I'm very pleased to present Prototype #2, a high performance 3DOF VR Racing motion simulator that has been in the works for the past 10 months.
This simulator will make its public debut on January 17th and January 18th at ARinAction at the MIT Media Lab.
The 3DOF motion includes pitch, roll and yaw, which simulates acceleration, de-acceleration, cornering g-force, road surface and suspension characteristics, and vehicle traction loss.
I've always felt that traction loss was essential to any race simulator, yet I never had experienced traction loss in a racing simulator until I built this motion platform. It turns out, my intuition was absolutely correct.
2DOF was good in VR but 3DOF with a force feedback wheel like the Fanatec Club Sport I've used in this prototype is totally immersive. I feel as though I'm now part of the car. I always thought that when any machine is properly setup that you become one with the machine. It's as if you are wearing it. It just does what you want. That's the same feeling I had last night racing in this simulator at Watkins Glen in the McLaren 12C GT3 below.
The P2 simulator frame consists of an upper and lower platform made of heavy duty aluminum. The upper platform pivots on the lower platform to simulate traction loss. The unit can fit through a 32" door opening and the total static weight is around 300 lbs. The three (3) high speed electric linear actuators only draw 2 amps each and the complete system can run on a standard 115vac/15amp circuit. If you use the built in Oculus Rift headphones, the unit is quiet in operation which allows installation almost anywhere. You could even install this simulator on the second floor of an apartment or condo and the neighbors below would never hear it. That means you can race all night long if you want without bothering anybody!
If you have a chance, make sure to stop by the MIT Media Lab on January 17th or 18th to schedule some time in this simulator. Words can't really describe the experience but I can tell you this. It is awesome!