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Not a Flesh EATR

November 27, 2009

Rheanna Sand


Science in Seconds Blog by Rheanna Sand

Nothing will ever be as creepy as the writhing, Japanese-made robot child, but the rumors about the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot come pretty close.

EATR looks like your typical battlebot - it's small, has tracks to move around, and one long arm with pincers on the end. But these little guys have something extra - a hybrid external combustion engine that can convert biomass into electrical energy.

"Biomass," of course, meaning any matter than comes from an organism, living or dead. Which is why some media went a little crazy when news of this robot first emerged. They dubbed it the "flesh-eating robot" and claimed it could feed on human bodies.

The companies involved, Cyclone Power Technologies and Robotic Technology Inc., quickly issued a statement reassuring the public that EATR is a VEGETARIAN. In this case, biomass means strictly plant material. EATR would use its robotic arm to forage for leaves, twigs, or wood chips. It could also burn traditional fuels, like gasoline or kerosene, if it had to.

Or maybe douse you in them, set you afire, and feast on your roasted remains...if you watch certain entertainment news channels, that is.

Do not fear the EATR. Commercializing this technology leads us one more step away from our reliance on fossil fuels for generating electricity. And besides, vegetarians rarely have the strength to put up a fight.

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