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4-Seat 3DOF VR Simulator

Discussion in 'Commercial Simulators and Peripherie' started by Metaverum, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. Metaverum

    Metaverum New Member Gold Contributor

    Joined:
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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, 3DOF
    Hello all people of the XSimulator community,

    I would like to say before everything that I am very glad I have found this community. I haven't been here for long but the time I have been has been extremely eye-opening and enlightening. I have learned a lot of things in a relatively short amount of time and the willingness of everyone to help others here is nothing but astonishing. I'd like to thank @Thanos for bringing me here. :) Also many thanks to @noorbeast for the help so far.

    So, I'll try to keep this OP as concise and coherent as possible. Here is a quick introduction to who I am and my background prior to joining this community!

    I am trying to build a 4-seat 3DOF VR simulator. I am a game developer so I am also developing the game which the machine will run. So the entire project will be a DIY with the software and hardware complimenting each other. I am glad to say the game has come a long way and perhaps will finish in 2 months time. It is a flight experience through a medieval fantasy world. A 4-minute experience with some fantasy characters through magical forests and castles. It will be sort of a travel experience so there are no controls or anything the player can interact with. So I have that to make my job a little easier. All they can do is sit down and enjoy the experience. Sadly I cannot give away too many details about the game at this point! However I am very excited to release it all here if I can succeed with building this. Below attachment is a similar product to what I'm trying to achieve; a multi-seat VR experience.

    6-Person Simulator.jpg

    I am developing the game in Unreal Engine and World Machine. Also credits to some amazing asset creators such as Mawi United and PolyPixel. Just keep in mind I composed a lot of scenes with assets from Mawi and PolyPixel but some of the screens are straight up what they built. However I have a commercial license on these so I can move them over to my project the way they are. Just wanted to make it clear I did not model or texture anything here.. just composed a few scenes together and did some programming. Here are a few screenshots from the game.

    Game Screenshot 1.png Game Screenshot 2.png

    I have already made an attempt at building the structure of it but I am not sure if the way I went is very feasible. I feel like I need a better solution. I built this little foundation just to test and play around with the motors. I am not sure if I even placed the motors correctly. Just thought a triangle position would be sufficient for a 3DOF. I might have to do slight modifications to it. Dimensions of what you see in the bottom image is a length of 190cm and width of 120cm. Distance between the 2 rear motors is 50cm and the front motor is centered in the front.

    Frame 1.jpg Frame 2.jpg

    I have these 3 linear actuators and servo motors that I purchased from a company in China. I have to say I deeply regret my decision because they cost me quite a lot and I will not be using them after this prototype. I have to decide on a new set of motors from a different supplier simply because the price of this was way too much even for a prototype. I am attaching the specifications of these right here. I will try to provide the translation as best as I can. I will edit the translations if you can help me figure out what they could really mean.

    China Specifications.png

    1. Maximum Stroke
    2. Actuator Force
    3. Actuator Speed
    4. Ball Screw
    5. Timing Belt Speed Ratio
    6. Flange, Power, Amount of Turns.. (not sure what is 6NM)

    Linear Actuators and Servos.jpg

    I think I went overkill with these. For a 4-seat simulator I would assume the maximum weight of everything (people + structure) would be around 500 kilograms.. unless 4 bodybuilders sit on it at the same time. Not to mention the default position of the ball-joint is 60cm above the ground which puts the frame quite high above the ground. Add the maximum stroke to that and it goes really high. I am not sure if that's viable or aesthetically pleasing.

    So I would need to acquire a different set of motors. I was also given a driver called MDBOX (attached image below) to control these. Sadly none of the people they directed me to knew how to run this thing. A bunch of code snippets and executables they sent me to control them were buggy and did not move the simulator how it is meant to move. So I am not sure what happened on that part.

    MDBox Servo Driver.jpg

    It was around that time I crashed one of the actuators to the ground and @Thanos from the community told me to check this out and get some real help.

    TL;DR

    A quick summary to what I am talking about here.. I do not know if I have a solid structure and I need to replace my motors and switch to an Arduino + SaberTooth + SimTools solution. I did have some decent progress until now but all very blurry and in the air. So I have come to this community to help clear my thoughts and build something truly great.

    I do want to make this into a commercial product. I am not sure if I saw a multi-seat machine here before. I am also not sure if I saw anyone here before who developed the game for the machine. So in that way I think this thread could help out a lot of people wanting to do the same. I can help out any aspiring game developers here and share my experiences. I can also share my experiences navigating through the China market for people who are considering importing things from there and need some advice. I have been there 4 times and am planning another visit soon.

    Many thanks to everyone in advance!!
    • Like Like x 3
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    Innovative tech specialist for NGOs
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    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
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    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
    Thanks for the comprehensive overview.

    Just confirming a triangle is the common arrangement for a 3DOF.

    One thing to consider though with a multi seat arrangement is the possibility of being unevenly loaded, so the rig likely needs to be powerful enough to compensate for that.

    I suspect you would probably not be aiming for as high sim speeds as are often used in projects here: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/faq/speed-needed-for-good-motion.218/

    Here is some information about telemetry for UE4 and SimTools: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...ry-output-into-a-game-unity-and-ue4-code.287/
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  4. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, AC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    This is mainly a DIY community, so no multi seat sims. As this is a commercial venture and it looks like you are building a sim which will be used in a commercial 'fee for ride' environment. My free advice to you would be to protect yourself, by hiring a suitable engineer to sign off on the design in that it meets all engineering, legal and Health and Safety standards. Good luck in your venture :thumbs
    • Agree Agree x 4
  5. Metaverum

    Metaverum New Member Gold Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2019
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    Balance:
    106Coins
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, 3DOF
    I assume that wider the triangle is, more angles I can provide. A smaller triangle would require higher strokes to tilt the platform. For weight distribution, I have a quite strong structure and the images attached, I had 4 really big guys jump up and down on it and try to break it somehow but it didn't budge at all. I am more worried about the actuators below breaking under pressure. I need to figure out the right force required for my actuators. For a weight of 500KG, how would I calculate required force PER actuator?

    And yeah, I don't really need very high speeds, just smooth movement. It should be reactive though. I don't know what type of actuators to buy really. I saw some SCN ones on this site and they look good.

    Yes that seems to be required. I live outside the EU though and I doubt any engineer I find here will be able to provide me with the proper certificates that will be accepted in the EU. Do you know how I should go about doing this? Any reliable companies that provide this that you know of?