Tanks a Lot: Norway to Leverage Facebook's Oculus VR to Drive Armor
May 5, 2014 12:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
The new system is currently in use with a M113
Lockheed Martin Corp. (
) and subcontractor Rockwell Collins, Inc. (
over $50M USD
[PDF] in U.S. taxpayer money making a heads up display which was supposed to display video feeds from camera around the F-35 fighter jet. The display
never quite worked properly
. After many delays, exasperated U.S. Air Force (USAF) commanders finally wrote of the cost of the VSI-HMC program,
signing a new contract to pay BAE
Systems plc (
) millions more to produce a replacement augmented reality helmet.
Perhaps the USAF should have looked to Kickstarter funded,
John Carmack brainchild Oculus VR
Hot off its
recent acquisition by Facebook
, Inc. (
) Oculus VR already has an interesting application in the works courtesy of the Norwegian Armed Forces. The Norwegian Army's Panserbataljonen ("panzer battalion") unit is testing out using Oculus VR as a heads up display for its tanks and armored personnel vehicles.
Norwegian soldiers pilot an M113 with Oculus VR [Image Source: TuJobs]
The project is co-produced by Norway's Making View, a small startup contractor in Hamar, Norway. It has modified a special M113 with cameras on the outside to give a 360 view.
Comments development manager, Daniel Mestervik:
Those who play "Battlefield" do indeed have a better view than in an actual vehicle. However, with our software you can add the information and views you are used to from games: an overview map, spatial (geographical) orientation, tilt and speed.
Versus the millions that the failed Lockheed HUD project cost the USAF, the Norwegian Army paid under $10,000 USD for several $2,000 USD Oculus dev kits. As the software is open to developers, they were quickly able to write software to display the exterior of the vehicle to their drivers.
Norway currently has around 300 M113 armored vehicles (made in the U.S.), which form the backbone of its troop carrying. Assuming success, the project could be rolled out to the fleet and could also begin testing with the rest of Norway's armored battalions, which include Leopard 2 tanks (German-made) and CV9030N (made by a Swedish subsidiary of BAE Systems) armored fighting vehicles.
And the project is indeed showing strong signs of success.
The entire project is now basically finished, with drivers literally driving around a test course in Rena, Norway with the armored personnel carrier (APC). Using Oculus VR, the drivers could pull of the feat of parallel parking the APC with centimeter precision.
Oculus VR driving the M113 [Image Source: TuJobs]
The drivers enthuse that the results are great, akin to playing a videogame. The best part is that it probably cost less than $100,000 USD for all the hardware involved.
While that's a lot better than paying $50M+ USD and getting nothing in return, don't expect that kind of cost-effective spending anytime soon in the U.S. After all, as
Elon Musk's SpaceX
recently learned the hard way
, exclusive government contracts are a tough nut to crack.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
5/5/2014 3:16:47 PM
*tank smashes through a house*
"What the *$$#)#)I($ are you doing, Private!!!???!!??"
"I got lag, sir!"
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
Second Flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9-R Soars to 3,280ft; Makes Controlled, Powered Landing
May 2, 2014, 11:00 AM
SpaceX Files Protest Against U.S. Air Force Space Launch Monopoly
April 25, 2014, 11:02 PM
Facebook Purchases Oculus VR For $2 Billion USD
March 25, 2014, 7:06 PM
Back to the Future? Sony's Morpheus, Oculus Rift Revive Nintendo's VR Dream
March 20, 2014, 4:04 PM
BAE Systems Lands Contract for New F-35 JSF Helmet
October 17, 2011, 4:31 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information