Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its Family Tree

July 22, 2009 -

At the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the U.S. Army is testing robotic weapon systems, the origins of which can be traced back to the Xbox 360 and the Roomba vacuum cleaner, reports nextgov:

Spec. Ronald Wagle is a 23-year-old video gamer turned grunt... The handheld gizmo he uses to control a robot "is almost exactly the same as an Xbox [360] controller," he said.

Wagle uses the controller to deftly steer the robot, whose camera-equipped head gives it more than a passing resemblance to the R2-D2 robot in Star Wars, to check buildings in the village for weapons, including trip wires that could set off an improvised explosive device.

The robot, built by iRobot Corp., the same company that makes the Roomba vacuum cleaner, features cameras that can see in daylight and dark, has flexible treads that allow it to climb stairs, and radio links...

GP: Note the Xbox 360 controller carried by the soldier in the picture at left. More info on the Army's SUGV program is available on Wikipedia.


Comments

Re: Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its ...

Hey, I remember that picture.

One of LaRouche's little robo minions came to the forums and spammed that image to try to prove some connection between video games and the US Military.

 

Anyway, the Xbox 360 controller is basically an RC controller that's harder to tamper with and adds more functionality than standard RC controllers, and is much simpler and familiar than those uber big robo controllers, so it's use makes perfect sense.

Re: Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its ...

Using an Xbox 360 controller is a wise move on the army's part. Microsoft has spent millions developing its controllers, and made millions of dollars selling them. The army now has a control set-up which many soldiers are used to, and which they know is fairly reliable. Plus, they're mass produced and easily available.

 

An Xbox 360 has a button which makes it "bond" with a controller, so the controller only affects and responds to that one console. Theoretically, the army could put the same sort of function on this robot in case the controllers or robot are damaged. That way, they wouldn't need to replace both.

This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

Re: Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its ...

The Roomba is amazing It is a definite buy and I recommend it too all. 

 
We are seriously behind when it comes to robotics right now the U.S has wowwee http://www.wowwee.com/ Roomba’s but I would love to see advances in this field.
 

Re: Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its ...

So they're ripping off the Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller? I smell a law-suit...

Re: Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its ...

Oh no. You see, Microsoft has teamed up with the DoD to train America's youth to be soldiers. It's all part of the plan.

True story.

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."

Re: Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its ...

And strangely enough, it looks like the lovechild of something from a Video Game and a Vacuum Cleaner...

And, I just have to say for posterity...

"No Disassemble number 5!"

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Which Feminist Frequency video are you looking forward to most?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
WonderkarpI have a GBA. I dont need to buy virtual console gba games.01/28/2015 - 3:11pm
MonteI wouldn't care about running emulators on the 3DS if nintendo would just release more virtual console games. There are so many titles they could have up but don't. Seriously, its ridiclous that after 3 years they STILL haven't released GBA titles.01/28/2015 - 3:06pm
Wonderkarphttp://www.gamerevolution.com/news/game-boy-color-games-3ds-browser-exploit-30905 Play Gameboy Color Games on the 3ds using a browser exploit01/28/2015 - 2:39pm
prh99http://io9.com/one-of-our-most-popular-special-effects-originally-came-1682151657 Looks like the 1988 anime, Akira and anime in general has effecting popular culture, at least when it comes to special effects.01/28/2015 - 12:26pm
Wonderkarpyeah. some people are salty over it. but that wiki article was filled with vitriol01/28/2015 - 12:06pm
prh99Yeah, I saw people complaining about that, claiming Wales was a hypocrite cause he supposedly removed some feminist editors.01/28/2015 - 11:57am
WonderkarpCivility, Wikipedia, and the Conversation on Gamergate https://blog.wikimedia.org/2015/01/27/civility-wikipedia-gamergate/01/28/2015 - 11:45am
Wonderkarpone thing that surprised me...theres a lot of expanded universe books for star wars, star trek, alien, even videogames like resident evil....why not ghostbusters? There's a comic series and cartoon but thats it01/28/2015 - 11:37am
prh99Well it is Hollywood, remakes are the one thing they can be relied on for.01/28/2015 - 11:34am
E. Zachary KnightSo you want a sequel and not a reboot. Fair enough. I think either could work as you have said yourself.01/28/2015 - 11:32am
Wonderkarpotherwise, let it lie. Next thing you know they'll remake/reboot Alien or Godfather01/28/2015 - 11:28am
Wonderkarpand Ghostbusters is my favorite movie and its aged well. it doesnt need a remake. Just like Psycho didnt need one. If they threw in Dan Aykroyd, kept the original tech, and acknowledged the old films without crappy easter eggs, I'd be on board.01/28/2015 - 11:27am
WonderkarpI dont like Reboots/Remakes. For every Batman begins or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, there's a million Robocops, King Kongs, Star Treks, Amazing Spidermans, Taxis, Clash of teh titans, planet of the apes, footloose.01/28/2015 - 11:26am
prh99Wonderkarp, what more do you need? It's been ~26 years, and Harold Ramis died last year. If they can make something decent, who cares?01/28/2015 - 11:19am
prh99I wonder if they will fall into the trap of making those items more scarce in game in order to get people to pay.01/28/2015 - 11:14am
Wonderkarpso its not even ghostbusters then. just in name and concept only. you could call it ghost chasers or spook snatchers01/28/2015 - 11:09am
Andrew EisenKarp - According to the creative team, the new Ghostbusters is a new story, not a gender swapped rehash.01/28/2015 - 10:36am
WonderkarpMan. Resident Evil has fallen hard. I was a Huge fan in the late 90s. I think its time for a reboot. I was playing the hd remaster of the gamecube remake and the dialogue still sucks. Chris asking Rachel if she knows how to use a gun. SHE'S A COP!!01/28/2015 - 10:33am
E. Zachary KnightThe whole point of early Resident Evil games was to beat the game using only those weapons and ammo you could scavenge and use save files sparingly.01/28/2015 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightDoesn't the ability to buy health and weapons defeat the whole point of survival horror games?01/28/2015 - 10:07am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician