About this project
As Featured On
TECHINASIA - "This VR treadmill gets you out of your seat."
VRFOCUS - "Unlike other omni-directional treadmills the Kat Walk doesn’t have a ring around the waist which can feel restrictive."
GADGETIFY- "Thanks to an omnidirectional treadmill such as the KAT WALK, you can get a more realistic experience when playing games."
Road to VR - "KatVR has taken a different approach, aimed at a more open design"
VIRTUAL REALITY REPORTER - "KAT WALK aims to provide a strain-free movement and risk-free VR gaming experience!"
KAT WALK is a new omni-directional treadmill for virtual reality. It has been designed to be as unrestrictive as possible giving the user 360 degrees of continuous movement within a small space. It is compatible with virtual reality headset such as Oculus Rift.
With its built-in and wearable sensors, you can literally walk/run (forwards and backwards), jump, crouch and sit in the virtual world.
KAT WALK is especially suited for FPSs and other applications in where you need to move around. You can control the in-game character with your own body, helping to increase presence and decreases simulator sickness.
The innovative KAT WALK independent support structure and open construction sets your arms and legs free.
It separates the space of body movement and the support structure. Without a ring or column surrounding you, it allows you to chop, wave, pick, beat, kick, run sharply and more.
You can move freely and securely without constraint or worrying about hitting anything. You can swing your arms naturally or rest your hands by your sides, getting closer to a natural walking posture.
Different games call for different movements. KAT WALK allows you to switch to different actions anytime you want, so you can sit down to drive or fly when a game requires it.
KAT WALK has not just simply removed the column and ring seen in our previous prototypes.
To achieve a good and safe experience, our unique design can limit your horizontal movement range and stop the vertical movement function while walking and running providing stable support.
It can automatically provide 35cm vertical moving range while jumping, crouching and sitting.
The harness is adjustable to accommodate different body shapes, and allows user to sit, with supporting weight up to 308lbs (140kg).
Meanwhile it can help users move back to center to adjust the position offset while walking, which can increase the sense of balance and safety.
The support structure is adjustable to accommodate a user height ranging from 4'3" to 6'7" (130cm - 200cm). And you don't have to worry about jumping, because the harness moves up and down with you, so when you jump, you’ll never hit the top of harness.
When we walk in real life, friction helps propels us forward.. Without friction we cannot walk normally. Frictionless walking is awkward (like walking on ice) and you must pay close attention to stay balanced.
To make walking in VR feel more natural, KAT WALK uses special high-friction material and the constant force of rolling friction by using special shoes to simulate real walking forces and human motion. This makes you feel like you are walking on real ground instead of sliding walk. With normal friction, it is easier to keep balance and it will decrease the time it takes anyone to learn to use KAT WALK.
KAT WALK uses a cambered base to transfer gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy, and to reproduce the movement locus.
Everything KAT WALK does is to achieve the natural feeling of walking.
The prototype you see here is kind of big. We created it to prove our brand new solution, to show that our system works in action.
We already have all the engineering plans to make it smaller, lighter and prettier to suit your living room. We will share more details with you very soon because we are under the processing of being patented.
With your help, we can make it a real product and enter the mass production process.
The Kickstarter shipping version is projected to have an outer diameter of 40" (100cm) and weigh 165lbs (75kg). The support structure will be narrower and foldable. The material will be changed to Aviation aluminum alloy. The base will be thinner and will be made of composite material. Some of the mechanical parts will be changed to electric parts to make it smaller. There will also be more modifications to the harness and shoes to improve the user experience.
Manufacturing hardware is not cheap and easy, and you might be worried that we will run out of funds before we are able to get our finished product out the door.
We are located in Hangzhou, China, in an industrial park created and supported by the Government and Alibaba. The Government had supported us with a $300,000 investment and a rent-free office fully furnished so we can focus on our development. Meanwhile we have received a substantial investment. Together with your help, we are fully confident that we can deliver.
Meanwhile we have received a substantial investment. Together with your help, we are fully confident that we can deliver.
We have researched all the costs involved, from prototyping to manufacturing, and we have a detailed plan to use the funds we have and the funds you will give us to fulfill all our promises.
Our software can transfer body motion to a keyboard or gamepad. This means all the games with keyboard or gamepad support will be playable.
We are developing our own DEMO and will keep you posted on all the news in our update information and on our website.
KAT team is also developing our SDK which will integrate with Unity. The full immersion mode can capture movement and translate it to the in-game character to achieve analog movement and independent looking and walking direction.
You can easily change KAT WALK into useful household furniture.
This means that if you have exhausted your game budget, you can write this one off as a “decorating” expense.
; ) Just kidding!
Seriously though, you can use it to enjoy relaxing virtual reality games or applications in a comfortable way.
Risks and challenges
The production process is the most difficult part of hardware development, especially for a young team. Unforeseeable circumstancesoccur during the whole process. Delays can occur at any stage in the process: from sourcing components to factory test runs, and manufacturing runs.
We will be in communication with you every step of the way and alert you to any unexpected challenges. We'll also give you behind-the-scenes looks at what it's like bringing KAT WALK to life. Thanks again for your support!
The KAT Team
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