V-Rtifacts

Tag Archive: Orbotron

Regis Takes a Spin

You know the wave has crested when Regis and Kathie Lee make your specialty an early morning featurette. Reeg hams it up beautifully. If it hadn’t been for that 3:30am load in, it might have been perfect. Dave Polinchock provides expert narration. Quick glimpse of an SGI Indigo on the left, and the Virtual Research Flight Helmet atop Mr. Philbin. From March of 1993. PNVA3DJZPHDB

Another Gyro VR – Orbotron X O Tron VR

1995 brought us yet another Gyro based VR Game system, the X-O-Tron VR, a descendant of the original non-electronic gyro-exercise system, the Orbotron. Initially inspired by the March 1992 release of Lawnmower Man, the first gyro VR systems appeared that summer (full disclosure – my company built a prototype system for a client in the spring of ’92 and then offered our own before the end of the year.)

XOTron-VR

The X-O-Tron VR came from the same folks who designed and built the Orbotron. It had two features that nobody else was offering: a wireless HMD and the ability to spin the gyro completely upside-down and back. While the helmet wasn’t tracked, there were shaft encoders on the gyro bearings to detect the gamer’s orientation. The game electronics were a 3D0 home game system. Read more in the X-O-Tron-VR Brochure.

And don’t forget to watch the original gyro in Lawnmower Man: