Almost exactly a year ago we wrote about Lockheed Martin replacing a $38,000 submarine periscope control panel with a $40 off-the-shelf Xbox controller, with the aim of both saving cost but also reducing training requirements for young sailors.
Now it seems Microsoft’s ubiquitous gaming controller has also found a home in another super-expensive machine, Elon Musk’s Tunnel Boring Machine used by its Boring Company to dig tunnels under cities.
Musk posted a video on Twitter showing off the controller in action.
Best video game ever pic.twitter.com/DlGFsji76l
— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) September 8, 2018
The part being controlled is not the cutting edge, but the part used to build the reinforced tunnel segments which allow the machine to move forward safely. According to Electrek, currently, tunnel boring machines (TBM) require a worker moving around with a tool in order to guide these segments in the right position, which is both inefficient and dangerous. Such innovations are part of Musk’s goal to have their TBM be able to move forward as fast as a snail, with TBMs currently advancing more than 10 times slower.
The Boring company has already won contracts for building mass transit tunnels in Chicago and a Baltimore-DC tunnel.
Read more about this innovation at Elektrek here.