By Chris Scott Barr

There are some debates that all geeks seem to have with their friends. Star Wars vs Star Trek, Pirates vs Ninjas, Windows vs Mac, etc. One that tends to come up in my circle is which will try to take over the world first, zombies or robots. Well here’s a little bit of info that’ll give you an edge when voting on the side of robots.

Apparently a group of people have developed a sniper robot that refuels using biomass. Yes Virginia, the damn thing gets its juice from consuming human bodies. I’m sure that it’s programmed to only go after dead bodies, but a quick bullet to your backside would be enough to prevent its imminent shutdown. The AI is programmed to plan out its actions for the immediate future through the next 24 hours. With a name like EATR, what could possibly go wrong?

[ RTI ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]


  1. Okay, where does it say “human bodies” on the EATR site?

    “The system obtains its energy by foraging – engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior which is the equivalent of eating. It 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.”

    Doesn't “biomass” include plant matter, like grass and bushes and trees?

  2. Hey Chris, I'm guessing the slightly twisted line of reasoning here is that since these are military bots and a battlefield could in theory be littered with bodies, what better source of energy than feeding of the body of the enemy? Or something like that.

    I agree this is not likely what the designers had in mind, but the simple fact that it could be done makes us geeks imagine all sorts of things…

  3. And all you need to do is program the EATR's to violate the Geneva Protocols of conflict. While your doing that you might as well throw a set of DD boobs on the thing and program it to do dishes too.

    Also who thought this giant go-kart is capable of 'sneaking' up on anything to snipe it? Maybe if you can get the enemy to all hide out on a football field. Absolutly useless in the mountains and caves where our current flavor of d-bag likes to hang out.

  4. It may not have been what the designers had in mind. But if the AI is looking for biomass for fuel, a human body would probably look pretty tasty in the desert.

  5. Right after I posted here, I went over to Slippery Brick and posted the exact same thing, but I added a line at the end…
    “There must something in the Geneva Convention or somewhere about desecrating human corpses, right?”

    The company just issued a press release…

    “RTI’s patent pending robotic system will be able to find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in the environment. Despite the far-reaching reports that this includes “human bodies,” the public can be assured that the engine Cyclone has developed to power the EATR runs on fuel no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips – small, plant-based items for which RTI’s robotic technology is designed to forage. 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 RTI.”

    Boy, I called that one, didn’t I!