Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Robotic Nightmare

I think the Pentagon has seriously lost it. I knew they were a little crazy and we have seen many cases of bad ideas going even worse but I think we have reached a new low. According to this story at HuffPo ...
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.

It may be just me, with my long history of Science Fiction, but there are all kinds of bad scenarios imaginable with this kind of device. First of all, I don't see any mention of Asimov's Three Laws which scares me spit less and then there is the whole fuel gathering and selection nightmare. This is a very strange thing indeed.

Oh! and if you really want to be irritated by web "technology" the follow this link to the original story on and note the embedded ads in the article. If your cursor crosses over the double underlined words like 'mobile' and 'technology' you get a splash ad for Verizon which you have to manually close. Talk about pushy!

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