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Treadmill or ergometer-bike becomes a game controller! Exercise meets gaming. For Linux, Windows, Mac OSX & Consoles.
Treadmill or ergometer-bike becomes a game controller! Exercise meets gaming. For Linux, Windows, Mac OSX & Consoles.
Treadmill or ergometer-bike becomes a game controller! Exercise meets gaming. For Linux, Windows, Mac OSX & Consoles.
81 backers pledged SEK 33,918 to help bring this project to life.

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TreadGaming - Exercise while Playing Games

SEK 33,918

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  • Fun
  • Immersive
  • Healthy

"This device lets you work on your fitness while gaming."

"Finally, a tiny device that can transform your treadmill into a joystick."

Works with all games, but first person ones really come alive. Movement is smooth and feels very intuitive.

The device is already made and in daily use. It functions very well, and is ready for use by everyday people and ready for mass production.

Quick overview: http://treadgaming.herokuapp.com

Build-log: http://treadgaming.blogspot.com/

Since the device now works perfectly for me, I want to allow others to take part in my experience. Reaching this point, and with the help of crowdfunding, devices can be mass produced to reach a broader audience.

Have a question? If you need help, you can ask the me, project creator directly on IRC here:
#treadgaming  @ freenode IRC (chat) network

  • Plug-and-play, connect the USB cable and the Nunchucks and the device is recognized as a joystick on Linux, Mac OSX and Windows.
  • Put the device on the moving surface.

Press a button and a blinking red LED indicates calibration mode. Now, move at a speed that matches top regular ingame pace. After 10 seconds, calibration is done. The calibrated value and your settings are saved, even if the device is unplugged.

You are now ready to play your favourite game or take a stroll on a virtual beach.

If you go even faster than you did during calibration, sprinting will be triggered ingame. When your speed on the treadmill goes below the "top speed"-threshold, you slow down. No need to simulate getting tired. ;)

It doesn’t have to be sprinting ingame, imagine sprinting on your treadmill for push to talk, hilarity ensues.

Some games use buttons to trigger sprinting. There are 3 different ways that this is done.

  1. Tap - A button is pressed to alter movement. When the button pressed again, you stop running.
  2. Hold - Button is pressed and held to make the character in the game run. When the button is released, the character stops running.
  3. Frantic - Button must be pressed repeatedly for the character to run.

All these variants are supported, and they are triggered when you reach the top speed threshold, like in the video:


Each Wii Nunchuck has 2 buttons in addition to analogue movement. One unique thing I've added specially to the firmware is being able to use one button to cycle what the other button will trigger. This enables for more virtual buttons. The top button on the Nunchuck (C-button) acts as a selector, and the bottom (Z) presses that button. Here is a video of it in action:

Other buttons are triggered for other actions. Such as swinging the Nunchuck. This could trigger a button that throws something in a game for example.

The device now even has 17 virtual buttons! All triggered differently, so you can map the buttons to a plethora of things, depending on what you want.

Hardware featured in demos above,  

  • Treadmill (or ergometer bike), other things could be compatible too, provided there is a moving surface to track.
  • One TreadGaming device
  • Two Wii Nunchucks. 
  • USB cable, for power and communication

Nothing else needed!


  • Nothing else like it on the market, be first to get one!
  • Future software updates free
  • Cheaper price
  • Case files available
  • Free open source software drivers
  • Free I/O pins for other uses, just like an Arduino or RaspberryPi. Meaning, it is up to you what they will be used for and is an advantage for future expandability in adding new features.

A lot of time, money and effort went into this, but i would really like to release the source, because I believe as a community we can make it even better!

All backers will benefit from whatever I end up doing with this in the future and will get that at a better deal than the rest of the world!

  • The TreadGaming Base PCB - The main hardware that makes this all work:
TreadGaming Base PCB
TreadGaming Base PCB
  • Special plastic lens for the laser sensor.
Laser Lens
Laser Lens
  • 3d printed enclosure (base, lid, buttons). Currently I have White and Translucent ABS, and Black PLA available. I find Translucent is nice, as the LEDs shine through it, making a nice effect and easy to see. Color you want will be chosen later.
TreadGaming Base PCB with Enclosure and Buttons
TreadGaming Base PCB with Enclosure and Buttons

Here is the PCB with 3D printed enclosure and buttons (white ABS, black PLA). Files are available here:  http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:198336

The enclosure files are available so that anyone can download, modify and adapt it to your needs. Shared among the community we can find and utilize uses far beyond the original scope. Some additional improvements have been made since the photo was taken. Designed to be tool-less. No screws needed.

Hardware Specifications:

  • ATXmega32A4U 8-bit AVR 32Mhz CPU (which is overclockable to at least 64Mhz)
  • 32Kb Flash Memory
  • 4K SRAM
  • 1KB EEPROM
  • Slots for 2 Wii Nunchucks
  • ADNS 9500/9800 Laser Sensor
  • 4 LEDs (Red, Green, Blue and Yellow)
  • 3 Buttons (Flash Firmware, Reset and a Misc button)
  • Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ chip module. RF module for optional wireless communication
  • Mini USB (more rugged, stable and robust connector compared to micro)

ADNS Laser Sensor Specs:

  • 3.3V or 5V compatible
  • Advanced technology 832-865 nm wavelength VCSEL
  • No power calibration needed for laser
  • Compliance with IEC/EN 60825-1 (Eye Safety)
  • On-chip laser fault detection circuitry
  • Self-adjusting frame rate for optimal performance
  • Frame rate up to 12,000 fps
  • Resolution up to 8200 cpi in ~200 cpi steps
  • Focusing Lens included

Software:

  • Firmware uses Efficient Interrupt based operation.
  • Firmware optimized for speed.
  • Reports as a standard HID, Plug-and-play device.
  • Click-and-run GUI firmware update application.

Developed in conjunction with http://alaeddineweslati.com/.

To update the firmware all you have to do is:

  • Press 2 buttons (reset and firmware button).
  • Release the Reset button.
  • Then release the other. Now the device is in "Update Firmware Mode".
  • Run the graphical program that takes care of the rest.

Firmware selected:

Ready To flash Firmware.
Ready To flash Firmware.

Firmware updated.

Firmware updated.
Firmware updated.

Vector version (converted to a large .png):

TreadGaming Base Vector Image
TreadGaming Base Vector Image

Rendered video orbiting around the PCB.

Early bird orders are limited up to around 70. Pledgers will recieve it super quick, and we will work together and improve and fix possible problems. This is a for-cost initiative, rather than a commercial motivation. And to see the interest.

The first 70 will pay for manufacturing the PCB boards and the plastic needed to produce their enclosures. A minimum of $3000 is needed, this will cover fees and the manufacturing of 70 TreadGaming PCB boards and plastic for the enclosure. 70 is the amount of laser-sensors i already have in stock. Another reason why the first ones will get this very, very quickly. 70 is also reasonable amount where I can 3d print on my 3d printer.

All production facilities are set up and waiting to go, pending campaign funding. Estimated time-frame: 2-3 weeks, it will then be sent directly to you. With everything sorted out, all thats needed is money to fund production. If the interest should exceed 70, the first 70 will get their board quickly, and the rest will have to wait because of the lead time for the laser sensor (which is about 5 weeks). This is the normal lead-time for mass-production though. I am focused on getting units into community hands, and will push for quicker times wherever possible.

With your contribution I would be very happy to know all the hard work helped more than me.

This is currently underway:

Silk-screening of the PCB for kickstarter backers, making this the truly limited edition that it is. I plan of having the text "Kickstarter" or a logo on the PCB for backers here. It will be too expensive with unique names or numbers on the PCB. I do think I will add backers names to the enclosure instead though.

Console support. With current hardware, only PS3 will work "out-of-box". The X360/XOne and PS4 would need additional hardware to make it work. I'm in a discussion with a company that might help us here. Getting a better package deal.

Better support for other machines, like ellipticals, rowing machines etc. I'm in contact with a guy and we are working together designing a solution to make this work better with bike type of machines.

Depending on the success, these additional features could be added:

Record stats to your computer.

"Profiles". Save settings per game, making it even easier to switch between them.

Create additional devices that use the included RF module.

Inbuilt bluetooth support. This is however much more expensive (license, certification (FCC) and official testing needed), which is why I decided to wait with that. It would be interesting to be able to talk to mobile devices as well at one point though.

More contributions will help in making any of these more possible.

I also have other ideas to what else you guys can use the hardware for:

  • Encryption/decryption device (with a suitable web site). Everything at no extra cost, because the hardware you get now already has  all you need. Rest would be in software. The sensor is a perfect random seed provider, which is important in security. Computers can't really generate "random" data, but here the sensor could use the noise it gets to be that random data.
  • Bitcoin wallet. Maybe together with above. Keeping your Bitcoin wallet on a device like this is much safer than having it on a computer.
  • Scanning device. It's also possible to scan surfaces with this. Not sure how well the image would be yet though, but it is surely something that would be fun looking into more.

Since getting the initial idea in 2009 I've now reached a point where this enables me to do what I wanted it to do. (See more history here:  http://treadgaming.herokuapp.com/#history )

And so, here we are! It's your opportunity to make your voice heard, and be part of something cool!

Risks and challenges

This is one of the best things here, because the actual product is proven, with the maturity of the project the regular problems are already solved.
Months of testing and calibrating have gone into getting it to where it is now.

Great care has been taken to make this product the best that it can be.

The main challenge is I can 3D print 70 enclosures myself. Additional enclosures I could 3D-print myself, but given enough backers this could prove not to be a feasible solution. There are other ways to do enclosures, which also adds to the cost because creating a mold for the enclosures has a hefty cost upfront, but it also scales with a broader audience.

The quote I was given for such an injection-mold for this project runs $5000 - $7000.

Working with companies such as Stratasys might be better because they are not using a mold, which lowers low-volume prices considerably.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge SEK 7 or more About $1

    THANK YOU! (~ $1)

    You like the idea and don't care about a T-Shirt and want to support me and let me continue working on this. I will list you as a supporter and you will be recognized as someone who made this happen on my webpage (or not if you don't want to). And, you will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge SEK 38 or more About $5

    THANK YOU EVEN MORE! (~ $5)

    You like the idea and want to support me even more and let me continue working on this. I will list you as a supporter and you will be recognized as someone who made this happen on my webpage (or not if you don't want to). And, you will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge SEK 225 or more About $29

    FIRST BIRD SPECIAL! TREADGAMING (~$29)
    You get it at a ridiculous price and quickly! It includes the PCB, laser lens, and the enclosure (base, lid, buttons). You will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
    SEK
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge SEK 302 or more About $39

    SUPER EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! TREADGAMING (~$39)
    You get it all close to manufacturing price and quickly! It includes the PCB, laser lens, and the enclosure (base, lid, buttons). You will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    SEK
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge SEK 380 or more About $49

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! TREADGAMING (~$49)
    You get it all at a great price and quickly! It includes the PCB, laser lens, and the enclosure (base, lid, buttons). You will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge SEK 456 or more About $59

    TREADGAMING (~$59)
    You get it all at a great price! It includes the PCB, laser lens, and the enclosure (base, lid, buttons). You will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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    0 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge SEK 5,500 or more About $711

    TREADGAMING FULL PACKAGE (~$700)
    This includes the TreadGaming parts - PCB, laser lens, and the enclosure (base, lid, buttons). And also a manual treadmill, cables and 2 Wii Nunchucks. Point here is to get all you need conveniently. You will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge SEK 50,000 or more About $6,468

    TREADGAMING EXTRAS (~$6465)

    We will work together creating additional accessories (such as replacing the Wii Nunchuck and using RF), or anything else you might want. And, ofcourse, this includes the TreadGaming parts - PCB, laser lens, and the enclosure (base, lid, buttons). And a treadmill, cables if needed.

    You will be recognized and credited in a way you would prefer. Such as naming the new accessory after you.

    You will also be getting all the cool and latest updates.

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Funding period

- (35 days)