Engineers Turn Robot Arm Into F1 Racing Simulator

There have been a number of Formula 1 racing simulators created, from desk-based articulated chairs (scary!) to Red Bull’s official F1 driving simulator used by actual F1 drivers themselves. Spectrum Magazine posted a great feature article and video about German engineers who endeavored to study how we perceive motion by turning an amusement park ride (effectively a high-tech robot arm) into a Formula 1 video game. They presented their results in papers at ICRA 2010, but it still looks like a flimsy excuse for creating the coolest driving/racing video game ever — until the F1 GTA remix, that is. I wish. Here’s a snip:

The CyberMotion Simulator is basically a full motion simulator adapted to a racing car game. Players sit in a cabin on a robot arm some 2 meters off the ground and drive a Ferrari F2007 car around a projected track with force-feedback steering wheel and pedals. The aim is to make the experience as realistic as possible without having to buy a real F2007, and to test the simulator with an environment that requires sudden, massive acceleration.

The robot arm is a Robocoaster, a modified six-axis Kuka KR 500 that can lift up to 500 kg. It’s usually found in amusement parks and normally does not allow users any control. Giordano and his collaborators want to use it to study how we perceive motion; their paper, though, deals with the mechanics of the simulator. (…read more,, via Engadget, also seen at PopSci)

For the real thing, here’s new video of the official Red Bull F1 simulator with driver Mark Webber:

Red Bull Racing F1 Simulator

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