The CEO of OceanGate, the operator of Titan, previously mentioned the utilization of a video game controller to control the submersible during an interview with CBS News in 2022.
The handheld device in question resembled the Logitech F710 wireless gamepad, but it remains uncertain whether OceanGate was still employing the video game controller during the ill-fated trip.
The now-imploded Titan submersible, designed for a crew of five, had the capability to reach the depths where the Titanic rests, approximately 2.5 miles below the ocean’s surface.
According to Steve Wright, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at the University of the West of England, avionics technology, including controllers, is used in various applications, such as drones and submersibles.
While acknowledging the similarities between video game controllers and submersible controllers, Wright emphasized that those used in actual submersibles are engineered to much higher standards of reliability and quality.
Wright highlighted that although a video game controller may possess most of the functionalities of a conventional joystick controller, it falls short in terms of reliability.
He noted that skilled video game players might adapt to using such controllers, but in critical situations, the knowledge and expertise of the submersible’s computer systems become essential.
Comparing the situation to commercial flights, Wright explained that pilots may appear idle at times, but their extensive training and understanding of potential scenarios provide reassurance during unforeseen events.
The use of a video game controller on the Titan submersible has raised concerns regarding its reliability and suitability for such critical deep-sea operations.