The Omni-Directional Treadmill: A Locomotion Device for Virtual Worlds
Darken, Rudolph P.
Cockayne, William R.
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The Omni-Directional Treadmill (ODT) is a revolutionary device for locomotion in large-scale virtual environments. The device allows its user to walk or jog in any direction of travel. It is the third generation in a series of devices built for this purpose for the U.S. Army’s Dismounted Infantry Training Program. We first describe the device in terms of its construction and operating characteristics. We then report on an analysis consisting of a series of locomotion and maneuvering tasks on the ODT. We observed user motions and system responses to those motions from the perspective of the user. Each task is described in terms of what causes certain motions to trigger unpredictable responses causing loss of balance or at least causing the user to become consciously aware of their movements. We conclude that the two primary shortcomings in the ODT are its tracking system and machine control mechanism for centering the user on the treads.
Appears in the Proceedings of UIST ‘97, Banff, Canada October 14-17, 1997, pp. 213-221
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