The U.S. Military uses drones for a lot of controversial bombings around the world, but the navy has figured out a different use for them. Following the footsteps of Amazon, they’ve begun to develop software to pilot drones (actually helicopters), to assist a soldier who is in need of it. They’re calling it AACUS, Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System.
The Navy hopes to create an autonomous delivery system that helps an injured soldier by getting him enough food, water, medicine or whatever he needs in time. The need has arisen because for every 29 water supply envoys sent to the field in Afghanistan, one soldier died.
The technology works by remote control through an app. The app works on a tablet and presumably is independent of operating system. The software allows the helicopter to trace out its own path and select an appropriate landing site with the use of a 100 pounds of equipment on board that basically acts as laser sensors to help map the environment.
The software also allows excellent manoeuvrability through obstacles like telephone poles and wires and since the process is automatic, deliverance is pretty much assured .
This software was developed over a course of five years by the Office of Naval Research and has cost around $100 million. The funding was provided by the Pentagon and will help avoid scenes like the ones in movies where the soldier is left helpless on the battlefield gasping for his last breath or wading through the battlefield after the war and dying of thirst and hunger.