Bell Experimental Football Table Drone Shows the Future of Battlefield Resupply Missions

Bell Autonomous Pod Transport 7 photos
Photo: Bell
Bell Autonomous Pod TransportBell Autonomous Pod TransportBell Autonomous Pod TransportBell Autonomous Pod TransportBell Autonomous Pod TransportBell Autonomous Pod Transport
For years now the aviation industry has been striving to come up with drones capable enough to deliver small packages, on their own, to a set target. Both industry giants and startups are working toward that goal, but for now, there are very instances across the world of using delivery drones.
When saying drone delivery, we average Joes generally envision our Amazon package being dropped on our doorstep by the flying machine. Established companies, such as Bell, think much farther than that, and they dream of a future when drones can help with search and rescue, but also the delivery of supplies to restricted areas, including fighting positions of friendly forces.

Bell’s research platform in this field is called APT, which is short for Autonomous Pod Transport, and it’s currently undergoing testing at facilities across the States. The most recent test, from where the video attached below comes from, was shot at Fort Benning in Georgia earlier this month, where the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) 2022 took place.

“As the event draws out the latest in military technology, Bell’s APT exhibited all its progress to U.S. forces and demonstrated its ability to complete the resupply missions,” Bell said.

For the test, the drone, which looks like a flying football table, had to move two separate bags weighing 35 lbs (16 kg) each over a distance of 11 miles (18 km), and then simultaneously drop them at the set destination.

That’s not the maximum capacity of the drone, though, neither when it comes to weight, nor distance. As per the specs Bell provided, the APT can carry up 100 lbs (45 kg) of cargo as far as 35 miles (56 km) and can drop, if need be, one bag at a time.

To date, the Bell drone has flown about 420 times. There is no estimate as to when it could be deployed by those who need (businesses or the military) such hardware.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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