When Chiba Institute of Technology students build a radio controlled Molga from the Zoids universe, they needed something to control it. That something was a PS2 DualShock 2.
During the early 1980s, Zoids mecha model kits launched in Japan and have since gone on to spawn anime, manga, and video games.
Of course, game controllers are widely used as controllers in robotics. Earlier this year, American researchers brought an Xbox 360 controller to manipulate a bot at the Fukushima nuclear site.
Some students try to stop diseases. Others master dead languages. Students at the Chiba Institute of Technology build remote controlled robotic larva. Bless them.