Feeds

US tactical bot has no taste for humans

Biomass-fed EATR 'strictly vegetarian'

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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." ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.