Do you live in a free-fire zone? Have the neighborhood kids been picking on you? Are you desperate to one-up your buddy's DJI Mavic drone? Well, then have I got a fully-armored, robotic, drone launching drones, FLIR-equipped, anti-aircraft capable vehicle for you! Textron has just unveiled the 5th generation Ripsaw M5 robotic combat vehicle (RCV) and I want one! Check her out below.
The Ripsaw M5 is Textron's offering for the Army's next generation robotic vehicle contest. She was on display at the Association of the U.S. Army conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. With a fusion of sensors and capabilities, she'll be able to take on whatever comes her way. The vehicle is also modular giving her the ability to quickly swap out components based on the mission profile.
With panoramic cameras, stealth mode, and a 40 mph top speed, it can quickly and quietly sneak up on an enemy for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) duties or launch a strike. Its most interesting feature is the ability to deploy drones of its own. Through a tether it can launch the FLIR R80D Skyraider barely above a whisper. Data is then collected and transmitted through a high-speed, high-bandwidth interface to human controllers far off from the fight.
But if the armored version isn't quite for you then Textron has another great model that almost borders on the plush. The Ripsaw EV2 is a civilian version of the militarized model and is quite possibly the greatest off-roader ever made. It comes with a suspended cockpit so you'll be swaddled in the lap of luxury as you go across dunes, through rivers, and over the neighbor's car. It can be had in 2 and 4 door versions. And it looks great ... and I'm not particularly a fan of tracked vehicles either.
The EV2 pictured above sports a solid white color with winch and push bar to help your buddy when he gets stuck. Up top is an integrated external roll bar and light package to help find your way at night. On the side are a pair of step bars because you don't very well want to get chewed up in the tracks when you climb aboard. And visibility appears good with plenty of windows. All in all, it's a rather smart and clean design.
Richard Hammond of The Grand Tour appears to be having one hell of a time behind the wheel. Buckle up.