On Thursday, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) announced that they have taken the first step to create robots that can transform to accommodates a variety of military applications. The Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System — or ARES — will aid soldiers in need of aerial transportation while in the field.

A mix between a helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), ARES is capable of achieving vertical landing and take-off in a variety of terrains, and with significantly more ease than your average chopper.

So where does the transformer part come in? According to DARPA’s program manager, Ashish Bagai, the ARES will be a “modular transportation advice” that soldiers will have to manually transform to service their in-field needs.

“[ARES will] deliver and retrieve several different types of detachable mission modules,” Bagai explained. “Each [are] designed for a specific purpose—cargo pickup and delivery, casualty extraction or airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, for instance.”

Basically, ARES can Optimus Prime itself into several useful configurations, ranging from supply delivery to flying over potential combat areas to ensure troop safety.

ARES is currently in its third and final development stage, with Lockheed Martin backing the vehicle design.

May we suggest taking the design into a more Dinobot direction? And make sure ARES can combine with other transformers to form an even bigger, awesome-r robot. Thanks.

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