Meet the future of unmanned killing machines: the “Multi-Modal Vehicle,” from the Sandia National Laboratory, a concept vehicle that could transform as it travels, taking different forms to tackle land, sea, and air. Wings become fins, wheels pop out as it heads towards dry land. According to Wired, the thing can jump 30 feet into the air. Watch a virtual version of the Multi-Modal Vehicle in action in the video above.
It’s not exactly reality yet; Sandria has only tested concept hardware, and needs funding to build a full prototype. If the Multi-Modal Vehicle does make it in to production, it won’t be cheap. Each transformation involves a shedding of hardware, so once the bot goes from air to water, or water to land, it can’t go back.
“The real value added [of the Multi-Modal Vehicle] is that it allows maximum flexibility in highly complex missions without the concern over whether or not all of the vehicles are positioned just right,” said Jon Salton, an engineer working on the vehicle.