A PS-3 controller has an unbalanced motor inside that vibrates your hand whenever you crash a car into a wall or drive it off a cliff and hit the rocks below but [Rulof Maker] wanted that same feeling all over his body. So he added a serious unbalanced motor to his favorite gaming chair to make his whole body vibrate instead.

To do that he opened up the controller and found the wires going to the unbalanced motor. There he added a small relay, to be activated whenever the motor was energized. Wires from that relay go to a female connector mounted in the side of the controller, keeping the controller small and lightweight.

Next he needed to attach a much bigger unbalanced motor to the underside of his favorite gaming chair. For the unbalanced mass he poured concrete powder and molten lead into a tin can mold and attached the result to the motor’s shaft. Using a piece of wood he attached the motor to the chair’s underside.

All that was left was to power the motor and turn it on when needed. For that he wired up a bigger relay, with the relay’s coil wired to a male connector to plug into the PS-3 controller. Now when the PS-3 wants to vibrate, that relay is energized. All that was left was to wire the relay’s normally open switch, the motor and a power cord in series, plug it into the wall socket, and he was ready to shake.

In the video after the break you can see [Rulof] crashing cars into walls and driving off cliffs while his whole body vibrates each time.

Taking the gaming chair to the next step is this racing chair with wrap around screens, kinect for full body control and fans for haptic feedback, adding even more of a feeling that you’re actually there.

But what about a gaming chair for a younger person, say a 2 year old? This gaming high chair with joysticks and buttons doesn’t shake but it does delight, and gives them an early head start in the gaming world.

And how about simulations where you want the full feeling of flying like a bird? With this horizontal bird simulator you lie comfortably face down while an Oculus Rift headset provides the scenery. You control the wings with your arms and by leaning, and a large fan even provides the feeling of wind.

[embedded content]

18 Comments

  1. feena (@retrotardation)

    Butt massage

  2. Seems like a ton of work but it appears he got it exactly the way he wanted it. Most chairs have synced vibrational pull but the jury’s still out on what works best. The other chairs the author links to are really innovative and it goes to show that there is no limit to where we can go in the future with virtual reality.

  3. Seems like a lot of work but it appears he got it exactly the way he wanted it. There are so many ways to experience every blast, crash and rumble but the jury’s still out on what works best. I think it’s a matter of preference. The additional links that the author provides show just how far virtual reality can go in the very near future.

  4. If a connection was made from the relay to a very high voltage low amperage source he could also make his hair stand on end under disastrous incidents.

  5. Christian Knopp

    I did something similar a few years ago by using a car stereo amplifier, and a Butt-Kicker sub… was mounted to the underside the racing seat, and feed from the center channel of the surround sound. Worked well with rFactor.

  6. you could have also just bought “shakers” designed for home theaters. put 2 on one chair and it can shake the crud out of you. and do it a LOT better than the motor.

  7. Christian Knopp

    For the $65 of eBay parts, and to feel the RPM response from the throttle, it worked perfectly. Actually the friend I built it for just recently sold it for $500 after 7 years of use.

  8. Anders Haglund

    Buttkicker actually makes one specifically for clamping onto chairs: http://www.thebuttkicker.com/gamer2

  9. Lamb Electric makes motors specifically designed for this task. Sometimes you can find them on old hospital beds.

  10. Was planning on doing similar with my 360 controller, driving some tactile transducers (bass shakers) attached to my chair, but I upgraded my chair and there’s no simple way to fit the shakers to the new one.

  11. Jan Ciger (@janoc200)

    The problem with this design is that it will destroy the bearings of the motor over time 🙁 They are not designed for such heavily eccentric loading. Don’t do it with a good/expensive motor …
    Bass shakers are better for this sort of hack.

  12. Another problem is that the tiny vibration motors are already laggy for game use, now with a large motor you are probably long past the event you are suppose to feel by the time it’s activated.

  13. I don’t know why, but for some odd reason the title image reminds me of a certain vaporwave album cover 😀
    Can’t relate to force feedback though, I made my gamepad out of a Gameboy Advance and it has none of that.

  14. Reminds me of a story some years ago about a pair of gamers/hackers who did a similar thing to an xbox controller – locate the relay that causes the little vibrator to run, and re-route that to an electric shock device with electrodes taped to their forearms. IIRC it provided very strong motivation to NOT get shot or hit during the game.

  15. As I recall, Tesla built a large version of this for reasons I forget, and Mark Twain tried it out. The great author enjoyed the experience up until it rather suddenly cured his constipation.

  16. Brings a whole new meaning to wiring up someone’s chair to the mains!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *