Meet ARES: DARPA’s newest transformer-style drones under development

By on Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DAPRA, presented concept images of its scheme to pair up the US military with modular drones named Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES for short), capable of transforming to comply with the needs of different missions.

The ARES drone will be utilized as an unmanned vehicle that would be able to set military units down in dangerous environments. The UAV could also be used as a resupplying entity for troop deployments. If injured combatants need to be evacuated from an area, ARES can help facilitate such ventures.

The final variant of ARES has been shown off as a sort of drone that can buzz around air space but can also be connected to a variety of modules such as vehicles or special container units.

It was created from a project called Transformer (TX) with the primary goal being to make “a ground vehicle that is capable of configuring into a VTOL [vertical take-off and landing] air vehicle that provides sufficient flight performance and range, while carrying a payload that is representative of four troops with gear.”

“ARES would make organic and versatile VTOL capability available to many more individual units,” Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager, said in a statement, “Our goal is to provide flexible, terrain-independent transportation that avoids ground-based threats, in turn supporting expedited, cost-effective operations and improving the likelihood of mission success.”

Design assistance and system integration techniques are being taken care of by Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, with ARES in its last stage.

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