Missile-carrying robot drones have been used for years by the U.S Army - but they’re deployed against large targets and need a runway to take off from.
Now a new YouTube video shows that in the future, drones could also carry out the close-combat duties of foot soldiers.
In the clip ‘FPSRussia’, whose Call of Duty videos and real-life weapon demonstrations have earned him a cult following, shows off a quadrotor – a mini helicopter with four rotors - outfitted with a machine gun.
Air we go: FPSRussia demonstrates a hover drone outfitted with a machine gun
The machine is controlled by a tablet computer and FPSRussia explains that a camera on front of the quadrotor gives him a ‘birds’ eye view’ of the target.
It’s capable of flying at 30mph and at an altitude of a quarter of a mile, but for the demonstration, FPSRussia takes the drone a short distance away to a group of life-size dolls positioned on a slope.
The machine gun is capable of firing 100 rounds a minute – and it’s not long before the figures are completely destroyed.
Heat is on: The clip shows the gun's muzzle flash as we see the drone's point of view
Explosive: The drone hovers over the remains of the dummies
A huge muzzle flash leaps across the screen when we see the drones’ view.
Next, FPSRussia shows off the machine’s ability to get into a tight spot and flies it through the window of a mocked-up room.
There four dummies sitting around a tablet are destroyed while FPSRussia stands by at a safe distance.
He explains that the quadrotor is a prototype – but may well become a battlefield reality in the future.
Similar-sized drones are already in use by U.S police forces to carry out surveillance and fitting them with machine guns is clearly not difficult to engineer.
Tantilisingly for Call of Duty players, he also hints that a flying quadrotor machine gun could feature in the next installment of the game.
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