Video: Playstation controller steers homemade tank

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Syrian rebels have taken to creating a number of DIY weapons to battle against the Assad regime holed up in Damascus.

The latest addition to the DIY arsenal? A homemade tank that looks like something the A-Team would have cooked up, that is if there were wireless cameras and PlayStations back in the 80s. From what I can tell based on the video below, the "tank" was actually built over the chassis of some sort of unnamed vehicle.

The exterior armor of this homemade tank is made from 2.5 cm thick steel plating, which aims to be powerful enough to stop 23 mm cannon fire. However, I suspect an anti-tank round or missile would have very little trouble destroying the vehicle. 

The most interesting aspect of this homemade weapon platfom? The remote-controlled 7.62 mm PKU machine gun on the roof. That machine gun has a camera and is said to be controlled from inside the vehicle using a PlayStation controller. If you're wondering how the driver sees to operate the tank since there are no Windows, note the three cameras in the front and one camera in the rear.

The cameras are tied to a TV screen inside the vehicle allowing the operator to see where they are driving. The tank is called the Sham II and is said to be part of the Saad Benmoaz Battalion of the Al-Ansar brigade.

The vehicle reportedly cost about $10,000 to produce, not including the cost of the weapon. The Sham II is an update to the previous Sham armored vehicle that only offered armor to protect the driver. One clear downside that I see is that the homemade tank still uses regular car tires which are vulnerable to damage incurred by sniper fire.