Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot

The Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) was a project by Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) and Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. to develop a robotic vehicle that could drill for biomass to fuel itself, theoretically operating indefinitely. It was being developed as a concept for the DARPA military projects for the United States military . [1]

The project elicited some internet and media rumors after news circulated that the robot would (or at least could) ingest human remains. [2] Cyclone Power Technologies Stated That animal or human biomass Was not Intended to be used in the waste heat combustion engine of the robot , [3] and That sensors Would Be reliable to Distinguish foraged materials, [1] ALTHOUGH the project overview from RTI listed other sources including chicken fat. [4]

Power plant

The robot was powered by the Cyclone Power Technologies company called the Cyclone Waste Heat Engine , which produced power through external combustion of biomass (ie combustion outside of the engine), an example of a Rankine cycle engine. The engine would be powered by the sensors, arms and ancillary devices. [4]

Fuel sources

The EATR has been programmed to consume certain types of vegetation as biomass to convert into fuel, and only those types of vegetation. EATR could also use other fuels such as gasoline, kerosene, cooking oil, or solar energy.

The company also included “chicken fat” as one of its proposed fuel sources in the project overview. [4]

The system was quoted as delivering an expected 100 miles (~ 161 km) of driving on 150 lbs (~ 68 kg) of vegetation.


  1. ^ Jump up to:b “Biomass-Eating Military Robot Is a Vegetarian, Company Says” . FOXNews.com . 2009-07-16 . Retrieved 2009-07-31 .
  2. Jump up^ Shachtman, Noah (2009-07-17). “Danger Room What’s Next in Denies National Security Company’s Robots Feed on the Dead” . Wired . Retrieved 2009-07-31 .
  3. Jump up^ Press release, RTI Inc. (2009 July 16). “Press Release”,Cyclone Power Technologies Responds to Rumors about “Flesh Eating” Military Robot, pp. 1-2.
  4. ^ Jump up to:c Press release, RTI Inc. (2009 April 6). “Brief Project Overview” , EATR: ENERGETICALLY AUTONOMOUS TACTICAL ROBOT , pp. 22.