Omnidirectional Treadmill

Omnidirectional Treadmill

The omnidirectional treadmill allowed for near-natural walking through arbitrarily large virtual environments and was used for basic research. The basic mechanism consisted of 25 belts (0.5m wide) that were mounted on two big chains. The chains constituted one motion direction (up to 2 m/s), while the belts ran in the orthogonal direction (up to 3 m/s).

Together, they were able to generate motion in any direction. The chains moved 7 tons, driven by 4 large 10 kW frequency-coupled engines. The treadmill measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 1.45m (LxWxH), with an active walking surface of 4.0 x 4.0m. Position of the person on the treadmill was measured with a Vicon® tracking system and was used to adjust the treadmill velocity as a function of walking speed. Together with a head-mounted display the treadmill system allowed users to walk through infinitely large virtual environments in a natural way. The omnidirectional treadmill is not longer in use but still located under a false floor in the large tracking lab.

Omnidirectional Treadmill

Omnidirectional Treadmill
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