The only way to get the true feeling of what it’s like to drive a race car is to strap yourself into a giant robot.
What’s the best use you can think of for a giant robotic arm? Mine is to use it to crack eggs, but German researchers seemed to have topped me by turning one into a giant race car simulator. It’s almost more entertaining to watch the simulator being used than to actually play the game it’s attached to.
Paolo Robuffo Giordano and team from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany have created a CyberMotion Simulator that makes users think they’re driving a Ferrari F2007 F1 racing car at a Monza, Italy race track. In reality, they’re sitting in a robotic hand designed to lift 1100 lbs that isn’t normally put in the control of a single human user.
This one is though, and it looks amazing doing it. Giordano and team’s goal was to “understand how humans experience the sensation of motion.” He says: “By running suitable experiments, one can gain better insights into the cognitive processes of the human brain.” By that he means: “We wanted to play with this giant robot arm.”
The robotic arm was used because, unlike other simulators, it allows users “to be freely displaced in six degrees of freedom in space and even be placed upside-down.” It may be developed in the future to simulate airplanes, helicopters, boats, and other vehicles. How about battlecruisers too?