We may one day see a world where Autobots and Decepticons are an actuality. DARPA has been working on a project known as ARES or the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System in which they are creating robots that pretty much resemble Optimus Prime, except for maybe the sentient part.
DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is a division of the Department of Defense. They created ARES to be a drone that can fly out to a soldier in the field and then transform into a variety of tools that a soldier needs. Perhaps an awesome racecar?
Here is DARPA’s description of ARES:
“It is envisioned that the flight module would travel between its home base and field operations to deliver and retrieve several different types of detachable mission modules, each designed for a specific purpose—cargo pickup and delivery, casualty extraction or airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, for instance.
Units could direct the flight modules using apps on their mobile phones or ruggedized tablets. Initially, the system would be unmanned, with a future path towards semi-autonomous flight systems and user interfaces for optionally manned/controlled flight.”
So, essentially while ARES can’t transform by their own freewill, it’s the soldier who controls what ARES turns into. Not only could ARES bring essential tools and supplies to a soldier, but it could also scope out areas to make sure they are safe for passage.
Will we one day see Transformers in action? It may be sooner than you think as DARPA has announced that the project is already in its third and final phase.
Autobots, roll out!