The video gaming industry is the most influential factor in driving demand up for high performance computers. Hundreds of millions of people all over the world enjoy playing video games making gaming a billion dollar industry in the United States alone. The direction of video gaming is becoming more and more realistic at homes through high definition displays and high definition sound systems.
However, the force feedback aspect of video gaming is full of potential and yet to be awakened in today's world of home gaming. Game controllers with vibration features have been the most successful at achieving force feedback from video games in today's market. When this feature first appeared in the form of a Rumble Pack" for the Nintendo 64, video gaming consumers' feedback was such a success that Nintendo, Playstation, and X-Box now include the vibration feature in all their new controllers. This concept of force feedback is what inspired Game Design Studios of Oregon State University to propose a project in designing and developing a multi-axis force feedback simulator chair project.
The goal of this project is to design a chair that will support up to 350 pounds while capable of moving, rotating and tilting in multiple directions as a feedback response from the game being played. This device will exchange information between a computer via USB and perhaps be powered by the standard 120V wall outlet.
Today, force feedback simulators can be found at many commercial locations with a video arcade such as Game Works, Big Al's, etc. Since force feedback simulators are becoming popular at arcades, more and more individuals want to bring that experience home. Most, if not all, home gaming force feedback simulators are designed by small businesses or individuals. All of these force feedback simulators provide various types of movements, but not one of them seem to provide all of the movements a gamer should have.
Some possible improvements to these force feedback simulator products can be: higher durability, improved feedback simulation, more efficient components to increase power efficiency, etc. Designing a force feedback simulator chair will require a great deal of resources and time. Also, communication between the hardware and software of the chair will be complex. Ultimately, our goal is to develop a force feedback simulator chair to simulate a game like Mechwarrior. Given a budget, we will minimize costs and maximize performance in our design. The functions and features of our product will launch home gaming experience to the next level.
Team Infinity (Left to Right in the picture is Warren, Edward, and Jonathan)
The Force Feedback Simulator Chair project will be divided into two major processes - ECE(Electrical and Computer Engineering) and ME(Mechanical Engineering). As an ECE Senior Design Project, the members of Team Infinity (Warren Mui, Edward Wulff, Jonathan Yan) are responsible for meeting the following ECE minimum requirements:
- Movements of yaw at +/- 120 degrees, pitch and roll at +/- 15 degrees through motors driven by micro-controller(s) and sensors
- Three levels of speed range varied by micro-controller(s) and sensors
- User and observers are free from electrical hazards and program malfunctioning
- Connects to a computer via USB sending and receiving information necessary to control and respond to the game
- Powered through a 120V outlet
- Operates for at least 2 hours or longer
- Programmed and wired to support 350 pounds of user weight (i.e. in-addition to the product structure)
- Needs Identification and Background Research
- System Requirements and Desired Features
- Design Solutions
- Top Level Block Design
- Project Timeline
- System Test Proof
- Mechanical System Test Proof
- State Diagram
- Expo Materials
Signed Group Consent Form