Run! Crouch! Go Prone!

Hello everyone, sorry it’s been so long since my last update.

I’ve been engrossed with the Omni Kickstarter, but enough excuses – time for some news!

While I haven’t begun to assemble anything yet, I have been playing around with ideas,
and improving the design.

My earlier ‘tie-off’ strategy had some problems. It meant that in order for you to touch the
floor with your hand there had to be a lot of slack. So much so, that it would only ‘catch’
you after lunging quite far into the room. This caused me some concern, as I would have to
worry about hitting my head against objects in the room, including the wardrobe.

Also, after studying the Omni videos carefully, it became clear that in order to facilitate
running, you need some kind of support to keep your center of gravity at a certain point,
and my support was too far out. Reining it in would inhibit crouching, and defeat a large part
of my objective.

Then a few weeks ago, I began to wonder if there might be a device out there that could be adjusted
on the fly – kept short for support one moment, then extended for freedom of movement the next.
It turns out there is, and you’ve probably all seen them.

Flexi Dog Lead

 

The Flexi retracting dog lead.

There is another advantage to this set up. Not only can you now crouch to your heart’s
content, you can also go….

…PRONE.

I got the lead in the post this morning and filmed my first test – that’s why I’m fumbling
and looking a bit awqward, trying to find the right amount of slack.
I was hesitant when it came to jogging because the wardrobe
is not bolted to the wall yet and it was shaking a lot, as I expected! Go here to see the video
on my YouTube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRf4CynDTlQ

 

Note that I’m only hooking it on the wardrobe, not the swing-out arm
as I haven’t attached that yet, which is why I could only test one direction.

I’m happy to say it worked as well I had hoped. There is a problem with the harness at the
moment however. It’s too loose on me, and because I’m holding the lead at the front, the harness is
twisting around my body. I can either make adjustments to it or get a better fitting one, which
should solve the problem. Note that in the final build the lead will be incorporated into
the jacket so you don’t have to hold it!

Have you pre-ordered your Omni yet? Only 34 days left on Kickstarter!

Later guys,

sutekiB.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1944625487/omni-move-naturally-in-your-favorite-game

http://www.virtuix.com

Update!

Fairly productive day, here’s the news.

I went to the hardware store looking for parts and found these:

Bracket

The aerial bracket cost me £6.89. Not bad. Doubt it would hold my full weight but i’m hoping it will be strong enough to stop me falling.

 

Bracket Base

 

I need to figure out how to bolt this onto my wardrobe, and still have it swivel. I also got a bungee cord which has the same fastening as my harness.

 

Sadly, even though the bungee is short, it stretched too much. I tried folding and twisting it – no good.

Turns out though I needn’t have bothered. I decided to test the cord that came with my harness, and was pleased with the result.

Bracket retracted

For now I want to place it in the corner, but I haven’t ruled out the middle yet. Still deliberating.

 

bracket extended

The biggest challenge left could be finding a rotating joint to go on the end. Ideally I’ll find an easy way to adjust the cord length too.

 

Stress test 1!

I hooked the cord onto one of the curtain rail holders and crouched down to give myself the slack I was aiming for. I then tied it off on the other end. I lunged out to one side to see how far I traveled. While it was a bit further than I wanted, I found it acceptable, and you can always adjust it if you like. You just won’t be able to crouch down as far. This is much better than the bungee, because you could feel the resistance with the bungee as you crouched but it didn’t stop you falling. With the non-flex cord it’s the other way around.

You’ll notice I didn’t manage to fasten the harness, as it’s quite fiddly getting it on at the moment, until I sew it into the jacket. Only had 10 seconds to get into position. Had it on upside down a couple of times!  Notice the burning eyes of intensity.

 

Jacket straps planned

 

I’m going to sew straps into the jacket over the harness to make it easier to put on – a bit like the loops in a dressing gown that keep the belt at the front.

 

More to come.

 

http://www.virtuix.com

http://www.oculusvr.com

 

Hi, I’m Ben AKA sutekiB. Welcome to my VR Blog!

Get ready for the future guys – it’s on its way.

Virtual Reality or ‘the promised land’ is nearly here. Soon you will be able to become whoever you want, exist in whichever world you choose, thanks to the progress that has been made by Oculus VR and Virtuix.

The advancement of technology is finally making it possible. To get the most out of the experience, you will want to purchase Virtuix’s Omni (omni-directional passive treadmill) when it’s released, so that you can physically explore digital worlds.

While this device comes with a waist-high support ring, many of us who want that extra level of freedom will wish to use a suspended harness instead.

These will no doubt become available in due course, but for now I’ve decided to have a go myself, and will be sharing my progress with you. If the end result is any good then I hope it will carry on as a useful model for people who want to save a little money by making their own.

WARNING:  No minor should attempt to make a suspended harness by themselves, if at all. They should always seek help from a parent or guardian in the making and testing of one. There is a little danger involved, even though your weight is not being suspended off the floor – it’s really only there to brace you in the event that you fall. Basically it’s a safety tether.  Still, you need to be careful.

Progress so far. I’ve taken a simple sports-training harness and laid it over a spare leather-jacket whose sleeves I’ve removed. The straps are very light and you don’t notice them. The attachment point is at the back, which is good for VR, and the buckle at the front is large and sturdy. I will try to attach the harness to the jacket so I don’t have to put them on separately. I think epaulettes are the way to go, if I make sure they have enough slack so they don’t get ripped off.

Hard to see as it's black like my jacket but the buckle at the front is large and  sturdy.

Hard to see as it’s black like my jacket but the buckle at the front is large and sturdy.

You can see the attachment point here. Strong metal link.

You can see the attachment point here. Strong metal link.

http://www.virtuix.com

http://www.oculusvr.com