We have seen and reported on various weird and interesting video game controllers over the years. Whether it is an out-of-the-box (or can) promotional item like Miller’s Beer Can gamepad or elaborate do-it-yourself projects like a fully-rotating flight simulator cockpit, there is no end to the crazy designs that gamers/engineers create.
Electrical engineer/YouTuber Allen Pan has come up with an immersive, yet exhausting, way to play Death Stranding. He has rigged a treadmill to a DualShock 4 so that walking (or running) in the real world translates into forward movement in the game.
As you may imagine, the design is relatively straightforward as there is only one direction that needs to be tracked. The rest of the controls are carried out through the DualShock. To make it work, Pan connected the mechanism in the treadmill that counts the rotations of the rotor to an Arduino and dual potentiometers to register walking and running movements.
He created a harness from a backpack and some straps that connect to the back of the treadmill. The harness holds the user in place while their feet turn the belt. That’s right, no help from motors here. It works on leg strength alone.
Like many of Pan’s other projects, he created this one just for the engineering challenge it presented. As you may have guessed, it does not make the game fun, but it is funny to watch someone try to make Norman Reedus run without falling over (above starting at 6:10).