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.

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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!"

 
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Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenYou mean focus on stopping the bad behavior of those who are doing it rather than condemning all the people that associate with them? Great. But I still don't know who Emma Clarkson is, what she said, why she was attacked or what "standard line" she's04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

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