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

Did Microsoft pay too much ($2.5 billion) for Minecraft developer Mojang?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
james_fudgeWe're looking into whatever is making the site freak out this morning, folks. Sorry09/17/2014 - 10:12am
lomdrSadly, Craig, they found someone else to latch onto, the API in today's article.09/17/2014 - 9:43am
MaskedPixelanteI'm having different issues with the site. I'm not sure what's causing it, but if I have this site open, videos become choppy and unwatchable.09/17/2014 - 8:33am
E. Zachary KnightConster, It is not just you. I believe the techs are looking into the problems.09/17/2014 - 8:18am
ConsterAlso, is it me or has connection to the site been spotty lately?09/17/2014 - 6:19am
ConsterThe sword it drops makes getting to the 'good' parts a lot easier.09/17/2014 - 6:09am
ConsterMaskedPixelante: I recommend going to the undead city, luring out the black knight, then hiding behind a closed door and hitting him through it so you can retreat and heal safely.09/17/2014 - 6:06am
Craig R.Have the GamerGate mouthbreathers left yet?09/16/2014 - 7:56pm
prh99Right up to the Bell Gargoyles.09/16/2014 - 7:05pm
james_fudgeI'm a huge Dark Souls fan :)09/16/2014 - 1:13pm
james_fudgeThe first part of Dark Souls is pretty easy.09/16/2014 - 1:13pm
Neeneko@AE - it is still better then Return of Kings. I wonder if they know each other...09/16/2014 - 1:05pm
Neeneko@IanC - well, considering their entire goal is disseminating information, it kinda makes sense.09/16/2014 - 1:04pm
Andrew EisenThat depends on how much longer before YOU start getting good!09/16/2014 - 12:31pm
MaskedPixelanteSo, I've been stuck in the opening section of Dark Souls for about two years now... how much longer before it starts getting good?09/16/2014 - 12:29pm
Michael ChandraI was wondering the same thing while reading it.09/16/2014 - 11:44am
james_fudgeSadly, no.09/16/2014 - 11:17am
Andrew EisenThat's a satire site, like the Onion, right? Please? Please tell me that's a satire site?09/16/2014 - 11:10am
james_fudgehis readers are.09/16/2014 - 10:36am
IanCWikileaks will jump on any agenda for publicity.09/16/2014 - 10:22am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician