BAE Systems has admitted to have borrowing stylistic cues from the Tumbler Batmobile used in the rebooted Batman franchise for some of their latest ground warfare concepts. The team responsible for the Future Protected Vehicles project told The Engineer that one particular unmanned assault vehicle, Raider, was inspired by the Tumbler's motorbike-style turning system and wheel configuration.
"In all seriousness, we decided that we didn’t have a monopoly on inspiration, and if we saw something in a film that we thought might be a good idea, why not take a look at it and see if there’s something practical we can develop?" Hisham Awad, BAE Systems
The Raider design is one of seven new concepts BAE has developed, culling suggestions and ideas from suppliers, academics and schools. While none have yet spawned a physical version, BAE reckons they could help make fuel efficiency savings of up to 60-percent; some, such as Predator-style active camouflaging, are obviously not quite ready for production, but other technologies like economy-boosting nano additives for fuel and an oil filtering system that extends the time between engine servicing are supposedly ready for the battlefield.
The seven concepts rely heavily on automated systems, either pulling human soldiers back from the frontline or augmenting their efficiency. The Pointer robot, for instance, can be used as a scout or a mobile bodyguard, and has tracks that can be used to climb terrain or, when extended, to walk over obstacles.