The promise of racing simulator video games is clear: you’ll get to feel like you’re actually racing a Ferrari 488 GTB around the Nürburgring or the infamous Laguna Seca corkscrew. But, of course, you don’t really feel like that when you’re looking at a TV and driving the car with a joystick. To fully experience the action, you need a VR headset and a motion simulator, and they built their own over on the By Zylauv YouTube channel.
Zylauv has been working on this build since 2016, and showcased it by playing Project Cars 2 in a recent video. The player wears a virtual reality headset, and sits in a motorized bucket seat. Control is provided through a standard gaming steering wheel and pedals. As the player brakes and or takes a hard turn, the chair rocks back and forth. It’s a fully-immersive experience tailored specifically to racing sims, and which many of us would love to try out.
The motion simulation rig was built from parts salvaged from real cars, as well as mobility scooters. An application running in Windows called Sim Tools takes the on-screen action and translates it into serial commands. Those are passed off to an Arduino Uno, which controls the motors through relays. Potentiometers on the actuators provide feedback on their position. Zylauv estimates the total cost for this build at $1–2k, along with years of work, so you’d have to be pretty dedicated to replicate it — but it certainly seems worth the effort.