Posted on September 8, 2014, Stew Shearer US Army Creates Laser Cannon Operated by Xbox 360 Controller
The US Army is developing a laser cannon controlled by an Xbox 360 controller.
The cannon in question, dubbed the HEL MD (High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator), was created by Boeing. Equipped with a 10-kilowatt laser, a key part of its design has apparently been simplicity. Hence the Xbox 360 controller.
“We want to be able to run it [using a] single guy, from a single laptop, with an Xbox controller,” said Boeing’s Kurt Warden. “Something that he doesn’t have to go to school to learn for years and years, but something he knows how to use instinctively.”
While focusing on ease of use might sound a bit odd for a laser cannon, the HEL MD has already put its system to good use. In trials the current iteration has already successfully shot down airborne mortar rounds and drones, even in foggy condition. Boeing eventually intends to replace the 10-kilowatt laser with a more “tactically significant” 50 or kilowatt laser that can hits its targets more reliably.