Strap Yourself In And Let This Robot Arm Shake The Bejesus Out Of You

This man is strapped onto the business end of a huge robotic arm. If you’ve seen videos of industrial robots on automobile assembly lines and the like, you know how fast and strong these machines are. But this isn’t headed for the factory floor, it’s a new flight simulator built do train Australian fighter pilots.

Researchers at Deakin University were looking for a way to give a fighter pilot a more realistic simulator experience. What they ended up with is an apparatus that can spin continuously on two axes. This lets the pilot feel what it might be like to stall and have the aircraft spinning out of control.

The video after the break is not to be missed. You’ll see the test pilot (read: guinea pig) flung this way and that to the point that we almost decided this should be a “Real or Fake” post. But we’re confident that this actually exists. We expect that future renditions will include the front portion of the aircraft and be completely enclosed in a projection dome, just like the Lexus driving simulator.


35 thoughts on “Strap Yourself In And Let This Robot Arm Shake The Bejesus Out Of You

    1. Yeah, the ones in LEGOland (Billund, DK) are great fun. The best part is that you can select how hard you want to be shaken, so you can adjust to your own taste (or in my case, how old the cild accompanying me was) :-D

      We went pretty high up in the levels, but not all the way. Still glad I wasn’t on a hangover, though. ;-)

  1. looks great, except its missing the most important training, that of muscle memory in the cockpit.
    all the screens and knobs throttle position, and so forth, so It doesn’t look very good for actual training. Perhaps if they enclosed the pilot and simulated a cockpit it would be perfect!!

  2. in legoland denmark there has been a ride similar to this for the last 10 years or so (lego styled)

    you can even program your own ride in a similar fashion to the lego IDE for the NXT.

    the quality of this build is probably a lot better, by virtue of not only age but funding.

  3. It’s an interesting take on flight motion simulation and I’d _love_ to have a go at it, but it can’t (currently) replace the hydraulic platform simulators that have a full avionics cockpit.

    1. That would be a fun one to explain to the coroner. On a more serious note for the article, there are lots of people out there using robotic arms for motion simulation with human beings. For example “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey” ride at Universal Studios uses KUKA arms to carry the riders.

  4. Old news. Seen years ago in popular media.

    It doesn’t really add anything to the current motion platform simulator IMO, and it loses the cockpit hardware.
    About the only addition is the ability to feel -1g. The way the seat is mounted, it can’t even sustain positive g’s any more than traditional simulators.

  5. Hi guys,

    It really is a fun ride. I work for CISR and am one of the ‘Guinea pigs!’ The simulator as it’s shown in the video really is cutting edge and can pull up to 6G for a short amount of time. What makes it better than the traditional ‘Stewart Platform’ type simulators is the ability to fly fully inverted and to go into continuous aileron rolls!
    There is quite a lot going on behind the scenes to ensure that the pilot is safe at all times. The safety manual developed by CISR comes in at around 500 pages!
    Currently, the system uses a HMD for vision and has Blackhawk cyclic, collective and pedals with force feedback to allow the pilot to ‘feel’ the forces on the controls as would a pilot in a real aircraft.
    As the robot can handle around 500kg’s on the end of the arm, we have plans to add other end capsules (we have wrap around screens etc) and while we are focussing on the haptics and control, we can add all the switches and knobs for a specific plane if required. As it stands, we can load flight models in from practically any fixed or rotary wing aircraft.
    You can see more at
    Cheers, James

  6. And it all now makes sense why the university classes parking a “distraction”… Janey (the VC) just wants a turn on the simulator!

    Here’s a thought: don’t increase the price of parking by more than double and the kind folk up at GTP might let you?

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