Video game violence is starting to take on a whole new meaning.
Syrian rebels have reportedly built a tank to aid them in their fight to overthrow the Assad regime, and it uses a PlayStation controller to aim and fire the vehicle's machine gun.
It is, as you might expect, a tank that was sort of Frankensteined together. Dubbed the Sham II, it rides on the chassis of an old diesel car and is encased in a mish-mash of steel found from various places. The inside is much more high-tech, however, decked out with several flat-screen TVs hooked up to a suite of external cameras. One TV is used by the tank's driver, while another is used by the PlayStation gunner to operate a 7.62 mm machine gun.
The impressive homemade vehicle, which reportedly cost about $10,000 to create, is rumbling towards the city of Aleppo to join the fray.
As unique as a PlayStation-controlled tank sounds, it's far from the first time the military has integrated a game controller into real-world war weapons.
iRobot, which is best known for the Roomba vacuum, also makes a robot for the U.S. military that's used to dispose of bombs. The "Warrior," which can open doors and lift debris of up to 220 lbs, is run remotely by a tech with an Xbox controller.
The Army is also reportedly working on a new system called the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System, which mounts a .338-caliber rifle on the bottom of an unmanned helicopter that targets enemy troops. Like the "Warrior," the ARSS is controlled via a modified Xbox 360 controller.
Even the family-friendly Wii controller has some battlefield experience. As far back as 2008, the military was using it to control robots to disarm roadside bombs in Iraq.
- Technology & Electronics
- PlayStation controller