11/10/11 PPG Simulator News

Microsoft Kinect Controller for Paraglider Simulator?

Ever since Microsoft released the Kinect, the well known virtual control system for the Xbox, I thought of the possibilities of its use as a paraglider controller. Upon proper set-up and connection to a PC, the device could read your hand motion for brake inputs, leg motion for speed bar, and left or right body movement for weight shift. It could also detect 6-axis head movement, so there would be no need to stick a head tracking device on your head. There's plenty of information on the web how to make it connect to the PC (in fact, Microsoft has even released a developer's kit to help the masses find use of the device on a PC). So what's stopping me?

There is something physically lacking when you can't hang your hands from a set of brake toggles. Not having any tactile feedback of positive and incremental force as you pull down on the brakes takes away from the realism of flying a paraglider. Also, it’s just plain uncomfortable to hold your hands up by themselves for very long (unlike being able to hang your hands from brakes in real life). The process of connecting a Kinect to a PC and calibrating it isn't going to be user friendly either, especially for the average PC user. I found this issue when I connected wiimotes as simulator brake inputs (as seen in the guide I've provided on this site). So, for now, I’m going to take a pass on working this. If anyone else cares to try, then please pass on the results and I'll post the information here.

Paraglider Simulator Controller Box Soon to be Available for Sale!

By the end of the year, I'm planning to offer a paraglider control box for sale under the name "Hang-Man Paraglider Simulator". This plug-and-play controller will be constructed with all necessary components for brake and throttle inputs. It'll be very similar to the one outlined in the build guide found here on the website. All the user will have to do is plug the provided USB plug into your PC, calibrate the toggles and the engine throttle, and run VSF (Vehicle Simulator). Stay tuned for more details.

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