Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR): Vegetarian, Not Carnivore

So, after days of reporting on this story all over the blogosphere, the company that is developing EATR has come out with a press release to clarify what their robot will use as fuel.  In the original post here at RobotNext, EATR was described as a grazing robot, implying that it only consumed vegetable matter like grass.  Another robot mentioned in the post, Ecobot, is being developed to fuel itself on insects.  These are two completely separate programs, but in the post – as is often the case here at RobotNext – I speculated on the possibility of combining the features of the two robots.   In other words, what the next thing would be:  a robot that can power itself on both plants and insects. 

To set the record straight, I thought I would explain that this was pure speculation on my part and not intended to suggest that EATR can consume insects.  In response to the stories about consuming dead human bodies, I did post a message on Twitter suggesting that I thought the robot only ate grass.  In my research, I could find only information that EATR would consume biomass.  Biomass can include anything organic, so that could be taken to mean that the robot might eat anything.  Since I saw this story originally in reference to eating a lawn, that is how I reported the robot in the original post.

At any rate, this is still a fascinating idea for a robot and one that should provoke serious thought.  Along those lines, it should be noted that the Cyclone Engine that will power EATR could also revolutionize transportation outside of robotics.  This engine can run on any vegetable-based material, including agricultural waste, coal, municipal trash, kerosene, ethanol, diesel, gasoline, heavy fuel, palm oil, cottonseed oil, algae oil, hydrogen, propane, etc. –individually or in combination.  Thus, the Cyclone Engine is a very “green” power source.  Read the presentation on this engine to see all the details.

Washington, July 17 (ANI): The makers of a biomass-eating military robot have clarified that the machine is a vegetarian, and not a non-vegetarian as was earlier reported. Robotic Technology Inc.’s (RTI’s) Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot …

Biomass-eating military robo is a veggie, not a carnivore – Thaindian.com
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 16:56:00 GMT

Robot Grazes for Power

This robot can find its own power by chomping on grass or other vegetation that it finds along its way.  As a potential military application, this robot is currently in a testing stage.  You can see more information in a story posted at Examiner.com.  RobotNext had an earlier post on a robot that can eat bugs to produce its own power, so this concept of living off the land could extend to insects and vegetation.  Make sure and check out the links to other stories on this interesting robot.

EATR(TM) concept drawing courtesy of Robotic Technology Inc. from Examiner.com

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. announced that it has completed the first stage of its project with Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI), of Potomac, MD, to develop a beta-test biomass engine system which will be used to power RTI’s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™). This is part of a project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Sciences Office.

What more could one want in a robot? Hey! I think that thing is eating my lawn! Paul Fox is an Examiner from Portland. You can see Paul's articles on Paul's

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There's a robot eating my lawn
Examiner.com – USA
Wed, 08 Jul 2009 07:27:57 GMT

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