Update: We have changed the name from Pedal360 to PedalSense to remove any confusion about if this works for non-xbox systems (it will). We can't change the rewards since some people have claimed them, so they still say 'pedal360' on some.
*** The pitch ***
We're making exercise a lot more fun.
PedalSense is open source hardware/software project that connects to any exercise bike and turns it into a controller for your xbox 360 (soon: ps3). When you pedal, it's like hitting the accelerator, and the faster you pedal the faster you go. It makes racing games a completely different experience. You feel connected to the game, and the workout dynamic isn't like normal exercise. Rather than forcing yourself yourself to stay at a certain level for a certain time, your drive is motivated by the game conditions and you hardly notice how hard you're working.
Support the project and be the first to have a PedalSense for yourself! All of the money from the first two support levels go towards buying and assembling a PedalSense unit for you - we're not making any extra off the top. These will be ready soon, we've already done the R&D and have working prototypes. We expect to be shipping in late June or July.
There are a lot of reasons why this is still a good deal for us. For one, we get the added benefit of an economy of scale when we order parts - anyone who has fabricated electronics knows this is a huge deal. Second, we get a group of testers and (hopefully!) advocates for the project. Testing is important because we only have access to a few exercise bikes, and we're hoping to have a system that works for almost any exercise bike out there. Finally, we're hoping people don't just use these, but hack them for their own purpose and contribute back. (HINT: We'd love to see someone connect a PedalSense to a racing wheel and then mount that to their exercise bike).
You can follow our progress at http://www.pedalsense.com
*** How it works ***
The PedalSense has 3 main components:
The first is a sensor ring which is composed of magnetic sensors. This goes against the bike near the pedals. You attach a strong magnet (included) to the pedal shaft which passes over the sensors triggering them in order.
The sensor ring plugs into the second component, the main control board. The main control board has a microcontroller that crunches the numbers and decides how much throttle to apply. There is a physical sliding control on this unit that indicates how fast you need to pedal to reach max throttle in game. This unit has LEDs telling you what % throttle you are at.
Signals from the main control board are passed to the third component, the game pad. We're only integrating with wireless xbox 360 gamapads for now, but we knee deep in a ps3 gamepad hack. We always use wireless gamepads so you don't need to be tethered to the console, however there is a wire from the gamepad to the main controller board. As you pedal, the gamepad asks as if the right trigger is being depressed. The level of depression depends on how fast you are pedaling. The right trigger is the standard throttle button on most racing games, and the shooting button on many others.
The whole PedalSense unit is powered off the batteries in the gamepad.
*** What's included ***
The PedalSense comes with:
* sensor ring (circuit board and sensors)
* magnet to be used with the sensor ring
* main control unit (2x4 inch custom machined box with main circuit board inside)
* xbox360 gamepad modified to work with the system
* cord to connect gamepad to the main control unit
* cord to connect the main control unit to the sensor ring
* mounting hardware / accessories
*** Need a bike? ***
They are pretty cheap, actually. Check craigslist or a used sports equipment store in the area. Even getting one shipped from Amazon is fairly inexpensive. The bike pictured is the schwinn 230. A recumbent is highly suggested because your hands are busy with the game pad.