A U.S. startup company has built a gun-carrying drone it says could reduce the number of combat troops required out on the field of battle.
The remote-controlled drone, built by Florida-based Duke Robotics, is called TIKAD and has the ability to carry a variety of different weapons, including machine guns and grenade launchers.
The company says the drone could be used to reduce the number of combat troops deployed to conflict zones and also has the unique ability to reach areas troops may not be able to.
“Troops can use TIKAD to handle potentially dangerous situations quickly and efficiently from the air, reducing the need to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way,” the company says on its website. “This technology also allows troops to potentially disarm a situation remotely, without ever deploying a ground presence.”
The drone comes equipped with built-in cameras that allow operators to identify and engage with targets. TIKAD’s lightweight, real-time six degrees of freedom Robotic gimbal can carry weapons up to 3x its weight and can take the full recoil of a discharged firearm and then readjust to stay on target.
The invention won the Department of Defense’s 2016 Security Innovation Award and the top prize at the 2016 Combating Terrorism Technology Conference, which was sponsored by the DOD’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Directorate of Defense Research and Development, and the MIT Enterprise Forum of Israel.
Duke also says the Israeli military has expressed an interest in the drone.