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Technology: RoboCopters Poised To Deliver Supplies To Military Troops In Combat (Video)

Okay, so the U.S. military has already got unmanned attack drones, like Predator and Reaper, for combat. But what about support for the troops in harm’s way? Truly, battles are won or lost because of logistics – food, firearms, and other field supplies being critical to soldiers… even in this modern age of warfare. Well, the techies have been right on top of this.

Enter the K-MAX “synchropter.” Boasting a payload capacity upwards of 2,900 kg – and the ability to be flown by remote control or by pre-mapped course program – this weird-looking bird is a battlefield dream come true. Weird-looking or not; this tough war-bird is an engineering marvel, too; with two sets of inter-meshing blades, synchronized so as not to hit each other. Per its futuristic design, the rotors turn in opposite directions to cancel out torque, so the copter does not require a tail rotor — which is a hazard that manned copters still have. K-MAX in its final form was borne of a joint venture with Lockheed Martin. By August 2012, the two K-MAXs in test operation had flown 485 autonomous sorties carrying over 900 tons of cargo in places like Afghanistan.

So, how soon will this prototype be available for regular dependable use? How about now’ish? Pretty much proven as a battlefield asset, the above video from The Economist declares K-MAX may have some peacetime applications – from delivering traffic information to delivering your pizza – in the near future. Nice!

(Video after the jump.)

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