A new robot called EATR or the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot is being developed by RTI and being funded DARPA.
The goal of this project is to create a robot for long range missions without the need for conventional refueling. The robot will be able to get ‘food’ on it’s own. RTI states the robot will be able to:
Identify suitable biomass sources of energy and distinguish those sources from unsuitable materials (e.g., wood, grass, or paper from rocks, metal, or glass)
Spatially locate and manipulate the sources of energy (e.g., cut or shred to size, grasp, lift, and ingest); and
Convert the biomass to sufficient electrical energy to power power the EATR subsystems .
The robot will have four main systems, with the heart of the robot being a
biomass engine provided by Cyclone Power.
1. Robotic mobility platform
2. Autonomous control system/sensors
3. Robotic arms and end effectors
4. External combustion engine
This is the first step to robot autonomy and the inevitable robot uprising.