Military Using Game Controllers to Pilot Drones, Disarm Bombs

U.S. and British military forces are increasingly utilizing video game technology, according to Wired’s Danger Room blog.

By way of example, arms manufacturer Raytheon displayed its Universal Control System for drone aircraft at an air show last week. Company exec Mark Bigham commented on the system, which employs video game-like controls:

Gaming companies have spent millions to develop user-friendly graphic interfaces, so why not put them to work on UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles]? The video-game industry always will outspend the military on improving human-computer interaction.

In another application, the Wiimote is being used in place of traditional joypads to control the robots used to disarm roadside bombs in Iraq. Paul Marks writes in New Scientist:

The problem with the joypad is that it takes a lot of concentration and can monopolize the attention of the soldier using it… The Wiimote is far more intuitive because movements of the hand directly translate into movements of the robot.

Meanwhile, UK blogger Paul Mander noticed that a modified Xbox controller is being used to fly a drone in the British Army recruiting video at left.

Via: Hard OCP

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  2. 0
    Matthew says:

    PC gamers got that beat. Official secrets and military information is entered onto systems around the world every day using standard unmodified WASD controllers.

  3. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, you know, all the IMPORTANT people know that those little plastic button are leik TEH BEZT SIM-U-L8RZ EVAR!!!!

    …meh, i got nothin’

  4. 0
    T5 says:

    "The problem with the joypad is that it takes a lot of concentration and can monopolize the attention of the soldier using it…"

    Unless the solider is a gamer, which lets him use the control, eat, talk on the phone, sing and shout slurs at people all at the same time and still go 35-5 on CoD

  5. 0
    Anonymous says:

    yes but they may on the odd occasion use the drones to take out enemy soldiers. Some drones are equiped with a couple helfire missles to use in some occasions.

  6. 0
    catboy_j says:

    I was more wondering why the militaries weren’t already using game controllers in some capicity. Apparrently I was correct in thinking they should lol.

  7. 0
    -Jes- ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well actually this makes sense.

    The gaming industry spends millions upon millions on user-to-technology interfaces (controllers, keyboards, mice, wiimotes), so it doesn’t come as a surprise when military organisations lends from the gaming industry in order to literally get more usable remote-control hardware for less taxpayer money.

    As for the posters above mentioning the LaRouche guys and Thompson.. I doubt those douchebags can pull anything actually worthwhile out of this segment instead of the usual "games train to kill" jibberish that has been put down by REAL SCIENTIFIC WORK a couple billion times so far.

  8. 0
    kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    It makes perfect sense to try to employ a control interfacre that’s easier to use than those complicated briefcases.

    Now we jus wait for Thompson and the LaRouche-ites to descend upon here and the articel will be compelte [/sarcasm]

  9. 0
    lordlundar says:

    The cartoon eyes were good as well as the RRoD.

    On a more serious note, it’s not surprising. The Predator’ control setup is effecively taken from MS Flight simulator.

  10. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Is this just a honeypot to trap jack thompson, possibly for scientific experiements into the connection between megalomania and paranoia?

  11. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Oh god… I have to work really hard to avoid making or even referencing a joke about… ah! Almost got me there.

    Almost said waggle.



Leave a Reply