Check Out The Swiss Military Museum's Vintage 1970 Tank Simulator Powered By Raspberry Pi

main tank photo
Have you ever wanted to drive a tank? Feeling all that power, blowing stuff up, crushing anything in your way—Of course, you have! Thanks to a Raspberry Pi mod and some ingenuity, and restoration efforts you can drive one yourself! Well, kind of.

At the Swiss Military Museum in Zurich, tourists can hop into a tank simulator that was used to train of thousands of troops in the 1970s. Today, regular video game engines get modified into being used as simulation systems, but today's 3D modeling, animation, and graphics were not yet possible in the 1970s. So how did the Swiss do it?

YouTube Video Of The Simulator Tn Use

With cameras of course. The tank simulator of the 1970s just used monitors, miniatures, and cameras. In fact, according to Swiss Military Museum Guide and former Swiss Army tank driver Beat Schläfli, what is currently in the museum is a version of one of twelve different simulators. Each one of those simulator versions represented different tanks that the Swiss Army deployed at one time or another. He also pointed out that these were excellent tools at the time for teaching the basics of control over tank systems in a time when those 3D engines that are used today just didn't exist. This cool simulator for the Type 61 is the only one still in existence.

Representatives from the Museum pointed out it took one and a half to two years to get this simulator running to expectations. The biggest issue was finding old electrical components. That is where the amazing specializations of micro-computers like the Raspberry Pi can come in. Electronics from the 1970s are, well, not easy to find, as any retro collector can attest. A Raspberry Pi can provide the same or similar interface interactions that some of those classic components can provide, though.

tank simulator camera view
Terrain The Simulator Puts A Driver Through

So now, whoever is deciding to learn how to drive the classic tank can drive around a miniature terrain, all thanks to those awesome devices. We love seeing great classic tech recreated and the ingenuity of the team at the Swiss Military Museum. You can check out more on the museum's blog but you might have to translate it from German.