• 07.15.09

EATR: A Robot That’ll Forage Its Own Fuel

The Pentagon is developing a new robot that can power itself with biomass–and, as Fox News gleefully conjectures, dead people.


As Fox News is happy to “report,” that biomass could be anything–from grass to old furniture, and including “dead bodies.” (Granted, desecration of the dead is actually a war crime under Article 15 of the Geneva Conventions, but hey! This is Fox News right? Waterboarding? Corpse-eating robots? Whatevs. Freedom!!!)

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But back to the corpse question. We’re thinking that in light of the Geneva Conventions, the very possibility that this thing would eat a human corpse is enough to scuttle the project. Which means that to get it operational, the machine would have to know exactly what counts as human remains, and know to steer clear. Which, come to think of it, is still pretty damn terrifying. But at least these robots will never fear for their jobs, like Japanese robots. These things are intended to be able to live an itinerant lifestyle for years on their own.

[Robotic Technology via Fox News]

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.