Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find all the product support you will need to get the most out of your ROTO experience. Please choose from the options below to start learning more about the Roto VR Explorer and all of its components.

It adds a rather wonderful sense of being physically present in a world

The Guardian

What is the difference between the original ROTO and the new ROTO VR Explorer?

As Covid locked down the world in March 2020, we finally launched our original ROTO after five years of development. We were proud of what we had built, but it was ultimately an expensive endeavour. We have since learnt many valuable lessons.

The first lesson was not to pre-sell too early. Half of our customers had understandably cancelled for a full refund by the time we launched.

ROTO was designed for everything and everyone, reflecting our intention to discover possible use cases. As a result the product was costly to produce with some over-engineering, but we felt it was the correct decision to learn.

The core technology delivered the high-bar experience we set out to achieve, such as LOOK & TURN and Haptics all in seamless 360 degrees - and it was a huge achievement, considering the complexity of technology involved.

The ease of use, robustness (we had no returns or safety issues) and the amazing immersive experience delivered…customers loved it, but it was expensive at $2,400 RRP.

The product was functionally versatile, but it was physically bulky, heavy, shipped in three boxes (!) and lacked wheels, so it was clunky to say the least. This had an impact. There were also lots of visible wires, a less-than-ideal aesthetic and caused friction when getting in and out of the chair. While the mechanics were robust, they lacked refinement and efficiency. There was some wobbling in the centre position, which caused some jerky motion, and friction in the system caused integration issues with developers, as the high starting current failed to deliver a linear curve.

Despite ROTO’s promise of compatibility with wheels and joysticks, the reality was that without sufficient developer support, the table mounts and accessories couldn't be used effectively which led to unmet expectations. The same issue impacted on the integrated touch pedals, which we thought was a cool feature, but ultimately they were complex to manufacture and a bit gimmicky in application.

ROTO used a taper system to connect the seat to the central column, as per most swivel chairs, but this meant once assembled and used, the product couldn’t fit back inside the original packaging - moving the product from place to place became cumbersome.

Despite all the above, ROTO received 5/5 star ratings from our customers (!), which strengthened our determination to keep going. Inspired by the success of the Quest and particularly the Quest 2, we set out to redesign Roto specifically for home and office customers, and to deliver Total 360 Immersion in a consumer friendly design - and at an aggressively low price.

Now for the new stuff!Roto VR Explorer has been meticulously developed from the ground up, incorporating all our learnings and, frankly, nailing it.We successfully minimised size, cost, and weight, all while massively enhancing functionality and efficiency.

The re-engineered mechanics are now housed in a smaller diameter around the central column. Coupled with detachable legs featuring lockable wheels, the entire setup can be conveniently shipped in a single box.But adding 'legs' with wheels created a safety issue, whereby users feet could get hit or trapped by the rotating footrest - so we developed replaceable safety guards to cover over the chair legs with electronic detectors (to confirm they are correctly assembled) together a motor cut-out function with audible alarm system to alert the user (patents applied for).

We also eliminated all but the slightest friction in the system, reducing pressure on the power supply while maintaining the same weight capacity (130kg, including accessories). The wobbling around the centre position has been eliminated, and with the removal of a single screw, the ROTO VR Explorer can free-wheel like a regular swivel chair – yes - ROTO can be used just like a regular chair in your home or office.

The new mechanics are also super robust (and have been successfully life tested), so much so, we have removed the default smoothing in our firmware to allow faster acceleration and immediate changes in direction - important for racing games.

With refined mechanics and software in place, we developed a new SDK (software development kit) that responds precisely as developers expect, ensuring seamless software integration for native game support. We also introduced a simple command, allowing the chair to effortlessly follow an in-game cockpit without any additional steps—it’s brilliant and has the potential to transform many of the ‘front-facing’ VR experiences we have come to live with.

With these enhancements, we recognized the potential to leverage telemetry data from SimTools software and transform ROTO into a motion simulator with PC games, providing our accessories with real purpose with over 150 PC games including the most popular PCVR games.

We feel it a massive achievement to be able to significantly enhance the play value of important game titles like Assetto Corsa which still have active communities after 15 years.Many people love games like Microsoft Flight Sim and Assetto Corsa, and now they can experience them in full 360-degree VR —flying with joysticks and driving around actual bends with a racing wheel (with haptics) is truly a standout experience! This is because the inner ear acts as a detector and knows when you're static vs rotating, as such you genuinely feel more immersed and more present in VR. Add to that, the centrifugal and gravitational effects on the body (which reminds your brain of your physical matter whilst wearing a headset), Roto genuinely delivers VR presence.

For over three years, we foresaw the trajectory of PCVR requiring USB-C 3.0 support. We've now successfully developed USB-C 3.0 slip rings to meet this market demand (wasn’t easy). In addition to providing this pass-through connectivity to headsets, the PC Advanced Cable Magazine (optional upgrade available at launch) supports additional devices like wheels and joysticks - plus dedicated compatibility for the T248 Thrustmaster Force Feedback steering wheel which fortunately has the benefit of a detachable power supply (Roto provides the power directly to the wheel).

ROTO VR Explorer comes with the compact Explorer seat as standard, which we hope you agree looks awesome, but it is also designed for comfort as well as freedom of upper body movement in VR. For example, we found when playing most VR shooting games, guns are virtually holstered by your side (which makes sense) but when seated, chair arms get in the way.

ROTO VR Explorer now features an up/down gas lift supporting people of different heights and some nice touches such as the wireless charging of the Headtracker (when docked in the base). It can also be charged with a USB-C cable.

The haptics have also been improved with a new low frequency filter so, in a movie for example, actors' voices don’t annoyingly trigger the haptic effects, plus the rumble itself is now almost silent in operation. Best yet, the haptics are now wireless, as the audio patterns are now transmitted wirelessly through the Headtracker via bluetooth. There’s also a 3.5mm jack socket in the base, so you can connect your TV, games console, PC or even smartphone to play games or watch regular Netflix movies with haptic feedback even if you're not using ROTO for VR.

As you can hopefully see, the ROTO VR Explorer pays homage to its predecessor but really it’s a whole new ball game, especially at $799, and we can't wait to launch it - and get it into your hands (or indeed underneath your bottom).

Thanks for reading!

I own an original ROTO, which parts are compatible with the new ROTO VR Explorer?

Firstly, thank you for buying our original Roto and for continuing to follow our journey.

The new Roto base has been built from the ground up and has many benefits over the original base, as such, we have needed to make some tough decisions on compatibility and our recommendation is to upgrade the product in its entirety.
Can I trade in my old base?
If your base is in good condition and you are able to package it up securely (ideally in it's original packaging), we may be able to collect it from you depending on your location. As a part-exchange, we would offer you a discount on the purchase of a new Roto VR Explorer.

Old seat on new base? We are still reviewing if this is possible, so please wait for further information.

Our long term relationship with you is important to us, so we are doing everything we can to help.

When will the ROTO VR Explorer ship?

We have already started pilot production and are currently undergoing testing and certification procedures. Deliveries for pre-order customers are scheduled for Q1 2024, with our official launch set for Easter 2024.

Which headsets does the ROTO VR Explorer support?

Roto supports all all-in-one headsets which include the following:Quest, Quest 2, Quest 3, Vive XR Elite, Pico Neo 3 and soon Apple Vision pro.
The PC Advanced Cable Magazine provides tethered connectivity to the PC for USB-C 3.0 compatible headsets, such as Meta Quest, Quest 2, Quest 3 and Pico.Note: More and more headsets are starting to offer wireless connectivity to PC, so please keep on the lookout for developments.
Difficult headsets for us to support
The following headsets are technically difficult (if not impossible) to support due to cabling complexities: PSVR 1, PSVR2, Varjo, Pimax, Oculus-S, Reverb G2
Possible headsets but not initially supported
The following VR headsets are technically possible to support, although we would need sufficient customer requests to invest in the development of such solutions. HTC Vive, Valve Index. 

What are Cable Magazines?

The Cable Magazine is an upgradeable part that manages device connectivity, without cables getting tangled, even as ROTO rotates continuously.The Cable Magazines are made of high precision gold-plated electromechanical slip rings.

ROTO comes with a Basic Cable Magazine as standard, which provides USB-C headset charging (15W) plus power for the haptic feedback.
If you wish to connect to PC, you need to upgrade to the Advanced PC Cable Magazine.

What software does the ROTO VR Explorer support?

Roto uniquely supports and enhances all oftware, including games, movies, work applications etc. Developer integration is not required.

How is this possible?The haptics are driven by sound audio which is connected via a 3.5mm audio connector. Therefore the haptics work with most kind of digital devices, including games consoles, tablets and even mobile phones. Yes, that means you can feel immersed just listening to music.ROTO's patented LOOK & TURN Headtracker clips to any VR/AR headset and communicates with the Roto base. It doesn't matter what software the headset is runnnig, intutive turning adds great value to any 360-degree experience. 
Native game support
In addition to the above, developers can take direct control of ROTO via an SDK to create dedicated content. This is something we value highly and are working hard to court developers.
SimTools integration
SimTools extracts telemetry data from PC games and feeds Roto the orientation of say an in-game vehicle - and Roto follows it.We have developed a unique plug-in to SimTools' new V3 platform, which delivers outstanding results.

How much weight can the ROTO VR Explorer support?

ROTO supports up to 120kg plus an additional 10KG for the accessories so 130KG in total.

How much space will I need to use the ROTO VR Explorer ?

The Roto 2 base is 60cm in diameter, which is the same as a regular swivel chair. The Foot Rest obtrudes an additional 10cm, so a rotating diameter of 80cm is required. But as users swing out their arms, we recommend an additional 1m space either side of the chair for safety.

What power consumption is required for ROTO VR Explorer ?

Roto comes with a switch mode power supply (input 110V-240V, output 19V 9Amps, 220W).

Can I attach any seat to the ROTO VR Explorer Base?

Sorry, but no. There are various safety issues to consider including recline angles (we don’t want people to topple over at speed - or indeed at all).

The seats we offer are specifically designed to integrate with the technology base and provide haptics, accessory supports and cable management, so you really shouldn’t want to add any chair other than those provided by us.

Is there any noticeable lag when turning?

ROTO VR Explorer is ultra-responsive, updating its' postion 5 times a second - there is no discernable lag.

However, depending on the application, it may be preferable to experience a smooth motion rather thna perhaps uncomfortable mechanical jolts.

With motion simulation experiences using SimTools, you can choose between 'ultra-responsive' and 'dampened response', depending on your preference.

ROTO's LOOK & TURN feature is designed for comfort and so is not intended to mimic or turn as fast as your head movement. However, in terms of gameplay reaction, the ability to move your head is not impacted by the chair, so gameplay reactions are unnaffected.

When will my ROTO be delivered?

We will ship and deliver to all pre-order customers first in the first quarter of 2024 - before Easter. We will contact you 2 weeks before delivery to give notice and to make sure your address is still valid. We will also send you a tracking number once the local courier has collected, 2-5 days before final delivery.