The use of Dragonfly drones and virtual reality helmets could soon be used by the British Army, if contractors are able to secure funding from the Ministry of Defence.
There’s £800m of funding now available to help develop more examples of futuristic technology, but companies will have to pitch their equipment to a panel for the chance to earn funding and create equipment to support defence and security forces.
At the end of this year, the MoD are going to invite the "best and brightest individuals and companies" to share their ideas, kind of like a military version of Dragons’ Den.
One company, Animal Dynamics, is currently developing a very small, unmanned drone complete with flapping wings inspired by the biology of the dragonfly.
The MoD has said they hope the drone will have a massive impact on how intelligence will be gathered in future operations. The drone is very small in design, which allows it to fly into hard to reach areas, gathering information for soldiers without endangering their lives.
Virtual reality is also being used to help simulate aircraft, vehicles and enemy personnel that are usually found in war zones, meaning soldiers can be tested more effectively and completely immersed in situations during training, helping to train troops more effectively.
Another advancement known as the Quantum Gravimeter is being developed with the University of Birmingham, and could cut the length of operations right down.
Using a portable gravity sensing system, it can survey underground structures in a matter of minutes, rather than the weeks it takes to do now, meaning that enemy tunnels can be mapped out much quicker. It has also been created to support disaster relief, helping to find survivors who may become trapped under rubble.
These technological advancements could see a drastic change in how the military operate, as well as aiding those who are in distress much quicker than currently possible. However the funding is allocated, it will be sure to have a positive impact on the military going forward.
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