VRGO Ltd are a technology company based in Bristol, they create design movement input devices for virtual reality and have successful generated two kick-starter campaign that have helped fund their innovation projects. VRGO Ltd came to ITERATE to build upon an already established technology, the VRGO chair; a locomotion device that enables game engagement through the tilt of the users body. The client wanted to create a more compact, portable version of the VRGO chair and therefore produced the concept of the VRGO mini. With the concept already realised, the design team was able to develop this further and create a small quantity of VRGO mini prototypes. The client worked with ITERATE to create the body of the product using specific tooling methods. The team has also redesigned the product to ensure comfort and with the aim to use minimal parts due to project limitations.
The client initially identified limitations the design team needed to overcome. This included producing a low volume of manufacturable prototypes without the need for investing in sophisticated tooling equipment and using cost effective materials that are still suitable for the standard desired by the client. Comfort and minimal part consideration was also a focus when developing the project. The product also includes haptic motors that generate vibrations when the user is engaging with the game. Though ITERATE was not responsible for the electronics of the product; the housing for the vibration motors still needed to be considered throughout the design.
“Working with Gethin and the team has been a great experience. They are thoughtful and knowledgeable about every aspect of the product design process.” Joe Ryan, Owner, VRGO Ltd
Overcoming the challenge of producing a low quantity of manufacturable prototypes, whilst being as cost effective as possible, required a smart approach when selecting the materials and processes used during production. In contrast to designing a product for high volume production and using expensive tooling methods such as injection moulding, the design team decided to take an alternative approach. The base was vacuum-formed, this was the most logical process to use as it reduced the cost of production but has similar properties to other, more expensive tooling methods. The product also has a wood structure, which better lends itself to low volume production and still maintains durability, the fascia was created using HP FusionJet technology, a rapid new prototyping method that ITERATE leveraged to over come design limintations and an upholstery cushion was placed over the top of the product to provide comfort.
The final outcome of this project was a light weight, portable, virtual reality device that would provide advance useability in comparison to VRGO chair. The design fulfilled the clients desire to create a small volume of prototypes that were both cost effective and manufacturable, through careful selection of tooling methods and sound understanding of tooling cost.