The US Department of Defence has shown off a prototype of its 'hoverbike,' a rectangular shaped quadcopter that has been named the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV.
It is working with New Zealand inventors Malloy Aeronautics on the radical machine that could take troops into battle and deliver supplies.
The Army Research Laboratory has shown off a prototype of its 'hoverbike,' a rectangular shaped quadcopter that has been named the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV
The most recent prototype was revealed by U.S. Army Research Laboratory officials who showed it off to the director of Program Innovation, Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson, a master Army aviator and attack helicopter pilot.
'We perform the foundational research with emphasis on unique Army problems,' Dr. Philip Perconti, acting ARL director, briefed Richardson.
'What we do informs Army investments for future warfighting capabilities.'
During demonstrations, researchers explained how understanding and studying neuroscience is helping to raise the effectiveness of machine learning.
Malloy Aeronautics has revealed a deal with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop its radical flying machine for the US military. dailymail
The general watched as a team of humans worked with a computer algorithm to identify potential threats in images.
Richardson also learned how Army researchers are advancing material science to enhance Soldier protection efforts.
Big screen: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) battle a Stormtrooper on their speeder bike in Star Wars Return of the Jedi
Engineers showed laboratory research into the 'hoverbike,' a rectangular shaped quadcopter that has since been named the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV.
'Anywhere on the battlefield, Soldiers can potentially get resupplied in less than 30 minutes,' said Army researcher Tim Vong.
'We're working with users in the joint community to look at this concept.
A mockup of the full sized hoverbike, which is similar in size to a small car. dailymail
Last year it was revealed SURVICE Engineering Co., a Belcamp, Md.-based defense firm, and U.K.-based Malloy Aeronautics, an aeronautical engineering firm, to announce that the two companies have teamed up on the development of Hoverbike technology for the U.S. Department of Defense.
SURVICE and Malloy are working on the Hoverbike as part of an ongoing research and development contract with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.
As part of this strategic alliance, Malloy Aeronautics has also announced that they have established a U.S. office in Belcamp adjacent to Aberdeen Proving Ground to complete work on the Hoverbike.
The hoverbike is large enough to carry suplies - or a soldier
'I am pleased to join with SURVICE Engineering and Malloy Aeronautics to announce their partnership on the Hoverbike, which represents a new frontier in aviation,' said Lt. Governor Rutherford.
'We are also very excited to welcome Malloy and look forward to working with them to grow their operations in Maryland.'
'Establishing an office in Maryland was a clear business decision,' said Chris Malloy, managing director of Malloy Aeronautics.
'The proximity to the Army Research Laboratory and U.S. defense decision makers, access to the world-class facilities through the laboratory's Open Campus initiative, and the co-location with our strategic business partner, SURVICE Engineering, were all factors in favor of Maryland as the best choice for Malloy Aeronautics.'
The hoverbike is here! The 1/3 scale version of the bike being piloted by a 3d printed robo-pilot
The firm says it producing a 1/3 sized version of its design to help fund the full sized prototype.
'This drone was originally built as a proof of concept for our latest full-sized Hoverbike prototype,' said Chris Malloy, the drone's inventor.
'After testing the 1/3rd Hoverbike, we realized that it had lots of features that made it a fantastic drone, not only this - selling this scale Hoverbike to the public would allow us to raise funds to continue the development of the manned version.
'The objective of this campaign is to kick-start sales of our beautiful 1/3rd scale Hoverbike drone and accessories via your pledges, and to help create a long term income stream that we can use to continue development of the manned Hoverbike,' it says.
The full sized design uses a motorcycle engine and controls.
However, the smaller version uses electric motors, and can be controlled using a standard RC helicopter controller.
The hoverbike in action - complete with its 3D printed humanoid robot driver.
The drone is made up of four blade, which give it its stability. dailymail
The firm says its full sized version could be used to commute on.
The futuristic prototype has the potential to travel up to 92 miles or for about 45 minutes on one tank of fuel and is expected to come with a hefty price tag of more than £45,000.
So far the bike, which weighs 270kgs, has only been tested while tethered to the ground to prevent it flying too high. But plans to test it's capabilities without any restrictions are set to go-ahead soon.
The firm will also make a 3D printable pilot, who can have a Go Pro camera fitted in his 'head' to record flights
'We combined the simplicity of a motorbike and the freedom of a helicopter to create the world's first flying motorcycle,' it said.
'When compared with a helicopter, the Hoverbike is cheaper, more rugged and easier to use - and represents a whole new way to fly.
'The Hoverbike flies like a quadcopter, and can be flown unmanned or manned, while being a safe - low level aerial workhorse with low on-going maintenance.'
The firm says it is almost ready to begin flight testing of the full sized version.
'We are in the final construction stages of the latest manned prototype of Hoverbike, and in a few months we will start flight testing.
'After the successful completion of test flights we will build a final engineering prototype for submission to aviation certification authorities.