Title:
PLAY SETS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A play set is disclosed. In some embodiments, the play set may include a play area having a plurality of indicia, the plurality of indicia including a first set of indicia and a second set of indicia; and a play toy including a sensor subsystem configured to measure intensity of light reflected from the first and second sets of indicia, and to generate a signal that corresponds to position of the play toy on the play area based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the first and second sets of indicia, and a motion subsystem configured to receive the signal and move the play toy based on the received signal.



Inventors:
Willett, William (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/471274
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
05/22/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H30/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050009436Guardian toy barrierJanuary, 2005Boghossian
20100035509Puppet BlanketFebruary, 2010Lei
20070207698Toy to aid emotional transitionsSeptember, 2007Stanley
20090253342Infant activity mattressOctober, 2009Oren et al.
20080090490Memorabilia kit for an infantApril, 2008Barrows et al.
20090053972Toy DollFebruary, 2009Friedland et al.
20060105668Apparatus for producing simulated V-twin motorcycle sound in bicyclesMay, 2006Maraccini et al.
20080153381Flying toyJune, 2008Schenk et al.
20070264904Toy motorcycleNovember, 2007Sheltman et al.
20020013117Decorated play figures with flat spotJanuary, 2002Rudell
20080113582Collapsible hoopMay, 2008Campbell



Primary Examiner:
PYO, KEVIN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A play set, comprising: a play area having a plurality of indicia, the plurality of indicia including a first set of indicia and a second set of indicia; and a play toy including: a sensor subsystem configured to measure intensity of light reflected from the first and second sets of indicia, and to generate a signal that corresponds to position of the play toy on the play area based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the first and second sets of indicia; and a motion subsystem configured to receive the signal and move the play toy based on the received signal.

2. The play set of claim 1, wherein the first set of indicia includes X-coordinate indicia and the second set of indicia includes Y-coordinate indicia, the signal corresponding to X-coordinate and Y-coordinate positions of the play toy on the play area.

3. The play set of claim 1, wherein the first set of indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the first set of indicia has a wavelength within a first wavelength range.

4. The play set of claim 3, wherein the first wavelength range is about 450 to about 490 nanometers.

5. The play set of claim 3, wherein the second set of indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the second set of indicia has a wavelength within a second wavelength range.

6. The play set of claim 5, wherein the second wavelength range is about 630 to about 700 nanometers.

7. The play set of claim 1, wherein the sensor subsystem includes a first sensor assembly configured to measure intensity of light within only a first wavelength range, and a second sensor assembly configured to measure intensity of light within only a second wavelength range, the second wavelength range being different from the first wavelength range.

8. The play set of claim 7, wherein the first sensor assembly includes a first photodetector and a first filter adjacent the first photodetector, the first filter configured to prevent light outside of the first wavelength range from reaching the first photodetector.

9. The play set of claim 8, wherein the second sensor assembly includes a second photodetector and a second filter adjacent the second photodetector, the second filter configured to prevent light outside of the second wavelength range from reaching the second photodetector.

10. The play set of claim 1, whereon the play area includes a first portion and a second portion spaced from the first portion, the first set of indicia including a first indicium adjacent the first portion, a second indicium adjacent the second portion, and one or more other first set indicia disposed between the first and second indicia, wherein the first set of indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the first set of indicia has an intensity that increases from the first indicium toward the second indicium.

11. The play set of claim 10, wherein the second set of indicia includes a third indicium adjacent the first portion, a fourth indicium adjacent the second portion, and one or more other second set indicia disposed between the third and fourth indicia, wherein the second set of indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the second set of indicia has an intensity that increases from the third indicium toward the fourth indicium.

12. The play set of claim 11, whereon the play area includes a third portion spaced from the first and second portions, and a fourth portion spaced from the first, second, and third portions, the first set of indicia including a fifth indicium adjacent the third portion, a sixth indicium adjacent the fourth portion, and one or more other first set indicia disposed between the fifth and sixth indicia, wherein the first set of indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the first set of indicia has an intensity that remains constant from the first indicium toward the fifth indicium, and increases from the first indicium toward the sixth indicium.

13. The play set of claim 12, wherein the second set of indicia includes a seventh indicium adjacent the third portion, an eighth indicium adjacent the fourth portion, and one or more other second set indicia disposed between the seventh and eighth indicia, wherein the second set of indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the second set of indicia has an intensity that remains constant from the first indicium toward the eighth indicium, and increases from the first indicium toward the seventh indicium.

14. The play set of claim 1, whereon the play area includes a game board configured to support the play toy, the game board having the first and second sets of indicia.

15. A play set, comprising: a play area having a plurality of indicia, the plurality of indicia including X-coordinate and Y-coordinate indicia, the X-coordinate indicia being configured such that the light reflected from the X-coordinate indicia has a wavelength within a first wavelength range, the Y-coordinate indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the Y-coordinate indicia has a wavelength within a second wavelength range, the second wavelength range being different from the first wavelength range; and a play toy including: a sensor subsystem configured to measure intensity of the light reflected from the X-coordinate and Y-coordinate indicia, and to generate a signal that corresponds to X-coordinate and Y-coordinate positions of the play toy on the play area based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the X-coordinate and Y-coordinate indicia, the sensor subsystem including a first sensor assembly configured to measure intensity of light within only the first wavelength range, and a second sensor assembly configured to measure intensity of light within only the second wavelength range; and a motion subsystem configured to receive the signal and move the play toy based on the received signal.

16. The play set of claim 15, wherein the first wavelength range is about 450 to about 490 nanometers, and the second wavelength range is about 630 to about 700 nanometers.

17. A method of determining position of a play toy on a play area, the play area including first and second sets of indicia, the first set of indicia configured such that the light reflected from the first set of indicia includes a wavelength within a first wavelength range, the second set of indicia configured such that the light reflected from the second set of indicia includes a wavelength within a second wavelength range, the second wavelength range being different from the first wavelength range, comprising: measuring light intensity reflected from a first indicium of the first set of indicia; measuring light intensity reflected from a second indicium of the second set of indicia; generating a signal that corresponds to position of the play toy on the play area based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the first and second indicia; and moving the play toy based on the signal.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising blocking light reflected from the first indicium of the first set of indicia that is outside the first wavelength range.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising blocking light reflected from the second indicium of the second set of indicia that is outside the second wavelength range, the second wavelength range being different from the first wavelength range.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the first wavelength range is about 450 to about 490 nanometers, and the second wavelength range is about 630 to about 700 nanometers.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/128,667 entitled “Interactive Play Sets,” filed May 22, 2008. The complete disclosure of the above application is herein incorporated by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure is directed to play sets, such as play sets that include one or more play toys and/or one or more play areas. Patents and patent applications that may be related to the present disclosure include U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,675,925; 3,973,685; 4,703,240; 4,981,300; 5,013,047; 5,051,736; 5,082,286; 5,107,541; 5,150,174; 5,477,012; 5,852,434; 6,020,583; 6,021,363; 6,168,158; 6,674,530; 6,697,147; 6,739,874; and 6,952,263; U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0226602; U.K. Patent Application No. GB 2188850; and Japanese Patent No. JP 06339583. The complete disclosures of the above patents and patent applications are herein incorporated by reference for all purposes.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure is directed to play sets and methods of determining position of a play toy on a play area. The play sets may, in some embodiments, include a play area having a plurality of indicia, the plurality of indicia including a first set of indicia and a second set of indicia; and a play toy including a sensor subsystem configured to measure intensity of light reflected from the first and second sets of indicia, and to generate a signal that corresponds to position of the play toy on the play area based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the first and second sets of indicia, and a motion subsystem configured to receive the signal and move the play toy based on the received signal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a play set.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an example of a sensor subsystem of the play toy of the play set of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of another example of a play toy of the play set of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of an example of a play area of the play set of FIG. 1 with indicia on the play area exaggerated in size for purposes of illustration,

FIG. 5 is a schematic view of another example of a play area of the play set of FIG. 1 with indicia on the play area exaggerated in size for purposes of illustration.

FIG. 6 is a schematic view of another example of a play area of the play set of FIG. 1 with indicia on the play area exaggerated in size for purposes of illustration.

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of an example of a play set of FIG. 1 with indicia on the play area exaggerated in size for purposes of illustration.

FIG. 8 shows an exploded view of an example of a play toy for the play set of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 shows a cross-sectional view of a play toy for the play set of FIG. 7 taken along lines 9-9 in FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 shows an example of a method of determining position of a play on a play area of the play set of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure is directed to play sets and methods of determining position of a play toy on a play area. In some embodiments, the play set may include a play area having a plurality of indicia, the plurality of indicia including X-coordinate and Y-coordinate indicia, the X-coordinate indicia being configured such that the light reflected from the X-coordinate indicia has a wavelength within a first wavelength range, the Y-coordinate indicia is configured such that the light reflected from the Y-coordinate indicia has a wavelength within a second wavelength range, the second wavelength range being different from the first wavelength range; and a play toy including a sensor subsystem configured to measure intensity of the light reflected from the X-coordinate and Y-coordinate indicia, and to generate a signal that corresponds to X-coordinate and Y-coordinate positions of the play toy on the play area based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the X-coordinate and Y-coordinate indicia, the sensor subsystem including a first sensor assembly configured to measure intensity of light within only the first wavelength range, and a second sensor assembly configured to measure intensity of light within only the second wavelength range, and a motion subsystem configured to receive the signal and move the play toy based on the received signal.

The method may, in some embodiments, include measuring light intensity reflected from a first indicium of the first set of indicia; measuring light intensity reflected from a second indicium of the second set of indicia; generating a signal that corresponds to position of the play toy on the play area based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the first and second indicia; and moving the play toy based on the signal.

FIG. 1 shows some embodiments of a play set 20, which may include at least one play toy 22 and at least one play area 24 having a plurality of indicia 26, which may be spaced from each other. The play toy may be configured to interact with play area 24, and may take any suitable form. For example, play toy 22 may include an interactive toy robot or an interactive toy pet, such as a toy dog, toy cat, toy rabbit, toy bird, toy fish, etc. Alternatively, the interactive toy pet may take the form of a fantastical companion, such as a unicorn, a gnome, or other companion based on one or more creatures that do not exist.

The interactive toy robot or pet may be configured to simulate a real-life companion. For example, a toy dog may be configured to walk and run like a dog, to make dog noises, to play like a dog, etc. Additionally, a toy bird may be configured to move like a bird, to fly like a bird, to make bird noises, etc. Examples of interactive toy robots/pets and their components are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2007/0293119. The complete disclosure of that application is herein incorporated by reference for all purposes.

Alternatively, play toy 22 may be in the form of playing pieces, such as game pieces that may be used with play area 24. For example, play toy 22 may include chess pieces, checker pieces, backgammon pieces, etc. The pieces may be any suitable shape(s) and/or size(s). Additionally, the playing pieces may include any suitable indicia, such as one or more letters, numbers, alphanumeric codes, symbols, colors, etc.

Play toy 22 may include any suitable structure configured to interact with play area 24. For example, the play toy may include a sensor subsystem 28, a control subsystem 30, and one or more other subsystems 32, as shown in FIG. 1.

Sensor subsystem 28 may include any suitable structure configured to detect and/or measure one or more properties of indicia 26 on play area 24 and to transmit one or more signals to the control subsystem based, at least in part, on the detected and/or measured properties of the indicia. For example, the sensor subsystem may detect or measure intensity of light reflected from the indicia. The signal generated by the sensor subsystem may correspond to position of the play toy (such as X-coordinate and Y-coordinate positions of the play toy) on the play area based on detected or measured properties of the indicia, such as the measured intensity of the light reflected from the indicia.

Sensor subsystem 28 may include one or more sensor assemblies 34, as shown in FIG. 2. Sensor subsystem 28 may include any suitable number of sensor assemblies 34. For example, the sensor subsystem may include at least two sensor assemblies 34, such as a first sensor assembly 35 and a second sensor assembly 36. In some embodiments, the first sensor assembly may alternatively, or additionally, detect one or more different properties from the second sensor assembly.

For example, the first sensor assembly may be configured to measure intensity of light within only a first wavelength range, and the second sensor assembly may be configured to measure intensity of light within only a second wavelength range, where the second wavelength range may be different from or non-overlapping with the first wavelength range. Alternatively, or additionally, first sensor assembly 35 may be configured to detect or measure one or more properties of a first set of indicia, while second sensor assembly 36 may be configured to detect or measure one or more properties of a second set of indicia.

One or more of the sensor assemblies may include at least one light emitter 38, at least one light selector 40, and at least one light detector 42, as shown in FIG. 2. Light emitter 38 may include any suitable structure configured to emit light toward one or more of the indicia. For example, the light emitter may include at least one light source 44, such as one or more light emitting diodes (LEDs), laser LEDs, incandescent lights, halogen lights, and/or fluorescent lights. In some embodiments, the light sources may alternatively, or additionally, emit nonvisible light, such as infrared and/or ultraviolet light.

Light selector 40 may include any suitable structure configured to absorb or block light of specified wavelength range(s) and/or allow light of other wavelength range(s) through. For example, the light selector may include at least one filter 46. The filter may be adjacent a photodetector of the light detector and/or may be configured to absorb or block light of any suitable wavelength(s) that may be reflected from the one or more indicia of the play area. For example, the filter may be configured to prevent light outside a suitable wavelength range from reaching the photodetector.

For example, filter 46 may include a red filter that may absorb or block light at wavelength ranges other than the wavelength range corresponding to red (e.g., about 630 to about 700 nanometers). Alternatively, or additionally, the filter may include a blue filter that may absorb or block light at wavelength ranges other than the wavelength range corresponding to blue (e.g., about 450 to 490 nanometers). Filter 46 may alternatively, or additionally, include any suitable color(s).

Light detector 42 may include any suitable structure configured to detect and/or measure intensity of light reflected from indicia 26 of play area 24 and/or that goes through light selector 40. For example, light detector may include at least one photodetector 48, such as optical detector(s), photoresistor(s), photodiode(s), photomultiplier tube(s), phototube(s), and/or phototransistor(s). The photodetector may be configured to detect any suitable wavelength(s) of light.

Although sensor assembly 34 is shown to include light emitter 38, light selector 40, and light detector 42, the sensor assembly may include any suitable structure configured to detect and/or measure one or more properties of the indicia of the play area. For example, in some embodiments, sensor assembly may exclude the light emitter and/or light selector.

Sensor subsystem 28 may be located in any suitable portion(s) of play toy 22. For example, sensor subsystem 28 may at least be partially located in a bottom portion 50 of the play toy such that the sensor subsystem may detect and/or measure one or more properties of the indicia on the play area that are adjacent to that bottom portion, as shown in FIG. 3. Alternatively, or additionally, the sensor subsystem may at least be partially located in a side portion 52 of play toy 22 such that the sensor subsystem may detect or measure one or more properties of the indicia on the play area that are adjacent to that side portion.

Control subsystem 30 may include any suitable structure configured to receive and/or process one or more signals from sensor subsystem 28, and/or to transmit one or more signals to other subsystems 32. For example, the control subsystem may include a processor 54 and a memory 56, as shown in FIG. 1. The processor and memory may provide an artificial intelligence, such as to allow the play toy to determine its position in and/or on the play area and/or to act based on that determined position.

For example, the control subsystem may be configured to receive one or more light measurements from sensor subsystem 28 and to compare those measurements with measurements stored in the memory to determine the position of the play toy in and/or on the play area. Alternatively, or additionally, control subsystem 30 may send one or more signals to other subsystems 32 based, at least in part, on the one or more signals received from sensor subsystem 28.

Other subsystems 32 may include any suitable structure configured to receive one or more signals from control subsystem 30 and to perform one or more functions and/or actions based, at least in part, on the received one or more signals. For example, other subsystems 32 may include a transmitter assembly 58 configured to transmit signals to other components of the play set.

Additionally, or alternatively, the other subsystems may include a receiver assembly 60 configured to receive one or more signals from external transmitter(s), such as from other play toys 22 and/or play area 24, and/or to send those signals to control subsystem 30. The control subsystem may, based at least in part on the received signals, direct the sensor subsystem and/or other subsystems to perform one or more functions or actions. For example, play toy 22 may receive signals from a remote transmitter related to specific movements desired by a user, and the control subsystem may direct a motion assembly of the play toy to perform those movements.

Alternatively, or additionally, other subsystems 32 may include a motion assembly 62 configured to move the play toy across the play area based, at least in part, on the signals received from the control subsystem. For example, the play toy may include one or more wheels and/or one or more legs (not shown) that are selectively driven based on the signals received from the control subsystem. Control subsystem 30 may command or instruct the motion assembly to move the play toy along one or more paths on the play area based on the received signals.

Additionally, or alternatively, the other subsystems may include an audiovisual assembly 64 configured to generate one or more audio and/or visual outputs based, at least in part, on the signals received from the control subsystem. For example, when the play toys are playing pieces, the audiovisual assembly may provide instructions on which playing piece(s) to move based on the previously moved piece(s). Moreover, although play toy 22 is shown to include sensor subsystem 28, control subsystem 30, and other subsystem(s) 32, the play toy may include any suitable structure configured to interact with play area 24.

For example, the play toy may alternatively not include a control subsystem. Alternatively, or additionally, the sensor subsystem may be connected directly to a transmitting assembly of the play toy or may be able to transmit the generated signals by itself. In some embodiments, one or more of the play toys may have different components from one or more of the other play toys.

Play area 24 may include any suitable structure configured to allow play toy 22 to interact with the play area. For example, the play area may be in the form of a game board or a play mat. The play area may be any suitable shape(s) and/or size(s). Additionally, the play area may be made of any suitable material(s), such as paper and/or plastic.

As discussed above, play area 24 may include a plurality of indicia 26. For example, indicia 26 may include a first set of indicia 66 and a second set of indicia 68, as shown in FIG. 4. The first set of indicia may have same and/or different properties from the second set of indicia. For example, the first set of indicia may be configured such that light reflected from the first set of indicia includes or has a wavelength within a first wavelength range, and the second set of indicia may be configured such that light reflected from the second set of indicia includes or has a wavelength within a second wavelength range.

The first and second wavelength ranges may be any suitable ranges and may correspond to any suitable colors. The first and second wavelength range may overlap and/or may be the same. Alternatively, the first and second wavelength range may be different or may not overlap. For example, the first wavelength range may be about 450 to about 490 nanometers, which may correspond to the color blue. Additionally, the second wavelength range may be about 630 to about 700 nanometers, which may correspond to the color red.

The play area also may include a plurality of play portions 70, as shown in FIG. 4. The play portions may be any suitable number and/or may be separated by a plurality of lines 72, such as first lines 74 and second lines 76, as shown in FIG. 4.

Although play area 24 is shown to include first and second lines that are orthogonal or perpendicular to each other, any suitable types of lines having any suitable relationships may alternatively, or additionally, separate the play portions. For example, one or more oblique lines may be used to separate one or more of the play portions. Additionally, although play portions 70 are shown to be separated by lines 72, the play portions may alternatively not be separated by lines.

The play portions may have any suitable indicia 26, such as first set of indicia 66 and second set of indicia 68. The first and second sets of indicia may include one or more letters, numbers, alphanumeric codes, symbols, colors, etc. For example, the first and second sets of indicia may include first indicia squares 78 and second indicia squares 80, as shown in FIG. 4.

Each play portion may include an indicium of the first set of indicia (such as a first indicium) and an indicium of the second set indicia (such a second indicium) with a different or unique combination of properties, such as intensity of the light reflected from the indicia, compared to the other play portions. For example, the first indicia squares may become more shaded or less shaded (e.g., reflect more or less light) as the play toy moves along the X-coordinate among the play portions.

Additionally, or alternatively, the second indicia squares may become more shaded or less shaded (e.g., reflect more or less light) as the play toy moves along the Y-coordinate among the play portions, as shown in FIG. 4. When the properties of indicia from the first and second sets of indicia varies as described above, the indicia from the first set of indicia also may be referred to as X-coordinate indicia, and the indicia from the second set of indicia also may be referred to as Y-coordinate indicia.

Moreover, the first and second squares may be configured such that light reflected include any suitable color(s). For example, one or more of the first indicia squares may include a red color (or reflect light within a wavelength range of about 630 to about 700 nanometers), while one or more of the second indicia squares may include a blue color (or reflect light within a wavelength range of about 450 to about 490 nanometers). The difference in color properties between the first and second indicia squares may allow the sensor subsystem of the play toy to differentiate between the squares.

For example, a first sensor assembly may include a red filter to ensure that the intensity of light within a wavelength range of only about 630 to about 700 nanometers (i.e., the red squares) are detected and/or measured by that sensor assembly, while a second sensor assembly may include a blue filter to ensure that the intensity of light within a wavelength range of only about 450 to about 490 nanometers (i.e., the blue squares) are detected and/or measured by that sensor assembly. Although particular colors are discussed for the first and second indicia squares, any suitable colors may be used that may be distinguished by the sensor subsystem of the play toy, such as colors that may be filterable.

Additionally, although the first and second sets of indicia are shown to be a particular size relative to the size of the play portions, those indicia may be any suitable size. For example, the first and second sets of indicia may be significantly smaller relative to the size of the play portions. In some embodiments, those indicia may be small in size relative to the play portions such that they may be barely discernable by a naked eye of a user.

Moreover, although shading of the first and second squares are shown to increase or decrease linearly, the shading of those squares may vary in any suitable way(s), including in random ways, such as in FIG. 5. Furthermore, although the first and second sets of indicia are shown to include squares, any suitable indicia may be used. For example, the first and second sets of indicia may include first indicia circles 82 and second indicia circles 84, as shown in FIG. 6.

The first and/or second set indicia circles may include an outer circle 86 and an inner shaded circle 88, which may have a diameter that varies from zero diameter to the diameter of the outer circle as the play toy moves across the play portions, which are not separated by lines in FIG. 6. Although the diameter of the inner circles for the first and second indicia circles are shown to increase or decrease linearly, the diameter property of the inner circles may vary in any suitable way(s), including in random ways.

Additionally, although indicia properties of variable shading or variable inner diameter are shown in FIGS. 4-6, the indicia may alternatively, or additionally, have properties that vary in any suitable way(s) to provide different or unique indicia for each play portion. For example, the indicia may vary in shape, overall size, etc. Moreover, play set 20 has been schematically illustrated in the above figures to show representative examples of the general components of the play set without intending to be limited to, among other things, geometry, shape, and size.

Although play set 20 is shown to include a play toy 22 and a play area 24, the play set may alternatively, or additionally, include other components. For example, the play set may include a detector calibrator, such as detector calibration sheet, that may be used to calibrate the photodetector(s) of the play toy.

FIG. 7 shows another example of play set 20, which is generally designated as 90. Unless specifically excluded, play set 90 may include one or more components and/or one or more functions of components of play set 20. Play set 90 may be in any suitable form, such as a sports play set.

The sports play set may include play pieces 92 and play area 94 having indicia 96, as shown in FIG. 7. Although sports play set 90 is shown to simulate a soccer field with soccer players and a soccer ball, the sports play set may alternatively, or additionally, simulate other sports field(s) with other types of player(s) and playing object(s), such as football, rugby, basketball, baseball, and/or hockey fields and their associated player(s) and playing object(s).

Play pieces 92 may include player pieces 98 and play objects 100. The player pieces may have any suitable size(s) and/or appearance(s). Additionally, the player pieces may include any suitable structure configured to allow a user to move the pieces within and/or on the play area and/or detect one or more of the indicia on the play area. For example, player pieces 98 may include a housing 101, a sensor subsystem 102, a control subsystem 104, a receiver assembly 106, a motion assembly 108, and a power assembly 110, as shown in FIGS. 8-9.

The play objects may have one or more components similar to the player pieces and/or may have different components. For example, one or more of the play objects may include a sensor subsystem (not shown), a control subsystem (not shown), and a transmitter assembly (not shown).

The components of the player pieces and/or play objects may allow for various types of game play. For example, player pieces 98 may be limited to particular portion(s) of the play area. Sensor subsystem 102 may detect which portion the player piece is on and then send a signal to control subsystem 104 that determines where the player pieces will move and/or which movements the player pieces are allowed to make. Additionally, the play objects may detect if it is on particular portions and transmit a signal to the player piece(s) and/or play area(s) via the play object's transmitting assembly.

In the example in FIG. 7, the player pieces may be restricted from entering into, for example, the portions of the play area that includes the goals. However, if the soccer ball enters those portions of the play area, the ball may transmit a signal to an audiovisual system of one or more of the player pieces and/or the play set. That audiovisual system may then provide audio and/or visual output indicating that the soccer ball was moved to a portion of the play area that includes one of the goals.

FIG. 10 shows an example of a method, which is generally indicated at 112, of determining position of a play toy on a play area. The method may include measuring light intensity reflected from a first indicium of the first set of indicia of the play area at 114. The light intensity reflected from a second indicium of the second set of indicia of the play area may be measured at 116. A signal that corresponds to position of the play toy on the play area may be generated based on the measured intensity of the light reflected from the first and second indicia at 118. The play toy may be moved based on the signal at 119.

In some embodiments, the method may include blocking light reflected from the first indicium of the first set of indicia that is outside a first wavelength range, such as 450 to 490 nanometers, at 120. Additionally, or alternatively, the method may include blocking light reflected from the second indicium of the second set of indicia that is outside the second wavelength range, such as 630 to 700 nanometers, at 122. In some embodiments, the second wavelength range may be different from the first wavelength range.

Play set 20 also may include computer-readable media comprising computer-executable instructions for determining position of a play toy on a play area, the computer-executable instructions being configured to perform one or more of the steps of method 112 discussed above.

The disclosure set forth above encompasses multiple distinct inventions with independent utility. While each of these inventions has been disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. The subject matter of the inventions includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. Similarly, where any claim recites “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof, such claim should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.

Inventions embodied in various combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements, and/or properties may be claimed through presentation of new claims in a related application. Such new claims, whether they are directed to a different invention or directed to the same invention, whether different, broader, narrower or equal in scope to the original claims, are also regarded as included within the subject matter of the inventions of the present disclosure.





 
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