the track 20 serves as a tipping arbor placed in the center of the board 11 making a pivot point to see-saw the snowboard from side to side, burying the starboard side while leaving the port side high and dry. At the same time the nose and tail of the snowboard 11 are lifted off the surface except where the edge touches the snow surface.

FIG. 8 shows a technical side view of the board 11, cover 12, and track 20 lifted off the surface to show how much camber is built into the flexible snowboard 11 and the flexible cover 12. It will also be appreciated that the cover's sub-frame 18 and the snowboard's sidewall color strip 19 flex in sync with each other.

FIG. 9 shows a technical side view of the board 11, cover 12, and track 20 placed on an even surface. Notice how the track paddles are advantageously touching the surface and also notice how the nose and tail of the snowboard 11 are pressed to the surface.

FIG. 10 shows a technical side view of the board 11, cover 12, and track 20 placed on an un-even surface. Advantageously the snowboard 11 and sidewall color strip 19 and the cover 12 and flex pattern sub-frame 18 flex to follow the un-even surface.

FIG. 11 shows a pair of large in-line paddle wheels 21, also shown in FIG. 15, that work great on hard floors and carpets. The desired material would be hard plastic with rubber paddles. These wheels do not work well on snow surfaces.

FIG. 12 shows a paddle track 20. One material would be black rubber, however any suitable material may be used.

FIG. 13 shows a sideview of a pair of small in-line paddle wheels 22. The desired material would be hard plastic, however, any suitable material may be used These wheels will go well on carpet only but also double as gears for the paddle track 20.

FIG. 14 shows a sideview of the paddle track 20 connected to the small paddle wheels 22 acting as gears that are adapted to interlace with the paddle track 20.

FIG. 15 shows a port side view of the RC snowboarder 9 and snowboard 11 leaned over in a front side turn. It is shown with the cover 12 removed. It also has a see thru feature at the rider's waist and bottom. This motor and gear set 32 actuates the twisting upper body movement. The lower body movement is actuated by a slightly larger motor and gear set 14 positioned at the base of the rider's front foot. The power arm 15 extending from the top of the set box 14 extends up into the rider's front leg 36 where it clips on and is free floating. The upper and lower body movements are adapted to work in sync. It will be appreciated that the snowboard 11 needs considerable weight over the edges FIG. 18-39 to carve and hold turns so weight is added to the lower body 13. Still referring to FIG. 15, also shown are the frame 33 and the sub-frame 18. The frame mounted sub-frame 18 holds up the starboard side of the cover 12. It has a flex pattern (flexi ends with a more rigid center). The snowboard 11 exhibits similar function but in a novel manner. It uses a super flexible board 11 fastened in the middle of a centered rigid frame 33 with nose 28 and tail 27 camber battens extending from the frame connecting to the snowboard 11 near the widest parts of the nose and tail with adjustable stops 29. It will be appreciated that this novel arrangement advantageously gives the RC snowboard 11 an adjustable flex pattern or in effect adjustable suspension. This is a break through design for any snowboard motorized or not, toy or full scale. These camber battens 28, 29 are shown in FIG. 15 in the most rigid setting of the 3 settings shown (there could be more). The battens themselves are made of flexible material. They add torsional as well as longitudinal stability to the too-flexi snowboard 11. The snowboard itself cannot function without the rigid frame 33 center and the stabilizing camber battens 28, 27. In an alternative embodiment, the battens 28, 27 could be an integral part of the board 11. The adjustable design with the camber battens 28, 27 is suitable for a snowboard with a motor 25 and other heavy components. It will be appreciated that a regular ski or snowboard has a flex pattern with a thick center and a thin nose and tail, much like the sidewall color strip 19. The frame 33 on this design takes the place of the thick center, and the floppy board 11 attached at the center; propped up and stabilized by the camber battens takes the place of the slow taper of the standard flex pattern seen on skis and snowboards. It will also be noted that the battens 28, 27 can carry weight on their backs which gives the battens a second task, that of using all areas of the snowboard 11 to distribute the components; to keep the flat look of a board as much as possible. The flat battery pack 24 is carried on the front camber batten 28 while the tail batten 27 carries the speed control 26. It's valuable to note that these two are free-flexing from the rigid center frame 33 allowing the snowboard 11 to flex the way it needs to. Also the component's weight over the lightly sprung battens add control and dampening to the RC snowboard's overall flex pattern. This flex pattern (which can be adjusted for different conditions) combined with the extreme sidecut viewed in FIGS. 17 and 18 guarantees this board 11, 12, 28, 27 is going to turn quite well. Also shown in FIG. 15 are the two gear sets. The drive gears 30 and the primary gears 31. The primary gears 31 are sized according to the selected motor. The drive gears 30 as shown create direct drive from two wheels and can drive twin inline paddle wheels 21, a belt track (see FIGS. 17-20) or run extreme width and depth paddle track (see FIGS. 20,22-37). The aforementioned drive gears 30 could be wheel drive (not shown) and use pulleys and belts, or chains and sprockets (not shown). It will be appreciated that the novel features include the inline paddle wheels 21 and the low profile paddle track 20, as well as the extreme width and depth paddle track 37. It will be appreciated that the location of these features, e.g., they are positioned between the feet of a snowboarder, and the fact that the tracks or wheels are placed dead center of the length and width of a snowboard which allows the motorized snowboard to turn by pressing weight over one side of the board or the other, thus simulating real snowboard action; or in other words steering the snowboard by board side cut action. The wheels 21 or track 20 extending out from the bottom and being rounded on the edges doubles as a tipping arbor on which the rider 9 uses as a control point to rotate weight shifts left, right, fore and aft and also allows greater separation of space between the running surface and the unused edge while turning. This advantageously decreases the chance of hi-siding. Another advantage is that the tipping arbor requires less energy to weight one side or the other as well as one end or the other. This allows for more control which is much on a snowboard that is weighted down with motorized components.

FIG. 16 shows the RC snowboard's cover 12. It is thin and light and is shaped to mimic the side view shape of the snowboard 11 and sidewall color strip 19. The cover's shape 12 is held together somewhat by the built-in port side sub-frame 23. The starboard side sub-frame 18 is attached to the frame 33. The cover 12 screws on to the edge of the starboard sub-frame 18 after it is put in place. The cover goes on with the rider 9 off; then gets screwed down with the rider being placed on top of it. The cover fits tightly around the paddle wheels 21 or track 20 area. Screws and a gasket (not shown) keep it waterproof. The rest of the cover flexes independently from the board 11 and camber battens 22,28, so the outer board gasket (not shown) is thin, flexible and oversized to accommodate the independently moving parts.

FIG. 17 shows an overhead view of the RC snowboard with the cover 12 off. It shows the frame 33 surrounding the motor 25, the gear sets 30 and 31, the track 20, and the lower body servo 14, the receiver 35, and both rider foot mounts 34. The frame attaches to all within its perimeter making for a heavy center piece. All other parts free-flex independently from the frame 33. FIG. 17 also shows how the camber battens 27,28 connect to the frame 33. The frame gives the battens solid backing to prop up against. It will be appreciated how the other end of the camber battens 27,28 can be put into three different places called adjustment stops 29 which allow for 3 different flex tensions for different course conditions. Also shown in FIG. 17 is how the starboard sub-frame 18 connects to the frame 33. Another important advantage is that the frame 33 can be adjusted up or down where it attaches to the snowboard 11 with the aid of spacers (not shown) that can be taken out or put in to lower or raise the track 20 height.

FIG. 18 shows the running surface or underside of the snowboard 11. It also shows the outline shape of the snowboard revealing the dramatic side cut employed on this board. The hour glass shape helps ensure the board 11 will turn when leaned on. This drawing also shows the regular track 20 positioned dead center, fore and aft, side to side. The snowboard's edges 39 are also shown. These are metal edges similar to real snowboard and skis edges and are generally necessary to operate on ice.

FIG. 19 shows the bottom running surface of the snowboard with the extreme width and depth paddle track 37. This track is made to propel the snowboard 11 and rider 9 in deep snow conditions or grass and still double as a tipping arbor. This paddle is extra wide and extra deep offering two and a half times the paddle face over the regular track.

FIG. 20 shows an end view of the snowboard 11 heeled over on its port edge with the extra wide track 37 showing its large face value.

FIG. 21 shows an end view of the snowboard 11 going straight ahead.

FIG. 22 shows and end view of the snowboard 11 heeled over on its starboard edge with the extra wide track 37 showing its large square inch face value

FIG. 23 shows a full scale snowboarder on a full scale electric powered snowboard. All designs outlined in this patent application would apply to a full scale human ridden snowboard, minus the radio control equipment and the body movement servos. A major difference between a gas powered version and an electric powered version is that the gas motor is placed where the electric motor and the battery pack 24 is replaced with a gas tank (not shown).

It should be understood that the foregoing description is only illustrative of the invention. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variances which fall within the scope of the appended claims.