Virtual Reality Stationary Bike
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RideThru transforms a dull stationary bike workout into a virtual reality experience that will make exercising more fun. Combining sensors, a spin bike and an Oculus Rift, a user will experience virtual terrains and live video game action all from the bike.


Stationary bikes are a very popular indoor exercise choice. Many people would prefer outdoor biking but due to weather, busy schedules, or other reasons, stationary bike exercises become the next best workout. The most predominant issue with them is that they are extremeley boring since they are not actually moving anywhere. Furthermore, if people don't enjoy some workout, they are less likely to continue working out. Ride through will make this type of workout fun by allowing users to play games or ride through new terrains in virtual reality. Ultimately this will encourage people to stay healthy as much as possible.


PaperDude VR

Virtual reality paperboy simulation implemented using a physical bike. This was created for a different context on just one game. It uses Kinect to track body movements


An interactive bike workout machine. This is an extremely expensive product, starting at $4000 and is targeted to high end gym's as a all-in-one bike entertainment solution

Technical Specifications

Sensors and Hardware

  • RPM Sensor
  • Adjustable Speed Fan
  • Custom Printed Circuit Board
  • PlayStation JetSki Handlebars

User Experience and Software

  • Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2
  • Processing Drivers for Serial Communication
  • Unity3d w/ Oculus for Game Development
  • Two Way Communication w/ PCB and Computer



  • Bike controlls game movement through handlebars and speed sensing
  • RPM and Fan responsive to biking and game, creating realistic experience
  • Bike can act as independant game controller for a variety of games

Non Functional

  • Fluidity-Low system latency should allow fluid and intuitive gameplay
  • Usability-Seamless control of bike even with the Oculus headset on
  • Reliability-Hardware should remain in place even when under heavy use



February 2015

An Idea Was Born

"What if we could play a virtual reality version of mario kart while excercising on a stationary bike?"

Proposal Submission

Submitted team proposal document available here where we defined all specs, requirements and fleshed out project architecture and parts list.

Website Creation

Build first iteration of website documenting project plans for the future

March 2015

Project Components

Executed the following parts orders to obtain necessary components for building

RPM Sensor

Used a Reed Switch with a magnet along the wheel to implement Rotations per Minute (RPM). Implemented AVR Code to determine RPM of wheel when user is biking

PCB Design

We started designing the pcb after researching the necessary schematics we would need to run the sensors on the board. We went through many iterations of the design and settled on a schematic that included all our features plus our project stretch goals so that our pcb would be as versatile for this project as possible

Final Designs

April 2015

Sensor Work

Got circuit for PWM fan working at variable speeds, laser cut mount for fan and implemented functionality to control fan speed with pedals

Handle Bars

We tackled the issue of moving handlebars through mounting a PS2 Yamaha controller. We separated the wires in the traditional tubing, attached them to pins on our PCB and then developed code for handling the connection and reading the controls and commands from the yamaha controller

System Mounting

We mounted all of our components onto the bike, using a previous pcb + circuitry to connect all the components together

Unity Development

For the Game development side of things we designed our game using Unity combined with OculusUnityIntegration which allowed us the most effectively develop for the oculus. We initially built a racing game using a traditional car but found during testing that the physics behind a traditional car would swivel and was hard to control. We handled the communication with the PCB by building drivers in processing that would allow the Unity game to communicate with our PCB over serial communication. This driver mimicked keyboard presses which allows our bike to work for any game

Kart Racing

We found that using a kart style physics engine and movement was much more natural to the bike and yamaha controller style of turning

We combined the kart style racing game with a more realistic environment creating a immersive experience for the users

May 2015

Combining it all Together

After our PCB arrived, the next period of time was dedicated to getting it soldered on, and rewiring the whole system to work on this new PCB. This was the most difficult part of the project for us as we had many issues with synchronization, timing and battling a faulty board design. After a lot of testing we found that the board we initially designed would not work as we had planned due to being unable to run multiple voltage levels while being able to communicate over serial communication. Due to this we had to use a small breadboad for some components related to the fan

Fine Tuning Gameplay

During the final period of time we focused on tuning the gameplay, controller sensitivity and compacted our design

Final Demo

Our final demo was very successful. Our project worked, and was very fun to ride. This was many peoples first time using the Oculus Rift and we provided a very immersive experience that a lot of people had fun with. Below we are showing some clips of peoples reactions during the public demo


Aayush Agarwal

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Omar Syed

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Josh Antonson

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Mikhail Kutsovsky

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In 2011 we were freshmen, now its 2015 and we're fresh men.