Cyberwalk CyberCarpet VR Locomotion

The CyberWalk project's CyberCarpet is the latest attempt to provide a comfortable and natural way to use walking to control a virtual reality environment.

Technovelgy readers will compare this device to the VirtuSphere Immersive Virtual Reality device; VirtuSphere is essentially a "hamster-ball" that a person can walk around in (see a VirtuSphere video)

Another scheme is the very cool CirculaFloor smart tiles; this device is kind of like walking on a set of stepping stones that constantly reforms ahead of you as you move forward (see a CirculaFloor video)

The designers of the CyberCarpet are trying for a more natural walking experience; the first step is to use a relatively large treadmill for the device. The demonstration version of CyberCarpet has a 4.5m x 4.5m walking surface.

CyberCarpet will try to present the most realistic version possible of a "holodeck-style" virtual reality environment. The user should be able to walk seemingly endlessly in any direction without leaving a small room.


(CyberWalk CyberCarpet video)

The concept of motion control behind this treadmill will focus on diminishing the forces exerted on the walking user, by minimizing the overall accelerations. To place the developments on a solid human-centred footing CyberWalk will continuously push research in the field of cognitive/ behavioural science and will determine the necessary psychophysical design guidelines and appropriate evaluation procedures. The CyberWalk project will showcase its developments via a physical walkthrough, most probably through the virtual reconstruction of the ancient city of Sagalassos.

Via Roland; see also the CyberWalk website.

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