CRE8 was approached by Virtuix, a Houston-based company, with the idea of a VR treadmill, aiming to provide a closed and safe platform for gamers to immerse themselves in the VR experience without worries of falling over. This innovative product was pioneering the industry and required extensive research to make it happen. CRE8 was then commissioned to design, engineer, and find manufacturing solutions for the Omni VR treadmill.
Due to the complexity and originality of this product, multiple mechanical inventions were needed to support the design work and to make the product mass-producible. Both the hard part and the soft part (harness) had to accommodate users of different body types, while being durable enough for different gaming scenarios. Areas to be considered included: easy assembly and disassembly; quick adjustment to different heights and waist sizes; sound and secure structure.
THE SUPPORT MECHANISM
The support mechanism consists of two adjustable arms with a protective ring. The arms have springs embedded to help facilitate a smooth and easy height adjustment. A special clamp solution helps open and close the ring securely when the user enters the product.
THE LOCKING SYSTEM
Attached to the arms are cleverly engineered levers. After adjusting the ring to the user’s waist position, the levers can be easily controlled and pushed down with the user’s feet to fasten the struts and keep the ring firmly in place.
The base comprises a bowl-like platform for users to stand, walk, run, and jump on. CRE8’s engineers explored and experimented on various materials to find the most suitable choice – Polypropylene – for its great stretchability, durability, light weight, and cost-effectiveness. Due to the product’s large size, it requires special molding techniques to create an integrated infrastructure that is also enhanced for bearing different weights.