Valve’s Steam Deck gaming console, primarily designed for PC gaming, has been found to have a military use in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict. Ukrainian soldiers are using the handheld device to remotely control machine gun emplacements via a thick cable. The system, called “Sabre”, was developed via a crowdfunding platform created after Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014. The objective of Sabre is to help Ukrainian soldiers repel attackers from a safe distance, protecting their survival in the war. The Sabre system controls weapons of different types, from an anti-tank gun to a Kalashnikov.

Video footage posted on Facebook captures Ukrainian soldiers using the Steam Deck to control a PKT-type machine gun, a large machine gun typically mounted on vehicles, which is capable of being fired from a distance. The Steam Deck consoles have been connected to Sabre, enabling effortless remote control of the machine guns while keeping the soldiers safe from harm. This usage of Steam Deck in a military scenario has been life-saving, reducing the number of soldiers needed to operate the guns and making survival for the Ukrainian army more reliable.

The Sabre project has been running since 2015 via crowdfunding, and over $12,000 has been raised to make it a reality. While the prototypes of Sabre were built before the launch of Steam Deck, Valve’s gaming device met all of the Ukraine army’s critical requirements shortly after its launch in 2022.

Similar systems have been implemented in several other countries, including South Korea and Israel. South Korea secures its borders with North Korea using automatic gun turrets, while Israel has AI-supported turrets called Smartshooter in use at its borders.

The Ukraine-Russia war has left a significant impact on the people and the economy of Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers are finding innovative ways to fight against the highly-advanced Russian army, with commercially available drones used for reconnaissance and to fight enemy troops. However, the use of the Steam Deck video game console for remote access to machine guns has turned out to be an excellent solution, and it’s great to see the gaming industry enabling critical usage in life-saving military scenarios. This impactful usage of technology conveys the importance and the potential of innovative solutions to tackle some of the most critical issues faced by the world.

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The material in this article is written on the basis of another article.

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