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VirtualPerampulator is effective for design and presentation of buildings or urban space. Before they are physically constructed ,Simulating virtual buildings is useful for designers and clients. A head-mounted display provides 360-degree image of virtual space. However,walkable area of the physical space is strictly limited according to the sensing range of the motion tracking sensor or wire harness of interface devices.

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VirtualPerampulator provides sense of walking while position of the walker is fixed in the physical world. The walker wears omni-directional sliding devices on the feet, and a hoop is set around the walker's waist by which the position of the walker is limited. We developed specialized roller skate equipped with four casters which enables two dimensional motion. The device has a brake pad at the toe. While the walker steps forward,the brake pad generates backward friction force at the foot. The friction force enhances haptic feedback. The walker can freely change the direction of walking in the hoop. The length of the step is measured by a optical encoder connected to the caster. Scene of virtual space is displayed in a head-mounted display corresponding with the motion of the feet and head. Novice users of the system can hold the hoop so that they can easily keep the balance of their bodies. Trained users of the system can push their waists against the hoop and they can walk fast or can even run.

The system enables remote collaboration by designer and client of architecture. The client can experience his/her house in its designing process. The design can be interactively changed by the remotely located designer.

Related paper:

Iwata,H. and Fujii,T. VIRTUAL PERAMBULATOR: A Novel Interface Device for Locomotion in Virtual Environment: Proc of IEEE 1996 Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium

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Walkthrough Simulator Guide /Takashi Fujii /