Stepping out of the Matrix back-story and moving to replace the human soldier, the EATR:
A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies.
Robotic Technology Inc.’s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot — that’s right, “EATR” — “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,” reads the company’s Web site.
That “biomass” and “other organically-based energy sources” wouldn’t necessarily be limited to plant material — animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they’d be plentiful in a war zone.
Just a tad creepy . . .
H/T to Alex Haropulos for the link.
(Cross-posted to the old blog, http://bolditalic.com/quotulatiousness_archive/005581.html).
Update, 20 July: Oh, it’s okay. They claim it’s a vegetarian. It’s not going to snack on the battlefield casualties after all.