Many commentators, our own Lewis Page included, not unreasonably took this vague “biomass in the environment” concept to mean anything EATR could get its robotic claws on, including humans.
Some press reports went further, suggesting EATR would suck nourishment from corpses as it went about its unholy business.
Cue an entertaining press release (pdf) from Cyclone, which stresses that EATR is “strictly vegetarian”. The company explains: “Despite the far-reaching reports that this includes ‘human bodies,’ the public can be assured that the engine Cyclone has developed to power the EATR runs on fuel no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips.”
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.”
July 20, 2009
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