The US Navy Will Use Xbox Controllers for Steering Periscope Sights

US Navy Xbox controller submarines

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

You're probably familiar with using your Xbox Controller to play Call of Duty or Forza in your living room, but the government has come up with another (much cooler) use for the device.

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 objective. Periscope viewing is now performed via high-resolution cameras that relay their video to big-screen displays.

On the surface the Xbox controller seems like a very standard gaming controller, but it looks like it is good enough for the US Navy to use.

The Navy got together and they asked a bunch of J.O.s and junior guys, 'What can we do to make your life better? The pericope of this high-tech submarine will be maneuvered using the Xbox controller by its sailors.

US Navy Xbox controller submarines
US Navy uses Xbox 360 controllers for its most advanced submarines

Lockheed Martin has been working with the Navy on new ways to incorporate off-the-shelf products into the military.

"That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only created to fit on a Virginia-class submarine", said Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub. That custom designed joystick by Lockheed Martin, by the way, costs $38,000.

Virginia-class submarines are getting the Xbox controller added to their integrated imaging systems, which will replace a complex-looking, helicopter-style control stick.

The USS Colorado, which is expected to be commissioned in December, will be the first vessel to be equipped with the Xbox controllers.

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