The Walkbox Foot Controller
A unique input device operated with your feet.

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The Walkbox foot controller is a USB input device that allows up to 80 unique outputs just by pressing different paddles (and paddle combos) with your feet. Any key (or key combo) can be assigned to any paddle combo.

It can provide full keyboard and mouse / joystick emulation for anyone who is hand disabled.

It provides an entire second keyboard / mouse / joystick of input for gamers, or folks who use software with lots of shortcut keys.

The Reason For The Walkbox

The Walkbox foot controller was inspired by virtual reality induced motion sickness. Guess who gets sick easily? Me! Despite that I kept at it, trying different games for the different methods of movement. Teleporting is OK, but what a massive break in the immersion for every other kind of VR movement.

One day, for no particular reason, I started tapping both my feet while in a VR game and my nausea started to settle down. I noticed that and did it on purpose, tapping my feet alternately as I moved in VR. Wow! I felt even better! That was my "light bulb goes on" moment.

I realized that by giving myself a physical input from my feet that directly corresponded to the perceived visual movement in VR that I did not get motion sick.

I went looking for a product that would let me do that. There are hundreds of simple foot pedals, they only do one thing. I found a couple of  foot controller devices, but they were basically a flat pad that your foot rests on and can be tipped forward, back, left and right. A foot joystick with four outputs. You could use two of them for eight outputs. I was completely dissatisfied, I wanted full control over all movement with my feet.

I've been a tinkerer my whole life, so I decided I was going to build something to really test my theory. I built the first prototype from lumber and arcade game buttons and sheet metal. I used an Arduino micro-controller for the brain. Since I knew how to program in QBasic / Visual Basic I jumped into that without looking back. I wrote a simple program in C (really, that's the name of the programming language) to turn the paddle press into a keyboard output. I made a simple outdoor scene in Unity (free game making software) and put on the Oculus DK2 headset. I "walked" around for an hour, I couldn't stop myself. No nausea. At all.

Now I knew I was on to something that really worked. Over the next few months I built a second prototype inside an old typewriter travel case and took both prototypes to a VR enthusiast group up in Seattle, two times. People sat down and tried them out, both in a VR scene and a flat screen scene as well. Everybody thought it worked great.

I decided I was going to design a foot controller. We bought a 3d printer and I got busy. Good thing I was also already familiar with 3d modeling. Learning to make a 3d model that can be 3d printed was a whole new experience.

After the experience of building the first two prototypes I knew it would have to be very adjustable. Different length and width feet, different foot spacing and also work for a heavy- or light-foot. I designed a paddle switch mechanism that do all that. This is about where I went and applied for a patent.


In VR it greatly reduces, if not eliminate, motion sickness (for some folks). By using your feet to "click" the button that makes you move, your brain accepts the mild leg muscle action as the origination of the perceived visual movement - thus, no motion sickness.

This solution allows for full movement in VR while seated, and allows your hands to do "hand" things instead of operating movement controls.

One lady who was severely motion sick in every day life tried the second Walkbox prototype with an Oculus DK2 VR headset. She moved around in a simple outdoor scene in VR with her feet and didn't feel nauseous for nearly 10 minutes, and then it came on very slowly. She said she did not feel any worse immediately after, either.


The Walkbox foot controller can also be programmed to assign whatever single key or key combo/mouse/joystick movement you want to any paddle combo as the output. Configurations for different programs can be saved and loaded.

The configuration program is designed to work directly with the Walkbox foot controller, so a hand disabled person can setup the paddles as they like, without any extra assistance.

The user would press the paddle combo they want to assign a key to, the configuration program locks on to that combo, then the user can use the Walkbox itself to select the key (or key combo) they want to assign to the previously pressed paddle combo by pressing up, down, left or right with the left foot to move the selection indicator to the desired key. Once selected, the user then presses a right foot paddle to confirm that choice. When the user has finished, the configuration program uploads the new config data to the Walkbox, over the USB connection.


Different styles of use can be programmed and saved via the config program. I play Battlefield 4 with the Walkbox foot controller. My paddle configuration is to press right foot down for walk forward, left foot down for walk backwards and both feet down for run forward. Other paddles (or combos) allow me to crouch, go prone, jump, reload weapon, open comm menu, etc.

I was asked if it could be used like "walking" - literally tap left and right feet and maintain a steady "pace" to trigger walking forward, then "run" by tapping your feet faster, then slap both feet down to jump. That could easily be done, and be available in the configuration program. A Walkbox user can also adjust the timing of the alternate paddle taps to suit themselves.


I also made it highly physically customizable - inside and outside paddles and toe paddles are adjustable to fit different size feet, with an extendable heel rest for big feet.

The paddles themselves are designed to be replaced by simply pulling them out and sliding a new one in. They can be various shapes to improve the accessibility depending on the shape of folks feet.

The base paddle (under the foot) has a tension adjuster to make it easy or hard to press down, for light / heavy footed folks. The adjustable switch mechanisms I designed are ready for full motorization of the adjustment controls, with min / max switches incorporated.

I have also designed the adjustable paddle/switch mechanisms ready to be motorized, so that the physical adjustments can be done within the configuration program directly, eliminating the need to actually touch the Walkbox to change anything.


Current model -


Playing Battlefield4 with an early prototype of the Walkbox foot controller.


Battlefield 4 game play videos

Pictures of version 1 -

Pictures of the proof of concept prototypes 1 and 2, an early model of the box design -

Check on progress at

Contact -

The Walkbox Foot Controller - Patented