US 3477713 A
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'1969 P. J. CUDMORE 77,713
ROCKING CAPSULE Filed Jan. 12, 1967 FBC-M INVENTOR. PATRICK J. CUDMORE ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,477,713 ROCKING CAPSULE Patrick J. Cudmore, 12 Fainwood Circle, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Filed Jan. 12, 1967, Ser. No. 608,882 Int. Cl. A63g 13/00 US. Cl. 272-33 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The specific rocking capsule described is a hollow, eggshaped thin shell structure with an upper opening that is normally generally vertically oriented allowing a user to get inside and, once positioned in a sitting or squat position, see out. A pair of handles are arranged on the inside wall of the structure just below the opening for convenient gripping by each hand of the user to aid the user in quickly changing his position within the structure and thereby take advantage of his momentum in changing the attitude of the structure to rock the capsule in any desired manner. The center of the radius of curvature of the bottom is above the center of gravity of the user so that the structure seeks a position where a horizontal plane tangent to the bottom of the structure is perpendicular to a radius line drawn through the center of gravity of the user.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates in general to rockers and more particularly concerns a novel rocking capsule useful for acclimating pilots and astronauts to rocking and pitching motions and is also useful for educating and amusing children. The invention is relatively inexpensive and easy to fabricate and may be used where sufficiently supported by appropriate solid, fluid, or gaseous means.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, the rocking capsule comprises a hollow, egg-shaped thin shell structure with a rounded bottom with an upper portion having an opening that is normally generally vertically oriented to allow a user to get inside the capsule and, once positioned in a sitting or squat position, see out so that the user may acquaint himself with the dynamic relationship between his changing center of gravity location and its effect upon the movement of the enclosing structure. Preferably, handle means on the inside wall of the structure are provided for helping the user to quickly change his position within the structure and thereby take advantage of his momentum in changing the attitude of the structure to selectively rock the capsule about a stable rest position. Preferably, the capsule is formed with the center of the radius of curvature of the bottom above the center of gravity of the user so that the structure seeks a position where a horizontal plane tangent to the botom of the structure is perpendicular to a radius line of the botom passing through the center of gravity of the user.
Numerous features, objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following specification when read in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side view of a preferred embodiment of the invention with hidden structure represented by dotted lines and only the outline of the user indicated; and
FIG. 2 is a front view of this exemplary embodiment with hidden structure represented by dotted lines and only the outline of the user represented.
3,477,713 Patented Nov. 11, 1969 With reference now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 are side and front views, respectively, of an exemplary embodiment of the invention, The capsule may be formed of plastic, metal, fiberglass or other known material by suitable techniques well known in the fabricating art. Preferably, the invention is made of plastic and may be formed in two parts that are fastened together by a suitable epoxy along the upper diameter 11 of the hemispherical round botom 12. The upper portion 13 is formed with a normally generally vertically oriented rounded opening 14 sufiiciently large to permit access to the inside by a user so that when the user is once positioned in a sitting or squat position, he may look out through opening 14. A user 15 is shown seated inside the capsule grasping a left handle 16 with the left hand and a right handle 17 with the right hand. Handles 16 and 17 are preferably fastened to the inside surface of the shell as shown with a suitable epoxy resin or by other suitable means.
The center 21 of the radius of curvature of the bottom 12 is above the center of gravity, typically at 22, of the user. As a result the user can rock the capsule in any manner he chooses, and the capsule will tend to return to an upright position. The structure will tend to seek a position where a horizontal plane tangent to the bottom of the shell is perpendicular to a radius drawn through the center of gravity of the user. By shifting his center of gravity, the user elfects rocking.
The invention has a number of advantages. It both amuses and educates a small child by allowing him to change his position within the capsule and acquaint himself with the dynamic relationship between his changing center of gravity location and the movement of the structure. The invention may also be useful in acclimating pilots and astronauts to pitching, rolling and yawing movements. The invention may be used on a hard surface such as the earth or a floor, or it may be used on a fluid surface, such as a body of water or may be supported on sufficiently strong jets of gases, such as air. When used on a fluid surface, the invention would preferably have sufficient buoyancy to float on the surface with the user inside. However, it may be desirable to cover the opening 14 with a fluid-tight cover to enable the invention to be used inside a body of fluid.
In a specific embodiment of the invention for use by a typical three-year old, the shell thickness is A inch, the botom radius is 10 inches, the total height is slightly less than 27 inches, the diameter of opening 14 is slightly less than 14 inches and the gripping length of handles 16 and 17 is of the order of 4 inches.
The specific dimensions, structure and shape are by way of example only to illustrate the best mode now contemplated for practicing the invention. It is evident that those skilled in the art may now make numerous uses and modifications of and departures from the specific embodiments described herein without departing from the inventive concepts.
What is claimed is:
1. A rocking capsule comprising,
a hollow shell structure with an internal volume sufliciently large to accommodate a human being or primate user,
said structure being formed with a rounded bottom with radii perpendicular to the points on said bottom intersecting at least one other radius from said bottom at a point above the center of gravity of said human being user when said human being user is in a seated or squatting position within said structure,
said structure having a top portion coacting with said bottom portion and said user to both surround and protect said user and comprise means for allowing rocking of said structure in response to movement of said user While tending to return to an upright position Where a horizontal plane tangent to said rounded bottom is perpendicular to a radius drawn through the center of gravity of said user, said structure being formed with an opening that is normally generally vertically oriented and sufficiently large to allow such human being user to enter and leave said structure and see outside said structure when seated or squated therein, said round bottom comprising a portion of a sphere and said structure being generally egg-shaped. 2. A rocking capsule in accordance with claim 1 and further comprising,
handle means attached to the inside surface of said structure for gripping by said human being user for assisting said human being user in quickly changing his position within said structure and thereby take advantage of his momentum in changing the attitude of said structure. 3. A rocking capsule in accordance with claim 2 Wherein said handle means comprises a left handle just below said opening for gripping by the left hand of said human 4 being user and a right handle just below said opening for gripping by the right hand of said user.
4. A rocking capsule in accordance with claim 1 wherein said round bottom comprises a hemisphere.
5. A rocking capsule in accordance with claim 3 wherein said round bottom comprises a hemisphere.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES Popular Mechanics Magazine, February 1962, p. 137.
KENNETH H. BETTS, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.