Back in January we covered the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, or EATR
. The EATR gets its energy by "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 ..." So many news outlets picked up the story and ran it with titles alluding to the robot "eating flesh" or even "eating corpses" that a company spokesperson put out a press release saying, "This robot is strictly vegetarian
." The statement says in part, "RTI's patent pending robotic system will be able to find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in the environment. 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 — small, plant-based items for which RTI's robotic technology is designed to forage. 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."