Unexpectedly Intriguing!
03 March 2023

Having reviewed over 130 inventions, many of them of questionable utility, the Inventions in Everything team has seen our share of some really strange illustrations of those innovations in their patents.

But this one, from U.S. Patent 6,652,353 for an Interactive Toy may be the silliest. And that's saying something because we've seen the patent illustrations for the best mousetrap ever, a device for giving yourself a high five, the Alarm Clock of Damocles, and bulletproof underwear. What could be more silly? This one:

U.S. Patent 6,652,353 Figure 1

Giving credit where it's due, Figure 1 from the patent actually does a marvellous job telling us what this invention does. The cartoon-like interactive toy dog is reacting with motion to the sound of hands clapping. Here's the patent's abstract to confirm the interpretation:

An interactive toy in accordance with the present invention includes two pair of legs extending outwardly and downwardly from either side of a body to be in contact with a surface. Each pair of legs is rotatably attached to a motor. The toy also includes a sound activation device in communication with an integrated circuit. The integrated circuit is further in communication and control of the motors such that when the sound activation device is activated, the integrated circuit controls the motors to rotate the legs. The direction of the rotation of the legs will cause the toy to move along the surface in a predefined direction, defined as forward, reverse, or spinning to the right of left.

We don't know if it's the silliest illustration ever to appear in a U.S. Patent, but it's definitely a contender for the title!

From the Inventions in Everything Archives

Then again, there are these additional contenders in addition to the others we listed above:

We admit it's close, and subjective, but we think U.S. Patent 5,023,850's illustration of a dog looking at its wristwatch is less silly than U.S. Patent 6,652,353's illustration of an interactive toy.


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