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Ear to the Ground

Flesh-Eating Robot Hoax Exposed!

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Posted on Jul 30, 2009
robot
Flickr/Torley

Take me to your EATR: We would like to point out that this is not a representation of an Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot.

A game of Internet telephone has distorted the story of EATR, or Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, thus morphing the vegetarian, bio-fueled, DoD-sponsored robot from innocent twig forager into ... corpse-eating battleground vulture! Long live the Interweb.

Los Angeles Times:

The speculation that launched EATR into the popular consciousness as a carnivore can be traced to a straightforward news release from Cyclone on July 7. The word “biomass” in the release was misinterpreted to mean EATR could feed on corpses on a battlefield.

It reached a fever pitch in mid-July, when FoxNews, Fast Company and CNET published online reports repeating the speculation, without first checking with Robotic Technologies or Cyclone.

The companies’ websites were swamped. The project’s main sponsor, the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, wanted the public record corrected.

Cyclone issued a second news release July 16, calling EATR a “vegetarian”—leading to even more news coverage. A story about EATR being a “vegetarian” ran in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

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By Doug, August 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Right.
On the other hand, Robotics president Dr. Finkelstein’s presentation about EATR—online at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/3992136/DARPA-EATR—rather fuels this fire, especially with this paragraph:
>>>”
Robotic vehicle forages:
biologically-inspired, organism-like behavior the equivalent of eating
Can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources)
“<<<
Don’t get me wrong, of course I accept the company’s explanation; one always accepts at face value the pleadings of a press flack who was caught flying too close to the truth. Doesn’t one?

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By Night-Gaunt, July 31, 2009 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

Expect a SyFy version of it soon. Terminators that eat organics for fuel! What a positively grotesque idea! They might need us around anyway. [That part would be just as an added terror feature.]

It could be done, bacteria (normally) do the destruction and the water is split and converted in to some kind of fuel or weapon.

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By skulz fontaine, July 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Yeah? Sez you! It’s the attack of the zombie robots! Zom-bots will be the ultimate demise of humanity. Just you wait. Kill the robots, kill them all NOW!

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