Israeli aerospace and defense company Elbit Systems revealed what it calls a versatile drone-based loitering munition. The autonomous drone is named Lanius, and it can be used for short-range operations in urban areas.
Part of the Elbit Systems’ Legion-X robotic and autonomous combat solution, Lanius is a racer quadcopter drone with the ability to perform checks for potential threats, relay the information to Legion-X solutions and reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour.
While Lanius maps out a location, AI algorithms help it to avoid collisions and classify weapons and people; therefore knowing the difference between armed combatants and unarmed civilians.
Lanius especially makes its mark with the lethal and non-lethal payloads it carries while engaging a target.
A promotional video by Elbit Systems shows three drones arriving on a mothership drone during a conflict. The drone autonomously takes off, navigates buildings, travels through doors and locates enemies and weapons.
Elbit Systems said Lanius requires minimal user interaction, and the video shows a human operator watching the drone’s live footage and triggering explosions from a remote device.
Because of the system’s Electronic Safe and Arm feature, Lanius can only engage with a target if the human-in-the-loop initiates the action.
When searching for targets, Lanius can also operate in “ambush mode” while it observes an area. For example, if it locates a closed door, Lanius can wait until the door opens, which it would recognize, and engage the target if deemed necessary by the human operator.