40$ at your local store vs 1k$+ for custom + lead time for sourcing the human-machine-interface is a totally appropriate compromise for many situations. These game controllers have been proven to be entirely capable for those situations. I think many professionals just don’t like the idea of being associated with what they might consider a ‘toy’, and they don’t consider that that toy is actually a highly engineered piece of equipment that has benefited greatly from economies of scale, unlike what they are historically used to seeing in professional settings.
I agree Jacob. People associate price in relation to when a game piece becomes a work item. This is not the case. For example companies like Technip use a custom game pad to control Rigmaster manipulators. It is custom simply because it has a metal housing. Nothing else is changed, it is a simple controller in a metal case. Professionalism is based on how you use what you have, not what you have.
I built both of my “custom” topside joystick controllers for under $400 each and a little elbow grease.
The Hall Effect joysticks will far outlast and be more accurate than the cheap pots used in normal game controllers.
As I have said before, If one can spend $4k to $5k on a BR BR2, then what is the beef about another 10% to build a quality Hall Effect joystick controller?
Perhaps they will, and as you mentioned this took 10x the effort and 10x the cost of ordering a gamepad. We are aiming to get as many people in the water by making it as easy and affordable as possible. A gamepad fits in perfectly to that end.
I have had many gamepads see hundreds of hours of use, and I never had trouble accurately shooting aliens in the head. You might think they are ‘cheap’, but remember these devices are engineered for an explicit purpose (endurance and accuracy are certainly important considerations) and benefit from the economies of scale.
I comment here only to clarify and defend the functionality of these gamepads. They work and they work well for many situations. Some will find enough value to justify the extra cost and and effort.
It’s great that we now have a professional quality ROV that we can actually choose what sort of surface controller we use with it. Just a few years ago that wasn’t the case. If you wanted an ROV you spent (at least) $8K and forget about customization or having a choice of what sort of surface controller or other bits.
Back then I was probably the first in the ROV industry to promote using “off the shelf joysticks” with commercial ROVs. They’re cheap, functional and readily available almost anywhere on the planet. We’ve been using them with our simulators for 12+ years.
But a dedicated controller built from quality components does have some advantages:
- Buttons and joysticks can be arranged (and labeled) to best fit the intended purpose.
- The scale of the joystick handles are larger, making fine adjustments easier and are less fatiguing.
- The springs in the industrial quality hall effect joysticks are softer and just feel “right” when flying a ROV.
- You can build your controller to be as durable and waterproof as you want.
If you can assemble a BlueROV2 kit, you can certainly build your own surface controller. It’s not rocket science.
Certanly seem to hit a nerve this topic.
From a sales point its not that relevant whats professional from an engineering cost-benefit view.
You cannot get away from the fact that the second you pull out a Xbox controller, no mather how accurate you fly, people will think of it a TV-game accessory. And for 250 USD, thats a very low cost way to increase your sales value. In comparison at 250 USD it`s the same as onè of my hall-effect joysticks.
I find it great that someone comes up with this as an option between an Xbox and expensive hall-effect units, shows the beauty of open source commitments!