Title:
WHEELED ELECTRONIC DEVICE AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An electronic device with a plurality of wheels is provided. The electronic device comprises a wheel driver, sensing menas, a rotation information obtaining module, and a controlling module. The wheel driver is used for rotating the plurality of wheels. The sensing means is used for detecting rotations of the plurality of wheels. The rotation information obtaining module is used for obtaining rotation information of the plurality of wheels according to signals from the sensing means. The controlling module is used for controlling the wheel driver to rotate the plurality of wheels according to the rotation information of the plurality of wheels.



Inventors:
Yang, Song-ling (Shenzhen City, CN)
Application Number:
12/542704
Publication Date:
04/22/2010
Filing Date:
08/18/2009
Assignee:
HONG FU JIN PRECISION INDUSTRY (ShenZhen) CO., LTD. (Shenzhen City, TW)
HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD. (Tu-Cheng, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H17/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080153384Interactive toy doll systemJune, 2008Friedland et al.
20060275565Autoblock valve for non latex type baloonsDecember, 2006Michel Velasco
20100009596Hand puppet constructed out of original designs and temporary tattoo paperJanuary, 2010Winger
20020187720Geometric toy construction systemDecember, 2002Engle
20100097911System and method for inter-connectable multi-track media-based trading cardsApril, 2010Souriall
20040214505Pantry puzzle (toy)October, 2004Edwards Footman
20090247041Throwing DiscOctober, 2009Cowles et al.
20100015883Magic ButtonJanuary, 2010Boudreaux
20090088045PLUSH TOYApril, 2009Kotzer Jacobs
20080160876Three Dimensional Inflatable Exhibition Product with Moving Particles Inside the Exhibition ProductJuly, 2008Hsu
20050208867Water submergence toySeptember, 2005Higashida



Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ScienBiziP, PC (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An electronic device having a plurality of wheels, comprising: a wheel driver for rotating the plurality of wheels; sensing means for detecting rotations of the plurality of wheels; a rotation information obtaining module, wherein when being enabled, the rotation information obtaining module is configured for obtaining rotation information of the plurality of wheels according to signals from the sensing means during the time the electronic device moves along a predetermined path; and a controlling module, wherein after the electronic device finishes moving along the predetermined path, the controlling module is configured for controlling the wheel driver to rotate the plurality of wheels according to the rotation information of the plurality of wheels.

2. The electronic device according to claim 1, wherein the electronic device is a toy vehicle, and the plurality of wheels comprise two wheels.

3. The electronic device according to claim 1, wherein the wheel driver comprises a plurality of motors, each of which is used for rotating one of the plurality of wheels.

4. The electronic device according to claim 3, wherein the wheel driver comprises a plurality of motor drivers, each of which is used for driving one of the plurality of motors to rotate.

5. The electronic device according to claim 1, further comprising a first switch module for enabling and disabling the rotation information obtaining module, and a second switch means for enabling and disabling the controlling module.

6. The electronic device according to claim 5, wherein the sensing means comprises sensors for detecting rotation speeds and rotation directions of the plurality of wheels.

7. The electronic device according to claim 6, wherein the rotation information obtaining module comprises a processing unit and a storage unit; when the rotation information obtaining module is enabled, the processing unit is configured for receiving signals containing information indicating the rotation speeds and rotation directions of the plurality of wheels from the sensing means in a predetermined sequence, and storing the information in the storage unit.

8. The electronic device according to claim 7, wherein when being enabled, the controlling module is configured for obtaining the information from the storage unit, and controlling the wheel driver to rotate the plurality of wheels.

9. The electronic device according to claim 8, wherein the controlling module obtains the information in the predetermined sequence.

10. The electronic device according to claim 8, wherein the controlling module obtains the information in a First In First Out manner.

11. A method for controlling an electronic device with a plurality of wheels, comprising: moving the electronic device; detecting rotations of the plurality of wheels; obtaining and storing rotation information of the plurality of wheels; driving the plurality of wheels to rotate according to the stored rotation information after the electronic device finishing the moving.

12. The method according to claim 11, wherein the rotation information comprises rotation speed and rotation direction of the plurality of wheels.

13. The method according to claim 11, wherein the electronic device is a toy vehicle.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The present disclosure relates to electronic devices and, more particularly, to an electronic device with a plurality of wheels that can follow a predetermined path without using a track.

2. Description of Related Art

Wheeled toys are well known. For example, one type of toy vehicle, commonly called a toy train, can move along a track. It is of interest to provide a wheeled toy that can follow a predetermined path without the use of a track.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an electronic device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the electronic device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a flowchart of a method for controlling an electronic device with a plurality of wheels, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows an electronic device 10 which is a wheeled toy vehicle in accordance with an exemplary embodiment. The toy vehicle 10 includes a main body 100 and two wheels 210 and 220 that are each rotatably attached to one end of the main body 100.

The two wheels 210 and 220 can only rotate with respect to the main body 100. Therefore, when being driven by two motors, which will be described in detail later, the path the toy vehicle 10 moves along is determined by the rotation speeds and rotation directions of the two wheels 210 and 220. That is, if the two wheels 210 and 220 rotate at the same rotation speed and in the same direction, the toy vehicle 10 moves in a straight path; if the two wheels 210 and 200 rotate at different rotation speeds and/or in different directions, the toy vehicle 10 moves along a curved path.

Referring to FIG. 2, the toy vehicle 10 includes sensing means 300 for detecting the rotations of the two wheels 210 and 220. Specifically, the sensing means 300 includes two rotation speed sensors 310 and 330 and two rotation direction sensors 320 and 340. The rotation speed sensors 310 and 330 are used to detect the rotation speeds of the wheels 210 and 220, respectively. The rotation direction sensors 320 and 340 are used to detect the rotation directions of the wheels 210 and 220, respectively.

The toy vehicle 10 also includes a wheel driver 400 used for rotating the wheels 210 and 220. In the exemplary embodiment, the wheel driver 400 includes two motors 410 and two motor drivers 420 and 430. The motors 410 are used to rotate the wheels 210 and 220, respectively. The motor drivers 420 and 430 are used for driving the motors 410 to rotate, respectively.

The toy vehicle 10 also includes a rotation information obtaining module 500 and a first switch means 600. The module 500 is used for obtaining the rotation information of the two wheels 210 and 220. The first switch means 600 is used for enabling and disabling the module 500. In the exemplary embodiment, the module 500 is normally disabled. The switch means 600 is a circuit that includes a switch responsive to a press of a button 610 (see FIG. 1) to enable/disable the module 500.

In the exemplary embodiment, the module 500 includes a processing unit 510 and a storage unit 520. The sensors 310, 320, 330 and 340 are coupled to the processing unit 510. During times when the module 500 is enabled, the processing unit 510 scans its terminals connected to the sensors 310, 320, 330, and 340. Every time the processing unit 510 scans these terminals, signals from the sensors 310, 320, 330, and 340 are received and a group of data indicating the rotation speeds and the rotation directions of the wheels 210 and 220 is obtained and stored in the storage unit 520.

In the exemplary embodiment, the processing unit 510 scans these terminals in a predetermined sequence, such that a plurality of groups of data are obtained. Each group of data indicates the rotation speeds and the rotation directions of the wheels 210 and 220 at a time point. In each group, data obtained based on the signals from the sensors 310 and 320 indicate the rotation speed and rotation direction of the wheel 210, respectively, while data obtained based on the signals from the sensors 330 and 340 indicate the rotation speed and rotation direction of the wheel 220.

The toy vehicle 10 also includes a controlling module 700 and a second switch means 800. The controlling module 700 is used for obtaining the group of data from the storage unit 520 and controlling the motor drivers 420 and 430 to generate control signals to drive the motors 410 according to the groups of data. The second switch means 800 is used for enabling and disabling the module 700. In the exemplary embodiment, the module 700 is normally disabled. The switch means 800 is a circuit that includes a switch responsive to a press of a button 810 (see FIG. 1) to enable/disable the module 700.

While enabled, the controlling module 700 obtains the groups of data from the storage unit 520. In the present embodiment, the module 700 may obtain the groups of data in a First In First Out (FIFO) manner. That is, if a group of data (a1, b1, c1, d1) is stored earlier in the storage unit 520 than another group of data (a2, b2, c2, d2), the former will be obtained by the module 700 before the latter. The module 700 obtains the groups of data in a sequence the same as the sequence in which the processing unit 510 scans its terminals connected to the sensors 310, 320, 330, and 340.

When a group of data is obtained, the controlling module 700 starts to control the motor drivers 420 and 430 to generate control signals according to the obtained group of data. The wheels 210 and 220 are then driven to rotate at the speed and in the direction as indicated by the data.

When in use, a user needs, first of all, to press the button 610 to enable the module 500. Then, the user needs to move the toy vehicle 10 manually to rotate the wheels 210 and 220. After the user has directed the toy vehicle along a predetermined path, the user can press the button 610 again to disable the module 500. The user can then place the toy vehicle 10 in the position where the toy vehicle 10 started the predetermined path and press the button 810 to enable the module 700.

After the module 700 is enabled, the wheels 210, 220 then rotate at the same rotation speeds and in the same rotation directions as it did during the manual movement of the toy vehicle 10. Thereby, the toy vehicle 10 will follow the predetermined path under the influence of the driving of the motors 410.

FIG. 3 shows a flowchart of a method for controlling the electronic device 10. In step S10, the electronic device 10 moves in response to a user operation, for example, a user moves the electronic device 10 manually. In step S20, the sensing means 300 detects the rotations of the wheels 210 and 220. In step S30, the processing unit 510, obtains the rotation information of the wheels 210 and 220 and stores the rotation information in the storage unit 520. In step S40, after the electronic device 10 finishes the moving, the module 700 can be enabled to control the motor drivers 420 and 430 to generate control signals according to the stored rotation information obtained by the module 500, thereby driving the wheels 210 and 220 to rotate.

While various embodiments have been described and illustrated, the disclosure is not to be constructed as being limited thereto. Various modifications can be made to the embodiments by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined by the appended claims.