A few days ago, we brought you news of a robot that would forage its own food—which Fox News was happy to speculate might include "dead bodies." As we noted, that seemed pretty improbable, and a blatant bit of sensationalism on the part of Fox News—after all, desecrating the dead is a war crime, and the robot's manufacturer actually made no mention of the robots eating flesh.
The Web site has now eaten its words and offered a correction for its previous story:
But, contrary to reports, including one that appeared on FOXNews.com, the EATR will not eat animal or human remains.
Which makes Fox News seem like a passive victim of commonly circulated facts—all those "reports," you know. But Fox News actually originated the meme by surmising that dead bodies would be a logical source of food, since they'd be numerous on the battlefield. Sadly, they've completely taken down the offending story rather than correcting it at the bottom (as less fair, less balanced news sources do).
The correction was spurred by a press release from Cyclone Engine, the company that makes the device that would power EATR. As they wrote:
...EATR runs of fuel no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips ... desecration of the dead is a war crime under Article 15 of the Geneva Conventions, and is certainly not something sanctioned by DARPA, Cyclone, or Robot Technology.
And Cyclone's CEO added:
We completely understand the public's concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission.
Ho hum. Just another robot that finds its own food. Nothing to see here, people—move along.