US Navy Using Xbox 360 Controllers To Operate Submarine Periscopes
19 Septembre, 2017, 13:19 | Author: Come Portier
Xbox 360 controllers have long since been replaced by Microsoft, but an unlikely source is getting a second lifespan out of them: the U.S. Navy.
In the past, many Virginia-class submarines used mast-mounted cameras to see above the water and they required helicopter-like joysticks that required extensive training and were costly to use. It and Lockheed Martin reportedly use off the shelf technology where they can, and we presume that they may have got some kind of bulk discount on controllers.
For the Navy and partner Lockheed Martin, a major reason behind the change was familiarity.
Plus, Xbox 360 controllers, which run around $30, cost way less than a military grade joystick for a submarine.
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There are some immediate advantages to using the Xbox 360 controller, the most obvious one being that many young sailors and junior officers grew up playing games with these controllers, making them immediately familiar with them. "One of the things that came out is the controls for the scope". During research, the entities found that sailors were able to figure out how to use the controller to operate the equipment within minutes versus the hours it takes using other joysticks.
The Xbox controller will be included as part of the integrated imaging system for Virginia-class subs beginning with the future USS Colorado.
"That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only created to fit on a Virginia-class submarine", said Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub, the John Warner's assistant navigator. "I can go to any video game store and procure an Xbox controller anywhere in the world, so it makes a very easy replacement".
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