Wednesday, May 06, 2009

More Robots, Less Cuddly has an article by Warren Ellis on autonomous robots and how we can be useful to them - as food.

As I write this, the EATR is under active development. The Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, funded by Darpa, is a robot designed to eat everything in front of it for fuel. Fuel that it will use to swarm around with its mates and kill humans. Even better – once the human corpses have dried out a bit, EATR could eat them too, to fuel more roaming and swarming and human-killing. Sure, the builder, RTI, states that this filthy business is for “the benefit of humanity”. But if Darpa could have found a way to fit a death ray on to the internet… well, most of you probably wouldn’t be around to read this. EATR – they called it EATR! – isn’t intended to roll around the farm and eat slugs for power like that cute little agri-bot that was on the BBC a few years back. EATR will eat logs and roadkill and shrubs and basically anything that is or was alive – and all in the pursuit of gunning down,[and] blowing up ... humans.
It turns out EATR is real. He has not made it up. It sounds like Philip K Dick's Second Variety but it won't be Russians it'll be fighting.

We probably don't have to worry though. Nothing DARPA ever does escapes from their labs and takes on a life of its own. Remember that "internet" thingy? Fizzle!

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