Xbox or PlayStation Controller Used to Operate Missing Sub Exploring Titanic Wreckage: An Exploration of Technology and Safety
In June 2023, a rumor spread across social media platforms claiming that a video game controller was used to operate a missing submersible intended for exploring the deep-sea remains of the RMS Titanic. This article delves into the details surrounding the use of a game controller in operating the submersible and explores the broader trend of military applications utilizing video game controllers.
The Missing Submersible
On June 18, a submersible managed by OceanGate Expeditions embarked on a voyage to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. However, it failed to resurface at the scheduled time, sparking rescue efforts to locate and save the sub and its passengers. The submersible, operated with a video game controller, had five people on board with a limited oxygen supply. As the world anxiously awaited updates on the rescue operation, questions arose regarding the use of a game controller in such a critical expedition.
Contrary to initial rumors, it was not an Xbox or PlayStation controller that operated the missing submersible. Twitter user Matthew Ruddle identified the controller as a Logitech F710 Wireless PC Gamepad, which featured Xbox buttons but a PlayStation stick layout. This specific controller, with a price ranging from $33.99 to $49.99 on various websites, added an interesting twist to the story. While the choice of controller may have fueled speculation and discussions, it raised concerns about the safety and reliability of the submersible’s control system.
Use of Video Game Controllers in Military Applications :
The use of video game controllers in military applications is not a new phenomenon. In recent years, both the U.S. Navy and Army have incorporated Xbox controllers into their operations. The Navy employs them for submarine operation, while the Army utilizes them for bomb disposal robots. This adoption of consumer-grade game controllers offers several advantages, including cost-effectiveness, ease of use, and the familiarity they provide to young recruits who grew up playing video games.
The British military has also recognized the benefits of video game controllers, developing an all-terrain vehicle that can be directed using an Xbox controller. Similarly, Israel operates a tank through the use of the same device. These examples highlight the widespread acceptance and integration of game controllers into military machinery, emphasizing their practicality and reliability in various operational contexts.
Safety Concerns and Submersible Design
While the use of a gaming controller in operating the missing submersible generated amusement and curiosity on social media, concerns were raised about its safety. In a 2022 CBS interview, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush demonstrated the game controller’s usage but did not address specific safety concerns. This led to speculation about the submersible’s overall design and engineering, particularly given the sub’s critical mission and the potential risks involved in exploring deep-sea wreckage.
In response to the safety concerns, Rush clarified that while the control system may utilize a game controller, the main part of the submersible’s infrastructure was designed in collaboration with renowned organizations such as Boeing, NASA, and the University of Washington. These partnerships ensured that the pressure vessel, the core component responsible for protecting the occupants, was not compromised in terms of safety and reliability.
It is important to note that submersible technologies often involve a combination of off-the-shelf components and purpose-built systems. While some components may be improvisations or adaptations, crucial elements such as the pressure vessel undergo rigorous engineering and design processes to meet stringent safety standards. The involvement of industry leaders like Boeing and NASA provides assurance of the submersible’s structural integrity and adherence to safety protocols.
The rumor of a video game controller being used to operate the missing submersible exploring the Titanic wreckage has been confirmed, with the Logitech F710 Wireless PC Gamepad identified as the specific controller in question. The military’s adoption of video game controllers for various applications demonstrates their practicality and cost-effectiveness. While concerns were raised about the submersible’s safety, the main part of its infrastructure was designed in collaboration with renowned organizations, ensuring its reliability. As rescue efforts continue, the use of a gaming controller is unlikely to have contributed to the sub’s disappearance.