Boeing's A160T "Hummingbird" robotic helicopter looks like it's almost ready for prime time, as the company tested its military vehicle in a series of mock resupply tests. The 'bird performed a variety of maneuvers over seven test flights, including hovering at 12,000 feet with a load of 1,250 pounds carried by a sling.
Two of those flights were round trips spanning 150 nautical miles, with the Hummingbird toting 1,250-pound sling loads in a simulated mission between forward operating bases. The aircraft completed the mission in less than the required 6 hours and, being a robo-copter and all, did so while operating autonomously (though preprogrammed-ly.) Autonomous deliveries by the A160T, Boeing said without offering specifics, were "extremely accurate."
While the A160T is perfect for recon and surveillance, it's ability to lug around heavy equipment is an invaluable service, as it'd be able to ferry supplies between bases and resupply troops in the field with a lot less danger than a ground-based vehicle.