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Title: US5595121: Amusement ride and self-propelled vehicle therefor
[ Derwent Title ]


Country: US United States of America

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23 pages

 
Inventor: Elliott, Steven A.; Glendale, CA
Froelich, Ronald W.; Covina, CA
Sogge, John W.; Orlando, FL

Assignee: The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, CA
other patents from WALT DISNEY COMPANY (617665) (approx. 101)
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Published / Filed: 1997-01-21 / 1994-04-15

Application Number: US1994000228106

IPC Code: Advanced: A63G 7/00; B61B 13/00; B61B 13/12; B61L 23/00;
IPC-7: A63G 25/00;

ECLA Code: A63G7/00; B61B13/00; B61B13/12; B61L23/00A1; Y02T30/30;

U.S. Class: Current: 104/053; 104/288; 104/295; 105/030;
Original: 104/053; 104/288; 104/295; 105/030;

Field of Search: 105/030,32,31 104/053,63,64,124,125,126,289,288,295

Priority Number:
1994-04-15  US1994000228106

Abstract:     The present invention provides an amusement ride having a self-propelled electric powered ride vehicle capable of maximum acceleration of about 0.3 to as much as about 1.1 G's in either direction using a unique pinch wheel drive system, and including an on board vehicle controller and peripheral equipment for controlling the vehicle. The pinch wheel drive system, which compresses driven wheel motor packages against a tractive surface, generates compression using a system which is independent of the vehicle's weight and motion. A master controller is provided for ride systems having multiple self-propelled vehicles on the same track for communicating with and coordinating the movement of the ride vehicles. This allows precise control of multiple ride vehicles to allow faster dispatch and shorter intervehicular spacings by implementing a floating zone control. Electric power compatible with the on board propulsion and controllers can be provided to the ride vehicles in a conventional manner using an electric bus bar mounted along the track. A ride vehicle of the present invention is capable of generating thrills not previously available in conventional roller coaster or powered vehicle rides, such as the ability to apply reverse propulsion and generate high performance maneuvers in reverse. Additionally, the pinch wheel drive system of the present invention provides the ability to generate electricity during deceleration or while coasting down hill. This enables the master controller to space ride vehicles so that some are consuming electricity while others are generating electricity, thus providing a highly efficient and economical ride. Further, because of the high accelerations possible, equivalent or superior thrill can be obtained using tighter horizontal curves and shorter hills, enabling use of a track having a smaller footprint than is possible using conventional components.

Attorney, Agent or Firm: Medlen & Carroll, LLP ;

Primary / Asst. Examiners: Le, Mark T.;

INPADOC Legal Status: Show legal status actions

Family: None

First Claim:
Show all 54 claims
What is claimed is:     1. A high performance amusement ride having a self-propelled ride vehicle capable of maximum acceleration of between about 0.3 G and about 1.0 G in either a forward or reverse direction, said amusement ride comprising:
  • a track having two substantially parallel, spaced apart load bearing rails and a substantially continuous drive fin mounted along said load bearing rails, said drive fin having a first and a second vertical tractive surface, said first and second tractive surfaces being substantially flat and substantially parallel to each other, said track being provided with at least one vertical, horizontal, or compound curve;
  • an electric power source disposed along said track; and,
  • at least one vehicle mounted for movement-along said track, said vehicle including
    • a frame,
    • at least one passenger compartment attached to said frame,
    • a plurality of load bearing wheels for engaging said load bearing rails of said track,
    • an electric pinch wheel drive for engaging and accelerating the vehicle above 0.3 G along the drive fin, said electric pinch wheel drive including
      • a first electric drive motor package pivotally mounted to said vehicle to engage said first tractive surface of said drive fin, a second electric drive motor package pivotally mounted to said vehicle to engage said second tractive surface of said drive fin, each said drive motor package having an electric motor with a motor output shaft which can rotate with substantially equal performance in either a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction, a transmission means for reducing the speed of the motor output shaft, a wheel attached for rotation to a transmission output shaft, said wheel including a tire for engaging said tractive surface,
      • a compressive coupler for simultaneously compressing the tire of the first electric drive motor package against the first tractive surface and the tire of the second electric drive motor package against the second tractive surface with sufficient force to enable the electric drive motor packages to move the vehicle along the fin, whereby the amount of compressive force generated by said compressive coupler is substantially independent of vehicle weight; and,
      • a motor controller electrically connected to each said motor for controlling the direction and speed of each motor output shaft;
  • a vehicle controller for determining the position of the vehicle on the track and for communicating with and controlling the motor controllers; and,
  • a conductor for drawing electrical power from the electric power source and delivering said electrical power to said electric drive motor packages, said motor controllers, and said vehicle controller.


Background / Summary: Show background / summary

Drawing Descriptions: Show drawing descriptions

Description: Show description

Forward References: Show 30 U.S. patent(s) that reference this one

       
U.S. References: Go to Result Set: All U.S. references   |  Forward references (30)   |   Backward references (13)   |   Citation Link

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PDF
Patent  Pub.Date  Inventor Assignee   Title
Get PDF - 3pp US468860* 1892-02 Wright    
Get PDF - 5pp US3530800  1970-09 Watkins   SELF-ENERGIZING PROPULSION UNIT FOR DRIVING A VEHICLE
Get PDF - 6pp US3675583  1972-07 Sobey et al.  Transportation Technology, Inc. SPEED AND SLIP CONTROLLED TRACTION DRIVE
Get PDF - 14pp US4216839  1980-08 Gould et al.  Unique Mobility Inc. Electrically powered motor vehicle
Get PDF - 19pp US4726299  1988-02 Anderson  Regents of the University of Minnesota Method and apparatus for controlling a vehicle
Get PDF - 18pp US4791871  1988-12 Mowll   Dual-mode transportation system
Get PDF - 8pp US4794865  1989-01 Lindberg  The Walt Disney Company Amusement ride vehicle
Get PDF - 16pp US4882524  1989-11 Lee et al.   Multi-phase bipolar brushless D.C. motor
Get PDF - 16pp US5004944  1991-04 Fisher  Unique Mobility, Inc. Lightweight high power electromagnetic transducer
Get PDF - 11pp US5107151  1992-04 Cambier  Unique Mobility, Inc. Switching circuit employing electronic devices in series with an inductor to avoid commutation breakdown and extending the current range of switching circuits by using IGBT devices in place of MOSFETs
Get PDF - 7pp US5108052  1992-04 Malewicki et al.   Passenger transportation system for self-guided vehicles
Get PDF - 8pp US5323710  1994-06 Manstrom  Svenska Kraftbyggarna Entreprenad AB Forwardly and rearwardly self-adjusting arrangement for driving a trackbound towing unit
Get PDF - 8pp US5408935  1995-04 Matsui et al.  Furukawa Denki Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Transportation system using magnetic belt propulsion
  * some details unavailable
       
Foreign References:
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PDF
Publication Date IPC Code Assignee   Title
Get PDF - 21pp WO9113662 1991-09  A63G 7/00 STEIN KARL STEPHAN PLEASURE RAILWAY WITH AT LEAST ONE VEHICLE ON RAILS 
Get PDF - 39pp WO9324196 1993-12  A63G 21/08 BROWN RONALD L AMUSEMENT RIDE CAR SYSTEM WITH MULTIPLE AXIS ROTATION 


Other Abstract Info: DERABS G97-107239 DERG97-107239

Other References:
  • French reference #331,244 (no date) drawings only.
  • The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster, by Robert Cartmell; Amusement Park Books, Inc. Bowling Green, Ohio (1987)--pp. 202-213 ("How Roller Coasters Work").
  • Brushless DC Motors: Electronic Commutation and Control by Thomas J. Sokira and Wolfgang Jaffe; Tab Books, Inc. Blue Ridge Summit, PA (1990)--Preface and Chapter 7 ("Applications and uses of BLDC Motors", pp. 218-225 and Chapter 9 (pp. 253-257).
  • US Safety Trolley Corp. Brochure and Drawing on "Power Rail Modem" which were furnished to applicants on request on Jul. 23, 1992.
  • "ICs Provide Control For Sensorless DC Motors," by Dave Peters and Jeff Harth, EDN Apr. 29, 1993, pp. 85-94. Cited by 2 patents [ISI abstract]
  • Radio Engineering Handbook, Keith Henney, Editor-In-Chief, Fifth Edition (1959), pp. 19-105.


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