A US start-up has built gun-carrying drone it says could replace soldiers on the battlefield

A US robotics start-up has created a drone capable of carrying and firing weapons that it says could one day replace soldiers on the battlefield.

Florida-based Duke Robotics has built what it calls the Tikad, a remote-controlled drone which can be equipped with a range of different weaponry – including machine guns or a grenade launcher.

The developers say the Tikad could be used to reduce the number of ground troops that need to be deployed to conflict zones, and therefore, reduce casualties. The drone has already won a security innovation award from the US Department of Defence.