Virtual reality headsets can paired with specially-built controllers. They can even be paired with omnidirectional treadmills.

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Now, a team of technical engineers have built the CableRobot simulator - a carbon fibre cage that can move in real time around a large open space.

The hexagonal frame is attached to six hydraulic cables which then move, rotate and tilt the sphere with the player sat inside.

A wireless VR headset with an optical tracking system is linked to its controls, which activate the frame in response to the player's own movements.

Suggested applications include flight sims and racing games. Imagine a Pilotwings-style game with CableRobot support, or a new Burnout where the cage made you feel like you were drifting around corners.

The invention is the work of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, based in the German town of Tübingen.

It's going to be a while before we see anything like this being turned into a mass market device, but hopefully the technology behind it can be turned into something we can try sooner rather than later.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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