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United States Patent Application 20170312642
Kind Code A1
CAPJON; Jan November 2, 2017

LONGITUDINAL UNDERWATER TOY AND METHOD FOR LOADING SUCH A TOY

Abstract

An underwater toy includes a longitudinal body with a nose portion, an aft portion and an elastic element. A longitudinal tail with a first end is inserted into a substantially cylindrical portion of the longitudinal body. A second end of the longitudinal tail has an ejection opening for water. The first end includes a portion for sealing between the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the first end of the longitudinal tail. The tail is thereby provided in the body and is movable in a longitudinal direction inside the body. A cavity is defined by the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the longitudinal tail. The ejection opening for water is in fluid communication with the cavity. An elastic element is attached in the body and in the tail.


Inventors: CAPJON; Jan; (Nesoddtangen, NO)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Neptun Toys AS

Nesoddtangen

NO
Assignee: Neptun Toys AS
Nesoddtangen
NO

Family ID: 1000002794104
Appl. No.: 15/522163
Filed: November 18, 2015
PCT Filed: November 18, 2015
PCT NO: PCT/NO2015/050217
371 Date: April 26, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63H 23/04 20130101
International Class: A63H 23/04 20060101 A63H023/04

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Nov 18, 2014NO20141383

Claims



1. A longitudinal underwater toy with a density close to or somewhat lower than the density of water, wherein the water toy includes a longitudinal body with a nose portion, an aft portion and an elastic element, wherein the water toy furthermore comprises: a longitudinal tail with a cylindrical portion with a forward part, a mid section, and an end section forming a first, inner, through duct with a first cross sectional area A, inserted in an inner, substantially cylindrical portion in the longitudinal body, extending from the aft portion of the body, and a tail portion forming a second, inner, through duct with an ejection opening for water with a second cross sectional area B, as wherein the tail portion adjoins the end section and wherein the longitudinal tail is movable in a longitudinal direction in the body; and a cavity defined by the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the first, inner, through duct and the second, inner, through duct in the longitudinal tail, such that the ejection opening for water is in fluid communication with the cavity; wherein the elastic element is attached in a forward portion of the body and in the end section of the cylindrical portion, wherein the underwater toy may adopt a first short configuration where the tail is completely inserted in the body and a second extended configuration where the tail is withdrawn from the body and where the elastic element is tensioned with a force between the body and the longitudinal tail.

2. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, wherein the elastic element extends along 2/3 of the total length of the longitudinal body when the toy is in the retracted position.

3. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, where the first cross sectional area A extending through the forward end and the mid portion is larger than the second cross section area B extending through the tail portion.

4. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal body furthermore includes fins.

5. The longitudinal underwater body according to claim 1, where the longitudinal tail furthermore includes fins.

6. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, wherein the nose portion furthermore includes a check valve provided to prevent outflow of water from the cavity defined by the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the longitudinal tail.

7. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, wherein the tail includes a buoyancy element.

8. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, wherein the body includes a buoyancy element.

9. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, wherein the first end includes a portion for sealing between the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the first end of the longitudinal tail.

10. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 9, wherein the portion of the longitudinal tail for sealing between the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the first end of the longitudinal tail includes a seal.

11. The longitudinal underwater toy according to claim 1, furthermore including a locking mechanism for locking the tail in an extended position of the body where the elastic element is in an extended position.

12. A method for charging a longitudinal underwater toy as defined in claim 1 including submerging the toy under water, and pulling the longitudinal tail in a direction away from the body.
Description



[0001] The present invention concerns an underwater toy for use in for instance a pool or bathtub. The toy is propelled with a spring loaded mechanism providing thrust in that water is ejected out at a rear end at the same time as an adjusted buoyancy and weight distribution gives the underwater toy a change of direction upwards towards the end of its submerged motion.

[0002] The toy has a longitudinal streamlined shape and can for instance be designed as a fish, a sea animal, a swimmer, a submarine, a torpedo or a "water dart arrow". The toy may also be used as a propulsion motor for attachment to a boat or a similar device. The toy is adapted for use in for instance a bathtub or a swimming pool and is in one embodiment adapted for diving from above the water surface, below the water surface and then up again to the water surface while the front or nose of the toy all the time points at the direction of travel.

[0003] In the prior art developed by the same applicant and as defined by U.S. Pat. No. 5,865,662, it is known a solution where a change of direction upwards resulting from diminishing velocity is achieved by a location of the center of the gravity and horizontal guide fins. In this solution, the toy is however not given extra speed through the water.

[0004] It exists underwater toys that are given thrust from a spring loaded piston tensioned by a thread. Such a thread is obstructive when it is extended, prevents a free motion, and is esthetically undesirable. Furthermore may the thread be jammed, get tangled or break. A hanging thread, typically with a small handle or another gripping element will also break and prevent a free motion through the water while making the motion gets less predictable.

[0005] In US 2004/0235387 it is shown an underwater toy with an ejection opening and an inner elastic element extending from a forward portion of a body to a rearward portion. The rearward portion has a narrow duct extending from a forward end to the ejection opening. Such a solution provides a limited room for an elastic element as the elastic element is placed entirely in front of the reward portion. In such a solution is the "cylinder stroke" short compared to the total length of the toy, such that the toy only can move a relatively short distance.

[0006] It is a purpose with the present invention to provide a toy with a long "cylinder stroke" that will be able to move underwater with a relatively long duration. Furthermore, it is a purpose with the invention to provide a solution that imposes relatively modest requirements to the spring or the elastic element such that the elastic element maintains its properties in time.

[0007] It is a purpose with the present invention to provide an underwater toy of the above-mentioned type but where a separate element for actuating or tensioning the toy not is required.

[0008] In one embodiment, it is furthermore a purpose with the invention to provide a toy that is easier to fill with water as the invention in this embodiment may be filled with water through a valve in the nose.

[0009] An essential element with the underwater toy of to the present invention is that the toy runs in a predictable path through the water. A predictable path through the water enables the toy to be used in games and competitions that involve precision and calculation. It is furthermore a purpose with the present invention to provide an underwater toy that is simple and quick to charge with water.

[0010] It is furthermore a purpose with the present invention to provide an underwater toy with a center of buoyancy that can move under operation of the underwater toy such that a path of the toy through the water is changed along the way.

[0011] In the following discussion are expressions such as "body", "tail" and "nose" used to simplify the description and to provide an intuitive understanding of the invention. These expressions are however not meant to limit the invention even if more natural terms in some connections for instance could be "upper body" and "under body" or "bow" and "stern portion". Furthermore, is the term "fins" used, but the fins may in other connections be considered as "rudders".

[0012] The present invention concerns a longitudinal underwater toy with a density that is close to or somewhat lower than the density of water. The underwater toy includes a longitudinal body with a nose portion, and aft portion and an elastic element. The underwater toy furthermore includes a longitudinal tail with a cylindrical portion with a forward part, a midsection and an end section forming a first, inner, duct extending there through with a first cross section. The longitudinal tail is inserted into an inner substantially cylindrical portion in the longitudinal body extending in from the rear portion of the body. The longitudinal tail also includes a tail portion forming a second, inner duct extending there through with an ejection opening for water with a second cross sectional area. The tail portion adjoins the end section. The longitudinal tail is movable in a longitudinal direction in the longitudinal body. A cavity is defined by the substantially cylindrical portion of the body, the first inner duct extending there through, and the second inner duct extending there through, such that the ejection opening for water is in fluid communication with the cavity. The elastic element is attached to a forward portion of the body and to the end section of the cylindrical portion. The underwater toy may take a first short configuration where the tail is completely inserted in the body and a second elongated configuration where the tail is extended from the body and where the elastic element is tensioned with a force between the body and the longitudinal tail.

[0013] The elastic element may extend along 2/3 of the total length of the longitudinal body when the toy is in the retracted position.

[0014] The first cross sectional area A of the duct extending through the forward end and the center portion may be larger than the ejection opening and the second cross sectional area B of the duct extending through the tail portion.

[0015] The first cross sectional area A extending through the forward end and the mid portion may be larger than the second cross sectional area B extending through the tail portion.

[0016] The longitudinal body and/or the longitudinal tail may furthermore include fins or rudders.

[0017] The nose portion may furthermore include a check valve provided for preventing ejection of water from the cavity defined by the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the longitudinal tail.

[0018] The tail and/or body may include one or several buoyancy elements.

[0019] The portion of the longitudinal tail for sealing between the substantially cylindrical portion of the body and the first end of the longitudinal tail may furthermore include a seal or gasket.

[0020] The underwater toy may furthermore include a locking mechanism for locking the tail in an extended position in relation to the body when the elastic element is in an extended position.

[0021] Furthermore, the invention includes a method for charging a longitudinal underwater toy as defined above including submerging the underwater toy underwater and pulling the longitudinal tail in a direction away from the body.

[0022] Short description of the enclosed figures:

[0023] FIG. 1 is a cross-section of an underwater toy according to the invention;

[0024] FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a first shape of an underwater toy in a first embodiment of the invention;

[0025] FIG. 3 is a side elevation of a second shape of an underwater toy in a second embodiment of the invention;

[0026] FIG. 4 is a side elevation of an alternative embodiment of the invention shaped as a dart arrow or torpedo;

[0027] FIG. 5 corresponds to FIG. 4 but is a cross-sectional drawing; and

[0028] FIG. 6 corresponds to FIG. 5 but shows the dart arrow in an extended position.

[0029] Detailed description of the invention with reference to the enclosed figures:

[0030] FIG. 1 shows an underwater toy with a body 1 equipped with guide fins 14. A longitudinal tail 2 with guide fins 15 is inserted in the body 1. An end cover 5 that allows a tool to be pulled out during manufacture and casting of the body 1 is secured to the body 1 through a press fit, adhesive bonding or by welding at transition 17. An elastic element in the form of a spring 5 is biased between the body 1 and the longitudinal tail 2, and the forms and actuating mechanism to achieve a pumping effect. The spring may be substituted with an elastic band. The spring is supported/attached in to locking pins 10 with centering grooves. A lip seal 4 placed at the forward end of the longitudinal tail 2 ensures a sliding seal between the body 1 and the longitudinal tail 2. The seal 4 allows water to flow into the body 1 during charging, but seals when the spring 5 pulls the parts together during "swimming". A valve ball 6, locked in position by the locking pin 10, forms a part of a check valve in that it opens for inlet of water through a hole 11 during charging (along with inflow at the rear and by the seal), and closes for outlet of water forwards during swimming. The longitudinal tail 2 has an ejection opening 9 (can be several openings if desirable) at the aft portion where water flows out under pressure created by the spring 5 in the swimming mode. The water-flow under pressure gives the toy forward thrust.

[0031] After the underwater toy has been charged under water, it may be sent in the direction that the user desires in that it is let go such that the tail is allowed to be pulled into the body by the spring. If the toy is sent downwards towards deeper water, will the speed diminish when the spring reaches an inner position. The toy will then swim along a sloping path up towards the surface. To ensure that water flowing in a gap formed between the body and the tail in a swimming position form an opposing force towards the water flow directed forwards, the end cover (3) includes open slots (16), such that water velocity inwards is reduced.

[0032] To achieve a proper weight balance and buoyancy may the specific gravity of the material in the body and tail by adapted, for instance by casting the toy in plastic. If the plastic has a higher specific gravity than desirable may annular, foam based buoyancy elements be located at a front and aft. These are sketched as forward buoyancy element 18 and aft buoyancy element 19. To be able to lock the toy in an extended position before it is sent, may the end cover 3 and the longitudinal tail 2 be equipped tangential slots that are locked and released by twisting (not shown) as in a bayonet joint.

[0033] The longitudinal tail includes a cylindrical portion with a forward part 22, a mid section 23 and an end section 24. The cylindrical portion forms a first, inner, duct extending there through with a first cross sectional area A. Furthermore, the longitudinal tail includes a tail portion forming a second, inner duct 26 extending there through with an ejection opening 9 for water with a second cross sectional area B. The tail portion adjoins the end section of the cylindrical portion.

[0034] The cavity is defined by the substantially cylindrical portion of the body 1, the first inner duct 25 extending there through and the second internal duct 26 extending there through in the longitudinal tail, such that the ejection opening 9 for water is in fluid communication with the cavity. The elastic element 5 is attached in a forward portion of the body 1 and in the end section 24 of the cylindrical portion. The aft lock pin 10 extends through the end section 24 of the cylindrical portion.

[0035] The underwater toy may adopt a first short configuration with a length L1 where the longitudinal tail 2 is completely inserted in the body 1 and in a second extended configuration with a length L2 where the tail is extended from the body and where the elastic element is tensioned with a force between the body 1 and the longitudinal tail 2.

[0036] The elastic element 5 may extend in a length exceeding half the length of the longitudinal body when the underwater toy is in the first short configuration.

[0037] The elastic element preferably extends for more than 2/3 of the total length of the body 1 when the toy is in the retraced position and extends over 4/5 of the longitudinal body when the toy is in the extended position. In the retracted position the toy has a length L2 that is approximately 1.4 times longer than in the retracted position L1. The cross sectional area of the first inner duct 24 of the cylindrical portion or the "first cross section" is larger than the cross sectional area B of the ejection opening 9 and of the second inner duct 26. The second inner duct 26 may be conical or nozzle shaped.

[0038] The spring 5 is spiral spring that is attached to the nose of the body and in the end section 24 of the cylindrical portion and has a diameter preferably larger than the diameter of the ejection opening such that the spring 5 in a limited degree limits the water flow through the duct where it is located. The spring may alternatively be formed by an elastic pipe or "surgical rubber" that is attached at the same locations as the shown spring. In this case, will the water flow internally in the pipe or house.

[0039] The duct 26 extending through the tail portion of the longitudinal tail 2 is shown slightly tapered or conical towards the ejection opening 9. This "second" through duct 26 with a smaller "second" cross sectional area results in an accelerated water flow through the ejection opening 9. The first, inner, through duct 25 with a first cross sectional area A is larger than the area of the ejection opening 9 to give an extended room for the spring 5 and to provide a larger volume of water internally in the toy. A large room for the spring 5 makes it easier to find a spring with a correct spring characteristics. In a preferred embodiment the spring is not extended more than 1.64 times its initial length. In this connection is initial length intended to describe the length the spring has in its first position in the toy. This is not meant to exclude a preloading of the spring in this position.

[0040] In an embodiment may also the fins be slightly angled such that the toy rotates during swimming. The toy may also be equipped with light reflecting stickers on the body or tail to reflect light towards the surface and for creating a flashing effect under water.

[0041] The toy may also easily be printed with graphical expressions that varies with the function (for instance fish/submarine/motor) or a varying expression (for instance aggressive, cute, happy, feminine or masculine).

[0042] FIG. 2 shows an example of the exterior of a fish with a neutral, somewhat abstractive front portion with an underwater hull 20, and in FIG. 3 is a toy shown as a submarine with an underwater hull 21 and a body (bow portion 1 and a tail/aft portion 2).

[0043] In the FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 show an alternative embodiment of the invention designed as "dart arrows" that can be controlled towards a floating target, and thereby provides a "water-dart game". Both the body 1 and the longitudinal tail 2 are longitudinal and are cylindrical both externally and internally and can therefore be described as tubular. Guide fins 14 on the body may alternatively be located on an outer, adjustable sleeve for adjusting the motion of the arrow in the water. This adjustable or shifting sleeve can also be given a certain gravity such that the center of gravity may be adjusted by shifting the sleeve back and forth. Alternatively may the fins and the mass be shifted individually such that the effect of the fins and the center of gravity may be adjusted individually. The FIGS. 4 and 5 show the arrow when the tail is inserted into the body, and FIG. 6 shows the tail in an extended position. The guide fins 15 on the tail may alternatively be made adjustable/pliable as an additional adjustment possibility to adjust the motion of the arrow in the water. The fins may also be adjusted such that the arrow can revolve around its own axis through the water. A cross section of the arrow in a transversal direction shows the opening 9 and guide fins 15 of the tail and guide fins 14 on the body. Hole 11 extends through the "head" of the arrow for section of water.

[0044] In the above described solution it is achieved a change of direction towards the surface during operation in that the spring pulls the parts together at the same time as the speed diminishes. The buoyancy and the location or geometry of the fins may then effect a gradual and "controlled" ascent. Due to the thrust or proportion will the underwater toy move longer than a corresponding toy without proportion.

TABLE-US-00001 1 Body 2 Tail 3 End cover 4 Seal 5 Spring 6 Ball 7 Valve seat (ball seat) 8 Releasing front cover 9 Opening 10 Locking pin 11 Hole 12 Tail in an extended position 13 Seal in tail in an extended position 14 Guide fins 15 Guide fins 16 Slots 17 Welding 18 Forward foam based buoyancy element 19 Rear foam buoyancy element 20 Fish hull 21 Submarine hull

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