Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Navy to use Xbox controllers to operate new periscope systems

US Navy Using Xbox 360 Controllers To Operate Submarine Periscopes US Navy uses Xbox 360 controllers for its most advanced submarines
Earnest Maxwell | 20 September, 2017, 03:01

Kyle Leonard, the USS John Warner's assistant weapons officer, referring to junior officers and sailors.

When the military contractor tested the Xbox controller as a replacement, sailors were able to figure out controls on their own within a few minutes.

OK, so my 10-year-old kid could board an advanced U.S. Navy submarine and operate the periscope?

"It's kind of clunky in your hand; it's real heavy", said US Navy Lt. j.g. The periscope operators themselves use a glorified joystick to control the rig.

Microsoft has moved on from the Xbox 360, which it introduced in 2005, but it'll live on for a generation of young sailors who grew up with the device. Instead information from the periscope mast is displayed on a number of screens in the control room.

Lockheed Martin and Navy officials had been looking for ways to cut costs. According to Lockheed Martin, a standard control panel would usually be $38,000 per unit.

"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 chief navigator of the USS John Warner. Additionally, Xbox controllers will be installed on existing Virginia-class submarines.

It makes sense that various military organisation would want to tap into the skills gamers have developed, but we can't help wonder why the US Navy went for Xbox 360 controllers and not Xbox One or even the equally capable PlayStation 4 controllers.

After extensive testing, the controller-based system will make its debut with the USS Colorado, meant to be commissioned by November 2017.

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