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Патент USA US2582730

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Jan. 15, 1952
2,582,728
J. B. WALKER
INDICATOR FOR THE BLIND
Filed Feb. 4. 1947
2 SHEETS—-Si-EET 1
47
'AMPL/F/ER
AND ALARM
52
~/
INVENTOR.
L/OJ'é'PH 5. hdquzse
BY
WfW
Afroexvsrs
Jan. 15, 1952
J. B. WALKER
2,582,728
INDICATOR FOR THE BLIND
Filed Feb. 4, 1947
2 SHEETS-SHEET 2
AMPLIFIER
AND ALARM
INVENTOR.
dour/9H 4'5’. Wquzee
A rroezvws
Patented Jan. 35, 1952
582,728
so ' STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,582,728
mmca'ron roa rns BLIND
Joseph B. Walker, Hollywood, Calif.
Application February 4, 1947, Serial No. 720,361
-3 Claims. (01. 111-352)
E
2
'
»
tion of an audible signal, whereby the pitch of
the signal alarm is controlled optically.
More speci?cally, an object hereof is the pro
vision of ‘a portable indicator for the blind, oper
able to transmit either simultaneously or in
continuous succession a series of individually
pulsating light beams in different directions, the
“frequency of the pulsations of the respective
beams being di?erent to energize, upon re?ection
Patent No. 2,444,235, and Serial N0. 697,568, ?led 10 by an object or objects to which the respective
beams are directed, an electrical system for pro
September 17, 1946, and issued as Patent No.
This invention relates to indicators for the
blind, embodied in a portable unit and consisting
essentially of an audible alarm adopted for en
ergization in response to operation of optical
means which contemplate the direction to and
reflection of a light beam from an object to be
detected. This application is a continuation in
part of my co-pending applications, Serial No.
566,521, filed. December 4, 1944, and issued as
2,506,946.
r
' ducing an audible. signal of correspondingly dit
ferent pitches by which the user is instantly ad
vised oi’ the location of the object from which
tion by an object has heretofore been used in
combination with mechanism bywhich such re 16 the effective light beam was initially re?ected
with respect to the unit and the other light
ilected energy is transformed and ampli?ed for
beams.
energization of an audible alarm or a signal in
Another and highly important object is'to
apparatus intended for the detection of such
provide in combination a movable light source
objects by blind persons. Moreover, for prac
tical utility the combined apparatus must be of 20 and a high curvature lens to concentrate light
rays emitted from the source upon a second lens
light weight and of small bulk to enable the user
assembly adapted to de?ect the rays in a vertical
to carry and manipulate the unit for proper di
plane, the slight spacing-oi’ the lenses permit
rection of the beam.
ting wide variation in the angle of de?ection of .
To enable the user to ascertain from the signal
the size and general outline of any object detected 25 the beam incident to relatively slight vertical
movement of the light source with respect to the
within the e?ective zone of operation, the trans
lens assembly.
mitted beam. of energy must, of necessity, be of
As will be obvious to those of skill in the art
small cross-section, and any such beam requires
from a reading of the following description
constant re-direction thereof so as to quickly and
The transmission oi’v radiant energy for re?ec
continuously scan the ?eld as the user advances. 30 numerous advantages of the present equipment
The importance of this characteristic‘ of any
practical detector is readily understood when it
is appreciated that in order for such a unit to
warrant the con?dence of a blind user it must
are derived from the simplicity of construction
of the apparatus, its ease of operation, maximum
e?'iciency and the protection which it chords to
the user.
In the drawings:
.
detect automatically or be capable of detecting, 35
upon facile proper manipulation, all objects with
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of one embodi
ment of my invention utilizing a single movable
in a distance range of ten feet. However, the
light source and a complementary mechanically
lateral and vertical scanning of the area can
not be accomplished manually with su?cient as- .
shifted mirror;
Fig. 2 is a plan view of the disk by which the
surance to the user. In my co-pending applica 40
light beam is variously interrupted in accordance
tion, Serial'No. 697,568,- I have disclosed a de
tector capable of automatically scanning the ?eld ‘ with the alignment of the light source therewith;
in a vertical direction, lateral scanning being
manual. The vertical location of an object de
tected is indicated by the pitch of the alarm
signal, and in such apparatus this variation in
pitch is effected electrically. -
It is a principal object of the present invention
to provide detector mechanism adapted to scan
a field vertically with a variable pulsating or in
termittent light beam and directly transpose
Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective
view of the actuating mechanism for shifting the
light source and mirror synchronously;
Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic view of a second em—
bodiment of my invention having a multiple light
source;
.
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the case for the
50 mechanism of either Figs. 1 to 3, or Figs. 4 and 6;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of the
light source, interrupter therefor, photo-electric
tube, and mirror assembly comprising the princi
pal elements of the embodiment of the invention
of the light forming the beam, for the energiza 55 shown in Fig. 4;
» light energy re?ected from any object within the
‘?eld, into a now of electrical energy ofa fre
quency corresponding with that of the pulsations
9,689,798
3
Fig. 7 is an enlarged elevation of one of the
light sources employed in each of.the illustrated
embodiments of my invention.
In the drawings, wherein like numerals indi
cate similar parts throughout the several views,
centrated on the disk when moved into alignment
therewith. Thus with the lens 24 positioned
opposite the upper arc of any one of the annuli
of holes and with disk 21 rotating, the beam of
light directed against the disk will be transmit
ted through the holes of the aligned annulus as
each thereof is swung into the beam.
Ill designates generally a casing (Fig. 5) com
prising an elongated lower body section it in
The lamp assembly l8-2l is reciprocated by
which the re?ected beam-activated mechanism
motor 25 synchronously with the rotation of the
and alarm are housed and a head [2 superimposed
upon the body ll,'the head of the casing being 10 disk to align the same with the different annuli
30-32 of the holes'in the disk. To this end, the
in open communication with the body thereof.
shaft 28 of motor 26 is extended rearwardiy
A conventional tubular ?ashlight battery case it
through the casing l0 and carries a worm 33 on
is mounted above and in spaced, parallel relation
its end which is in mesh with a pinion 34 sup
with the top of body ll of the casing, the opposite
ported on a freely rotatable shaft 35 suitably
ends of the battery housing I: being supported in
Journalled in the casing so as to transmit the
head l2 and by a suitable mounting i4, respective
rotary motion of the motor shaft 26 to pinion 34
ly. The case i8 thus provides a handle by which
and shaft 35. A disk 38. mounted on shaft 35,
the unit may be manipulated in a manner and
carries a laterally-projecting eccentric pin 31 ad
for a purpose hereinafter described. In the for
jacent its periphery for extension into an elon
ward wall of both the body of the casing and
gated slot 38 formed in the upper end of an arm
the head, a double piano-convex lens assembly
38. The lower end of arm 39 is suitably pivoted
is mounted, the two assemblies I5 and I! being
within the casing so as to swing forward and
back in response to motivation by pin 31. InWith particular reference to the embodiment 25 termediate the ends of arm 39 is pivoted one end
of a lever 44 having its opposite end connected
of Fig. 1: An elongated guide I‘! is suitably
to a crank 4|, pivoted at 42 in the casing. The
mounted within head H of the casing rearwardly
forward end of crank 4| is slotted as at 43 for
of, and in alignment with. the vertical diameter
?exible attachment by a pin 44 to the lower end
of the upper lens assembly 15. Slidable on and
of an angle bracket 45 secured rigidly to the rear
encircling guide I‘! is a complementarily-formed
face of collar 18 of lamp housing it).
collar is having a small tubular lamp housing is
The light beam transmitted by the lens 211
secured to its forward face. A socket 20, secured
through the inner and outer annuli 30 and 32
in the back of the lamp housing i9, accommo
of holes is directed by the lens assembly it up
dates a bulb 2| energized by a battery (not
shown) housed within the case it, through wires 35 wardly and downwardly, respectively, while the
beam transmitted through the intermediate an
22 and controlled by a switch 23 mounted on the
nulus of holes 3! passes straight through the lens
side of the battery case where it is easily ac
preferably, though not essentially. in vertical
alignment.
assembly 65. Thus the movement of the lamp
cessible for operation by the thumb of the user
assembly i9-2? incident to actuation of motor
while he carries the unit. Over the forward end
of the lamp housing is a high curvature lens 24 40 25 results in the direction of the beam of light
to three different vertically-spaced spots located
is ?tted to direct a beam of light to the lens
forward of the unit in the vertical plane of the
assembly it in a direction parallel to the axis
lens assembly I5. Light re?ected from the object
and variably along the vertical diameter of the
to which the beams of light are directed is trans
lens assembly in response to the vertical adjust
ment of collar it upon the guide it.
is Ll mitted through the lower lens assembly It to a
‘mirror 46 disposed in the casing. The mirror
A motor 25 is mounted in the lower body sec
is mounted upon a frame 41 pivoted at 48. An
tion of casing [0 with its shaft 26 disposed in
arm 49 connected between the top of the mirror
the vertical plane of the guide I‘! to impart rotary
motion to a perforated disk 21. the upper arc of
which projects into the head I2 of the casing be
tween the light source and lens assembly. The
motor 25 is energized from a source of current
(not shown) through ‘a circuit 28 in which a
switch 29 is arranged. The disk 2i is formed
with three annuli 3!], 3i and 32 of round holes
of identical diameter. The number of holes in
the outer annulus 30 is greater than those com
prising the intermediate annulus 3i, and the lat
ter ring of holes consists of a number corre
frame 41 and the slotted arm 39 transmits the
movement of the latter to mirror 46 so as to swing
the latter upon its pivot 48 synchronously with
the vertical movement of the lamp assembly
it-ti.
Above and forward of mirror 46 is a photo
electric tube 50 disposed to receive the re?ection
of the light beam from mirror 46 andthereby
generate a current in a circuit 5! in which tube
51! is connected. Also connected in circuit 5! is
a conventional ampli?er and electrical alarm or
spondingly greater than that of the inner ring 60 signal mechanism generally indicated at 52,
adapted to be activated by the current generated
of holes 32, for a purpose later referred to. The
in photo-electric tube 50. The alarm comprises,
upper arc of the annulus of disk 21 in which the
preferably, an oscillator operable to audibly in
intermediate series of holes 8! is located passes
form the user of the reflection of the light rays
through the axis of the lens assembly. The
inner and outer annuli 30 and 32 of holes are 65 from an object to be detected.
each spaced from the intermediate ring of holes
3i a distance equal to the extent of movement
The frequency
of the vibrations. as determined by the frequency
of the light pulsation re?ected to the photo
electric tube, accordingly indicates the relative
of the lamp assembly Iii-2i from its intermediate
height of the object area from which the light
position to the respective ends of its range of
movement on guide ill. The diameter of the spot 70 is re?ected.
The operation of the embodiment of my in
of light concentrated upon disk 21 by the lens
of the lamp assembly is the same or only slightly
larger than the diameter of the respective holes
in the disk, whereby the holes are effective to
pass substantially the entire beam of light con 75
ventionabove described is brie?y as follows: The
motor 25 and lamp assembly I94! are energized
incident to closing of the switches 29 and 23, re
spectively. coincidentally, the disk 21 is rotated,
assavss
the lamp assembly is vertically reciprocated, and
6
lamps 54 being disposed an equal distance below
mirror 48 is oscillated in synchronism. The nar
row light beam emanating from the lamp as
the axis of said lens. The lamps 53 and 54
are energized by batteries (not shown) contained
sembly Iii-2| is accordingly directed alternately,
in the ?ashlight case l3 through a circuit 58
and continously through the different annuli 5 controlled by a switch 23 carried by the battery
30-32 of holes in disk 21 so as to divide and direct
case.
the beam concentrated by the lens 24 successive
Interposed between the lamp and lens assem
ly through the holes of the three annuli in the
blies 53, 54 and I5 is a disk 51 mounted upon
disk to form three vertically aligned beams of
a shaft 26 of motor". Disk 51 is formed with
light which are transmitted successively by the 10 but two annuli 58 and 59 of round holes which
lens assembly [5 forward of the unit, the upper
are all of the same diameter suillcient to pass
and lower beams emitted from the lamp assembly
substantially all of the light of the beam con
being directed by the-lens assembly 85 down
centrated by the high curvature lenses 24 of the
wardly and upwardly, respectively, so as to scan
respective lamp assemblies 53 and 54. The
the ?eld vertically. Any suspended object, as 15 lengths of the radii of the respective annuli 58
for example the limb of a tree or the like, in the
and 59 of holes are equal to the distances be
path of a user and above the axis of the lens as
tween the motor shaft 26 and the respective
sembly It will be illuminated by the beam of
lamps, whereby the inner annulus 58 of holes
light passing through the inner annulus 32 of
passes through the light beam emanating from
‘ holes in disk 21. Suspended objects lower than 20 the lower lamp 54 and the outer annulus 59 is
the effective upwardly-de?ected beam of light
rotated through the beam of the upper lamp
and horizontally aligned with the unit will be
53. As the beams of light passing through the
spotted by the intermediate or axial beam, while
holes of the respective annuli incident to the
those objects supported on the ground or at ?oor‘
rotation of disk 51 strike the lens assembly [5
level will re?ect the light of the downwardly 25 above and below the axis thereof, they are de
diverging beam transmitted through the outer
?ected as hereinabove described to a degree suf
ring 30 of holes in disk 21.
'
?cient to spot objects at ?oor level and at ap
In accordance with the preferred construction,
proximately six feet above the ?oor at a distance
the lens assembly i5 is of a type adapted to direct
of approximately eight feet from the unit. In
the upper beam to a point slightly higher than 30 this respect the dual lamp and lens assemblies
the height of the average user at a distance of
53, 54 and I5 function in substantially the same
approximately six to eight feet, and to direct the
manner as the corresponding elements of the em
lower beam to a point at ground level at approxi
bodiment ?rst described when the lamp assem
mately the same distance from the unit when the
bly |9~2| is in position to direct beams through
latter is suspended by the hand of the user at ap
the inner and outer annuli 30 and 32 of holes
proximately hip level.
,
of disk 21, with the exception that in the present
Being synchronized with the action of the lamp
embodiment the pulsating light beams are trans
assembly ill-2|, mirror 56 is continuously shifted
to re?ect each of the light beams re?ected from
mitted by the lens assembly |5 simultaneously
an object detected as said beams are successively 40
Any object coming within the range of either
of the effective beams of light will reflect the
same through the lens system IE to one or the
other of a pair of mirrors 60 mounted within the
body of the casing. Mirrors 60 are individually
transmitted by the lens assembly iii, to the photo
electric tube 50 so as to generate direct current
and continuously.
_
in the circuit 5|. The alarm of assembly 52 is
accordingly energized through the ampli?er as
will be obvious when any of the beams of light 45 arranged to reflect the respective beams of light
strike an object capable of re?ecting a beam
of sufficient intensity to energize the photo tube
55 and amplifier.
to the photo-electric tube 50 connected in a cir
cuit 5| with the ampli?er and signal mechanism
52 of conventional form so as to generate a
Due to the different number of holes in each
current which, upon ampli?cation, activates the
of the three annuli 39-32 of disk 27, the pulsa 50 signal device. Due to the different number of
tions of the light beams will vary in frequency,
holes in the two annuli 5B and 59 of disk 51,
and, upon re?ection by an object to which they
the respective beams of light ?icker or pulsate
are directed, the re?ected light beams corre
at di?erent frequencies. Thus either beam of
spondingly vary in frequency. As a consequence,
light re?ected from an object is transmitted
the current produced in the circuit 5i by the 55 through the lower lens assembly i6 and again
photo-electric tube 511! in response to each re
re?ected by one or the other of the mirrors to
?ected beam is of di?erent frequency so as to
to the photo-electric tube 56 so as to generate a
produce signals of di?erent pitch identi?ed with
current in the circuit 5| corresponding in fre
the respective beams. A blind user may accord
quency with the frequency of the pulsations of
ingly identify by the pitch of the signal the ver 80 the re?ected beam. The signal produced is ac
tical location of any object detected. It will be
cordingly of a pitch which identi?es one or the
appreciated that any object of a size sufficient
other of the beams and thereby indicates the
to re?ect all of the beams as they are alternately
location of the object from which one or the
and successively transmitted through the lens
other of the beams is re?ected.
assemblies l5 and i6, will produce a continuous 65
The presence of any object coming within the
signal of an undulating pitch as the different
range of effective operation of the unit, and which
beams of light are played upon, and re?ected
is a su?cient size to re?ect both of the beams
by it.
simultaneously, will be indicated audibly to the
> In the embodiment of Figs. 4 and 6 two lamp
user by a sound of higher pitch than the sound
assemblies 53 and 53, identical with that of Fig. 1, 70 resulting from re?ection of either of the beams
are mounted upon a bracket 55 in alignment
individually. To this end, the holes forming one
annulus in the disk 5'! are arranged with respect
with the upper lens' assembly l5 in the forward
wall of the head l2, one of the lamps 53 being
to the holes in the other annulus, whereby the
pulsations of light forming the beam transmitted
located a predetermined distance above the axis
of the lens assembly i5, and the other of the 75 through the holes of the inner annulus 53 occur
anaemia
'5'
between the pulsations of light forming the beam
transmitted through the holes of the outer
annulus It. That is to say, the holes forming the
inner annulus 58 are spaced, preferably equi
distantly, between radii of disk ll upon which
the ,holes of the outer annulus 69 are disposed.
Due to the fact that the mirrors 69 are arranged
different frequency, and means activated by said
light beams to energize said electrical means to
produce sounds of different frequency corre
sponding to the frequencies of the pulsations of
said respective light beams.
2. In a device of the character described,
means including a light source to direct a beam
of light in a predetermined direction, a lens as
to reflect both beams of light to the photo-electric
sembly, means to reciprocate said ?rst-named
tube whenever they are re?ected by an object to
be detected. the reflection of both beams simul 10 means relative to said lens assembly in a dia
metric plane of the latter to direct a light beam
taneously results in the direction to the photo
alternately in two directions, means to intermit
electric tube 56 of a continuous succession of light
pulsations of equal period and higher frequency
than the frequency of the pulsations comprising
either one of the beams. The pulsations of the
said light, beam when projected in one direction
at a predetermined constant frequency and to
intermit said beam at a different frequency when
projected- in a different direction, and means
current produced in the circuit 56 by the photo
including a signal energized by said light beam
electric tube 50 will correspondingly be of greater
when re?ected thereto.
frequency resulting, upon ampli?cation, in a sig
3. In a device of the character described,
nal of higher pitch than either of the signals pro
20 means including a light source to form a light
duced by the individual beams.
beam, 9. lens assembly interposed in said light
It will be appreciated that the embodiments of
beam, a rotatable element interposed in said light
my invention above described are merely illus
beam having two annuli of holes therein, the
number of holes in one annulus being different
and that modifications in size, design, shape and
number and relative proportion of the parts may 26 from the number of holes in the other annulus,
means to move said ?rst-named means to direct
be made, and particularly that in the embodi
said beam alternately through said respective
ment of Fig. 1 the disk 21 may be formed with a
annuli of holes in said disk when the latter is
series of holes arranged spirally therein so as to
rotated, and means actuated by said light beam
transmit a continuous beam as the lamp assembly
moves in one direction, or with radial slots 30 when re?ected thereto to produce an audible
signal varying in frequency with the shifting of
through which a continuous beam may be pro
‘said ?rst-named means.
jected regardless of the position of the lamp as
JOSEPH B. WALKER.
sembly lit-2!, that additional lamps may be em»
ployed, and that in such embodiment each lamp
strative of two of many forms of my invention,
or groups of lamps may be equipped with indi 35
vidual lens assemblies i5, and that a single mirror
REFERENCES CITED
The following references are of record in the
of a size or contour adapted to reflect each of a
?le of this patent:
plurality of beams of light from an object to the
photo-electric tube 50 may be utilized, without
departing from the spirit of my invention as de
?ned in the appended claims, wherein the term
“photo-electric tube” is synonymous with the
Number
term “photo-electric cell.”
.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters
45
Patent is:
1. In a device of the character described, means
including a light source to direct a beam of light
in a predetermined direction, a lens assembly
interposed in said beam of light, means to shift
said ?rst-named means relative to said lens as 50;
sembly to divide said beam of light and direct
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,820,357
1,954,204
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Lindstrom ______ .._ Aug. 25, 1931
Hayes __________ __ Apr. 10, 1934
2,081,134
Buckley __________ __ May 25, 1937
2,216,716
withem __________ __ Oct. 1, 1940
2,237,193
2,297,534
2,350,820
Mobsby __________ __ Apr. 1,
Brulin _________ __ Sept. 29,
Rettinger ________ __ June 6,
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Saunier __________ __ July 3,
Cranberg ________ __ Apr. 26,
2,365,580
2,379,496
2,468,042
OTHER REFERENCES
separate beams of light eccentrically through said
lens assembly, electrical means to produce an
1glectronics, publication, March 1946
audible signal actuated in response to a pulsating
1 ).
current, ‘means to intermit said light beams at 55
1941
1942‘
1944
1944
1945
1949
(pp. 116
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