Technopolis Canyon Ride

Nanopixel allows visitors to Technopolis to cycle virtually above Grand Canyon

The blood-curdling bicycle ride is a virtual variant of Technopolis’s popular “bicycle on the cable” line-up. Technopolis®, the Flemish Science and Technology center, will be launching this summer with a virtual bike ride over the Grand Canyon. This challenging bike ride in virtual reality promises to be a blood-curdling adventure and is a variation on the popular “bicycle on a cable”, a setup where visitors in Technopolis® at 5 m altitude on a cable. In collaboration with Belgian virtual reality specialist Nanopixel, visitors can now also experience this bike ride in virtual reality.

Experience this summer in Technopolis® the Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality-glasses with a wide telescopic view, and immediately imagine you’re in the scorching desert of Arizona, where the whole adventure takes place. To make the illusion complete, visitors take a seat on a recumbent bike. Although it is safe, it feels like they are really cycling via a cable over the Grand Canyon. The faster they pedal, the faster they will advance across the Grand Canyon. Thunders, flashes of light, birds, shocks and other unexpected obstacles give the course an extra dimension. Visitors are challenged to complete the trip within 2 minutes.

Those who still have their feet on the ground after the bike ride above the Grand Canyon in virtual reality are challenged to cycle 5 meters above the ground without using technological aids. And it must be said, it is up to the real daredevils to – without bending knees – crawl on the real cable bike.


“We are very proud that we can offer this high-tech experience to our visitors in collaboration with Nanopixel”, says Ester Blockx, Marketing & Communications Manager at Technopolis®. “With this VR experience of our most popular interactive set-up, we are once again going for full experience. The use of virtual reality makes this stoneware classic setup not only spectacular, but also innovative. By using the very latest techniques dangers really come to life and the tension rises to a climax. A surprising experience of one of the most popular installations of Technopolis®. ”

“When we received the request from Technopolis our team was immediately stimulated,” says Dietrich De Blander, CEO at Nanopixel. “The same day we started brainstorming with our VR developers about a scenario with which we would convince Technopolis. Nanopixel specialises in tailoring interactive virtual reality experiences and after only half a day we had a strong scenario ready that also matched Technopolis’s philosophy, ” he continues. “One of the challenges was to link the virtual reality to the physical recumbent, and to coordinate those two. After all, the visitor’s pedaling movements must perfectly match the events in the virtual world. That worked pretty quickly and when we saw the eyes of the Technopolis employees after their first virtual test drive, we knew we were okay “.

By using the very latest techniques dangers really come to life and the tension rises to a climax. A surprising experience of one of the most popular installations of Technopolis®. Dietrich De Blander - CEO Nanopixel

“The applications of virtual reality are truly endless: phobias are treated with it, architects present innovative projects with it, in the army they simulate parachute jumps with it … Before you know it, virtual reality becomes a daily reality”, says Ester Blockx, Manager marketing & communication at Technopolis®. “As a Flemish DIY center for science and technology, we had to incorporate this into the range. And how could we introduce this spectacular piece of technology better than through the most spectacular setup in Technopolis®? In this way we reconcile the latest technologies with a few basic principles of physics: gravity and balance. With this VR application we can introduce several thousands of people to this innovative technology this summer. ”

The cable bike in virtual reality will be open to the public from Tuesday 5 July and will remain in Technopolis® until 31 August. To guarantee a high experience quality, the Oculus Rift was chosen as VR glasses. the latest piece of cutting-edge technology under the VR glasses. The virtual Grand Canyon ride takes 2 minutes. Where in the classical setup the length of the legs of the visitors is decisive, the super-exciting bicycle tour in virtual reality is only allowed for children from 8 years.

Written by
Dietrich De Blander CEO Nanopixel