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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A SPINNING BALL TOY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/071292
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention provides a toy in the form of a ball that has a spherical or geodesic polyhedron-shaped body, adapted to spin on at least one axis, and which includes a pair of bearings, mounted on opposite sides of the ball body, defining an axis of rotation between them. The toy may include weighting elements preferably mountable at opposite side of the ball on one or more axes that are generally perpendicular to the axis between. Decorative elements in the form of light emitting devices may be included in the body.

Inventors:
HOLDEN, Edward (9 Robertson Avenue, Margate, Queensland 4019, 4019, AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/050106
Publication Date:
April 18, 2019
Filing Date:
February 09, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SPIN-A-BALL PTY LTD (9 Robertson Avenue, Margate, Queensland 4019, 4019, AU)
International Classes:
A63H1/00; A63B37/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011083313A12011-07-14
Foreign References:
US20130233630A12013-09-12
US5102131A1992-04-07
US0942952A1909-12-14
US3700239A1972-10-24
US4944363A1990-07-31
US6428432B12002-08-06
JP2008161339A2008-07-17
Other References:
LIL ATOM: "Ball Spinners Football/Soccer ball (hand spinner ball)", 13 August 2017 (2017-08-13), XP054979425, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180419]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ASHBY, Kevin (6 Nullamanna Road, Camp Mountain, Queensland 4053, 4053, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A ball toy, having a spherical or geodesic polyhedron-shaped body, adapted to spin on at least one axis, the ball toy including a pair of bearings, one bearing of the pair mounted on or in an opposing side of the ball wall from the other bearing of the pair, such that a rotational axis is defined between the two bearings.

2. A ball toy according to claim 1 , wherein at least one bearing is a rolling element bearing.

3. A ball toy according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the ball toy body has a hollow cavity extending therethrough, the hollow cavity being adapted to receive the bearings at respective opposing ends thereof.

4. A ball toy according to claim 3, wherein the hollow cavity is at least partially lined with a protective wall.

5. A ball toy according to claim 4, wherein the wall comprises a region of solid material.

6. A ball toy according to claim 4, wherein the wall is in the form of a tube, or a cylinder.

7. A ball toy according to any one of claims 3 to 6, wherein the hollow cavity is lined with a polyvinylchloride pipe within which the bearings are operatively mounted.

8. A ball toy according to any one of claims 3 to 7, wherein the bearings are connected directly or indirectly through the hollow cavity by an axle.

9. A ball toy according to claim 8, wherein the ball toy comprises an outer wall having opposingly-located recesses, each being shaped to receive a bearing.

10. A ball toy according to claim 9 wherein the bearings are mounted within the ball wall recesses such that an outwardly-directed face of the bearing is recessed in from an outer surface of the ball wall.

1 1. A ball toy according to claim 10, further comprising a protective cap locatable over the or each recessed bearing.

12. A ball toy according to claim 1 1 , wherein the plastic cap includes retention means operable to cause it to be retained in protective location over the bearing.

13. A ball toy according to claim 12, wherein the retention means comprises a substantially centrally-located tine extending substantially perpendicularly from an inner surface of the cap, such that, in use, the or each tine extends through a central aperture of the bearing to engage therewith.

14. A ball toy according to claim 13, wherein the cap includes two of said tines, each including a stopper mechanism, such that in use, the tines are compressed when inserted through the central aperture of the bearing and expand once exiting the distal end of the aperture, the stopper mechanisms retaining the cap in a fixed position over the bearing.

15. A ball toy according to claim 13 or claim 14, wherein the central tine of a cap located at a first end of the hollow cavity over a first bearing of the bearing pair is adapted to connect to a central tine from the cap covering the second bearing, the central tines, when connected, forming an axis of rotation.

16. A ball toy according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the ball toy includes a weight element mounted within the body.

17. A ball toy according to claim 16 having two weight elements mounted within and on opposing sides of the body on an axis generally perpendicular to an axis extending between the bearings.

18. A ball toy according to claim 16 or claim 17, including from 2 to 10 weight elements mounted within the body.

19. A ball toy according to any one of claims 16 to 18, wherein the body includes a plurality of cavities adapted to removably receive the respective weight elements.

20. A ball toy according to claim 19, wherein the weight elements are shaped to include a removal means to enable them to be inserted and removed from the body of the ball.

21. A ball toy according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising a light emitting device mounted on the body.

22. A ball toy according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the body comprises translucent material wherein is contained a light emitting device.

Description:
Field of Invention

[001 ] This invention relates to a spinning ball toy. More specifically, it relates to a bouncable ball having a bearing component that creates direction change and spin when the ball is bounced.

Background to the Invention

[002] The demand for new novelty toys and games is continuous, with ball toys being popular across a wide range of demographics. Ball designs known in the art are wide and varied, with different sizes, shapes and manufacturing materials affecting the way the ball behaves when bounced or thrown.

[003] In some instances, additional functionality may be included within a ball toy to influence the trajectory of the ball in flight. Such devices known in the art include the motor driven ball toy described in US3,798,835, where an electric motor is retained inside the core of a ball, or US 2,563,019, which uses a combination of pulleys and springs to actuate movement of the ball in various directions. Devices such as these are somewhat effective, but their large numbers of moving parts makes them prone to breakage, as well as being uneconomical to manufacture.

[004] It would be advantageous to have a ball toy that enables changes in trajectory, speed and orientation when thrown or bounced, while having a minimal amount of moving parts that may be damaged when the ball toy is in use.

Objects of the Invention

[005] It is an object of the invention to provide a ball toy adapted to spin on at least one axis.

[006] Alternatively, it is an object of the invention to provide a spinning ball toy that provides amusement. Summary of the Invention

[007] According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a spherical or geodesic polyhedron-shaped ball toy adapted to spin on at least one axis, the ball toy including a pair of bearings, one bearing of the pair mounted on or in an opposing side of the ball wall from the other bearing of the pair, such that a rotational axis is defined between the two bearings.

[008] In a preferred embodiment, the bearing is a rolling element bearing.

[009] In a preferred form of the invention, the ball toy includes a hollow cavity through the body of the ball toy, the hollow cavity adapted to receive the pair of bearings at opposing ends of the hollow cavity.

[0010] Preferably, the hollow cavity is lined or partially lined with a protective wall. The protective wall may be in the form of a tube or cylinder. The wall may comprise a region of solid material.

[001 1 ] In a preferred embodiment, the hollow cavity is lined with a polyvinylchloride pipe and the bearings are mounted inside the cavity of the pipe.

[0012] More preferably, the bearings are connected directly or indirectly through the hollow cavity by an axle.

[0013] In a further preferred form of the invention, the ball toy includes opposing recesses in the side wall(s) of the ball toy, the recesses shaped to receive a bearing.

[0014] Preferably, the bearings are mounted within the ball wall such that the outer face of the bearing is recessed in from the ball wall. More preferably, the recessed bearings are covered with a protective plastic cap.

[0015] The plastic cap may include retention means operable to cause it to be retained in protective location over the bearing. The retention means may comprise a substantially centrally-located tine extending substantially perpendicularly from an inner surface of the cap, such that, in use, the or each tine extends through a central aperture of the bearing to engage therewith.

[0016] In a preferred embodiment, the plastic cap includes a substantially planar or curved cap first outer surface and second inner surface, the second inner surface having at least one a central tine extending perpendicularly from the second surface, such that in use, the or each tine extends through a central aperture of the bearing when the protective cap is in position.

[0017] More preferably, the cap includes two central tines, each including a stopper mechanism, such that in use, the tines are compressed when inserted through the central aperture of the bearing and expand once exiting the aperture, the stopper mechanisms retaining the cap in a fixed position over the bearing.

[0018] In alternative embodiments, the central tine of the plastic cap is adapted to connect to a central tine from an opposing protective cap, the central tines forming an axis of rotation.

[0019] In further embodiments of the invention the ball toy includes a weight element mounted within the body of the ball toy. In more preferred embodiments the ball toy includes two weight elements mounted within the body of the ball on opposing sides to each other and on an axis generally perpendicular to an axis extending between the bearings.

[0020] In alternative embodiments, the ball toy may include from 2 to 10 weight elements, mounted within the body.

[0021 ] In a further embodiment, the body of the ball toy includes a plurality of respective cavities adapted to removably receive one or more weight elements.

[0022] In a preferred embodiment, the weight elements are shaped to include removal means to enable weights to be inserted and removed from the body of the ball.

[0023] In a yet further preferred form of the invention, the ball toy is formed from translucent or transparent material and may include one or more LEDs mounted on or retained within the ball. [0024] Further aspects of the invention, which should be considered in all its novel aspects, will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading of the following description, which provides at least one example of a practical application of the invention.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0025] One or more embodiments of the invention will be described below by way of example only, and without intending to be limiting, with reference to the following drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows (a) top and (b) end views of a ball toy with a polyhedron shape in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the view in (b) being along axis A in (a);

Figure 2 shows a ball toy with an alternative external design according to the invention;

Figure 3 shows a cross-section of the ball toy in the embodiment of the invention shown in Figure 2;

Figure 4 shows in cross-section the ball toy in an alternative embodiment of the invention wherein the ball toy includes a central axis connecting the bearings;

Figure 5 shows an exploded perspective view of the ball toy of Figure 1 , indicating external bearing position; and

Figure 6 shows the motion of the ball toy of Figure 1 when spinning.

Detailed Description of Embodiments of the Invention

[0026] The ball toy of the present invention has been designed to provide a toy that can be used as both a ball to play games with and a spinning "fidget" device that can be used to provide stress relief or to keep hands busy. [0027] The ball may be formed in a range of sizes colours and shapes, with the concepts described herein able to be adapted to a wide range of ball types, shapes sizes and materials. It is envisaged that the balls will be typically manufactured to a size that can readily be held in the palm of a hand to enable the holder effectively to use the ball as a fidget device and for bouncing and throwing. However, balls of a size suitable for attachment to a key-chain , as well as much larger balls are to be considered to fall within the scope of this invention.

[0028] The ball toy concept is described below with reference to Figures 1 - 6.

[0029] Figure 1 shows ball toy 100 in a preferred embodiment of the invention. The ball has an external surface 1 10 and is in the shape of a 60-sided geodesic polyhedron, the individual faces of the polyhedron providing changes in direction when the ball is bounced on a surface - especially a hard or resilient surface.

[0030] Figure 2 shows an alternative ball shape, wherein like parts are like numbered. The ball 100 is substantially spherical, having a truncated icosahedron design on its outer surface 1 10. The balls of the current invention may take a range of different external geodesic polyhedron and spherical shapes, of which these examples are just two. Other balls shapes that may be used may be selected from, but are not limited to, the following: truncated icosahedron, dodecahedron, snub dodecahedron, icosadodecahedron, rhombiscosadodecahedron, octahedral and tetrahedral geodesic polyhedrons.

[0031 ] In addition to the overall ball shape, designs and shapes may be proved so as to be recessed or protruding from the faces or walls of the ball, to influence the behaviour, spin and speed of the ball in flight.

[0032] Ball 100 may be made from plastic, rubber, silicon or other polymer materials, or combinations thereof. In one preferred form , ball 100 is made from polybutadiene, which is commonly used in the production of bouncy balls. While substantially solid or partially solid balls are preferred, inflatable balls are also within the scope of the current invention.

[0033] Referring to Figure 3, ball 100 (shown here in generally spherical shape) includes a pair of bearings 200, these being mounted on opposing sides of the ball 100 such that an axis of rotation A exists between them. The bearings are accessibly mounted on the outer surface of ball 100 to enable the user to hold the bearings with their fingers, while ball 100 spins around axis A.

[0034] Preferably, bearings 200 are recessed slightly from the outer surface 1 10 in order to protect the bearings from damage when the ball 100 is bounced, especially when against a hard surface. A protective cap 210 may be placed over bearings 200 r to protect them from external damage, as well as to help hold the bearings in position within the body of ball 100. The protective cap may be formed from a durable plastic or metal that withstands bouncing, with the outside of the cap preferably shaped to be flush with the outside surface 1 10 of ball 100.

[0035] The bearings used are preferably rolling element bearings and may be ceramic, steel or hybrid ceramic bearings, sealed or unsealed. A known bearing that may be used in ball 100 is the 22mm diameter 608 bearing. This bearing is widely available and therefore economic to purchase. Other bearings of different sizes may also be used depending on the size of ball being manufactured.

[0036] Figure 3 and Figure 4 show cross sections of alternative embodiments of ball toy 100. In these figures, ball 100 is formed from a compressed rubber such as polybutadiene 1 15. A hollow cavity 120 is incorporated within the ball, cavity 120 sized to receive bearings 200 at either end. Preferably, cavity 120 is reinforced using a protective lining 130, which is designed to protect bearings 200 from damage when ball 100 is bounced or thrown. One such protective lining may be a pipe or tube inserted into cavity 120 to provide a solid shell into which bearings 200 may be mounted. Bearings 200 may be held in position inside the lining 130 by friction fit, adhesive, or by connection to protective cap 210, which locks bearing 200 in position inside lining 130.

[0037] In alternative embodiments, lining 130 may have a textured surface adapted for gripping, may have other gripping means to help retain bearings 200 in position in the absence of, or in conjunction with protective cap 210.

[0038] Protective cap 210 can be seen in two different forms in Figure 3 and 4. In Figure 3, cap 210 is sized to form a seal over the face 215 of bearing 200 and extends such that the outer circumference of cap 210 abuts protective lining 130 (in the form of a polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe in this embodiment), preventing cap 210 from being forced into cavity 120. Cap 210 includes two central tines 220 with end stoppers 225. When cap 210 is mounted over bearing 200, tines 220 are inserted into the central aperture of bearing 200, tines 220 compressing together when pushed through the central aperture and expanding once stoppers 225 exit the central aperture of bearing 200, retaining both the bearing 200 and cap 210 in position. In this embodiment, tines 220 extend just past the bearing at each end of cavity 120, leaving the two bearings 200 independently operable.

[0039] In the alternative embodiment shown in Figure 4, caps 210 each include a single central tine 230 that extends through cavity 120 and is directly connectable to a corresponding tine 230 from the opposing cap 210. Tines 230 may connect together using a mechanical connection means for example a clip fit, male-female or lock and key connection means. Once tines 230 are connected, caps 210 are retained in position through the central shaft established by the respective tines and opposing caps 210, forming a central axis 240, around which ball 100 can spin.

[0040] In both embodiments shown in Figures 3 and 4, cavity 120 exists within the central core of ball 100. Cavity 120 may be utilised for a number of different purposes, for example one or more light emitting diodes (LEDs) may be mounted within or placed unfixed with cavity 120. Other materials that create effects when the ball is used may also be incorporated here, such as noise generators (bells, rattles, whistles, electronic sounds) or decorative designs. When visual additions such as LEDs are used in the interior of the ball, the ball body may be formed at least in part from a translucent or transparent material, to enable to user to see light effects happening within the interior of the ball.

[0041 ] LEDs or other lighting components may also be incorporated in other regions of the ball to improve the aesthetic appearance, such as recessed within the ball walls. As would be understood by a person skilled in the art, any such additions should be positioned such that they are not damaged during use, or adversely affect the operation of the toy. The light emitting devices are powered by means of a battery cell, which may be housed within a portion of the centrally axial hollow cavity in the ball body, or in a separate dedicated compartment, from which it is operatively connected to provide power to the light emitting devices, using known methods.

[0042] In a further embodiment, ball 100 include weights 300 as seen in Figures 2 to 4. By incorporating a weight 300 within ball 100, the ball spin velocity can be significant increased. Weights 300 may be mounted either removably or be fixed within recesses 310 formed within the body of ball 100. In Figures 3 and 4 as shown, two weights 300 are mounted on opposing sides of ball 100 within opposing recesses 310. Opposing weights provide an even distribution of weight within the ball, providing a smooth spin.

[0043] The weights used with ball 100 may be of various different masses, so that balls may be supplied in different ranges of fixed weights or the weights themselves may be removable, allowing the user to select the desired heaviness and inserting the corresponding weights to achieve different weight-dependent performance results.

[0044] While the weights shown in Figures 3 and 4 are mounted within opposing recesses, it is envisaged that in some embodiments, ball 100 may have multiple recesses where weights can be inserted, with the user able to move weights around the ball in different locations to change the behaviour of the ball in flight.

[0045] Weights 300 may be formed from coated or uncoated stainless steel, iron or other metals, depending on the desired weight to be used. Other less dense no-metallic or composite materials may also be provided. For removable weights, the weight or weight coating may include a removing means to enable the weight to be inserted and removed from the recess within ball 100.

[0046] Figure 5 shows a ball toy 100 of the present invention in an exploded view using the bearing and caps as seen in Figure 3. Ball 100 is a 60-sided geodesic polyhedron, with the outer surface including a geometric design for aesthetic appeal. Bearings 200 are rolling element bearings located in recesses 150 on opposing sides of the ball. Protective caps 210 are mounted on top of bearing 200, once positioned in recess 150, and will lie flush with the outside of the ball surface. [0047] Figure 6 demonstrates the movement of ball toy 100 when used in a throwing or bouncing action. In use, a human user 4 holds the opposing bearings or outer protective cap and spins 400 the ball around axis A, marked in Figure 1 . This action itself provides amusement for the user and may be used to occupy fingers and provide stress relief. When used in a ball game, the ball may be spun before being thrown or bounced, the bearings 200 providing a spinning motion to the ball which influences the direction of spin. In addition to the spinning motion, balls designed having an outer surface made up of multiple flat surfaces rather than a regular spherical surface can also influence the direction of the ball's bounce, providing further entertainment and adding an element of uncertainty to a ball game.

[0048] The inclusion of weights within the body of the ball can further influence the velocity and direction of the ball when bounced or thrown, with heavier weights included within the ball increasing the spin velocity.

[0049] Reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as, an acknowledgement or any form of suggestion that that prior art forms part of the common general knowledge in the field in any country in the world.

[0050] Where in the foregoing description reference has been made to integers or components having known equivalents thereof, those integers are herein incorporated as if individually described.

[0051 ] It should be noted that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages. It is therefore intended that such changes and modifications be included within the present invention.