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Trackball Treadmill

Walk on a big round ball set in the ground
  (+12, -2)(+12, -2)
(+12, -2)
  [vote for,

Treadmills are good for running, but they only work in one direction. A very large ball, aproximating the earth, would work better as an omni-directional treadmill.

The ball would have to be rather large, at least 20 feet in diameter. Therefore, it would probably work best as a stationary installation at a gym or other training facility.

The Trackball Treadmill would also allow computer input for virtual reality simulators. You would be able to walk almost normally in any direction, exploring an environment.

discontinuuity, Sep 23 2005

[Steve Degroof]'s bowl shaped vehicle. Bowl-shaped_20Vehicle
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 23 2005]

Multidirectional Walklegger Multidirectional_20Walklegger
Here is an alternative solution [ixnaum, Sep 23 2005]

US 5,980,256 http://patft.uspto....256&RS=PN/5,980,256
[xaviergisz, Sep 24 2005]

VirtuSphere http://www.virtusphere.com/
This was on slashdot a while back. [CecilL, Sep 26 2005]


       You could power the computer by doing this.
skinflaps, Sep 23 2005

       Requires a ludicrous amount of infrastructure, and impossible to move around. Deeply impractical. Bun.
moomintroll, Sep 23 2005

       Yes, I thought this would be useful for large military simulators, but not much else. Definately not for exercise.
discontinuuity, Sep 23 2005

       I would have much fun on one of these, esspecially if it moves on its own, say, with reference to a video display of a big ball in the water, thrashing down some rapids. And my aim is to stay on top... In general, that is. [+]
daseva, Sep 23 2005

       You could halve its size by making your treadmill in the shape of a hemi-sphere covered in casters and a flexible skin ala [Steve Degroof]'s bowl shaped vehicle.   

       this was my initial idea for a multi directional treadmill but I turned it into Multidirectional Walklegger (see link) because of the problems mentioned by moomintroll
ixnaum, Sep 23 2005

       This would be neat if you used a giant ping pong ball and placed it over a jet engine so that the forces of gravity and the moving air reach equilbrium.   

       Then have convicts fight atop it.
Cuit_au_Four, Sep 24 2005

       Soon, Microsoft will come out with the optical version.
bristolz, Sep 24 2005

       I think the VirtuSphere idea is the best method of doing this. The only problem that most of these face is that you are walking on a slightly curved surface.
discontinuuity, Nov 15 2005

       Invert it. Make it a giant hampster ball on top of omnidirectional casters. That can lock in place so you can get out.
Darkelfan, Nov 16 2005


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