Student Choice Project

kat walk mini

Kat Walk VR

The world of Virtual Reality has come a long way to be what it is today from all the wide varieties
of hardware to the thousands of applications that have been created. Virtual Reality has changed how
immersive technology can really be. With a simple headset and controller, you are easily able to achieve
and experience virtual reality. Although it can be as easy as buying a Vive headset for $400, there are
limitations. Since the headset has to be connected to a computer device through wire, your movement can
be limited when it comes to certain games or applications. This is where omnidirectional treadmill for vr
comes in. An omnidirectional treadmill is a treadmill build to be used with vr devices in order to simulate
walking in place. With a full omnidirectional treadmill vr setup, you are able to achieve the closest thing
to a fully immersive virtual reality experience.

A company called Kat VR located in Hangzhou, China have been able to successfully
create this experience with their own take on an omnidirectional treadmill. They call their
products the Kat Walk. Kat VR claims with their ergonomic design, the Kat Walk would be able
to solve the issues of motion sickness, space limitations, and safety when it comes to VR
applications. Kat VR offers four different types of omnidirectional treadmills starting from the Kat
Walk, Kat Walk Premium, Kat Walk Junior, and their newest product that is still in the process of
being release to the public called the Kat Walk Mini. The original Kat Walk, the premium, and
the junior, are all essentially the same as one another in terms of design. The premium offers a
more heavy duty system compared to the original Kat Walk and the Kat Walk Junior is a
miniature version of the original device. The Kat Walk Mini is Kat VR’s newest product being
worked on. What differs from the original Kat Walk and the mini is the different harness system
that Kat VR has created to keep the user in place while they are walking on the treadmill.

How It Works?

Kat Walk Original Kat Walk


Kat Walk Original

The original Kat Walk has an independent support structure that allows you to move your arms, legs, and
body freely without hitting anything. This is done by a harness connected to the support structure above
the treadmill. The harness, similar to a rock climbing harness setup, is attached to your waist and both
legs around the thigh. The user then has to put on special shoes with sensors and small wheels at the bottom.
Since the floor is built like an inwards dome, walking with the special shoes should continuously slide you
back to the middle of the treadmill devices because of the wheels on the bottom. They later created new foot
sensors with textured soles instead of wheels. These foot sensors could be attached around your shoes. This
setup should provide an experience similar to naturally walking claimed by Kat VR. The harness and support
structure also allows the user to move as freely and aggressively as they desired since the structure is strong
enough to keep the user in place.

kat walk

Kat Walk Mini Kat Walk Mini


Kat Walk Mini

Unlike the original Kat Walk, the Kat Walk Mini does not have a independent support structure. A big
part of changing this was to minimize the overall size of the Kat Walk in order to make it more user
friendly. Instead of the old system, they have created a new support system called Adaptive Tension Design.
This system consist of two metal bars connected to the outer area of the treadmill and the harness. The
harness has also been changed and now has large back plates that is the point of connection for the harness
and support system. The back plate attaches around the users waist and thighs just like the original Kat
Walk. Since the harness is attached to the backplate which is attached to the two metal support bars, the Kat
Walk Mini is able to provide just as much support as the original Kat Walk. This new system also allows more
types of movements like strafing. For shoes, the mini also uses the new foot sensors that Kat VR with textured
soles. The platform is also very similar to the original Kat Walk except it is made out of a shock absorbing
material to help protect the user's knees so that they would be able to play for longer periods of time.

Thoughts

Kat VR looks to be one of the best omnidirectional treadmills on the market. With their new sleek
design and small form factor, Kat VR could fit in anyone's living room. Many of their competitors have
harness systems with a wrap around circle to keep the user on the plate. Unlike them, the Kat Walk Mini’s
harness consistently stays behind and away from the user, allowing them to crouch or swing their arms freely
without having to worry about hitting the harness. This system, in many ways, is much more advanced than all
of the competitors out their. Kat VR has been around the omnidirectional treadmill market for around three
years and still continue to make a strong presence after all these years. They continuously update their product
making more popular games compatible like skyrim and csgo and are always looking for new ways to improve the
usability of their treadmills.

The Kat Walk Mini is currently only sold by inquiries. The original Kat Walk started around $600 on their kickstarter.
The Mini is compatible with oculus, steam vr, and vive. Since the mini is an open SDK suit,
this allows developers to easily integrate their own games and VR applications easily. This means there are
endless possibilities for what the Kat Walk Mini could be used for like job training and fitness simulations.