September 7, 2021

HEIDENHAIN and Infinadeck join forces to transform VR

If you’ve ever seen the Hollywood blockbuster, “Ready Player One”, you’ve seen one of the highest profile applications of HEIDENHAIN motion control; we’d tell you about the others, but then we’d have to track you down…just kidding!

Meet George Burger. He’s the inventor of the Infinadeck. As the company’s website describes, “Infinadeck is the only true omnidirectional treadmill…[It] fully realizes the virtual reality experience by allowing users to naturally walk in any direction, allowing true and full immersion within the VR environment.”

In other words, Infinadeck is the world’s only treadmill that allows users to naturally walk in 360 degrees. As George explains in this short, “human walking is incredibly complex.”

The engineer has a deep technical background starting with his initial work as an aerospace engineer with Boeing. George has over 30 patents and his design, engineering and managerial expertise created industry-shaping products in multiple segments. For one, while at Louisville Slugger, George invented the first commercially successful composite baseball bat and the first composite hockey stick used in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Infinadeck mechanical engineer, Griffin Brunner, goes on to explain, that in order to make the Infinadeck work, they need feedback between the control and the deck to be as accurate and fast as possible. That’s where the HEIDENHAIN ECI 1118 encoder comes in. There are two of them installed on each Infinadeck. The top reasons it’s a great fit include:

  • A compact, low-profile angle encoder design
  • The robust, inductive scanning principle–tolerant of contamination and vibrational loads
  • EnDat for absolute position on power up

Where can this transformational technology be used? George and his team think the possibilities are endless. That said, it’s already being deployed in these applications:

  • Healthcare
  • Military and government
  • Enterprise training
  • Architecture, engineering and construction
  • Gaming and location-based entertainment
  • Research and education
  • Fitness

Read more here or watch now to find out what sparked the idea for the Infinadeck, the engineering breakthroughs that made it work and what it all has to do with the multi-month journey to Mars.