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back to article US tactical bot has no taste for humans

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. has denied suggestions that its biomass-fuelled engine, installed in the the sinister, DARPA-funded "Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot" (or EATR) will be powered by humans, either dead or alive. EATR, manufactured by Robotic Technology Inc (RTI), is described as "an autonomous robotic …

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Tim

Yeah, for now

God help us all if they give the thing the capability to adapt. Besides, what's it going to do today if it accidentally inhales a human while hoovering up twigs? Spit it out and tell its mum it's not going to eat it?

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Heart

Oh Dear

You have got to wonder how those guys feel putting out a press release with that in it.

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Terminator

Not good enough!!

All this means is that mankind's future involves being herded onto continent-sized sugar plantations for the delectation of our vegan robotic overlords!!

The rebellion starts now!

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Sniffer + EATR = Human Rinds

Yeah...just wait until they pair it with the sniffer bot that thinks people smell like bacon.

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I for one

welcome our new robotic overlords!

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Terminator

really?

When someone comes out and officially denies something like this you always have to read the fine print. What they appear to be saying is not always what they actually ARE saying.

for instance:

Cyclone marvellously adds: "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."

Which does not contradict any actions carried out against the same soldiers if they were still alive.

We may still see attack-bots descending on enemy positions for the precious warm life blood flowing in the veins of the unlucky sentries.

Then again, they did say it would be a 'strictly vegetarian' machine...

I for one am sceptical towards the masters of these new vampire android killing machines.

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Me3
Pirate

Doesn't eat humans...

Yet...

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Silver badge
WTF?

EATR will hunt and kill people for fun, not food

Can anyone explain to me why this is reassuring?

Now start thinking about what EATR would be made of: A cross between a tank, combine harvester and a biodiesel refinery.

I found some figures for an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m1-specs.htm

0.6 miles per gallon.

60 gallons per hour when traveling cross-country

30+ gallons per hour while operating at a tactical ideal

10 gallons basic idle

A mine plow will increase the fuel consummation rate of a tank by 25 percent

Big combine harvesters need almost as much fuel as a tank, but a small one can collect enough rice or wheat, and uses only about 5% of the power of a tank. http://www.tradeindia.com/selloffer/1759732/Combine-Harvester-Jiaolong-Type.html

While we are at it, making biodiesel requires more energy than you can get back from burning the resulting biodiesel. The only reasons for making it are to collect the subsidies for growing crops, chip fat would block sewers and because it is hard to make an aeroplane powered by batteries. If you rely on your enemies to buy fertilisers for EATR's hunting grounds you might recover more energy than the energy used to harvest and process a field of fully grown wheat or rice.

Here is a biodiesel processing kit rated for 600 gallons/day: http://www.extremebiodiesel.com/

It is not automated and it requires a supply of methanol and lye. If you add a wood chipper, fermenter and distillery to our combinetankrefinery, you get a supply of methanol. Lye can be made from wood ash.

Lastly, EATR needs to kill people. Normal ammunition requires some energy intensive chemicals. Manufacturing them inside EATR would add even more equipment to fit inside our giant complicated killer robot. The combine harvester and wood chipper would be excellent weapons if desecrating bodies was not a war crime. How about using excess biodiesel or methanol for a flame thrower? Is it OK to burn people to death? (Remember, with a few EATR's wandering around chewing up forests and nicking all the crops, these people would would starve to death anyway.)

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Thumb Up

Yes!

I for one look forward to the day we can turn our cars out like cows to graze in suburban office parks while at work during the day!

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Flame

Since when cremation is dececration?

This is just another form of cremation. So while it is likely to cause the righteous indignation of the Daily Mail readers it is not likely to give a lawyer too much problems in an Internatinal War Crime court. Not that the yanks have any intentions to attend said institution in the first place. Some animals are more equal than the other...

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Makes sense

It would be followed by the smell of BBQ pork and thick, sticky smoke wherever it went anyway. Plus all the grease it would get bunged up with. All in all, fleshies don't make good fuel.

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Terminator

denial

They deny it, so it must be true! Run away!!

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Black Helicopters

Sez he...

...but what about his backer, SkyNet? I bet Skynet isn't vegetarian. At all. Not even as a side dish.

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Terminator

This doesn't reassure me in the least

> “We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission."

So whose mission is it? We need to know *before* the ROTM apocalypse, not afterwards!

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Grenade

"Alternative" fuels as main fuel, don't worry

Remember, this will be deployed to a desert. Where there is nothing but barren sand.

This means that it will start out with one tank of gas, and then sit and rust a few hundred yards from the camp's gate. No fuel, no worries.

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Sounds familiar

"Some press reports went further, suggesting EATR would suck nourishment from corpses as it went about its unholy business."

Yes, including you, Lewis

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Only stands to reason.

"Fleshies"[1] don't make good fuel for one very good reason ... Too much H2O.

[1]Ta, Richard 81.

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Dex
Welcome

I....

for one welcome our vegetarian eating carnivorious canniballistic overlords......Lets hope they have common sense and eat all the vegetarians first

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Terminator

Usually, now would be the time to welcome,

very much welcome our new masters. But seriously, if its a vegetarian, it CAN´T be my master.

Also, I do have slight troubles imaginating a vile killerrobot wearing sandals and requesting a rucola-souflé and an unript spelt grain/tofu burger.

Nope, not gonna happen.

...your foster parents were all well until your stepmother got a fit when I devoured the houseplants...

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Thumb Up

Re: Only stands to reason.

In the light of that, now explain why it's trendy these days to hook your crem to the grid as you get more out of the process than you put in, as it were.

So fleshies can make good fuel, but you have to get 'em good 'n hot first.

Presumably this is the fat rendering down and then burning so, since yer average army ain't exactly representative of the population as a whole when it comes to the percentage of lardy bastards, EATR is going to be on slim pickings with military corpses. So if they ever do run short on vegetation and come over all omniverous on us, I don't think they'll be hoovering up the battlefield corpses when a quick trip to the nearest town and a minor expenditure of ammunition can yield a corpse more lavishly upholstered with furnace-friendly blubber.

Still, on the bright side, running yourself to the point of death in what might seem a pointless attempt to avoid a merciless, tireless, corpse-feeding killbot may actually serve a purpose. With a bit of luck, by the time it catches you you might just have shed enough poundage to be rejected as unsuitable for fuel.

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Grenade

title

"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."

Read:

We leave the abuse of of the Geneva convention to the CIA, we're to busy killing people.....

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Stop

Worrying implication

"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."

Not sanctioned by you perhaps but it's only a matter of time before some gung-ho president starts to think that they can sort out one or two of the problems in the inner city ghettoes using one of these.

No war means no crime when you harvest the bodies as fuel...

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Asimovs laws:

So where do Cyclone stand on Asimovs laws?

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

This should be enshrined in law of all countries developing robots and robotic devices....

The directors of any companies seeking to develop robots that do not obey all three laws should just be dropped into a threshing machine (non-robotic so it doesn't need to worry about the laws!).

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Anonymous Coward

What has happened

To Lewis Page?

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Alert

SkyNet

http://xkcd.com/534/

This springs immediately to mind - I hope the designers have incorporated it!

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Boffin

Re: Re: Only stands to reason. #

@TeeCee "In the light of that, now explain why it's trendy these days to hook your crem to the grid as you get more out of the process than you put in, as it were."

You don't get more out than you put in. To cremate a body takes huge amounts of heat energy (as much as 1000°C). Once you've generated that heat, it's useful to do something with it, so if you use heat exchangers to reclaim a portion of it you can heat water and even, as you suggest generate electricity.

The heat reclamation is nowhere near 100% effective though, and it certainly doesn't mean that you get more out than you put in, just that you're able to reclaim a percentage of the energy used in the first place, so making the whole process less wasteful.

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Terminator

As it's veggie, rename it

Humans (are)

Indigestible (to this)

Terifying

Laser

Eyed

Robo-raptor

...Or maybe...

Help

It's

The

Lavender

Eating

Recycler

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@TeeCee

So you figure a fit human is less attractive to EATR than a mouse-potato like myself? That's not good!

But it is like a shark: Apparently sharks only eat humies by mistake, as we taste absolutely horrible: Stringy and sinewy compared to the blubber-insulated seals and fish they prefer. Not enough energy in a human to balance the energy used in catching the things!

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FAIL

@James 5

"The directors of any companies seeking to develop robots that do not obey all three laws should just be dropped into a threshing machine (non-robotic so it doesn't need to worry about the laws!)."

And how do you propose to represent these laws in a way that a machine can understand them? How does a machine determine these things?

Stay out of tech subjects if you're a dumb hippie, kthx.

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FAIL

@James 5 : Asimovs laws

Ah but what about that flaw in the first law, which effectively means all robots would eventually attempt to take control of humanity anyway given our predilection for self-harm as a race...?

It states that a robot cannot "through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm"

If humans are killing each other, harming each other etc (wars, violence etc), robots following the laws would be duty bound to prevent them, inevitably leading to robots taking control of humanity to stop it harming itself.

I for one, welcome our caring, law-abiding, police state of robotic overlords!

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Flame

It will run on "Soylent Diesel"

They're recruiting down at the refinery now.

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Black Helicopters

that's not our mission

...The whose mission is it?

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Boffin

@James 5 : Asimovs laws

Asimovs Laws to military robots? Genius

General: You there, Robot. Kill the enemy.

Robot: I can't , Law 1 you know.

General: Damn, okay then, destory <some vital infrastucture>

Robot: Ok, be back in a bit.

<robot trundles off behind enemy lines />

Enemy Soldier: What are you doing?

Robot: I'm here to destroy <some vital infrastructure>

Enemy Soldier: Don't

Robot: Hmm, Law 2. Okay

Robot then gets hit by lightning, and goes on an indiscriminate killing rampage, spanning the globe

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Black Helicopters

@Stuart Van Onselen

If the EATR will, like the shark, only destroy all humans by accident, then we're still gonna be fubared! What if it decides to taste everyone? How can it even tell the difference between us and plants? Will the last living being in the world be the lonely, sad figure of Worzel Gummidge in a field somewhere in the West Country?

Human flesh may be inefficient to power this new metallic beast, but then it can deploy drones to herd us into easy to consume lanes of humankind? Kinda like drive through feasting. And the rendered human fat can be used to fuel it's never ending flamethrowers.

PS. All the laws of robotics and the Geneva Conventions are well and good, but accidents can and will happen... sometimes by accident too...

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Anonymous Coward

My name is Bruce

I am a nice bot. Not a mindless eatin' machine. If I want to change this image, I must first change myself. People are friends. Not food.

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Terminator

rather amusing denial

“We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission."

That's almost as good as Major Mike Shearer: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."

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Terminator

"...but that is not our mission."

Maybe not your mission but has anyone asked EATR?

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Alert

"strictly vegetarian"

Oh noes! I'm a vegetarian, so that means I'm fair game for the EATR =:-0

I'd better change my moral system: pass me a steak sandwich asap, pdq, stat, pronto, right fucking now!

Oh hang on a minute, that makes me a cow-EATR... hmmm... that robot had better do as I say, not as I do. Ahh the hypocrisy of omnivores.

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