The Rotary-Bat or 'R-Bat' is a small, unmanned autonomous helicopter being developed by defense technology company Northrop Grumman and the Yamaha Motor Corporation. The R-Bat is aimed at a wide variety of applications ranging from border patrol and search and rescue to power line inspection and forest fire observation.
Yamaha may be better known for two-wheeler engines, but has actually been producing unmanned helicopters for over a quarter of a century. Its RMAX helicopters are commonly used for crop-dusting applications in Japan.
The R-Bat helicopters will be equipped with the same platform as the RMAX crop-dusting choppers. Meanwhile, the control systems and sensors will be supplied by Northrop Grumman.
Exact technical details of the R-Bat haven't yet been released, but is believed to be around 9 feet long, 2.4 feet wide and 3.5 feet tall.