British soldiers test vehicles driven by Xbox-style controllers

16 November 2017 (Last Updated November 16th, 2017 11:24)

British soldiers are testing all-terrain 4x4 vehicles that can be operated using Xbox-style controllers, during an exercise in Michigan.

British soldiers test vehicles driven by Xbox-style controllers
A British Army MAN SV 6t truck leading two US LMTV trucks. Credit: © Crown copyright.

British soldiers are testing all-terrain 4×4 vehicles that can be operated using Xbox-style controllers, during an exercise in Michigan.

As part of its investment in new technology, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is working alongside the US Army on autonomous resupply.

The investment also covers driverless trucks in convoy and Hoverbike drones for delivering supplies in the most dangerous ‘last mile’ up to the battlefield, the MoD stated.

UK Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “One hundred years ago we pioneered tank warfare with our US allies, and today we remain right at the forefront of military technology together. This exercise has proven the success of our ongoing investment in science and technology as we see concepts becoming reality.

“This particular project is spearheading solutions to the notoriously dangerous operation of supplying our frontline on the battlefield. Delivering crucial food, fuel and ammo remotely will help save soldiers’ lives.”

“One hundred years ago we pioneered tank warfare with our US allies, and today we remain right at the forefront of military technology together.”

The testing forms a part of the three-year project, called Coalition Assured Autonomous Resupply (CAAR) demonstration, which is aimed at bringing together unmanned tactical resupply technologies for troops on the battlefield.

The demonstration involved a British Army MAN SV 6t truck and two US light medium tactical vehicles (LMTV) trucks travelling at speeds of up to 25mph.

These vehicles used integrated robotics to make decisions about speed, steering and other driving functions, according to the statement.

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) demonstrated included Malloy Aeronautics Hoverbike, an advanced prototype quadcopter drone that can deliver more than 100kg of supplies by using a simple tablet controller.

A joint UK-US trials team used an adapted Xbox game console controller to operate 4×4 vehicle Polaris MRZR fitted with advanced sensors, cameras and GPS, during the demonstration.