U.S. Army developing its own Star Wars-style speeder bikes

The tech company Malloy Aeronautics has been working on some new hover vehicles that bear a striking resemblance to Star Wars speeder bikes, and now the U.S. military is getting in on the action. We’ll avoid the obvious joke about the U.S. military adopting Evil Empire tactics to go along with their technology.

Reuters reports that the U.S. Army has teamed up with the company to develop a hover bike that could potentially be used by troops in the field. It could represent a massive deal for Malloy, a company that actually turned to Kickstarter last year in an effort to raise some capital to bring the tech to life. That tells us there is obviously some public interest in making it happen, along with the fact that Malloy could use a cash influx to get the ball rolling. A military contract could be a boon on both fronts.

So, why is the military interested? A whole lot of reasons. A hover vehicle could fit into tighter spaces for search-and-rescue missions and, if the tech is sound, could prove a cheaper option that more conventional flying vehicles. It’s also safe (since the rotors are behind a guard). It could also have a wide range of uses, ranging from dropping supplies to soldiers in far-off territory to surveillance. With a deal in place, the company is working with the Department of Defense to develop military-grade prototypes. 

For those of you still hoping for your own speeder bike, take heart. Despite the new military deal, Malloy plans to still continue developing consumer-grade hover vehicles. We might still be a few years away from a functioning speeder bike, but a military R&D deal could be just the thing to kick-start the revolution.

(Via Reuters, The Verge)

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