Mary (merry_loon) wrote in ontd_political,
Mary
merry_loon
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OH MY GOD WHY

It's not everyday that a person gets to blog about how military contractors are developing terrifying, ironically named robots, which will roam around, feasting on dead flesh until the day comes that they will rise up and kill us all, but guess what? Today is one of those days:

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.

You know, my editors frown on me for swearing, for good reason, but in this case: SERIOUSLY, PENTAGON, WHAT THE FUCK?!?

I am having a really hard time trying to figure out what the military purpose of a robot that eats dead bodies is. Maybe the idea is these robots will make it difficult for independent observers to quantify casualties? Maybe President Sarah Palin will nominate one to the Supreme Court? The article states that EATR is a "platform" that things could be "built upon" -- like an "ambulance" or a "mobile gunship." But it seems to me that the ambulances and gunships we have now are perfectly okay, and, at any rate, DON'T MAKE MY SOUL HURT.

Speaking of:

The advantages to the military are that the robot would be extremely flexible in fuel sources and could roam on its own for months, even years, without having to be refueled or serviced.

So then: some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. But it looks like it's going to end in a hail of white-hot terror at the hands of marauding, corpse-eating Roombas.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/15/military-eatr-contractor_n_233467.html





It could be a combination of 19th-century mechanics, 21st-century technology — and a 20th-century horror movie.

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.

EATR will be powered by the Waste Heat Engine developed by Cyclone Power Technology of Pompano Beach, Fla., which uses an "external combustion chamber" burning up fuel to heat up water in a closed loop, generating electricity.

The advantages to the military are that the robot would be extremely flexible in fuel sources and could roam on its own for months, even years, without having to be refueled or serviced.

Upon the EATR platform, the Pentagon could build all sorts of things — a transport, an ambulance, a communications center, even a mobile gunship.

In press materials, Robotic Technology presents EATR as an essentially benign artificial creature that fills its belly through "foraging," despite the obvious military purpose.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,532492,00.html
More sources linked from the fox news article.

WHAT THE FUCK.
Tags: military, technology / computers
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