by Tana Ganeva
Thanks to the Pentagon and a Maryland Robotics Company, the robots who inherit the Earth when humanity is wiped out will be able to survive by feasting on the flesh of human corpses!
Robotic Technology Inc. has been contracted by the Pentagon to build robots that use biomass fuel; organic material such as "grass, broken wood, furniture, dead bodies", according to Popular Science.
The Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR -- yes, EATR) is described thusly on the company's website:
The purpose of the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR)™ (patent pending) project is to develop and demonstrate an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling, which would otherwise preclude the ability of the robot to perform such missions. 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 sound that sinister, since dead bodies are artfully skirted around in the description. Then again, a presentation on the technology is accompanied by the picture on the right, which appears to show a giant robot calmly shooting the last rebel human aircraft out of the sky with its eyes ...