The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill – Smarter Every Day 192 (VR Series)
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The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill – Smarter Every Day 192 (VR Series)

August 23, 2019

Hey, it’s me, Destin. Welcome back to Smarter Every Day. A treadmill is a pretty simple device, right? You set the speed you want; you get on, you start moving. But you don’t actually go anywhere. This technology people have realized for a really long time is perfect for virtual reality Because you could walk somewhere and actually use your body but not leave the confines of your own home Okay here we are in California. We are at a company called Infinadeck. This is a small engineering outfit These guys make a 360 degree treadmill the one that’s in the movie ready player one so the interesting thing is they’re really small company But they’ve got a really cool idea, so let’s go check out how this thing works. All right, so this is George, and he owns Infinadeck right? Yeah All right And basically Infinadeck is a 360 degree treadmill technique. That is Is it safe to say that we’ve got treadmills on top of treadmills here? It’s a treadmill made of treadmills Okay. Treadmill made of treadmills So you can think of it as you’ve got one axis of rotation here and each individual Treadmill can move in this direction as well, right? Yeah So how do you ? So it’s a combination right obviously if you want to go X. This is our X direction. This is our Y X is nothing, but a treadmill you know like any other treadmill the Y it’s nothing, but the smaller treadmills right now we’re using the Vive tracker on you Right, so where is the, there they are right there. So your tracker’s on your rear We kind of artificially take you about seven or eight inches in front of that to get the middle of your CG And this tries to keep that middle of the CG in the middle of the treadmill right there. Oh I got you. So the, so the feedb- that was one of my main questions is what is the feedback loop? It’s a positional feedback loop. Yeah, it’s fairly simple right now. We’re making it better this that’s the part We’re gonna just keep improving for ever, years and years and years really? so the goal so you have an object and then Oh, I get it. It’s this is, this is called They’re very visual This is a semi autonomous command position sensor. That’s the best Specific way to say that, right? Now what we’re also doing on this one is You put foot trackers on when you combine the foot trackers the headset and your and your hand controllers You now have six different Points that is tracked on you, and that’s enough for us to give you an avatar George Jr told me if I screwed this little VR tracker into the bottom of the camera We can insert that camera into the virtual world Which of course we had to do So we’re ready? Yeah So I just I just get in? Yeah go ahead, so Alright Let me help you a little Okay? So first let’s do your feet Alright This is the CG you’re gonna put that on. Make the tracker meet like directly behind your back Okay So go on, put your headset This feels like I’m actually getting in the Oasis here Oh wow I can see the camera, in the virtual world If you look towards me you should see the two controllers? What the heck man! So we’re gonna have you do now Okay, okay. I’m trying to. This is just normal VR. So I can actually see the ring now That’s something I didn’t expect, so I can, it’s there Yeah Alright so now that’s I see my body too – what’s up with my body So we’re gonna sync that with you. So if I can have you stand with your legs straight down, and your arms straight out to your sides, like a T-pose? Three two one Did it work? Oh I can see my body! Wow Alright Okay, that’s rad. That’s really rad. Okay, gotcha so So right now you’re tracking the position of my hands and my feet Dude that is messed up! This – I’d like him – Alright So I can see the camera, the tic-tac there, but what’s more important is I can also see this ring And Griffin why did you say you have this ring in here? So this is there to kind of lock you down in the real world without being too much of a burden to say So this is like you know when you do an integral you get the plus C at the end So this is a boundary condition for me to kind of lock my brain into both worlds so this is like this tells me where I’m at virtually and Like actual my body, right? Absolutely Okay so, are you ready to start walking? I’m ready to start walking We’re gonna recommend you have your hands on the range when you first try this just so you get used to That’s okay, so when you start. Yeah. I thought it would make sense for you for it to put me in the center, okay So now right? What is trying to do is this trying to keep the CG of my back in the center of the ring, right? So I’m gonna touch this and as I walk Okay, it takes just okay. I’m there. Okay. I don’t want to hit that tree So I’m gonna turn this way Okay So I can’t really tell if I’m walking 90 degrees or not Okay, so there’s inertia in the rollers, okay? I thought there might be. So if I move backwards It’s gonna keep me there I move forwards So it takes just a second Just a couple seconds on the Infinadeck, and I instantly understood the problems that these guys have to overcome It’s pretty interesting It seems pretty simple: whatever direction a person walks, the Infinadeck moves in the opposite direction, whether it be X or Y, at the exact same velocity and acceleration. Think about a normal treadmill: your brain is doing all the processing. Your brain is constantly Solving the equation a treadmill velocity plus body velocity equals zero if at any point You don’t solve that equation correctly you start moving relative to the treadmill. This is a very similar problem, but it’s much harder It’s harder because there’s two dimensions That’s the obvious one But it’s also harder because the processing isn’t happening in your brain. That processing is offloaded to the Infinadeck which, oh by the way, can’t read your mind. There’s a delay time for the Infinadeck to figure out where your position is and try to change that… Yeah. Yes. …and if it tries to do it too quickly you know you can have an overdamped and under damped system is that correct? Yeah. Is that the right terminology? So, yeah So at the moment what we’re currently doing we’re trying to make it so that the acceleration on the user in any way that they’re not really tried experience is never more than 0.1 Gs got it Oh that seems to be about a good amount to not really be, you know disturbing for the user. Okay. We’re trying to figure out where exactly that isn’t how to do that if I walk forward I’m gonna feel an acceleration in one direction on my body because I’m pushing against the floor, right but then the floor is gonna move, and it’s gonna move my body in the opposite direction, so I’m going to feel an acceleration that’s negative, which is strange for, you know, a normal walking around human. Then, once I hit a steady state velocity, I’m gonna level out that acceleration in my mouth. My body’s gonna be cool with it right, but the moment I stop That’s a change in velocity and the Infinadeck has to accommodate for that. It has to move you back to the center gracefully and one thing that happens is if it tries to move you back too fast It’ll overshoot, and then it has to correct. So this is a really interesting engineering problem because it doesn’t have perfect knowledge of intent. Like, that that’s the difference with your brain you have intent and so when you’re walking in a normal treadmill you get to choose everything, right? but you have to understand over the last few years we had to, you know, build and modify the Infinadeck too along with the control system, and there’s only a few of us, so. Well. It’s been challenging all around. This is why the problem is interesting because when you’re walking in the world Right now my acceleration is zero And then when I stop I’m used to imparting acceleration to my body But that doesn’t happen till later Yes, it’s a work in progress how far you go back. It’s That’s clever. That’s it’s a challenge. That’s a that’s a hard math problem one thing I thought was really cool is you can use this to be a different size in the virtual world just by changing a Constant right you can scale How many steps it takes to get around in the earth? Just by a scale factor, but literally a scaler, that’s often. Oh, there’s the same boat look at that It’s a dude. It’s like I want to jump I’m just Too small to get it Too small to go to my boat and *laughs* That’s fun. That’s really fun that the model… There’s my bench. Look behind you, there’s my bench before In engineering we have these assignments called technology readiness levels There’s nine of them, and I would say this is somewhere between a six and a seven Which means there’s a working prototype that works, and they’re just refining the subsystems they’re about to go to production So it’s really cool to be able to walk on This Infinadeck before it goes out into mainstream production and see the behind the scenes engineering things they’re having to solve. It’s really interesting. So, it’s clear George knows all this I mean he instantly understands all the variables I asked him about That how tall the person was like if you think about it your center of mass is at a different length and so that moment arm is different you have to deal with inertia differently like from the bottom of it. It’s really interesting anyway This is me talking to George and you can tell he totally gets it. I I can imagine that the the inertia Overcoming that inertia is different for each person because if I’m 175 pounds and I move here It takes a certain amount of torque I’ll cut the deck off now. It takes a certain amount of torque for these motors to move me and That’s going to change based on the size of the person, is that correct? That’s correct that. It’s more about your acceleration than the inertia. The the deck is capable of moving a lot faster than you can move. So so we could pull your feet out from under you if we ever, you know, had it set to do so. So all the algorithms stuff will will have more to do with other variables, like your CG, CG imbalance. And there’s a moment arm between the distance from my feet to where my CG is, right? So, so the acceleration that you put there, there’s gonna be this lag time in my brain where I try to counteract that, is that correct? Very much. All right, this is the part of video where I tell you about the sponsor and, you know, a lot of people fast-forward through this part, but you know this is the important part because we wouldn’t be doing this if I hadn’t have listened to Ready Player One on Audible. I’m not gonna tell you about ready player one. You know that’s old news at this point, I’m gonna tell you about the new book that I’m listening to. The sponsor is Audible you can get a free book by going to or texting the word “smarter” to 500-500 The new book that I’m listening to is called “Twelve Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson, “an Antidote for Chaos.” Now, I’m listening to this book because I heard some podcast with the author. There’s a lot of people talking about this book I wanted to check it out because he doesn’t believe things that I believe in fact he takes a third party-like perspective look at some of the things I believe and so that helps me get outside myself and grow a little bit So I really enjoy it. If you’re not listening to audiobooks, you really should be. You’re smart people; you know this part is a big deal for me, and I know this part can be a big deal for you, because audiobooks literally have changed my life. So,, that’s how you can support Smarter Every Day, or text the word “smarter” to 500-500. Thank you for considering that. Last thing. I wanna say thanks to the guys at Infinadeck. A treadmill made of treadmills, that is insane. You’re there man, this is just a control systems problem at this point, isn’t it? We just need some control engineers. We ought to hire a couple. That’s what this is at this point. At this point, it’s just computer stuff and math so this is doable I hope you enjoyed this video enough to subscribe. If you do there’s a little bell beside the subscription button. If you haven’t enjoyed it enough to hit the bell to get a notification on your phone every time I upload, then don’t. That’s completely okay. Anyway, I’m Destin. You’re getting Smarter Every Day. Have a good one. Thanks for learning with me You’re gonna fall. You fell. You jumped. Whatever. What are you doin’? Why you makin’ noise?

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  1. what about just making 2 centers on which the tredmil wants position and place em on your feet pads. maybe that could work?

  2. Hey guys, I woke up this morning and watched your video….
    I see you have a lot of problems you need to overcome, but let me tell you my opinion.
    You might be approaching this whole thing from wrong direction. You might wanna try let the treadmill run freely (by human force) and work on breaking system instead of acceleration system…
    just an idea…

  3. Maybe a belt system that holds the user in the center.. you're essentially the ball of the computer mouse..

  4. Question, why are people not just restricted in the center, seems to be the easy solution, then the only thing it had to do is recognised movement, and be able to go in all directions, this should be able to be accomplished with a loss ring around you that can be adjusted before use, this way you can also turn

  5. What it seems it's going to need is predictive AI that can read your bodies movement so before your foot even lands taking a step forward or backward it's already moving the treadmill to keep you in the center. The better it gets at this the closer one stays in the center and the less momentum one would feel after they stop and are recentered on the treadmill.

  6. You're no longer able to silently play video games in your room in the middle of the night without your parents knowing and finding out…

    2:58 PM

  7. I’m from the year 2146 so it’s pretty funny to see how silly and stupid the original homo sapiens were. And yes time travel is possible in case you didn’t realize. I pity you original humans since your flesh will eventually fail and turn to dust. The future is so great beyond belief. Everything, technologically speaking, that you originals thought would happen is irrelevant at this point. Compare it to riding a horse and driving a car for you originals. One thing that is interesting is that language has stayed the same.

  8. How about an exoskeleton legs mechanised in the air they can track the movements more accurately without much inertia

  9. One way they could get closer to fluid acceleration and movement in general is additional sensors. They could see body movements that usually preceed actions like the amount your knee bends before you walk with the additional sensors, which would signal to the treadmill to move.

  10. hardware's great and all, but we still don't have any truly expansive and immersive VR games yet. hopefully they catch up to the rate that hardware improvement is.

  11. why not use a spherical ball, instead of 2 treadmills. it can move in any direction and you do not need to direct it.

  12. My wish would be really vr to play online where to run or fly so where you have superpower in a game in the time where I still live would be really good if the developers in 10 years would get something like that

  13. They should drive this with a central motor with a worm gear and a bearing. Combine that with the tech from cnc machines and you can make a very fast and precise system. Measurements should be taken from the accelerameters in the foot sensors. Take the change in those coordinates – the change in the worm gear coordinates should = zero. The processing power needed to make this equation should be incredibly small.

  14. jeez, just fix the person into the middle, use fixed rods with damperring system, either putting springs in the middle of the rods that hold the person, or hydraulic dampers, and movement can be guaranteed either by putting slides for the rods either on the belt holsing the person in place, or on the outer ring. the math also gets much easier once the person is held in position.

  15. I wish I was there to suggest pressure plating underneath the straps of the treadmill to help by using the users leaning to predict movement more accurately

  16. Now neurallink got presenred by Elon Musk not too long ago, maybe pairing the neurallink with a treadmil of that would make walking much easier in VR. The neurallink Will have bluetooth

  17. "like an integral you get a plus c at the end" 4:11 wow why do i relate to this
    time to dlet myself from this world ive studied too much

  18. Would if you used a joystick on the remote that would send signals to the treadmill of their intent saying which direction they were traveling and moved the treadmill that way while moving the player as well in the game. However, combined with the tracking and everything else currently being used.

  19. What they need is floor or feet pressure sensors. That will be able to indicate intention and fix all issues with delay

  20. Say the machine was perfect, and say the player get hit by the enemy. If the machine cant simulate getting down, then is it breaking the immersion? Or if the machine could simulate it, would it harm / injure the player?

  21. the simple thing is it has already been solved. you see it in universal studios or disney 3d rides.. you use gravity to simulate acceleration. you cannot do it with horizontal platform not perfectly ever. it has to be a swinging infideck dish

  22. Rather than solely using the position of the back sensor, wouldn't they be best to use the feet trackers to monitor intent and calculate an offset with the back tracker? As you lift your foot and move it forward, it could offset the distance between the back and moving foot to move the track more in time with your step.

    In doing so this would be able to react as you move rather than having the lag that you refer to when the back sensor is trying to center itself.

  23. This is way to easy to do. This idea here is nice but there's something 50 times better simpler.. this is so easy to do. An the whole realignment. That's not even needed.. lol this is so easy to make. So easy it's lol easy

  24. Anticipate the movement of the hips knees and feet and have a breaking mechanism in threadmill. in that way the computer knows that you wanna decelerate or stop and vary the movement of threadmill itself depending on the speed of acceleration and deceleration.i wanna go in oasis someday.

  25. No way is that thing anywhere near ready for production…. dude man is smart but doesn’t have the common sense to realize a prototype that is not mass production ready

  26. If they could improve this so you don't get motion sickness with the VR headset and the treadmill combined and make the the treadmill better and sell it for a good price I might get this in the future.

  27. Perfect case to use AI. That way the system can learn the way humans usually move and react and predict the next move. Then the deck won't overshoot or react too late.

  28. Seems like they are using a PID for the motors already. I wonder if they had a tutorial that helped the PID algorithm learn your movements if that may help.

  29. What if they used electric sensors in order to capture electric signals from the brain to the different muscles of the body with in a IA system capable to determine what movement the person is going to make. It would just need data base for the IA system ?‍♂️

  30. Wouldn't alot of individually "rolling" balls be smoother? A censor on each foot tells the computer where your feet are and in which direction they're pointing, and then rolls a group of balls located under your feet, all at certain individual direction/speed based on your feets positions and your predicted step.

    It would solve the problem of sliding away from the center, since the "threadmill" only moves at the spot where your feet are, and while you want to move!

    The balls would also have force-sensors capable of responding to you "breaking" or quickly stop moving. As well as computing data from another sensor detecting how your body leans during the movement, to calibrate the speed so you wont "slip" while leaning forward, and slowing down when leaning backwards while running, as you would when doing a "sliding break" IRL 🙂

  31. Why don’t you just get a treadmill and then spin it. If you move it can see your direction of travel and rotate the treadmill in that direction and the treadmill will reposition the tracker in the centre of the treadmill. Lol, with math it’s not that hard.

  32. If this becomes a released vr game, I swear SAO will be a popular game.

    Many people will put there name as Kirito.

    I'll be xXxKIRITO_PussySlayerxXX

  33. what about a ton of half inch balls or whatever size would feel level but still roll and you put them in a grid or something so there is no power needed kinda like a ball bearing, but they only move under your foot when you apply force in any direction?

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