Beginning the project

I originally started off designing a six degrees of freedom joystick for a few upcoming space games : Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen since there weren’t any available.

I ended up creating something that worked and interfaced fine in windows but I still wasn’t completely happy.

After rejecting the idea of using a standard stewart platform as an input at the beginning of the project I went back to take another look.

This led me to investigate all of the 6DOF platforms available but while I was trying to create a simple, compact controller I spent more time thinking about the full motion platforms. I started on the premise of building something from extruded aluminium and using weights to counter the mass of the chair and user. I quickly reduced it to only 3 degrees of freedom and came up with this :

Using cheap (£4 per meter) material and wiper motors I could possibly produce a kit giving about 40cm of heave motion and about 90 degrees of roll and pitch. The problem was it looked quite ugly and would need some major modifications to be made completely safe.

I went back to the idea drawing board.