US Army researchers have showcased a new rectangular-shaped quadcopter drone, called Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV).
Also called a hoverbike, the JTARV can be used by soldiers on the battlefield to quickly order and receive supplies within a matter of minutes.
Researchers seek to develop a future JTARV that can fly low to the ground, or at thousands of feet at speeds of around 60mph.
With a payload capacity of up to 300lb, the new UAV can enable resupplies at short ranges.
US Army Research Laboratory Protection Division associate chief Tim Vong said: “Anywhere on the battlefield, soldiers can potentially get resupplied in less than 30 minutes.”
While the current prototype is electric, researchers are exploring the use of a hybrid propulsion system that may increase the drone’s range.
Vong further added: “We’re also looking to integrate advanced intelligent navigation and mission planning.
“We’re looking to end up with a modular, stable platform that can be used for even more dynamic and challenging missions.”
The laboratory began exploring the JTARV concept in 2014.
Malloy Aeronautics and Survice were appointed as manufacturer and systems integrator respectively. In June, the US Marine Corps joined the programme.