Kat VR Details Upcoming VR Treadmill KAT Walk Mini in New Video

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In response to curiosity from the community, Kat VR, the China-based VR treadmill company, released a new video showing their upcoming small form-factor KAT Walk Mini in action.

“The KAT Walk mini is not only smaller than its predecessors, [but] it’s a whole lot lighter, allowing it to fit in almost all spaces” the company says in the video. The Mini version is said to integrate a shock-absorbing base plate, and a “contactless sensor technology” that removes the need for foot trackers. The VR treadmill uses a pair of special low-friction shoes to achieve simulated motion.

comparison between original Kat Walk and ‘Mini’, image courtesy Kat VR

A Kat VR spokesperson took to Reddit to address consumer concerns, saying “[o]ur target audience is for consumer-use, the price will be fitting,” and that the Kickstarter would roll out “soon” and the Mini would be “affordable.”

KAT Walk Mini is aiming to support SteamVR-compatible headsets including Vive and Rift, and also PSVR.

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  • I hope they also bring out a software tool that can map actions on the mini to controller actions so games that have not integrated the SDK can also be used (assuming those games have free locomotion support in the first place).

    Also, can they add a rotating seat/bench attachment to it so this thing can be the only vr space you would need for standing and/or seated experiences.

    Then I would buy this.

    • Flikr

      Says in the video that it supports any game with free locomotion, and has a seat built in.

      • Chris Blackburn

        i think it said the seat is in developement, like their engineers are working on adding it in, either way, seating would he great

    • Ian Shook

      I think it was you that had that idea for foot-tracked plates on robotic arms that would simply be there there when you needed the step. I had the same thought a while ago as well. It seems that would be a potentially smaller machine, but with more expensive moving parts. That – combined with a haptic boot that has little physical pixels could simulate terrain and various surfaces, even softer surfaces. I wonder if anybody is experimenting with that type of concept.

      • That’s the one. And yes, I think it could be very expensive to build all the safety features into it. We just need to look at what exists and modify it to suit VR. This mini looks like a great product too.

        A think maybe a cross trainer shrunk down with the ability to rotate 360 could also work. And use a ski boot to lock the user in it might be a cheap DIY aid as you get the clamp points on both boot and ski that you could mess around with. As for feedback on surfaces I think you could get away with audio effects tricking you for 99% of that. Concrete vs carpet for example would have vastly different foot fall sounds. Most games implement this using physical properties on materials that the sound engine uses to change things like reverb.

        Another cheap DIY kit might be a skateboard with two mini foot powered treadmills either side of it that anybody could put together for locomotion too, even the act of moving your feet up and down while free moving but seated in VR reduces motion sickness to zero with me.

  • impurekind

    It’s very close to the design the IOI guys use in the Ready Player One movie.

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    • mpisc192

      Which was based on KAT and Virtuix’s Omni and descriptions in the book.

  • Adrian Jakubiak

    for me most interesting thing about this presentation is this that they are mostly using pimax

    • Dave Graham

      Well the company making Kat is Chinese so they are giving props to Pimax who are also Chinese.

  • dogtato

    I’m usually pretty skeptical of vr treadmills but this seems decent

  • Firestorm185

    retractable VR seat on an omni treadmill? Sign me up and take my money! xD

  • johnny

    The real question is if it solves motion sickness, if it does, it will change everything.
    Personally I’m very prone to motion sickness and also all of my friends, we all play games that has teleport as an option or other smart locomotion method, if this device can solve motion sickness it will really change everything, we’ll need to wait and see…

    • James Cobalt

      So far, VR treadmills make motion sickness much, much worse. They don’t have the accuracy and latency issues worked out yet.

    • G-man

      youre still not moving, so no it won’t. it probably wont ever “fix” it, because its not broken, its how your body works.

  • Miqa

    What about strafing?

    • johngrimoldy

      Ha! A very valid point!

  • Patrick Bradley

    Be nice if I could get one in australia

  • Michael Sherman

    Where’s the water attachment? I’m thinking like the one you would find in a hamster cage. Oh please make this happen!

  • Evol Love

    The dish is way to small for a comfortable gait. Virtuix dish is much larger and still not big enough imo.

    • brandon9271

      That’s exactly what i was thinking. Other than that it seems interesting

  • oompah

    Great, Thumbs up
    Cant wait to buy one

  • Dave Graham

    I’m down for this, it’s a dream for those that don’t have enough room for room scale, and still a wet dream for those that do. It’s all fairly pointless though until games support the Kats’ API.

  • James Cobalt

    I can only assume the hype for these is due to lack of experience with them. Until there is 1-to-1 3D foot tracking (which would require something like Vive trackers plus support in the SteamVR SDK), these treadmills are just motion-sickness-inducing, immersion-killing vomit-factories.

  • HakJak

    Finally!

  • It does have no correlation with Ready Player One. Please everyone in the VR industry stop putting RPO everywhere…

    • jj

      thank you. Im guessing theres a whole new wave of fans rolling in that only have RPO to relate to and assume that we all feel the sme way.

  • G-man

    a kickstarter? really? like people havent been screwed over enough with the vr treadmill kickstarters? this company cant just sell the product and ensure people have a legal sales contract?

  • ummm…

    these devs are brave, and road to vr is right to shine a light on their hard work…….but im YEARS away from buying a solution like this. roomscale is cool for me, very cool.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Why buy into Chinese companies tech, wasnt it the Americans who invented VR in the past and still emerging today, why throw money at the CHINESE?

    • Ethan James Trombley

      I mean Vive is from Taiwan….