Oh crap, the US Military has shape-shifting drones now

Ok, so maybe that headline was a little strong. But that said, the US military has validated technology for vertical lift vehicles (think drones and UAVs) that can change shape depending on the specific requirements of a mission.

But let’s slow down before we convince ourselves that the US military just invented a range of Transformers or Decepticons, the tech is far more nuanced than it sounds.

[Read: Lyft gives itself a comfortable 10-year deadline to make all its vehicles electric]

Researchers with a US Army Research Laboratory and Texas A&M University have just published the results of a two-year study that explored fluid-structures, Army.Mil reports.

The study enabled researchers to develop a tool which can be used to model and optimize the operational configuration and shape of unmanned vertical take off vehicles. Rather than taking 10,000 hours to compute how a structure will operate, the new tool lets researchers process a model in up to 80% less time.

uav, drone, ch-4
Credit: Wikimedia – CC