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UAV is controlled with an X-Box 360 pad and packs a .338 caliber sniper rifle

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posted on May, 18 2009 @ 09:21 PM
It's called the "Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System," but it's actually a remote controlled helicopter armed with a .338 caliber sniper rifle, operated by an X-Box 360 controller.

To limit collateral damage, especially in cities the US Army is developing a small, unmanned helicopter equipped with a powerful .338-caliber rifle and an autopilot system handles the tricky business of flying while the operator lines up the kill shot on a remote monitor.

The article also states,

Mounted onto this UAV is a lightweight gun turret developed by Space Dynamics Laboratory. The turret carries a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle and a situational awareness camera plus a scope with cameras attached that provides two levels of zoom. Control of the rifle is via a laptop computer with a Xbox 360 gaming controller used for aiming and firing.

Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System packs .338-caliber rifle controlled by Xbox 360 pad


It's about time we started developing cheap weapons that are capable of street-level combat with insurgency-type enemies. While it's good that we have built up our arsenal of heavy equipment, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown us how little prepared we were in the past for dealing with guerrilla warfare.

A weapon like this will allow our soldiers to engage the enemy without presenting a real target for them to strike back at. In the past, this meant using large, expensive military equipment that was still vulnerable and costly to replace. By developing cheaper and more versatile weaponry, we can offset the success of asymmetrical warfare.

Thoughts, comments?

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 09:25 PM
When both sides are fighting via UAVs, UGVs etc... will anyone question the absurdity of it all?

or will it just go on? and on and on?

I'm all for minimizing death during war, but creating a remote army of drones will give TPTB all the more incentive for pointless conflict.

From a strict technology standpoint, it's interesting, and was only a matter of time, frankly I'm surprised it took so long.

[edit on 5/18/2009 by eNumbra]

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 10:18 PM
It didn't take that long - Peter Signer "Wired For War" is a ground breaking book on this subject - robotic warfare - autonomous bots are in all phases of the war on afghanistan, pakistan and iraq.

Autonomous robots with Artifical intelligence will be in place by 2025 at the latest.

With Moores Law (computing power doubles every two years - something which has not gone unbroken in fifty years) - then the robots in warfare will be 100,000,000,000 times more powerful than today - even if the lay breaks down - and it is one hundreth of epxectations it is still a million times more powerful - the latest chips are 128 billion computations per second.

Robots are flown from Nevada, they are launched from the Gulf, there are two replacements comming for the global hawk and predator - five times bigger.

There are autonomous sentry robots which are from ships denfesnse systems known as CRAMS (R2 D2)..these are now fitted with Metal Storm and ozzie invention for electrical firing mechanisms capable of a million rounds a minute.

These defend and destroy all incoming anythings...

The airspace above Baghdad is the busiest on earth - primarily with autonomous robots.

There are flying robots just over 10 centimetres long capable of killing people and spying.

There are submarine and loiter bots which are undetectable - they shut down, patrol marinas, and shipping channels.

There are bots which generate their own energy using hydrogen, wind, solar, and even breaking down organic matter.

War games have been conducted which remove all manned flying vehicles from aircraft carriers, these are replaced with autonomous flying and fighting craft which act as a "swarm" achieving objectives cooperatively before moving on. With deck hands performing maintenance and mission planning.

The latest plane the f-22 or f-35 (which ever i forget) is the LAST plane made for exclusively manned flying and fighting - it is already being converted for autonomous missions.

Humans will be removed from the battle sphere entirely within 20 years. (For the US).

For those who think the US has secret alien bases and secret weapons and "stuff" this is what they have been working on.

There were 5 robots at the start of the Iraq war - five. There are now well over 12,000 with 25,000 by 2010.

These guys in NEvada who are known as cubicle jockeys, are the last of hands on flying - the majority are now only required to have manned components for legal reasons and are regularly flying autonomous missions, with target identification, tracking, mission status change etc - the movie stealth is about as real as it gets - and YES there are stratospheric refueling stations capable of loitering for five years ...

All of this is from the most respected commentator in the business, Peter Singer is the most respected identity in this field both academically, politically - its absolutely true - it is one of those books that every one on this site NEEDS TO READ>

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 10:28 PM
reply to post by audas

I'll put that book on my list. Robotics has always interested me. If I were more mathematically and grease monkily inclined, it would be my career of choice to get into.

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 10:32 PM
WOW! Where can I get one of these? Sounds like a good collection to any weapon arsenal! Does it come in Playstation 3 control configuration?

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 02:07 AM
Wow it sounds like a nerd's fantasy come true

I imagine they added the xbox to appeal to kids... because really a mouse would be far easier to aim with. Or a joystick. Anything really.

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 04:02 AM
Mice and Joysticks are impractical because they need a solid and level surface to operate; one would also need an additional left hand control because both cannot provide enough control surfaces for just one hand.

I wonder wether you are serious in your suggestion that the XBox controller was to "appeal to the kids"?!? The choice of control method is dependend on the function, not the user. And not only offer modern console controllers a large variety of inputs, they are also among the most sturdy general use equipment "known to man".

What IS true however is that young people of today (which still pose the mass of the military) are inherently better at getting used to computer controlled equipment, which is in part attributable to the thorough availability of computers noawadays, and even in part to the prevalence of semi-realistic video games.

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 06:54 PM
I remember reading an article about the Swords robot where they were talking about soldiers wanting controls that mimic the video games they are used to.

I guess you can't get much closer than actually using one of those controllers. It's a cheap solution, too - 360 controllers hook up via USB and Microsoft had already released drivers that let them work for PC's.

If you think about it, those controllers are actually the result of more than two decades of evolution in the design of hand-held controls. Why spend years and dollars researching ergonomics when it's already been honed to near perfection by somebody else?

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 07:00 PM
I fly UAVs for a living and this would not be an easy thing to do unless it had some kind of smart bullet. I just can’t picture shooting a bullet and hitting anything from a UAV. Rockets and other munitions that can track a laser designator would work but trying to line up a rifle style system would be incredible hard.

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 08:27 PM
I wondered about that as well. Perhaps they found some way to incorporate a gyroscopic stabilizer, or maybe it uses a fast-reacting servo with image tracking technology.

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:34 PM
For years I've been saying someone needs to build a flying sniper rifle with a uav or remote controlled helo and someone finally did it

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by Xtrozero

Thats what I was thinking,
Your that high, flying, wind and other factors.. shooting sniper fire viewing through a screen and using a handheld controller?

that would be quite an art to master.

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:50 PM
I would be afraid of it, if it had dual glock 18's with the drum magazines.

I think the Idea is to land, and then use the sniper rifle, which is pretty scary.

I would hate to be at the receiving end of a freaking ucav.

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:51 PM
Every time I read about these weapons that are getting more and more high tech I get the hebegebies. As we remove the human from the battlefield - which is a wonderful thing from the perspective of perserving life - we also remove human emotions and intuition.

When we give computers more power in the battlefield, I fear that we will end up with the video below:

Edit to insert better vid.

[edit on 19-5-2009 by finemanm]

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:54 PM
reply to post by Agit8dChop

A properly programmed computer could adjust for windage and distance, gyros and the proper hardware could stabilize the barrel in-flight.

Done right it's quite a deadly piece of hardware.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 04:37 AM
reply to post by Lonestar24

I am serious, I think it is meant to appeal to kids, because every remote control item I have seen in the military is use by joystick or simple controls, like what you would see on a remote control plane, small scale.
You are right mice do have downsides, but the xbox controller does not work for left handed people either

And its not like you would be sitting in the middle of the desert flying a UAV, from what Im told there are buildings in the US where people are sourced to control from a distance, or more close to the battlefield i.e. on base. But not on the battlefield itself... that would defeat the purpose.

And I agree using a sniper rifle is strange... I would think, for small arms, a machine gun would work best. But in general I would stick with guided missiles/bombs.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 06:01 AM
There are different kinds of UAV for different purposes, and a large, semiautonomous surveillance drone like a Predator can of course be controlled from continents away. This thing however is a mobile battlefield support drone and also comes with a mobile control station. In this case the operator has to be rather close to the action, although of course not at the front line. If only because you cant allow for distance lag when firing a delicate weapon like a sniper rifle.

In any case, I´ve read a few bits about this UAV and it seems that it requires a two man team. The flights control itself is handled via an (also generic) PC Joystick while the controller is apparently for the WSO. In any case, it could still be only a stop gap measure for prototyping purposes.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 06:46 AM
I have heard that UK Air Defence missle batterys (Rapier FSC) are now controlled with 360 pads!
I was a air defender 10 years ago and used the FSB2 Rapier system and they where talking about making things more simple for Gunners back then!
Apperently they are training in Larkhill barracks near Sailsbury (14 Regt) to use the new microsoft/BA system....sounds cool

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 07:02 AM
reply to post by Lonestar24

good point on it being aimed at kids with the xbox360 joypad,in the uk their are adverts for the army where they are controling a drone with an xbox controller ..

but really, for flying the drone, a joypad is a really good choice , but, if its all linked to a pc, why not use the keyboard and mouse for aiming ? you just cant beat a mouse and keyboard for sniper type games!

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 07:03 AM
I saw this in Popular Mechanics last month... I've been following the UAV/UGV progress (public knowledge) for years, and it looks like they're just about where they're getting seriously scary.

If anybody is interested, I wrote this thread on UGV's... Not derailing, just augmenting.

The reason the Lapua (a SERIOUS piece of hardware) is used, as opposed to a chain gun or gatling rig, is twofold. First, there is the weight consideration... The ammo needed to make a machine gun a consideration has a prohibitive weight for this aircraft... Not saying they won't be used in future models, just this particular one doesn't have the required ratios. The .338 is just right.

The helicopter/sniper rifle combo could not be properly stabilized in a fixed wing platform, so the rotorcraft choice is obvious... Stabilization is handled by a mechanism similar to those used in Steady cams. This makes this UAV a potent anti sniper and recon choice.

Time to really start working on those EMP's folks!

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