To be done and the plan.

For this to have any chance of working a full size prototype is required.

The electronics and software are fairly straight forward, building the rotating base not a huge challenge and the mecanum wheels are availble online to buy, albeit slightly expensive.

The main issue is the panels. Getting them made and paying for them… I am under no illusions that they’re going to be rather expensive. Probably a couple of grand for several sets worth.

The plan breaks down into two main parts now, I need to get a quote for how much they will cost and then see who wants to see them made.

Normally you’d make a kickstarter and start offering t-shirts and widgets to get it done but I believe I have a more cunning method of financing the project. Star citizen alone has 500k people waiting for the game, so instead of offering them a over priced (and frankly worthless (on it’s own)) panel, I say I’ll make a prototype for Cloud Imperium Games in the UK. If I do this for Eve Valkyrie and Elite Dangerous, and let the oculus rift crowd know,  I could probably find a million gamers to chip in the equivalent of a few cents each to get some prototypes made.

I also need a model prototype working to show the principles too as well as printing the mecanum wheel I already designed.

You never know unless you try… I will get in touch with the two likely metal pressing factories nearby and see what they say…. I already started on the kickstarter page last week 🙂

 

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.