Syrian Rebels Hack PS3 Controller Operated Tank

Syria’s rebels unveil a new fighting machine.


File this one under “not sure if cool or scary”. The Syrian rebel army has hacked together a homemade tank outfitted with a 7.62mm Russian PKM that’s operated via a PS3 controller, or at least a knock-off that looks and works like one. They call it the Sham II, naming after ancient Syria (ash-Sham).

Tank controller

The highly mobile, lightly armored vehicle comes equipped offers good visibility for its controller, with three cameras in front and two in the back, all of which—like the PKM—are controlled using a PS3 controller from the inside.

According to the Long War Journal blog, the Sham II is an updated design of the Sham, previously used by the Al Ansar Brigade in Syria. Not including the price of the PKM light machine gun, the original tank reportedly cost $10,000 to build, and offers steel plating 2.5cm thick. It’s enough to protect the controller from small arms fire, but it won’t offer much protection against a rocket propelled grenade, much less cannon fire.

Russia Today reports that the armored vehicle uses the chassis of a car and is touted by the rebel forces as “100 percent made in Syria.”

It may not look like much, but it’ll certainly boost the morale of the rebel fighters in Syria. I for one can’t wait to see it at the next Maker Faire.

Image credit: AFP