Please read my introduction for this project and my other project logs for details on how the VR shoes work.
Questions and Answers
How are the VR Shoes Automated?
You can read about the algorithm I'm using here.
How much power do these use?
I haven't done a full test yet. So far I've measured the battery drain after 10 or 20 minutes (it was a while ago) and calculated that the shoes could last at least a few hours on one charge without over-draining the battery.
These Look Dangerous
I'm wearing a safety harness. The shoes are also low enough to the ground where I'm confident they will not tip ('ve tried to get them to tip, they're stable).
Please see my introduction for a discussion on the different kinds of safety rigs that can be used.
Crouching, Running, Jumping, Weight
Please see my introduction for more information on these topics.
Will You Improve Stability, Responsiveness, and Overall Smoothness?
Yes, I have many ideas on how to improve these things and will be implementing them.
How Much Do These Cost?
I'd say around $450-$500.
- 2 motors, $50 each
- 2 VESCs, $65 each
- 2 ESP32s, $10 each
- 2 anti spark switches, $30 each
- 2 batteries, I think $25 each
- safety harness, $30
- ceiling hook, $20
- bearings, probably $20
- plastic, maybe $20
- various screws, metal rods, connectors - $20
I'm using electric skateboard motors and speed controls that are more expensive, so it's possible those could be replaced with cheaper alternatives. Maybe the batteries too. And you don't technically need the anti-spark switches but they're nice.
How Do These Communicate?
They communicate with each other, my phone, and my PC using bluetooth. In the future I want to add Wifi.
How Do These Interface With A VR Headset and Games?
Please see my introduction for more information. Briefly, I'm currently using a custom OpenVR driver for Steam and want native Oculus Quest support in the future.
What About Omni-Treadmills and Other VR Locomotion Solutions?
There are other good solutions to the VR locomotion problem. There are omni-treadmills like the Virtuix Omni, Kat Walk, and Infinadeck. There are also sensors that you strap to your feet and you run in place to run in the game, like the Kat Loco, Natural Locomotion, and VRocker. There are also the CyberShoes.
VR treadmills that rely on a slick surface, like the Virtuix Omni and Kat Walk, are simpler. They’re basically just a slippery bowl that you slide in. The Infinadeck is more complicated, consisting of a conveyor belt of conveyor belts.
VR treadmills are large and heavy (more than 100 pounds). Shipping cost for these treadmills can be very expensive. According to a lot of people online, and a few people who have commented on my posts, the slick surface treadmills do not feel like walking. They feel like sliding on ice and overall are uncomfortable to use. With the Kat Walk C coming out hopefully we can get more opinions. Maybe it’s just something you get used to.
So the VR shoes are more complex, but VR treadmills are large and heavy. Most VR treadmills are also much more expensive. The slick surface treadmills might not feel comfortable. The VR shoes should feel like natural walking, cost less than $1000 (maybe much less), won’t have a huge shipping cost, are light and mobile and can be thrown in a closet when they’re not being used.
Will These Work On Carpet?
They probably could, but I recommend using them on one of those mats for office chairs if you're going to use them in a carpeted area. Any wheeled device that supports that much weight is going to ruin carpet.
Can You Reduce the Noise?
I have ideas. I'll try quieter wheels and using them on a rubber mat or carpet later.
Will You Sell These?
I hope I can. If I can make a version that is sellable, I’ll need to use them for at least a few months to see how well they last. I’ll also need to see if any manufacturers would be willing to help me produce these, or if I can produce them myself with a 3D printer farm....Read more »