Non-Lethal Electric Chair Brings The Death Row Experience Home

Non-Lethal electric chair for Oculus Rift Hackathon

One of our trusty tipsters named [Arman] wrote in to tell us about this awesome little Horror VR Hackathon that sought to create a non-lethal electric chair, for a seriously creepy and shocking experience.

[Arman] works in a small prototyping shop, so when a few guys from the local VR group called to ask for help building a non-lethal electric chair, he thought they were joking — until they showed up at the shop! Finally understanding what they really wanted to do, he hooked them up with an EL wire power supply (high voltage AC, low amperage) for their first prototype.

Unfortunately the EL power supply driver took too much juice, so they called [Arman] back the next day to hack together some of those joke gum shockers instead — he hooked them up to an Arduino and they work like a charm. 

The experience (sadly, not video recorded) went like this. Brave testers would sit in the chair with the Oculus rift on and they would see that they are in a strange room with a red curtain across the window. After a bit of time passed the curtain would open, revealing an audience of faceless men…

the room

This is about when you realize you’re in death row. ZAP!

[Thanks for sharing Arman!]

13 thoughts on “Non-Lethal Electric Chair Brings The Death Row Experience Home

    1. Put a high-value resistor in series. If you wanna be really clever, use 2, in case one fails. Or maybe a neon light. Plenty of ways to shock people without killing them.

      In a shop just a few years ago they had electrocuting pens. The same mechanism they use in electric cigarette lighters, only wired up to the body of a pen somehow, I think one terminal was body, one was the press-button on top. Maybe it only used one terminal and used the Earth the victim’s stood on as a ground.

      Did a good job. Good enough on my slow-learner of a mate, who after seeing me shock myself, asked what it did. “Oh, it plays a tune, press this” “Ow! Ow! Ow! I’m still not hearing this tune! Have I got the right button? Ow!”.

  1. Meh, as long as it stays across the skin or superficial nerves, no biggie. Nothing more than a “TENS unit”, which would have worked just as well I bet. But of course you don’t want to play with putting the potential across the chest cavity or cranium due to the obvious cardiac risk or risk of seizure. I wouldn’t call it wise to have anything thats not battery powered either, unless well isolated. Theres probably a billion to 1 odds of some hilarious irony here.

  2. Just the other day on NPR I heard about a study that found people would rather shock themselves than stay longer in the test room alone.
    Supposedly we are afraid of ourselves alone.
    More meditation.

    1. Give me a good book to read, or a fun project to work on and I’ll stay alone for quite some time myself. Just sitting in a test room does sound dull though. I suppose I could take a nap?

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