Device Used to Control Missing Titanic Sub is a ‘Gaming Controller’ from the 2000s

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The device responsible for controlling the missing submersible vessel, Titan, has been revealed by Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, as a “game controller.” This unconventional control method was disclosed as the search for the vessel intensifies.

OceanGate operates Titan as part of an exclusive eight-day tour that offers customers the opportunity to explore the depths of the Atlantic Ocean and the wreckage of the Titanic. However, since Sunday (18 June), Titan has been missing, with five individuals on board, and the vessel’s remaining oxygen supply estimated to last less than 41 hours.

Among the missing individuals is Stockton Rush himself, the CEO of OceanGate. A frantic search and rescue operation involving vessels from the United States, Canada, and France is currently underway.

In a CBC TV segment with David Pogue, Rush previously discussed the features of Titan, highlighting its reliance on a surface ship for guidance. Pogue, who had experienced a few hours of lost communication during a previous expedition last summer, explained that without underwater GPS, the surface ship communicates with the submersible via text messages.

Describing the control system, Rush explained to Pogue that Titan is operated using a straightforward mechanism, likening it to an elevator. “We only have one button, that’s it. It should be like an elevator, it shouldn’t take a lot of skill,” Rush remarked. He further revealed that the control device used is a modified Logitech gamepad controller, a popular controller from the early 2000s compatible with systems dating back to the 1990s.

Unlike a conventional submarine, Titan lacks the power to navigate independently between port and the depths of the ocean. It relies on the mother ship for transportation. Rush disclosed that some of the vessel’s components are off-the-shelf items, citing an interior light purchased from the recreational-vehicle company CamperWorld as an example.

Nonetheless, Rush emphasized that the creators of Titan collaborated with esteemed entities such as Boeing, NASA, and the University of Washington to design a vessel capable of withstanding the immense pressures of the deep sea. “Everything else can fail. Your thrusters can go, your lights can go, you’re still going to be safe,” Rush assured.

The vessel is controlled with a gaming controller. Credit: YouTube/CBC NL - Newfoundland and Labrador

Rescuers are currently scouring an extensive area equivalent to the size of the state of Connecticut in their efforts to locate the missing vessel. As the search continues, hopes remain high for the safe recovery of the individuals on board the Titan submersible.

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