Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Corpse-Eating Robot

According to our friends at Fox News, a corpse-eating robot called EATR may roam the battlefields of the future . . .

A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies.

Robotic Technology Inc.'s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot — that's right, "EATR" — "can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable," reads the company's Web site.

That "biomass" and "other organically-based energy sources" wouldn't necessarily be limited to plant material — animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they'd be plentiful in a war zone . . .

The advantages to the military are that the robot would be extremely flexible in fuel sources and could roam on its own for months, even years, without having to be refueled or serviced.

Upon the EATR platform, the Pentagon could build all sorts of things — a transport, an ambulance, a communications center, even a
mobile gunship.


The first thing I checked was the date, making certain it wasn't April 1.

Please let me get this straight. We've got an armed robot wandering the battlefield, foraging off corpses and other debris, on its own for months, and presumably working out on its own exactly what it's going to shoot at.

Tell me this doesn't sound like the setup for a really bad Michael Crichton novel.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Ralf the Dog said...

"That 'biomass' and 'other organically-based energy sources' wouldn't necessarily be limited to plant material — animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they'd be plentiful in a war zone . . . "

"Upon the EATR platform, the Pentagon could build all sorts of things — a transport, an ambulance, a communications center, even a mobile gunship."

I am not sure if I understand. They want to make a robotic ambulance that survives by eating dead bodies? I think I see a conflict of interest.

One quick question, is it against international law to feed enemies and non combatants to your robots for fuel? Are you required to kill them first?

11:07 PM  
Blogger Saladin said...

"is it against international law to feed enemies and non combatants to your robots for fuel?"

As long as they hate your freedom and you offer the robot a diesel-based digestif, it's cool.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does sound like the setup for a really bad Michael Crichton novel. Let’s hope that’s all it is.

- Shash

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Johan Larson said...

Not to worry. We'll just make sure all the robots are female...

2:15 PM  
Blogger Dennis Jernberg said...

Biomass-Eating Military Robot Is a Vegetarian, Company Says

"The story that originally appeared at this address has been revised."

Sounds like plausible deniability to me. Everybody knows that Fox News has an incestuous relationship with the military...

7:54 PM  
Blogger Ralf the Dog said...

Dennis, as a member of PETV (People {or People who think they are talking dogs} for The Ethical Treatment of Vegetables) I find the update to this story quite upsetting.

Please stop the carnage (or vegeage). Don't burn helpless plants.

11:20 PM  
Blogger halojones-fan said...

Haha, it's the Termin(e)ator...

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca S. said...

Good goddle mighty. Worthy of John Sladek.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Morgan said...

Why not just stick with crows?

12:15 PM  

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