X-box 360 Controllers Used at the Fukushima Power Plant
Workers have been evacuated from the immediate proximity of the power plant. Human controlled robots are now being used there. However, not all the workers know how to operate these robots, and the training period is kind of long. QinetiQ, which is a defense and security company, had an ingenious solution for the problem. Instead of using the regular interface and controller for the robots, they decided to use X-box 360 controllers. The X-box 360 controllers were plugged into the laptops used for the control of the robots, and it seems that the method was useful. The workers managed to control the robots with the aid of the console controllers with relative ease.
They saw the images provided by the robots on the display of the laptop, but instead of using the keyboard to run the robots, they used the controllers provided by Microsoft. The workers were used with the X-box 360 controllers from playing video games, so it wasn’t difficult for them to learn how to control the robots. J. D. Crouch, who is QinetiQ North America’s technology solutions group president, said that millions of people from the country use the controllers on a daily basis, and this is why the company decided to use them as well. On top of that, they are very cheap, so they can afford buying them. The Japanese operators were able to master the control of the robots in less than one hour thanks to the console controllers. The company sent six robots in the area, and a training team from the United States of America. The robots developed by QinetiQ are used in these types of situations, when emergency intervention is required. The robots were used at the site of the World Trade Center towers in 2001 when the terrible event happened.
They are extremely useful as they can be deployed with ease, and they can be used in an instance. The robots sent in Japan can be used from more than one mile away, in order to make sure that the workers are not exposed to the high doses of radiation. TALON robots were sent in the area as well. These robots have the capacity of detecting chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threats, and they are very useful in the area. These robots have night vision view, and they are very fast. They can be removed from the area, in case they need to be removed in an instance. The TALON robots are used in order to drag water hoses to the reactors which have been damaged by the earthquake. There are also the Dragon Runner robots, which are the smallest, and which are used in order to access areas which can not be accessed by the people. They have sound sensors and thermal cameras, and they are usually used to search for survivors. The workers still have lots of things to do, but thanks to the robots their job is easier.11