V0.2 Description

Pre-production prototype - this version of the Holoseat will work out the kinks from v0.1 and add user convenience features. In particular, it will use a simplified design (an Arduino Leonardo in place of both the Arduino Uno and the USB Keyboard controller) and implement the remainder of the required features. These include:

  • Suppress the walk command
  • Indicate the status of the walk command
  • Support single steps vs continuous walking
  • Tune the walking speed required to trigger continuous walking (time/budget permitting)

V0.2 Overview Page Content

I hate exercise. It really just doesn't do anything for me (well, except keep me healthy). And I love video games. Especially role playing games like Mass Effect, Fallout, and now MMOs like Star Wars The Old Republic. Of course, what my life really needs is more time spend sitting on my couch or at my desk.

Sound familiar? If so, you should check out my latest project: the Holoseat. Think of it as the smallest precursor to the Enterprise's holodeck and Deep Space Nine's holosuite. Inspired by the now defunct Excite Bike (later renamed PedalSense), the Holoseat takes the idea of exercise bike as controller beyond sports games and into all game genres including role playing, first person shooters, and platfomers. It also does away with the need to hack your XBox controller, instead opting for keyboard emulation on PCs. The Holoseat uses an Ardunino Leonardo to measure pedal rates (like your bike computer does) and to send the appropriate keyboard commands for walking to your PC when you are pedaling fast enough.

Take a look at the the video below to get an idea of how it works. Note, this is from the very first working prototype, and all of the performance bugs you see have been addressed in the current version.

Oh, and want to know if it works? Well, since completing the second generation prototype, and subscribing to Star Wars The Old Republic 8 months ago, I have lost nearly 40 lbs. Of course, I am also eating better, but there is a noticeable difference in my weight loss when I am home playing my game 5-7 nights a week versus when I am on business trips and have to ride a regular exercise bike which I only manage to do a couple times a week. Clearly, your mileage may vary, but the Holoseat has been a life changer for me.

Which is why I am releasing it as open source hardware. Once the third version is complete, I will also be launching a Kickstarter to fund the initial round of production hardware (both kits and finished versions). Watch the News feed for more details.

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Proudly built at Dayton Diode, Dayton's Makerspace

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