Just in time for Halloween, it's VR Car Zombies with a natural user interface. In a previous project I learned that a PS3 remote worked perfectly with my Android games when plugged into a USB OTG cable. So, when I found a PS3 steering wheel and pedals controller, for $5 at a garage sale, I hadhigh hopes that it would work the same way. Sure enough, the steering worked as an analog left & right controller and the gas & brake pedal worked as square & X buttons.
Once I had proved the controller worked with my old Samsung Galaxy S5 I needed a game that would be compatible with VR and with the controls. Since I have no Android programming skills, I needed to find a published game to use. I found several VR car driving games, but some don't use a 1st person view and others don't have controller support. I found some that gave you a view from the drivers seat and used a game controller, but the throttle and brake buttons were different than what I needed. I finally found what I was looking for in VR Car Zombies.
With a suitable app selected I decided I would build a platform for the steering wheel and pedals. My office chair at work had recently torn through the back. When I requested a new back to my chair, I recieved a whole new chair. Since it is impossible for me to throw anything away I stashed the busted chair in my garage until I could find a use for it. It looked like the chair was going to be revived as a virtual zombie escape vehicle. I would need to sew a new back for the chair, but I also needed to design a mount attached to the chair that could hold the steering wheel and pedals securely in place.
I had some 1-1/8" tubing laying around and I have a tubing bender, so I thought I would give it a work out. My goal was to make 90 degree bends as close as possible to each other to make a tight offset from the bottom of the chair down to the floor. I bent another piece of tubing to come up and carry the steering wheel. Once all the pieces were bent and notched to fit together, it was off to the Makerspace to be welded. I also welded some fence post tubing, which was just large enough to allow the 1-1/8" tubing to slide through it, to the bottom of the armrests. After fitting everything up, I found some sheet metal, to use for the floor pan. I decided to add a caster wheel to the front so that the frame sits just off the ground and can swivel. I formed a sheet metal panel for the front, just for looks. Now the frame needed a paint job.
With everything painted black it was time to breakout the sewing machine. I found some old vinyl material, from a pool table cover that my dogs had chewed up. The hardest part was be remembering where it's been stashed away for the last ten years.
This project was a fun build. Finding new ways to incorporate NUIs natural use interfaces for use with VR interests me. I find a NUI helps with the feeling of immersion. As VR continues to develope I'll be looking for new ways to interface with the technology in a natural user friendly way. Until then, I'll be running over zombies.