Rats Walk Run DOOM Map VR Rig
Can a rat actually play DOOM? Not really, but researcher Viktor Toth came up with possibly the next best thing. He built a custom virtual reality rig and experimented with several rats over the span of around 6-months, seeing if they can navigate a straight hallway in DOOM. The rig itself required around four months to complete using a 3D printer, an iron, a drilling machine, screwdrivers, and a few other hand tools.

The rig consists of a large rotating ball that sits on a base connected to motion sensors sourced from computer mice. These sensors are used to track the movement ball’s movement as the rat, equipped with a harness, starts walking facing a large display running the game. When the rat walks on the ball, the game moves the player in that same direction. A total of three rats – Romero, Carmack, and Tom – were used in this experiment, and after 6-weeks, one of them was able to consistently run down the hallway.

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