VR Locomotion Concepts

A place where I put my ideas for VR locomotion

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I add concepts here for VR locomotion that I may or may not ever implement.

Here I post ideas for VR locomotion that I may or may not implement at some point. I post them here so others can expand on them or even implement the concepts themselves.

Each project log will go into different ideas.

  • Video and Photos of Motorized Caster

    finallyfunctional04/22/2022 at 02:29 0 comments

    In a previous post I described an idea I had for a small, motorized caster. I took that design and made it. Here is a quick video showing my first build.

    Here's what it looks like next to the passive VR shoe. You can see it's slightly shorter.

    Here's what it looks like next to a regular shoe. I'm thinking I'll have one right under the heel as shown, two more right in front of it (so three under the heel forming a triangle), two more behind the ball of the foot, and two more in front of the ball of the foot.

  • Motorized Caster

    finallyfunctional04/16/2022 at 13:12 0 comments

    I had an idea for a motorized caster yesterday and spent some time making a model of it. Up until now I haven't found a motorized caster or thought of one that I think would be small enough and powerful enough for a VR shoe. But this one might be.

    It's 1.375in tall and 1.5in wide, so small enough.

    The wheel on the bottom is tilted. It rolls on the side that is horizontal. The very top spur gear is used to turn the whole caster to set the direction. The lower spur gear is used to turn the upper bevel gear, which turns the slanted bevel gear, which turns the wheel. So lock the direction and turn the lower spur gear to move the caster in the locked direction.

    It uses a few needle roller thrust bearings, a 6mm bearing, and a 6mm bent screw.

    These are a few test pieces of the bevel gears.

    I'm thinking that 2-4 of these could be put on a VR shoe under the heel, with 2 more under the ball of the foot and 2 more under the toes. The casters could be coupled together by belts so that 1 or 2 powerful motors could be used to drive them, and 1 or 2 smaller motors could be used to rotate them. 

    I'd like to allow the VR shoe to bend at the ball of the foot. The issue is that the casters on both sides of the bend couldn't be coupled by belts. The belt would bend and get stretched when the user bends the VR shoe. A possible resolution to this would be to have two spherical gears, one on each side of the bend. The spherical gears could have groves in them to create teeth. When the VR shoe is bent, the gears will still be in contact, with one gear moving along the other and the teeth of one gear sliding in the grooves of the other.

  • Three Joint Arm + VR Shoes Concept

    finallyfunctional10/17/2021 at 16:14 0 comments

    I made a quick sketch of this idea. These sketches are just meant to explain the general idea.

    The two rectangles are VR shoes, similar to what I have already made. A shoe is coupled in its center to a pair of arms as shown. The ends of the arms and center of the shoe are pivot points, joints. As the user walks the arms will pivot around the joints. There is also a circle in the middle with a pivot point in its center to support the user being able to turn and walk in any direction.

    The idea is to put either motors or springs on the joints so that when the user extends his foot the motor or spring will pull the shoe back to the center. I illustrate the idea here with some torsion springs.

    I imagined this being the default state of the arms, where they basically point backwards. However there may be a different default state that is better.

    The next sketch adds some circles. These are meant to represent casters.

    There are two casters at the front of each shoe and one on the arm, situated behind the shoe. I think with these casters and rigid joints the shoes will be stable.

    Finally, slits could also possibly be added to the arms to make them more dynamic and support more configurations. Linear actuators or compression/extension springs could be used to move the arms along the slits.

    My thoughts on this concept are - 

    • Simple design. Could be active with motors at the joints or passive with springs.
    • If springs are used the user will feel resistance when extending his foot away from the center, but it will help him bring his foot back. A balance for the resistance would be needed. Motors wouldn't have this issue.
    • When the user is extending his foot, he could theoretically backdrive the motors and recharge the battery.
    • The arms may get in the way or collide with each other when doing certain movements, like crossing feet.
    • It's possible to collide with the center circular piece while walking.
    • I'm not sure how well the center circular piece will turn with the user.

  • Passive VR Shoe with Rack and Pinion Mechanism

    finallyfunctional10/17/2021 at 15:52 0 comments

    Here is my explanation of the idea.

    A rack and pinion mechanism is what I use in the video, but a lever mechanism could be used as well. The main issue I have is being able to fit enough gearing to convert the small amount of vertical distance to the large amount of horizontal distance required.

    The gearing has to be set up correctly so that there isn't too much input torque needed to overcome the gearing. For example, I weigh 165 pounds and if you're using a 1 inch pinion then I will get a torque of around 9 Nm. The input torque required for the gearing ratio cannot be higher than that. With those restraints I believe that using a large wheel on the output is best, since it reduces the gearing needed.

    I am currently working on my other VR shoe project but want to eventually try to make a working version of this concept. If I can, this VR shoe could be very cheap to produce.

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