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manual treadmill with vive trackers - possible?


Larpushka
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So risks aside of using a manual treadmill with VR (and the fact it's not 360), I want to know whether it's possible to use vive trackers and treadmill to achieve motion in VR? How accurate  would the motion be? Would I have to develop it myself?

And I've seen the videos of people stepping in place to achieve motion. So I assume it's possible i just want to be sure before i buy vive and trackers

-Larpushka

 

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@Larpushka The issue with all of these end-user solutions like VR treadmills is is that the software you're using has to support that type of locomotion. There isn't a standardized driver that can facilitate this at a universal level. Fortunately there is a third party driver tool call "Natural Locomotion" that specifically has support for that style of tracker based movement you're talking about (user-example). It won't work on everything as it's a middle-ware and it won't be as polished as a developer going in and developing native support but depending on the games you play - you can certainly find some games which work well with Natural Locomotion and it's one of the more popular SteamVR tools. In your case - you'd probably need to pair it with snap turning.

Alternatively, if fitness is your main goal, you can try using corridor runner games like Pistol Whip and Beat Saber and just using a treadmill without any sort of trackers. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

As you said in your own post - this is all "do so at your own personal risk" type stuff as you're basically blind to the real world when in VR.

edit: I did some searching and apparently NoLo is flexible enough that you can even use Joycons for basic feet tracking.

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Natural locomotion is for hand usage though as far as I understand. That is to say I can stand still and move my hands and it would still move forward. 

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"Alternatively, if fitness is your main goal, you can try using corridor runner games like Pistol Whip and Beat Saber and just using a treadmill without any sort of trackers. Here's an example of what I'm talking about."

Immersion with the ability to walk and run in top-rated VR games is more of my goal... here's a video I made of me using my manual treadmill with PC games with an arduino+ Treadmill sensor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7vi-QdTzfc&t=50s (me doing it with PC games in Kingdom Come Deliverance)

Right now setting my goals on Half-Life Alyx, Skyrim, etc... 

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As you said in your own post - this is all "do so at your own personal risk" type stuff as you're basically blind to the real world when in VR.

True, but I recently found out that pressing your elbows against the holding rails of the treadmill helps reduce accidents and motion sickness since it gives you some sense of orientation, but I haven't tested it for long runs. 

 

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edit: I did some searching and apparently NoLo is flexible enough that you can even use Joycons for basic feet tracking.

Interesting, but I didn't see the actual video of it working. So far I've seen several ideas for a solution but none of them made a video of it working naturally on a treadmill.

Vive Trackers seem like the least clumsy solution. There's AgileVR. But in both those solutions I didn't see if it's possible to script such a solution with those devices. I don't wanna undertake something technically impossible.

Edited by Larpushka
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They added feet tracking support in Dec 2018 - it's just not something that's heavily discussed on forums and the like because not a ton of consumers have 2 trackers. Their solution is super flexible though and they'll accept "feet" input from a wide range of tracked devices.

 

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Problem is that I don't see any parameters I could change in terms of calibration since I'm not gonna be walking in place but using a treadmill, so I could be running like Usain Bolt (theoretically 🙄) and it would give me a much slower pace, or perhaps could be going really slowly on my treadmill and it would run pretty fast in the game. It seems I have no way to calibrate it. Correct? Even if I had to calibrate it per game that's OK, that's what I do with my current design for PC games. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/16/2020 at 12:52 AM, Larpushka said:

Problem is that I don't see any parameters I could change in terms of calibration since I'm not gonna be walking in place but using a treadmill, so I could be running like Usain Bolt (theoretically 🙄) and it would give me a much slower pace, or perhaps could be going really slowly on my treadmill and it would run pretty fast in the game. It seems I have no way to calibrate it. Correct? Even if I had to calibrate it per game that's OK, that's what I do with my current design for PC games. 

Electronic technology machines are difficult to change because it is pre-programmed, you must be a good programmer and understand it to be able to do it. Good luck

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  • 1 month later...

He's not wrong though. All of these games are programmed to receive specific inputs. VR is very non-standardized and there's a huge range of how developers implement movement and other systems in their games backend.

Systems like Natural Locomotion attempt to leverage OpenVR's driver level manipulation to try and emulate standardized input across a huge range of target applications. It's pretty cool that it works at all and you'll only find stuff like this in the SteamVR ecosystem right now.

Unless a developer is going in and adding native support for a given use-case or product (i.e. treadmill) - you're firmly in the world of modding and modding is a huge amount of trial &  error, deconstructing, and reverse engineering.

Natural locomotion does work with treadmills in a general sense but how it will work is a per-application type of thing.

 

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  • 1 year later...

Can the Vive's system not track objects in the room? I was kind of under the impression that the two stations were throwing down an IR grid. Using the hand tracker is superior as your have a nice solid fix shaped object that has other sensors, but I thought that it had Kinect like abilities that could see everything in the room. If they don't it would seem like an obvious thing to add. The Kinect stuff isn't terribly accurate, but for this sort of thing you would think it is more than close enough so you don't need more wires running to and from you.

This is great work regardless. We need to figure out ways to deal with VR better, and this looks like a solid first step. While I know some folks would be less than thrilled at the prospect, I LOVE the idea of "jogging" through Skyrim or whatever getting a combined workout / immersive video game time. I might not want that experience all the time, but I would diffidently want it some of the time.

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@Anie22 - SteamVR tracking is based based off laser timing and not computer vision. The basestations shoot out out laser sweeps that require highly specialized SteamVR sensors and hardware to detect and translate into tracking data.

You can track objects if you add SteamVR sensors to them - e.g. with a Vive Tracker.

This video is old but a fairly accurate visualization.

Camera based tracking is likely to continue to improve and offer new tracking options.

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