Over the weekend news broke out that a submarine carrying five people to the Titanic crash site had gone missing underwater after losing contact with the ground. Since then, several teams including the US National Guard have been in a race against time to find the submarine and rescue the people onboard.
While the teams have been canvasing the sea, the internet raised many questions about the expedition and the safety of those taking it. According to various reports, while the company, OceanGate charges a hefty fee to go about 12,000 feet underwater to Titanic's final resting place, the safety aboard the submarine is subpar.
Now, new reports claim that the submarine may have been piloted using a $30 Logitech G F710 controller from 2010s. This came out through a CBS interview where the founder gave the news publication a tour of the submarine and showed the Logitech controller with what looked like 3D printed thumb stick attachments. In the video, the founder can be heard saying, "We run the whole thing with this game controller." As soon as the news broke out, the controller in question was sold out immediately online.
Of course, using modified controllers outside gaming is not something new, like the US Navy using Xbox 360 controller to control their periscopes. You can also see these controllers creating their way into the Department of Defense’s budget request for 2024. While controllers have been used in the past, they have usually been modified and have never been the sole way to steer a ship/submarine.
There are plenty of unknowns surrounding the missing submarine at the moment. While they are using Logitech controllers, no one knows for sure if they were modified to be used on the submarine or not. According to a report from the National Geographic (Paywall), the submarine was first designed with Playstation controllers in mind. Furthermore, both OceanGate and Logitech have not commented on the matter so we will not know for sure if the missing submarine was indeed being piloted by the controller.