Imagine owning a motorized vehicle that could fuel itself on biomass that it finds lying around. Pretty cool idea, huh? Now imagine that technology is used to do reconnaissance and surveillance work for the military. Kind of creeps you out, doesn't it? That is exactly what Robotic Technology Inc. and Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. is designing. Maybe not the ideal of green industry that President Obama has been touting, but hey!
It's called a EATR or Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and recently was featured on Fox News and other news outlets who erroneously reported that the device could use human flesh as fuel causing the builders to put out a press release dispelling the urban legend. Good to to know.
The press release says “We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO. “We are focused on demonstrating that our engines can create usable, green power from plentiful, renewable plant matter. The commercial applications alone for this earth-friendly energy solution are enormous.” EATR apparently runs on fuel "no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips –small, plant-based items for which RTI’s robotic technology is designed to forage."