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Us Army Remote Vehicles Using Xbox 360 Controller?

by Paul Strauss

Most video game enthusiasts will tell you that the Xbox 360’s joystick is one of the best designed gaming controllers of all time. Now it appears to have gotten the “thumbs up” from the U.S. Army.

Army SUGV with Xbox 360 Controller

From the looks of these photos taken in article over at ZDNet, at least some of the Army’s remote SUGVs (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles) are controlled by what sure looks like an Xbox 360 controller to me.

Army SUGV with Xbox 360 Controller Detail

The unmanned ground vehicles are part of the Army’s Future Combat Systems initiative, providing individual troops with improved accessibility to dangerous locations.

The fact that the Army would at least prototype these systems using the 360’s controller makes perfect sense to me, given the familiarity of the design to its likely users.

[via Xbox-Scene]

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Comments (48):

  1. Fubiz says:

    Very nice pics!

  2. mookie says:

    LOL, can anyone say photoshop? Like it ain’t obvious.

    • Ahmed says:

      in my opinion i thin there is NO way this photoshop. I live in the U.K and a lot of armed forces addverts air on t.v and it show the soliders using “sugs” so this seems very plausible

      and yes my real name Ahmed

    • Nick says:

      its just loike using a wii controler for a smartboard a kid at my school did it

      • basher says:

        dude… this is LEGIT. I’m serious, MY friend is in a Bomb Disposal Unit and he uses these Controls for some things.

      • Chris says:

        Good one mate, I’d love to see you cotribute towards our Army. I know what you can do, sort out your English?

        Your comment really should say “It’s just like using a Wii controller for a smartboard, a kid at my school did it.”

        • George says:

          The thing I really hate, is when someone goes completely off topic, just to insult someone else about their grammatical errors. sho SHUHT UHWP NOOHB

    • EastHalo0 says:

      This ant photoshop you dumb **** sorry, but really. How the hell didnt you this is how they control the…looks like the less advanced version of the Warrior X700…not photoshop…and they also use laptop versions but looks difrent.

    • ... says:

      NOT fake or photo shopped. You guys heard of G4 TV? Watch bomb patrol Afghanistan they really do use them…

  3. technabob says:

    Actually, the only thing photoshopped was the orange highlight to call out the image. Be sure to check the original images over on ZDNet:


  4. […] us army remote vehicles using xbox 360 controller? [Technabob] tr { border: 0px } td { cellborder: 10px} table { border: 1px solid black } […]

  5. Mark Franzen says:

    And here’s an image directly from the US Army homepage that clearly shows the same controller, but a totally different and high-res version of the system in question.

    People are too quick to throw down the “photoshop” moniker on anything they can’t even fathom today.


    [Technabob: Mark, thanks for this link!]

  6. veganoob says:

    Its obviously photoshopped because the first picture displays a wireless controller and the second shows it with a wired controller.

  7. omegagz says:

    […] TechnaBob [via CrunchGear] […]

  8. Bob says:

    It looks like the soldier is holding the controller by its wire in the top picture.

    They are wearing black gloves so the hands are not very visible. If he was holding the controller itself then it would have portions obscured by the glove.

    It looks just like a controller being dangled by its cord.

  9. meneame.net says:

    [EN]El ejercito de los EEUU usa mandos de la 360 para manejar robots en Irak…

    Segun esta noticia, parece ser que el ejercito estadounidense en Irak esta utilizando el mando de la Xbox360 como ayuda para manejo de robots. Foto incluida. Ingles….

  10. Francisco says:

    I hope they just use the controller and don’t try to use the console for anything because it’s the most unreliable system I’ve ever seen. I’m on my third X360 in six months…

    • snifeking13 says:

      really? im still using the same 360 from when they first came out and i havent had any troubles. But i had to buy an elite because i ran out of hardrive space. Too much dlc.

  11. louis says:

    look, in england(where i am) we have an advert for the british army, and in the advert, they use a spy plane to look over some troops, and that is controlled by an x-box 360 controller….so i dunno why u think its fake wen we use it for silly things like that….

  12. ya mama says:

    its not photoshopped returds, there are other pictures of this aswell and not just this one.

  13. Unknown says:

    Yep the British army does indeed use a 360 controller in their adverts like Louis said and they advertise it on TV, doing a close up on the controller so just accept it. i dont see why people are hell bent on believing its not real, the world wont end from this so stop crying.

  14. Hildecrand7000 says:

    Can it T-bag?…..

  15. zack spencer says:

    Hi every one i got a question why would the army fake something like that they have better things to do like saving there contry this is not photoshop use . why is it not possible to use an x box 360 controller in war but i’m 100% positive it’s true

  16. A Soldier says:

    Take it from one who knows, it’s for real, real shape, real controller, but not made by microsoft.

    It is an excellent design of controller.

    Would you fit your car with anything other than round wheels when you know that it’s a tried and tested design?

  17. Stupid says:

    Haha, yea real shape, real controller and i guess they use the microphone port for their military comms? lol


    I would fit my car with round wheels but maybe not ones that are designed for a TOY CAR!!!!!!!

  18. Required says:

    That’s not all.
    At the university of minnesota, i got a chance to check out a drone made by technitians that were controlled by wii motes.
    i bet their are loads of examples of video game controllers being used by the army and emergency services around the world.

  19. Bulldog47Aus says:

    US Army do indeed use a xbox shaped controller for at least 2 UGV’s – the small bot pictured above and a larger ATV used to carry armaments and supplies, platoon leader usually controls them. No photoshopping. It is a common fact we all have to get used to that virtual battles are not just created on game servers, but on our planet in real life. I mean how longs Americas Army been out and what was its original purpose? Use of such technologies has been around for a while. Theres a show on discovery channel called Future Weapons – check it out, features the Xbox UGVs and lots of other cool techs.

  20. suoiciv says:

    a wii controler for what exactly? Are we going to be waving are arms around like retarded bilo’s to do war now? ya, it may be we are using similar controlers to control such things as this, but they wouldnt go as far as to have the X box 260 motto in the center of the controler (Via the big grey button) the military would have no use for that. And as previously said, restating, why would the controler be wired??? wtf, the bot gets 5 feet away from you?? that wouldnt be a very use’ful bot right there. So, the controler is dangling in mid air, or its wired and wont get 5 feet away from the controler, the us military is all about being better, we wouldnt take steps back…fucking retards

  21. Bulldog47Aus says:


    Suiociv and others, I refer you to the above website featuring a tv advert for the UK Army – speculate as much as you want, they are real.

  22. Robert says:

    It makes sense actually. Soldiers coming into the service today are very familiar with these controllers. Training becomes a natural extension of what they already know.

    The 360 controller can do both wired and wireless. It uses the wire to charge the unit. Note too that the wire doesn’t have to hook up to the actual robot it’s driving. It could be hooked to whatever display panel the soldier might use.

  23. Sig, J33zy says:

    well check the UKs advert. its Wired to a COMPUTER with a DISPLAY and 360 controlers wired/wireless have Windows/MAC OS/Linux Drivers so easy enough get a robot controled by a PC and u can control it using a 360 Controler ;)

    And what Robert said “It makes sense actually. Soldiers coming into the service today are very familiar with these controllers. Training becomes a natural extension of what they already know.”

    most of the Armys Tech is Civilian Contracted thats why we are not alowed to rip it open and just fuck around with it. unless in a Danger Situation. if it brakes they send it back. like the rest of us ;)

    and yes. i said “We” im currently in the Recruting Process waiting for a date to go

  24. Matt says:

    No this is for real. i saw a show on the military chanel about it.

  25. manabog says:

    this is real i saw it on discovery channel they used a wired 360 controller ,this controller was wired to a power amplifier that alowed the soldiers to control the vehicles from long distances much greater distances than a wireless controller would alowed them , so for people who say “photoshop lol wired controller ” read more !

  26. keagun says:

    Dude, you retard, who said the controller is connected to the bot, maybe it is connected to sumthing else. It wouldnt make snence for it to be attached to the bot cuz your right, iot would be 5 feet ahead of you.Possibly it was wired, maybe there are more than 1 Controller…

  27. keagun says:

    that Comment was directed at souic

  28. nick says:

    Actually it is 100% real. it might be photoshopped but the robot is actually controlled by a 360 controller. I saw this on discovery and they say its because “when these soldiers arent in the fight or are not yet in the fight they wil most likely have played video games, We try to close the gap and make it eaiser to control for the soldier”. 100% real that controller is and why do you think the army has the america:army video game. Its all about recruiting and taking those digital skill into the fiture digital battlefield. Whoever thinks its fake obviously didnt do their homework

  29. Your dads mom says:

    The army payed microsoft to use their controller beacuse it was the most effective one to use when controlling their radion contrelled machines!

  30. Danny says:

    U.S. Army doesn’t use “Multicam” (though I wish we did)

  31. genaro antonio says:

    I have the same use them or not is more publicity for Xbox 360

  32. Littlebeast602 says:

    hey are u wee tarddid

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