Thursday, March 31, 2016
Forget helicopters, the US Army is going with real-life hoverbikes - Charles D'Alberto
The US Department of Defense has struck a deal with UK-based Malloy Aeronautics to develop and build hoverbike vehicles in the States.
Malloy's current Hoverbike prototype, which is a one-third scale model, is meant to act like a helicopter, but better. It's engineered without any of the problems associated with a typical helicopter's design. A hoverbike, for instance, has guarded rotors so that it won't dice up humans or other things.
It's also more cost effective, maneuverable in tight spaces, and has options to operate it autonomously or with a human pilot. Malloy is working with US-based Survice, which specialises in defense research and development, to actually develop the hoverbike in Maryland, according to Reuters.
The developers of the hoverbike said the vehicle's low cost and size makes it ideal for operations such as search and rescue missions, first-responder situations, and getting into confined spaces. Their scale-version prototype, which you can see in the video below, includes a humanoid figure with a head-mounted camera.
Malloy and Survice will first develop a full-scale version of their protoype, then construct new prototypes that meet military requirements, and finally, they'll be able to develop hoverbikes for the US Army, which will be used as a multi-role tactical reconnaissance vehicles that support both military and humanitarian missions.
The Department of Defense is interested in Hoverbike technology, Reuters said, because it can support "multiple roles".