Warplanes: Video Game Interface for UAVs


November 5, 2006: An American firm has developed a Universal Control System (UCS) for larger UAVs. The manufacturer, Raytheon, is going to try and get the UCS adopted for use by several different UAVs. Basically, the UCS is a three flat screen computer displays, and three large (32-42 inch) HDTV displays, arranged so that the UAV operator gets maximum information, with minimum effort. A lot of ideas were adapted from those used in video game controllers. In front of the operator are two controllers and a computer keyboard. The software that runs all this meets military standards, so that other military UAV control systems can be easily adapted for UCS. The main market for UCS is the larger UAVs, like Predator, Global Hawk and Shadow 200. Most of the UAVs in use, however, are the micro (under ten pound) models like Raven. These use a controller, often hand held, that is based on video game controllers. The hand controllers look much like those used in video games, except that they have a small video display built in.


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