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Inventions with revolutionary engineering design

Illuminated Bouncing BallsIlluminated Bouncing Balls

Please refer to the patent office for all diagrams mentioned in these descriptive texts www.patent.gov.uk

Pair of illuminated centrifugal bouncing balls has a hand grip and light source with exits as in or. The fibre optic cables (light guides) are secured to the balls by means of a cap/tube, that is counter balanced by a convex shaped one sided mirror based opposite. The balls are pivotable to 180 degrees from the perpendicular by means of the attachment to the handgrip

Technical field:

This invention relates to a pair of illuminated bouncing balls designed for entertainment as a toy. 

Background: 

The invention takes an older idea of linked balls, of rigid material, that were attached to each other and forced to collide under proper manipulation causing occasional damage to those playing with them. It replaces the rigid material with a transparent polymer that has similar properties to those held by rubber that promotes the bouncing action. The link between the balls is provided by two fibre optic cables, which carry a light source, powered by a battery located within hand grip. 

Previous attempts at producing similar types of toys used rigid balls that damaged unskilled persons playing with them. It is intended that this product can be produced in polymers of varying hardness so that speed increases with profficency. At maximum hardness the properties of the polymer will still inhibit physical damage to the person. The size of the balls will vary, as will the lengths of the fibre optic cables used. Minimum size of the balls has been calculated to 35mm to ensure that younger players do not insert them in nostrils or do similar damage though they will be guided by reccomended age range to play with larger versions. Swallowing is inhibited by size, joining and hand grip. The balls may also be manufactured with a hollow structure although the ďsolidĒ versions are more effective.

 Essential technical features:

Each pair of illuminated bouncing balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 in the accompanying section consisting of 5 (five) figures), comprises of two balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) of identical size, material and weight, combined with two fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) of identical length and a centrally situated hand grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) which is intended to be held horizontally. The polymer used for the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) may be transparent and colourless or coloured. In the event that coloured material is used then there is the option of using white light and depending on the colour of the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) for reflective properties. Metallic pieces, of various shapes and sizes, may also be incorporated into the polymer of the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) as may minature prisms, to encourage reflection and refraction but the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) must remain an identical weight to the other in the pair. Mix and match is allowed under these conditions. Various designs & patterns may be incorporated in the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) such as football club logos, badges, and product advertising or any other pictorial or text version.

The attachment between the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) and the fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) is created by means of a lightweight, metal cap shown as (no. 4 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) that covers at least the upper twelfth of the perimeter of the ball shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5). The top of the cap shown as (no. 4 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) is a reinforced tube that carries the fibre optic cable shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) which is pressed into it and then glued inside it. The items are affixed to each other and the ballís surface, by means of a high quality super glue, similar to the sort used in aircraft manufacture.

At the bottom end of the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5), aligned precisely opposite the cap shown as (no. 4 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5), there is another piece of convex shown as (no. 6 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5), that is manufactured of aluminium alloy with a highly polished inner surface, that also covers at least a twelfth of the perimeter of the ball shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5). This is embedded in the ball shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) during manufacture to provide both an exact counter balance between the top and bottom part and a mirror effect reflecting the incoming light back into the ball shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5), in all directions.

The fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) is of a minimum 3mm thickness; in order to carry the weight of the balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5), withstand the maximum calculated centrifugal force and contain the required number of inner optical fibres to produce the intended lighting effect. The light source is provided by a pair of l.e.d.ís, shown as (no. 11 in the figure 4/5). These are incorporated in the hand grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5). The l.e.d.ís shown as (no. 11 in the figure 4/5), may have variable colours to provide differently coloured lighting effects. The l.e.d.ís shown as (no. 11 in the figure 4/5) are meant to be exchangeable. An optional version, reccomended for older players, will have a laser light source in the hand grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) fitted instead of the power unit shown as (no. 8 in the figure 4/5). Power is provided, in both instances, by a standard exchangeable, 9-volt battery shown as (no. 9 in the figure 4/5): this is connected by electrical cables to the contact points shown as (no. 14 in the figure 4/5) for the light source. The grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) is constructed to provide an indentation as a thumb plate on the top, near the front shown as (no. 7 in the figures 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5). The underside has a notch shown as (no. 10 in the figures 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) that bisects at 180 degrees that on the top shown as (no. 7 in the figures 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) and provides firm grip for the forefinger to accommodate that part between the top and middle knuckle. This construction restricts the chance of slippage and subsequent damage to toy or any person in the vicinity, including the player.

At the rear of the grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) is a hinged, flip open compartment shown as (no. 13 in the figures 4/5 - 5/5) to allow the 9 volt battery shown as (no. 9 in the figure 4/5) to be exchanged. The hinges are shown as (no. 16 in the figure 5/5). The battery compartment is secured by a locking mechanism shown as (no. 15 in the figure 5/5). The composition of the grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) is a rigid plastic material. The fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) exit the grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) on the front vertical face (as shown in the top section figure of the handle detail figure), passing through an internally mounted torus shown as (no. 17 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) through its exit hole shown as (no. 1 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) with highly polished interior surface. This allows unrestricted movement and holds the fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) forward of the hand grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5). This also prevents damage to the fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) from contact with stress inducing surfaces. An optional exit to the hand grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) can be also provided by steel reinforced chrome, fibre light guides of a 90 degree, rounded turn, construction in the place of the torus shown as (no. 17 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5). Each optional guide (as above) is capable of rotating at 180 degrees to allow full centrifugal movement of balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5). In this case, the torus rounded exit hole shown as (no. 17 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) is replaced by a box system incorporating two, centralised round holes, horizontally laid 2 mm apart, that carry the optional fibre optic cable guides. This box feature provides both movement, bearing action and restriction. The box is constructed of toughened silicon such as that used in medical ball and socket joint replacement to provide the socket.

Accompanying figures:

Fig (1/5) shows the front view of the whole feature.

Fig (2/5) shows the side view of the whole feature.

Fig (3/5) shows the ball detail close up.

Fig (4/5) shows the handle top view, side view & bottom view.

Fig (5/5) shows the handle face & rear detail views.

Claims:

1-      The pair of illuminated bouncing balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) are lit by a light source contained in the hand grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5).

2-      The light source is provided by l.e.d.ís shown as (no. 11 in the figure 4/5) is powered by a battery shown as (no. 9 in the figure 4/5).

3-      The hand grip shown as (no. 2 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) is designed to prevent slippage and resultant injury.

4-      The balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) are lit by use of fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5), or laser or white light transmited from either source (quoted in the above text section as an option).

5-      The fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) can be protected by use of swiveling fibre optic guides (quoted in the above text section as an option).

6-      The setting of the fibre optic guides in hardened silicon material of medical type (quoted in the above text section as an option) reduces the effects of friction by acting as a (no-friction) bearing.

7-      The cap/tube shown as (no. 4 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) join to the ball surface shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) allows passage of fibre optic cables shown as (no. 3 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5) light into the ball shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5).

8-      The reflective convex base shown as (no. 6 in the figures 1/5 - 3/5 - 4/5), also acting as counter balance can be highly polished to create a one sided mirror or not.

9-      The reflective convex base shown as (no. 6 in the figures 1/5 - 3/5 - 4/5), also acting as counter balance can be replaced by a concave base with simmilar properties if desired.

10-  The reflective convex base shown as (no. 6 in the figures 1/5 - 3/5 - 4/5), also acting as counter balance provides one sided mirror reflection or refraction within the ball shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5).

11-  The balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) are made of solid polymer but can also be manufactured as a hollow structure with various wall thicknesses.

12-  The balls shown as (no. 5 in the figures 1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5) are made of solid polymer but can also be manufactured as a hollow structure with various additions to the polymer such as metalic pieces, advertising logoís and any other inserts to create more personalised items.

13-  Pair of illuminated balls with grip and optical cables, substantially as described herein with reference to the accompanying figures: (1/5 - 2/5 - 3/5 - 4/5 - 5/5).

Please refer to the patent office for all diagrams mentioned in these descriptive texts www.patent.gov.uk

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