Roto just sits underneath your swivel chair. $299 USD, €275 Euros, or £199 GBP
Headset technology is developing at an ever increasing rate but there are still major barriers to full immersion. With Roto, our goal has been to address these limitations and our solution is the world’s first Motorised Virtual Reality Platform. This exciting development in VR gives you an unparalleled experience, absorbing your body into 360 Virtual Reality whilst playing your favourite games and movies!
It’s not just us that’s excited about Roto….
The Benefits of a Roto VR Experience
Gain an increased sense of freedom when moving around the virtual world.
Unlimited 360 degree turning without cables tangling, up to 35rpm!
Motorised turns make exploration effortless, comfortable and fun.
Experience gravitational presence through centrifugal forces. It feels like you are really there, rather than looking through a screen.
Reduces the motion sickness caused by artificially rotating the virtual world whilst sitting stationary.
Roto tracks your orientation so developers and movie directors can physically turn your body towards the action.
Navigate naturally with intuitive controls, including assignable touch pedals to walk or run (individual steps), or accelerate in a car sim, for example.
It's small! The Roto base is only 65cm diameter x 10cm high, same size as a swivel chair base. Just clip in the pedals when you want to explore.
Bluetooth connection for Android HMDs such as Samsung's Gear VR.
Increased affordability through modular design. Just buy what you want/need.
The Roto base fits standard swivel chairs, so clip in your own chair or buy one from us.
Add the Roto table to bring your own steering wheel, flight stick, or keyboard/mouse into 360 VR.
Future proof – you can upgrade the clip-on tangle-free adapter to suit your chosen headset and budget.
Exploration- So why do we need to turn 360 degrees?
In reality, we don't tend to turn our heads more than 30 degrees in any direction for prolonged periods of time because it becomes uncomfortable. To support our necks, we naturally rotate our bodies around. Exploring the virtual world whilst sitting down is therefore problematic.
When starting a new application, most people tend to spend a few seconds looking around (almost never directly backwards), but then very quickly revert to 'playing' VR just like a regular video game and just sit facing forwards. This also means reverting to traditional game controls, whereby the virtual world is artificially rotated around using a thumbstick, which is the biggest cause of VR nausea.
See the following video from legendary Doom, Quake and Oculus developer, John Carmack:
It often feels like there's no great incentive to explore 360 degrees - but, even if you did make the effort to swivel around, you'd no doubt get tangled in the cables.
The Roto platform houses a motor which can spin us around 360 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise, making exploration effortless, comfortable and fun.
As part of Roto's modular design, users can add a tangle-free adapter (supporting Oculus) to resolve 'wire tangle'. This enables indefinite rotations in either direction.
As well as rotating, the footpad can be used for other navigational functions such as walking, via two integrated touch pedals. Imagine each pedal press representing individual footsteps in a virtual world - or these assignable functions could just as easily represent accelerate and brake in a car simulator.
To make all this possible with wired headsets, we've created a tangle-free adapter, which uses a patent pending slip ring arrangement. Just clip it on - Roto currently supports Oculus DK2, but will be supporting CV1, HTC, Morpheus etc, as and when they are released.
As you look around and turn your neck, your head starts to point in a different direction to where your body is facing. This makes navigating in VR unnatural - and controls often become confusing.
Roto tracks which direction you're facing, something no other VR device does (that we can find).
No matter how many revolutions you make on a Roto, it always knows which way you're facing, and it's always the same direction you 'feel' is forwards. So when Roto’s SDK reports this information back to the game, natural traversal and avatar representation can be taken to the next level.
Roto enables movie directors and games developers to override the motor controls and turn us around - wherever and whenever they like. Imagine a film director turning us around to face a T-Rex! With Roto, we can be placed in the middle of the action and not miss a thing.
All this is made possible by the combination of Roto's tracking sensors and motor arrangement (patent pending).
Roto is complementary to all headsets and all games. We've always planned to offer different options, from the basic platform all the way through to the full experience. Just get what you want / need:
Bring your existing accessories into 360 VR using the Roto table.
Perfect for steering wheels, flight sticks, keyboard & mouse, and hopefully in the future (with 1st party support) the DK2 camera. We also plan to include a recessed area for a touch screen monitor to stand upright (up to 12 inches) enabling app-switching (or games development) without having to leave the Roto.
Our journey so far
We've been developing Roto for just over a year, but it feels like 10!
We're gamers and we're passionate about VR, so we wanted to create the ultimate VR experience without having to ask people to replace existing parts.
As you can see we have progressed through a number of prototype stages to get to where we are now. It’s been great fun to explore all these virtual worlds with these prototypes. As one of our rewards you have the opportunity to pledge for one and get it before the first production run.
Planned Development Schedule
March – April 2015 Kickstarter campaign
April – July 2015 Final mechanical engineering
July – Sept 2015 Tooling & Pre production sample
Sept – Oct 2015 Production
Nov 2015 First shipping
Please support us
We've been actively getting help from the community (thank you!) via various forums, which has helped us focus on what people need and want. We already have considerable developer support for Roto and, with your help, we will be able to get our SDK to them sooner.
We're now patent pending and ready to go to production. With your funding we can pay for tooling and follow our aggressive schedule to get these Rotos to market.
Every VR game is a completely new experience with Roto - more presence, more immersion, more fun. If we achieve a high level of funding we will be able to provide Roto-specific software that we will make available to all of our supporters.
If you’re thinking about getting a Roto, that’s great news! And to help you decide what you need, please follow these steps:
Step 1: Which Head Mounted Display do I have?
If you have a Wireless Headset e.g. Samsung and Google, please choose: £199 ROTO PLATFORM
If you have a wired headset e.g. Oculus, please choose:£299 ROTO PLATFORM + TANGLE FREE ADAPTOR FOR OCULUS
Step 2: Are there any Extras that I’d like to include with my Reward, such as a Roto Chair or Table?
With Roto, you have the flexibility to plug in your existing swivel chair, or get the Roto Chair from us. The choice is yours.The price of a Roto Chair is £219 (£199 + £20 for shipping).
You can also add a Roto Table to your Reward, for gaming accessories such as a steering wheel or flight stick. The price of a Roto Table is £160 (£140 + £20 for shipping).
The cost of both the Roto Chair & Table together is £369 (including shipping).
Step 3 How to Add On an Extra item?
To add a Chair or Table, you'll first need to pledge for a Roto Platform Reward. (You'll be unable add these items onto any other type of reward, such as the digital artwork or T shirt only Rewards.)
Once you have pledged, just go to 'Manage Your Pledge’ and then increase your pledge in the Pledge Amount Box, by the total cost of the add-ons that you want , including shipping costs.
Don't forget that the total amount you pledge must include the price of the Roto platform including shipping, plus the price any extra item(s) and their additional shipping costs.
If you select a Roto Chair, at the end of this Kickstarter campaign we will contact you about the choice of chair colour (currently black or white available).
Meet the Team
Roto VR ltd was co-founded by Elliott Myers and Gavin Waxkirsh & has an extended team in UK & USA with a history of developing and launching both hardware and software products.
Elliott Myers headed up product development for Gamester in Hong Kong and China, designing, developing and overseeing quality and production of the leading video games accessories brand in Europe.He developed the first force-feedback steering wheel, winning many awards. Other roles have included running In2Games creating the first ever 3D games controller called Gametrak, which also won multiple awards. He has created hardware and software for PC, as well as licensed products for both XBox & Playstation consoles.
Gavin Waxkirsh has 20 years’ experience in manufacturing in China across a diverse range of industries, which is where Roto will be produced.
Risks and challenges
Hardware projects, in truth, are less risky than software projects. There is a defined objective, a defined end, a tooling period - we're working with known quantities. However, there are often unforeseen challenges with any complex product development.
So what are the risks as we see them?
We are marketing Roto as a future-proof system, working with every game, accessory, headset (wired or wireless) in the future.
Working with all games is easy, as the game doesn't actually know if you're turning around using a swivel chair, standing up or on a Roto. The game just sees that you're turning.
Roto's Force Feedback feature, which relies on tracking the user's facing direction, needs to be supported in software. We are creating an easy-to-use SDK for developers, but ultimately, they are creating all the games and movies, so we need Roto to be supported for these features to be experienced. We would love to create software too, so if we achieve our stretch goal, we'll lead the way in creating cool experiences which optimise all the Roto's features.
We don't envisage any difficulties with bluetooth connectivity for our force feedback features. However the wired headsets in the future will likely each need new and dedicated slip-ring solutions as technology improves. We recognise this and so we made the tangle-free adapter as an external part, which can be clipped in and out as and when new upgrades are needed. The cost of future slip-ring solutions is still an unknown variable to us, so the risk we foresee is the unknown cost of support for future HMDs.
We welcome any questions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)