New Robot Would Fuel Itself on Grass, Wood, Human Corpses

By Allison Bond | July 15, 2009 3:59 pm

robotAbout a year ago, we calmly speculated about the implications that a slug-eating robot might have for us delicious humans.

Recently, there have been reports of the development of a steam-powered robot that can fuel itself by consuming any organic material in its path, from leaves to twigs to (gulp) humans. Now might be a good time to panic, at least if you value your body with its flesh intact.

According to the developers of the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, appropriately abbreviated EATR, the bot could live independently for years on old furniture, dead animals and, of course, human corpses, which provide the greatest fuel of all.  Fox News reports:

EATR… which uses an “external combustion chamber” burning up fuel to heat up water in a closed loop, generating electricity….

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

In press materials, Robotic Technology presents EATR as an essentially benign artificial creature that fills its belly through “foraging,” despite the obvious military purpose.

Essentially benign? We’re not so sure about that. tweetmeme_style = \\’compact\\’;

Related Content:
Science Not Fiction: Hungry Robots. What Could Go Wrong?
Discoblog: New Humanoid Robot Shows More Emotion Than Some Humans
Discoblog: Japan’s “Child Robot” Learns to Walk
DISCOVER: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Robots
DISCOVER: When Robots Live Among Us

Image: flickr / Tellumo

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: military, robots, technology
  • Jumblepudding

    A robot that eats people? sounds like a decepticon to me.

  • Dave English

    I think a wood gas generator would be more efficient. An external fire heats a simi-enclosed tank that has wood chips, twigs, small branches, corn, which produces a gas (it’s also called producer gas with coal) that feeds directly into the engine, with about 60% power of the power rating with gasoline. Check it out at wikipedia and you-tube.

  • Christina Viering

    Sounds efficient.

  • Adrian

    Sounds terrible

    If it can be programmed to eat the dead , it may also be hacked to kill anyone

  • Anthony Sebastian

    If Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot could build one small enough to roll itself around in the tunnels of gopher warrens, a platoon of them might patrol the tunnels, eliminating the gophers, eating the energy-rich parts of the gophers, thus solving the gardeners’ perennial gopher problem.

  • http://deleted Rasselas

    If this thing is made stationary, like a cremation oven, then it’s just a cremation oven that produces electricity in the process, electricity that can power scrubbers to trap particle emissions during the process, etc. It doesn’t have to be mobile, though it could be.

  • Michael C

    I said, “golfers, golfers – not gophers”.

    On a more serious note – glad the Germans did not have this idea in world war II.

  • Reno

    On a battlefield, humans would be the most abundant power supply – decimate the enemy AND charge your batteries. Win – Win – Win. The Terror in the enemy would be quite high.

  • gary

    don’t these already exist? they are called republicans.

  • Allen

    Yeah, republicans eat the whole thing. Better than those wasteful zombie democrats that just eat the brain.

  • RickW

    Politicians may eat everything in sight, but they return nothing, like the black holes they are…………

  • Pingback: Update: “Corpse-Eating Robot” Actually a Vegetarian | Discoblog | Discover Magazine()

  • big dog

    are they planning on killing us all off and taking care of the evidence

  • democratsarefascists

    Under Obama’s plan, the elderly and “hopeless, expensive” cases will be euthanized, so what better way to dispose of the bodies?
    It’s so green.
    As in Soylent.

  • Pingback: data recovery from hard drive()


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