A group of researchers led by Aaron Dollar from Yale University have developed an autonomous helicopter that can pick up objects. Yale Aerial Manipulator as the robot is called, could be used in hard to reach places or for removing things like bombs.
The robotic helicopter can reach speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour and pick up objects weighing up to two kilograms. The robotic hand is made up of four fingers, made from lightweight plastic.
This seems like it could be good for search and rescue operations if outfitted with a camera. It couldn’t pick up injured people, but could potentially bring them supplies like food and water until real help arrives. Or it could be used for removing bombs from dangerous situations.
Click through for a video demonstration.