Ideas are like assholes, every has one but are they any good?
At 1.2m wide I would be able to fit in the sphere with my legs curled up but it wouldn’t be comfortable. This wasn’t an issue with my calves sticking out but it might be for some. At this size the area would be about 4.5m2, so 2.25m2 when halved.
I couldn’t be sure but from an objective point of view, if I saw this I would immediately think “That’s nice, but I can’t fit inside it”. Now if this made me, and other people, dismiss it then that was a problem. I did some more measuring and found if I bumped the size up to 1.4m across I would be able to have my legs at an angle completely inside, or cross them if I wasn’t using pedals. The area of material was now 6.16m2 or about 3m2, a significant increase but nothing major.
I also suspect that people would want to make a full sphere so they could roll 360 degrees in all directions which might not be advisable or comfortable but you wouldn’t want to put people off for the sake of 50cm2 of aluminium.
Listen to Norm from Tested grunting at 2:12… he doesn’t sound like he’s having fun at all :p
Windcreen wiper motors are cheap and quite powerful but perhaps not fast enough, however if angled correctly then they should be easy to double up, which would be good for heavier users. Servo motors are another possibility and they have excellent holding torque for the edge of a roll.
If the interior of the sphere was padded with hex/pent cushions it could double as a stylish armchair if held by a pin to the base. The cockpit frame could also be removable too, so a couple of kids could fit inside for a virtual teacup ride.
The software would need to count full rotations to ensure the cables, which would need to be suspended above the Feel Three, didn’t become tangled. With sufficient slack this shouldn’t be a huge issue, but something to be aware of.
The mecanum wheels would need to be rubberised to ensure good grip on the sphere and subject to some wear which could become an issue.
The spheres weight could be supported by a set of rotating, heavy duty castor wheels.
These are a standard item and quite cheap, but they would need to turn smoothly on the base axis to work well. We’d need 3 or more, depending on how thick the sphere was since we need to distribute the weight.