Feeds

US tactical bot has no taste for humans

Biomass-fed EATR 'strictly vegetarian'

The next step in data security

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. has denied suggestions that its biomass-fuelled engine, installed in the the sinister, DARPA-funded "Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot" (or EATR) will be powered by humans, either dead or alive.

EATR, manufactured by Robotic Technology Inc (RTI), is described as "an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance military missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fuelling". It is designed to "extract energy from biomass in the environment, as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, propane and solar) when suitable".

Many commentators, our own Lewis Page included, not unreasonably took this vague "biomass in the environment" concept to mean anything EATR could get its robotic claws on, including humans.

Some press reports went further, suggesting EATR would suck nourishment from corpses as it went about its unholy business.

Cue an entertaining press release (pdf) from Cyclone, which stresses that EATR is "strictly vegetarian". The company explains: "Despite the far-reaching reports that this includes 'human bodies,' the public can be assured that the engine Cyclone has developed to power the EATR runs on fuel no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips."

Cyclone marvellously adds: "Desecration of the dead is a war crime under Article 15 of the Geneva Conventions, and is certainly not something sanctioned by DARPA, Cyclone or RTI."

Well quite. Cyclone CEO Harry Schoell further assures: “We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.