It's long been a staple of many a sci-fi film, but the autonomous air ambulance may be a lot closer to battlefields around the world than you might think. Israeli company Tactical Robotics have released footage of the first untethered flight test of their versatile drone, the AirMule...
Aside from being used to carry wounded soldiers from war zones, Tactical Robotics see a number of potential uses for their drone. Disaster relief and logistical support will be well within its capabilities, and with an expected payload of 500kg it will make a key contribution without putting lives at risk.
A statement on the company's website says that:
The good news is that on December 30th, AirMule successfully completed its first autonomous, untethered flight at the Megiddo airfield in northern Israel. We were extremely pleased to get permission from the CAA to fly in Megiddo and were able to set up a portable testing facility with full-time access to a small airfield. The testing schedule in Megiddo includes plans for a demonstration of AirMule's cargo delivery capability as well as a 'beyond the line of sight' flight along a path running through an adjacent, forested area. All in all, we expect that in 2016 we will finally be able to demonstrate some of AirMule's unique capabilities.