US Navy Launches Submarine Maneuvered by Xbox Controller

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
As hinted last year, the US Navy has officially deployed its first submarine with Xbox controllers: instead of joysticks, sailors will use Microsoft’s gaming peripheral to control the USS Colorado’s two photonics masts, which replaced periscopes.

The Navy says on its website that this is the first submarine blessed with the controllers from its inception. The submarine is 377 feet (115 meters) long, 34 feet (10 meters) wide and weighs approximately 7,800 tons when submerged. It also doesn't have to refuel, as it's blessed with a nuclear reactor plant that powers the submarine for the lifetime of its existence.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Messages
2,674
Wonder what skin the controllers will have, you know, to lighten the mood. Or each assigned unit has their own "lucky" version.

Interesting use of tech, good luck assigning all those buttons.
 

Tweak42

Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
609
I wonder how much money was saved using off the shelf hardware instead of developing their own controller, testing and training program to operate it.
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
I wonder what the mil-spec on the controller is... I can't imagine them sending a deckhand to Best Buy to pick up a spare controller.
 

drutman

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
402
This could be a disaster in the making, my two XBOX controllers for the PC suffer from random power off due do the battery pack contacts being compressed by the batteries. Have to duct tape to controller body to make it work!
 

Gigus Fire

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
2,275
Lol, i can see it now.
As the submarine dives, suddenly a warning message pops up that reads:
"Controller disconnected" because someone forgot to charge it.
All hands were lost.
 

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
24,030
I wonder what the mil-spec on the controller is... I can't imagine them sending a deckhand to Best Buy to pick up a spare controller.
You don't need mil spec if you can get your replacement from the break room.

"Sorry to interrupt your Street Fighter tournament, guys. We kinda need to borrow another controller because Petty Officer Jenkins crushed the last controller with his enormous ass. The Captain promises he will give it back after we're done spying on the hot Cuban ladies sunbathing on the beach. "
 

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
10,019
Sony is a foreign company, Microsoft an American one. ;)
That is made in China lol. Seriously tho I want to know how MS gets away with it but my company needs to keep a paper trail of certs for where ever bolt screw and nut comes from and that it meets the mil spec. Typically not allowed to by anything from China. There is a list of what we can buy from allied Nations. These damn minority companies we are forced to buy a certain amount from are the worst suppliers. They cost five time more then anywhere wlse and they give us cheap Chinese shit all the time.
 
Last edited:

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
24,030
Sony is a foreign company, Microsoft an American one. ;)
dd40bc78659b53aa7af65aedd4ea0b5b755aa1251c06ae7453b164d4a02255e4.jpg
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
Why not?

Just plug in the controller dongle launch joy2key done.

As vegeta535 hints at, there are generally a lot of demands when it comes to supplying the military. Its a bit of a bureaucratic mess, but one largely borne out of necessity. The military hates finding out the cause of a problem was something they didn't manage tightly, so they force their supply chain to follow a stringent set of rules. This is the real reason why everything costs so much for the military, and why off-the-shelf is almost never actually off-the-shelf. Off-the-shelf for the military usually just means they didn't design it from the ground up.
 

Wade88

Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
935
Come on Megalith, the submarine isn't maneuvered with the XBOX controller. Only the photonics masts are maneuvered that way. The submarine is maneuvered via the same methods as previous Virginia hulls.
 

Shipkiller

n00b
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
27
Please, everyone,
Keep going. I have my popcorn and I am enjoying this immensely.

Says the Submarine Combat Systems Electrical/Computer Engineer who flys around the world just to fix this stuff.....
 

c3k

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
2,314
Some poor sub commander is gonna stroke out when his master attack plan gets foiled because Seaman Jenkins has dead batteries in his controller...
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
Please, everyone,
Keep going. I have my popcorn and I am enjoying this immensely.

Says the Submarine Combat Systems Electrical/Computer Engineer who flys around the world just to fix this stuff.....

The sub guys are always a little off. The guys that seek out opportunities to continuing being on subs after they've served their tour... that's a special kind of crazy.
 

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
12,717
Damn, I read the article, what am I going to do about my [H] credentials now? ;) :D Anyways, no, it is not being maneuvered by and XBox controller, only the periscope apparatus is.
 

Shipkiller

n00b
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
27
The sub guys are always a little off. The guys that seek out opportunities to continuing being on subs after they've served their tour... that's a special kind of crazy.

Tour??? No one who ever served on Submarines or in the Navy would call it a 'tour'..

Of course we (who served in Submarines) are a little off. You have to be to do that job. We are also more self reliant than most others also. That's not bragging, just facts...

I was in the Submarine Force doing Combat Systems for 24 years (retired as E-8). You build up a specific skill set that is hard to come by. So, when you retire, there are very few bodies to get all the work done. So consequently, you get paid better.

Of course, I'm old school. The Navy has not trained technicians in the last 15-20 years or so... so my skill set is even more in demand, and harder to come by as time goes on...
 

BloodyIron

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
3,439
One advantage I see is the controllers should be much cheaper to replace than the previous joysticks.
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
Tour??? No one who ever served on Submarines or in the Navy would call it a 'tour'..

Of course we (who served in Submarines) are a little off. You have to be to do that job. We are also more self reliant than most others also. That's not bragging, just facts...

I was in the Submarine Force doing Combat Systems for 24 years (retired as E-8). You build up a specific skill set that is hard to come by. So, when you retire, there are very few bodies to get all the work done. So consequently, you get paid better.

Of course, I'm old school. The Navy has not trained technicians in the last 15-20 years or so... so my skill set is even more in demand, and harder to come by as time goes on...

Fair point about the tour business, Senior. I spent 8 years in the Coast Guard, but that was a decade ago and most of the service guys I'm around these days were Army or "no such thing as former" Marines. My boss served on subs; I love the guy, but he has this disarming wide-eyed look whenever he's in a group of people.

And before you launch into the CG jokes, keep in mind I was on an icebreaker. Those deployments weren't exactly weekend getaways.
 

WhoMe

Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
827
launch into the CG jokes
Guy I knew was a boat freak, badly wanted to get into the coast guard, they would not take him, not smart enough...but the army did, he became a helicopter mechanic...I'd much rather ride on a CG chopper. Not a CG joke, an army joke. Who'd want to joke about the branch of the service that's more likely to save your life than any other (and given the way they fly around here the navy and air force are most likely to kill me dropping a plane on my house).
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
Gotta wonder how long till they find an unexplained firmware code in these things. Also gotta wonder how long till a budget cut causes them to switch to the next MadCatz line. Those new worker-owners are gonna love it!
 

Crimson

Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Messages
560
Tour??? No one who ever served on Submarines or in the Navy would call it a 'tour'..

Of course we (who served in Submarines) are a little off. You have to be to do that job. We are also more self reliant than most others also. That's not bragging, just facts...

I was in the Submarine Force doing Combat Systems for 24 years (retired as E-8). You build up a specific skill set that is hard to come by. So, when you retire, there are very few bodies to get all the work done. So consequently, you get paid better.

Of course, I'm old school. The Navy has not trained technicians in the last 15-20 years or so... so my skill set is even more in demand, and harder to come by as time goes on...

I have this mental image:

MV5BY2Y2M2E0ODEtNzg3ZC00Zjc1LWFkZGYtZmQ5ZGVjYzA2ZGFlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjAwODA4Mw@@._V1_.jpg
 
Top