Quick and easy Street View treadmill

This is [Thomas Clauser's] Google Street View enabled treadmill. He points out that most of the Street View hacks use a measurement of rotational movement to interface with a computer. He respects that but didn’t want to take the time to make it work with his treadmill. Instead, he used a stealth switch propped up on a book below the treadmill frame, but any switch can be used as long as you know how to connect it to the computer. When you stand on the treadmill the frame flexes and almost clicks the button, but when you start running it moves the rest of the ways and closes the switch. From there an autohotkey script is used to advance Street View.


  1. Bill says:

    Wouldn’t a piece of tape of the tread and a reflective light sensor be even ‘easier’ then lifting a treadmill and trying to get the switch positioned just right? Would also work at lower speeds as well, and allow for greater resolution with more pieces of tape.

    Just a thought.

  2. Bill says:

    Well, nvm, I guess the point here is using something like a mouse to get clicked; no harware hack required. But also brings up another thought, if you are going to use a mouse to get clicked, why not use the optical sensor to track speed?

  3. Thomas says:

    Thanks for the post and feedback.

    My next step was to put a scroll wheel in contact with the treadmill and count the number of repetitions. This was the 5 minute version…

  4. Aero says:

    Scroll wheel encoder? That doesn’t seem reliable. I would go with the optical sensor.

  5. Polaczek says:

    THIS GUYS DESERVES A PHD!!!!!!!!!!!!! /sarcasm

    Cool project though, nice and simple.

  6. Gilliam says:

    cherry switch wired to a keyboard controller chip(to the membrane wire pair that goes to the up arrow). no autohotkey.

  7. vonskippy says:

    Streetview hacks suck. Even if they were clever, it’s still a slideshow of a ugly street that is in theory supposed to enliven your workout walk/jog/run. If you want a streetview, RUN OUTSIDE.

  8. handlebar says:

    @vonskippy You seem to be missing the fact that sometimes running outside is not an option. Ever heard of bad weather? Another point to keep in mind is the option to run down virtual streets you’ll probably never get the chance to run in the real world.
    Streetview hacks are a bit of harmless fun and this is another simple fun hack.

  9. strider_mt2k says:

    Pfft…why tread around in the dirty bottom of a gravity well?

    With the right setup you could jog through the universe!

    It would be an interesting demonstration of the solar system to scale the walking distance to the distance between celestial objects for instance.

    One could stride the very cosmos!


  10. Mrshko says:

    This is awesome. What a great idea! Perfect for Oregon in the winter time.

  11. michael says:

    You could use some paint, and a webcam pointed at the belt.

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