Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pentagon To Produce Man-Eating Robots & Machines aka "EATR" (Not a Joke!)

****UPDATE (July 18, 2009): Now Fox is reporting that the EATR is a vegetarian and will not devour human biomass flesh. Hmmm, how will the designers guarantee that the EATRs will not just ignore their programs and "eat" whatever biomass is available. The original article has been scrubbed by Fox, but the original text of the article is included below for comparison purposes. I have also included the EATR technical presentation documentation below for your reference.*****

This is probably a subject better left for my future technologies blog "Are We in the Matrix?," but I wanted to put it here because it somewhat relates to subject matter I discuss on this blog and this blog gets much better traffic.

I heard this story earlier today and could not believe its absurdity. It seems like a bad movie plot from the 1980s like "Chopping Mall." I recall plenty of movies where robots tried to kill humans, but I do not recall any movie where the robots eat humans. However, now this horrific man-eating robot scenario is closer to reality as a company now has a shiny Pentagon contract to produce a man-eating robot. Does this company not know that every robot's default mode is "kill all humans?"

The Matrix is probably the closest where the machines used humans as batteries (see above), which is somewhat similar to eating when the robots snatches one of these human pods for energy use.

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.

EATR will be powered by the Waste Heat Engine developed by Cyclone Power Technology of Pompano Beach, Fla., which uses an "external combustion chamber" burning up fuel to heat up water in a closed loop, generating electricity.

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.

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


Source: Fox News (the original article has been removed by Fox); Robotic Technology, Inc.

Image Source: dellrapids.com

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