Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

EATR - DARPA's Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot

The EATR - Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot is a special DARPA project to develop a robotic platform able to perform long missions while refueling itself by foraging.

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.

In order to succeed, EATR must be able to 1) identify suitable biomass sources of energy, 2) spatially locate and manipulate the sources of energy (cut to size as needed), and 3) convert the biomass to electrical energy.

Don't mind that large robot in your front yard; it's a DARPA robot trying to feed itself having (1) identified grass as a suitable biomass for conversion. Hopefully, it will ignore your small children and pets (1), and will not try to cut them into pieces small enough to eat (2) and then subsequently convert them in to electricity (3).

18-Jul-2009 Update: Thankfully, the EATR robot is a mild-mannered consumer of small twigs, leaves and other brush. See EATR Robot is a Vegetarian for details. End update.

The EATR will have a robotic arm and end effector to manipulate materials.

The robotic arm and end effector will be attached to the robotic mobility platform, either directly or affixed to a platform towed behind the HMMWV. It will have sufficient degrees-of-freedom, extend sufficiently from the platform, and have a sufficient payload to reach and lift appropriate materials in its vicinity. The end effector will consist of a multi-fingered (e.g., three-fingered or two-thumb, one-finger) hand with sufficient degrees-of-freedom to grasp and operate a cutting tool (e.g., a circular saw) to demonstrate an ability to prepare biomass for ingestion, and to grasp and manipulate biomass for ingestion.

You may want to carry a baseball bat while out inspecting the back forty - use this to discourage EATR robots from trying to "manipulate" you or other things that you want to keep.

Autonomous intelligence will be provided by the 4D/RCS system already under development.

The 4D/RCS (three dimensions of space, one dimension of time, Real-time Control System) architecture, [will have] new software modules which we will create for the EATR™. The 4D/RCS has been under development by the Intelligent Systems Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, for more than three decades with an investment exceeding $125 million. The NIST 4D/RCS has been demonstrated successfully in various autonomous intelligent vehicles, and a variation of the 4D/RCS serves as the Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) mandated for all robotic vehicles in the Army’s Future Combat System (an additional investment of $250 million). NIST is providing assistance in transferring the 4D/RCS technology for the EATR™.

Although having to smack down the occasional prototype EATR in your front yard will be inconvenient, just wait until they get some size, or decide to swarm together. Then, you wind up with something like Philip Reve's traction city, from his 2003 book Mortal Engines. See the illustration of the Andrew Maynard Architects recycling concept CV08 suburb-eating robot.


(CV08 suburb-eating robot)

Sooner or later, these robots will discover that some of the best energy resources are to be found at the top of the food chain. Contractors seeking to win EATR project funding may want to see my previous article Flesh-Eating Robot Research Languishing.

From EATR: ENERGETICALLY AUTONOMOUS TACTICAL ROBOT DARPA Contract W31P4Q-08-C-0292 (pdf) via Biomass Mag.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/31/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody' Philip K. Dick, 1954.

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.' - Maurice G. Hugi, 1941.

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'

Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'

BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.