IT

Navy to use Xbox controllers to operate new periscope systems

Navy to use Xbox controllers to operate new periscope systems

An Xbox 360 controller is not an advanced piece of equipment but it appears that this is quite a smart usage of something that is readily available, cheap, efficient, and able to serve its goal.

On older submarines, the periscope would use traditional rotating tube mechanisms limited to one person using them at any time; very much in the fashion movies like The Hunt for Red October portrayed periscope action. While a bit more serious than using the controller to battle it out on Call of Duty, using the Xbox Controller to control an actual real-life submarine is a boy's dream come true. Instead, the subs' periscopes have high-resolution cameras that display images on large monitors for everyone in each sub's control room to see. That seems to be the pretty cool assumption based on the fact that sailors are now using Xbox 360 controllers to perform functions aboard some vessels.

The Navy has been working with Lockheed Martin to find everyday commercial products that can lower costs and incorporate sailors' existing skills.

"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.

British Airways flight held at Paris airport due to security threat
He continued: "I believe the intention is to return to the same plane assuming the search is all clear". We will all be led off the aircraft and baggage searched in due course.

Lockheed Martin's sticks set the Navy back $38,000 a pop. GameStop sells used Xbox 360 controllers for under $30, while Microsoft sells new 360 pads for $39.99.

The modernized version of Virginia-class submarines will be equipped with them and stocking has already begun by the US Navy.

The Navy has extensively tested the system and plans to put it into use on the USS Colorado in November, and other Virgina-class submarines in the future.


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