Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stable)
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Author:  Greenlaw [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

Thanks for the info!

Yes, our bike helmets are light but they are bulky--I think they'll be okay for testing but I'd like to get something more compact for actual use. (Bike helmets are too expensive for this anyway.) The cheap skateboard helmet I ordered should be much smaller and will probably work just fine but I'm still hoping to find a suspension like the one you're using. The type I've been able to find online have straps that cross over the top instead of the single piece of plastic that's part of the headband.

I will try to visit a few hardware/safety stores around here today and see what they carry.


Author:  Greenlaw [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

Inspired by Jomário's setup, I assembled a head rig tonight using my bicyle helmet. Here are some pics.

01TestHelmetParts.jpg [ 77.72 KiB | Viewed 30899 times ]

02TestHelmetAssembled.jpg [ 77.91 KiB | Viewed 30899 times ]

It actually came together nicely--The velcro straps fit into the slots in the helmet and I cut a hole in the foam to keep the PS Move's trigger from being pressed. The device sits very firmly on top of the helmet. But I'm not sure I can recommend this rig because:

1. To keep the helmet fixed firmly to the head I need to tighten the strap under the neck, which isn't very comfortable for me. I'd much rather have a helmet with an actual chin strap.

2. A bike helmet is too expensive for this purpose and I want to keep using this one as a bike helmet.

This rig should get me started for testing anyway. I should be receiving the skateboard helmet in a couple of days but I still want to find the hardhat suspension like the one Jomário is using or another good alternative.


Author:  3dcont [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

Try this:

Buy a cheap hard hat (with six point suspension is more stable), make some holes on top of it, use the velcro straps or plastic strips or even large matal hose clamps to hold the controller.

Or try Abatix, Airgas or Walmart, they have so many models, maybe one should have a plastic suspension that fits.

Author:  Greenlaw [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

Okay, thanks! :)

Author:  Greenlaw [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

The bicycle helmet actually worked out well and looked nice but, as mentioned previously, it's too expensive for this purpose and I wanted to continue using it as a bicycle helmet. It was fine for testing, though. If I had a criticism about it, it's not quite as stable as I'd like it to be, mainly because of the bulk.

The cheap skateboard helmet was not a good idea--the ratchet in the back broke the first time I tightened it. Good thing I wasn't planning on using it for skateboarding.

So here's what I wound up using: a hardhat made by 3M, purchased from Home Depot for about 9 dollars. Make sure you get the kind with a ratchet suspension. Tip: the white helmet is a few dollars cheaper than the yellow one.

HeadRig001sml.jpg [ 92.25 KiB | Viewed 30853 times ]

First, I drilled four holes in the top. The holes are spaced to slightly over the 1 1/2 inch width of the Velcro One-Wrap strap described by Jomário in his original post. Then I used a utility knife and a metal straight edge to lightly score the edges of the slots I want to cut out. Do this gently and carefully so as not to damage the helmet or, more importantly, cut yourself. Once you have the lines scored, carefully go over the lines over and over again, using only slight pressure, until the knife cuts clean through the helmet. I cannot stress how careful you must be--these knives are very sharp.

HeadRig002sml.jpg [ 52.1 KiB | Viewed 30853 times ]

Here's the helmet assembled.

HeadRig003sml.jpg [ 63.87 KiB | Viewed 30853 times ]

Under the PS Move is a small piece of foam rubber. It's long enough to support the base, and short enough not to interfere with the trigger switch. Later tonight, I'm going to glue this pad to the helmet using E-6000 or some kind of contact cement.

You may have noticed that helmet has been painted with gray primer--this is because the original plastic surface is very shiny and reflective. The paint can actually be any color except black and the key is that it needs to have a flat or matte finish. Here are the reasons for painting the helmet: if you're recording with Kinect, shiny reflective surfaces will reflect the IR rays and you want to avoid black because it may absorb IR rays; if you're recording with PS3 Eye cameras, the reflective surface may confuse the tracking system.

As is, this rig is very stable so long as I'm not jumping up and down. The one thing I'd like to add is a chin strap, which should solve this issue. There are loops on either side of the helmet, so it should be very easy to add a strap.


Author:  Greenlaw [ Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

Chin strap arrived today. This is the one I got for $4 plus shipping:

http://www.tasco-safety.com/hhats/hard- ... traps.html

It's a bit stretchier than I expected but works quite well--it's very comfortable and more importantly, it keeps the helmet stable even when I jump up and down or snap my head quickly.

I might eventually replace the elastic strap with something a little less stretchy--maybe rubber. I originally had a regular non-stretching strap in mind but now that I've tried this with the elastic strap, I can see that it needs to be a little stretchy or I won't be able to open my mouth.

I'll post some videos when I get the chance, hopefully in the next couple of days.


Author:  nofarb17 [ Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

Hi folks:

I'm replying to Jomário Murta's first post in this thread. I wanted to let people know where to find the plastic hard hat suspension pictured in the U.S. First off, the suspension is not for a hard hat, it's for what's called a bump cap. I found one at amazon (good pictures of the suspension):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009ZR ... UTF8&psc=1

I couldn't find the replacement suspensions, so I'll just have to cut the helmet off. I also wanted to point out that the picture in his post shows it being worn backwards as the lower part of the head band is designed to fit under the back of the skull.

I also plan on adding a chin strap to mine since it will be worn by dancers, and they need all the support they can get to keep it on their heads.

Ragards, Michael

Author:  Greenlaw [ Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab


Thanks for posting that info. Our hard had rig works quite well, especially after adding the chin strap, but I'm still curious to try Jomário original design. The bump hat you linked is cheap enough that I can give it a try for comparison. Will post info after we've had a chance to do this.


Author:  nofarb17 [ Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Head holder for motion controller (cheap, light and stab

Hi Greenlaw:

I used the new rig with mocap of 3 modern dancers, and it worked great. I had make a few special personal adjustments (ala Han Solo) to make it work well, but it was light and stable on their heads. Contrary to my fear that the dancers would object to the fashion nerd-wear, putting it on actually helped them "get into character". I'll take some pictures of the mods and post them. I didn't actually have to cut the suspension out, it just clipped out.



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