The main idea of the industrial revolution was to automate tasks that users would perform repeatedly. Consequently, we buy tractor to harvest a large field. However, we would not buy a tractor to harvest a small garden. The argue that the same applies to haptic experiences, as users tend to experience only one or twice. Big virtual reality hardware, such as motion platforms and roller coaster, thus tend to live in centralized locations, such as Disney World where flying in thousands of visitors justifies the investment. A somewhat questionable approach from a time and ecological standpoint. With Haptic Turk, we question this approach. By creating motion platforms based on people, rather than machines, it is intended to put haptic technology in the hands of millions.
Motion platforms are used to increase the realism of virtual interaction. Unfortunately, their size and weight is proportional to the size of what they actuate. We present haptic turk, a different approach to motion platforms that is light and mobile. The key idea is to replace motors and mechanical components with humans. All haptic turk setups consist of a player who is supported by one or more human-actuators. The player enjoys an interactive experience, such as a flight simulation. The motion in the player’s experience is generated by the actuators who manually lift, tilt, and push the player’s limbs or torso. To get the timing and force right, timed motion instructions in a format familiar from rhythm games are displayed on actuators’ mobile devices, which they attach to the player’s body.