CyberWalk: Enabling unconstrained omnidirectional walking through virtual environments

J. L. Souman, P. Robuffo Giordano, M. Schwaiger, I. Frissen, T. Thümmel, H. Ulbrich, A. De Luca, Heinrich Bulthoff, M. O. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite many recent developments in virtual reality, an effective locomotion interface which allows for normal walking through large virtual environments was until recently still lacking. Here, we describe the new CyberWalk omnidirectional treadmill system, which makes it possible for users to walk endlessly in any direction, while never leaving the confines of the limited walking surface. The treadmill system improves on previous designs, both in its mechanical features and in the control system employed to keep users close to the center of the treadmill. As a result, users are able to start walking, vary their walking speed and direction, and stop walking as they would on a normal, stationary surface. The treadmill system was validated in two experiments, in which both the walking behavior and the performance in a basic spatial updating task were compared to that during normal overground walking. The results suggest that walking on the CyberWalk treadmill is very close to normal walking, especially after some initial familiarization. Moreover, we did not find a detrimental effect of treadmill walking in the spatial updating task. The CyberWalk system constitutes a significant step forward to bringing the real world into the laboratory or workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalACM Transactions on Applied Perception
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Exercise equipment
Virtual Environments
Virtual reality
Walking
Updating
Locomotion
Virtual Reality
Walk
Control System
Vary
Experiment
Control systems
Workplace
Experiments

Keywords

  • Control system
  • Locomotion
  • Spatial navigation
  • Treadmill
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Souman, J. L., Giordano, P. R., Schwaiger, M., Frissen, I., Thümmel, T., Ulbrich, H., ... Ernst, M. O. (2011). CyberWalk: Enabling unconstrained omnidirectional walking through virtual environments. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 8(4), [25]. https://doi.org/10.1145/2043603.2043607

CyberWalk : Enabling unconstrained omnidirectional walking through virtual environments. / Souman, J. L.; Giordano, P. Robuffo; Schwaiger, M.; Frissen, I.; Thümmel, T.; Ulbrich, H.; De Luca, A.; Bulthoff, Heinrich; Ernst, M. O.

In: ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, Vol. 8, No. 4, 25, 01.11.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Souman, JL, Giordano, PR, Schwaiger, M, Frissen, I, Thümmel, T, Ulbrich, H, De Luca, A, Bulthoff, H & Ernst, MO 2011, 'CyberWalk: Enabling unconstrained omnidirectional walking through virtual environments', ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, vol. 8, no. 4, 25. https://doi.org/10.1145/2043603.2043607
Souman, J. L. ; Giordano, P. Robuffo ; Schwaiger, M. ; Frissen, I. ; Thümmel, T. ; Ulbrich, H. ; De Luca, A. ; Bulthoff, Heinrich ; Ernst, M. O. / CyberWalk : Enabling unconstrained omnidirectional walking through virtual environments. In: ACM Transactions on Applied Perception. 2011 ; Vol. 8, No. 4.
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