Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Discussion of tools and products that add VR physicality. Samples include VR treadmills, special hand controllers, gesture technology and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
JustJoshin
One Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:50 am
Which stereoscopic 3D solution do you primarily use?: Head Mounted Display (HMD)
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by JustJoshin »



I am sure plenty of people that have been looking around at locomotion have come across this. I'm actually just interested to here people's thoughts on how they see something like this compared to something like the omni (which looks great btw).

I am surprised there hasn't been more research / tinkering with something like this? It would be fairly compact, would have the benefit of not needing special shoes (so family or friends could easily use it), could be configured for various resistances (start out with very light resistance and increase resistance for better workout as you become accustomed to it and it would probably be quiter/make less noise than the omni.

Obviously strafing and jumping would be out of the question and I guess you can't physically turn or steer with your body but walking, running and possibly even crouching and walking whilst bent down a bit/crouching should be possible. I dunno, it just seemed interesting?

WiredEarp
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)
Posts: 1498
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:47 pm

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by WiredEarp »

@ JustJoshin: thanks for that, hadn't seen those before.

I actually think this is more the future than ODT's etc, at least for now. I'm working on something similar, using the bottom half of an exercycle instead of the cross trainer. I actually have experimented with using my parents cross trainer without the handlebars, and it was actually pretty easy to keep balance etc (just needed a little bit of practise), so would probably be a good next step if my experiments pan out. I do only see this as being useful once you can turn with it.

Re jumping etc, I believe its actually possible with devices like this, just requires a bit of work and thought...

edit: changed a 'wasnt' to 'was'
Last edited by WiredEarp on Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JustJoshin
One Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:50 am
Which stereoscopic 3D solution do you primarily use?: Head Mounted Display (HMD)
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by JustJoshin »

WiredEarp wrote:Re jumping etc, I believe its actually possible with devices like this, just requires a bit of work and thought...
Lol, sounds dangerous :woot

Applemung
Two Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:26 am

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by Applemung »

I don't see this being the future at all. Limited direction, slow pickup, inertia roll-on and keeping balance would be difficult.
Without advanced mechanics being put in place you would never be able to turn with it. Even then it would be too dangerous as pinching spots would cause severe bodily damage because of inertia roll-on.

This is almost better than nothing at all. Walking on the spot with a kinect tracking the motion would be far more responsive
and more natural with the added bonus of being able to crouch, jump and turn. Whilst a good idea and a good toy to play around with I don't
see one of these in every home. I think the Virtuix omni whilst limited in some aspects is so far the best idea for the masses. I don't see the wizdish
getting past it's first batch of backers because the style of motion is too un-natural. Maybe if the wizdish had a harness and increased the dome size you might be able to use it like the Virtuix without the funky shoes.

I think after the novelty of the item wears off the limitations would become far too apparent.
Like I said, good idea and props for thinking outside the box. maybe this dude might find the next great ODT idea but this one is certainly not one of the best.

I'm making an ODT myself, based on the MSE unit. It will give me freedom of movement not seen by any of the current affordable ODTs. Not that my ODT is affordable to everyone
but if anyone wants to copy the idea and puts the time and money into it I think it would be an amazing piece of hardware.

User avatar
JustJoshin
One Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:50 am
Which stereoscopic 3D solution do you primarily use?: Head Mounted Display (HMD)
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by JustJoshin »

I think your a probably right about the wizdish. It will probably be one of the first to come and go. It is nice and simple but as you pointed out, requires unnatural motion/movement.

Whilst the omni solves a lot of problems I just feel it introduces a few additional ones of it own (like the need for strapping into a harness every play session, a lack of strafe support, the need for special purpose shoes and a fairly sizeable space free to physically locate the thing near your computer to name a few). It also seems fairly loud. It's not something that your friends and/or family can easily come over and enjoy as everyone has different shoe sizes and requirements.

I think enthusiasts will adopt it but I can't really see it being adopted by the average user.

Applemung
Two Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:26 am

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by Applemung »

I suppose only the future will tell. But the two deciding factors will be size and cost. Even with the drawbacks that some omnis can have they are still better than nothing and still fun to use despite the limitations.

WiredEarp
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)
Posts: 1498
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:47 pm

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by WiredEarp »

@ Applemung
im making an ODT myself, based on the MSE unit.
Whats the MSE unit?

I really doubt that an Omni is more likely to be in everyones homes, than a device vaguely similar to the one above. Space limitations are too much. What do you do when you want your 3 kids to play in VR at once? Hope you have 2 Omnis?

@ JustJoshin - it wouldn't be dangerous, but would require some changes to what is depicted in the video to have safe jump and crouch abilities.

Unfortunately I don't want to talk too much about this whole area at present, bar what I've already said. The videos posted are a bit close to home.

Applemung
Two Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:26 am

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by Applemung »

MSE link: http://www.mseab.com/The-Virtual-Theatre.htm

It's definitely not something for everyone to have in their home, I'm fortunate enough to have a shed out in my backyard to accommodate this unit.
My child is a fair way away from using such devices and it's up to the missus if she wants more kids lol, I'm fine with one but hey we can't predict the future.
I would say that if I wanted my kids to play this at the same time then it would be something like the virtuix in my home and the MSE unit would be the "special" toy.
I'm not happy with the compromises that any current system has and from much investigation the MSE unit has come out as a winner in my mind for what I want to do.

The cyberwalk platform would be too bulky but by far the most natural omni. I could build one to fit in my allocated space but it would not be able to support much weight
because of the complexity of the device. It would need to be at least 5 meter square to support running and jumping, a bit too large for what space I have and the cost would be quadrupled that of the MSE unit. Just as a guide, the bearings alone for the MSE unit is going to cost me just shy of $2000. The cost is going to be spread over a period of about a year so it won't hurt the pockets too much.

The virtuix would not take up much more space than the locomotion device that the OP posted. It would also be commercially viable as well as being plug and play to an extent. I do believe if the virtuix becomes a commercial success like the rift it could be improved upon in later versions to enable a far greater freedom of movement.
The main reason for it's current success is because of how simple it is, how effective it is at doing the required job and the cost.

The limiting factors of the proposed unit make it undesirable and I don't see a workaround to advance anything that has been shown in the video. You will never be able to actually physically jump with this unit because of the way that you have to move with it. You need a lot of space to balance yourself after landing. You could possibly hop on the spot in a stationary position. I think that the thing that throws me off the most about this type of stepping platform is the un-natural walking style and that you will never be able to strafe or turn without making the unit more complex and cumbersome.

emsman
One Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 8:52 pm

Re: Using an exercise cross trainer for locomotion

Post by emsman »

You should view the Infinadek's video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoVAOfU8UJQ

Post Reply

Return to “Physical VR Tools”