The Office of Naval Research (ONR) of the US Navy has unveiled there new robot helicopter, which could be the future of support for combat and military transport missions. And the most incredible part is that the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) can be controlled by any soldier using a simple touchscreen tablet.
The AACUS can be called upon in situations or missions that are too perilous for humans. The main goal of AACUS is to incorporate an entirely autonomous system to do what a manned helicopter is capable of. It is equipped with specialized on-board cameras, and laser sensors that help it take-off and land on its own.
The ONR says that it will be cheaper to deploy this new system since it can used on a number of different helicopters. One of the key features of AACUS is that users don’t need special training to use it, which makes it ideal for deployment in the near future. Soldiers who had never used the system were able to successfully use it within 15 minutes of trying during tests.
According to AACUS program manager, Max Snell, “What we’re developing here is a system that responds to a request in the field for supplies, develops its own route, flies there by itself without any oversight and comes in and selects its own landing sites.” The ONR says that the system is somewhat similar in concept to the recent Amazon announcement regarding drone-assisted deliveries.
The new technology was developed over five years and has the ability to avoid ground-based aerial obstacles (telephone poles and wires). The system is an amazingly autonomous design, and can even assist a human pilot land the helicopter in challenging conditions. But, as a military vehicle, the main use of the AACUS will be focused more on combat than convenience. Amazing, Isn’t it?