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Tiny Aircraft Feeds Itself With Dead Flies

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the take-me-to-your-weevil dept.

Robotics 270

An anonymous reader writes "The research team from southwest England have built a robot which can move and transmit sensor data over a radio link powered solely by unrefined food including dead flies and apples. The robot, known as Ecobot II, uses a Microbial Fuel Cell as its only power source. By "digesting" its own fuel, the aircraft could become autonomous and operate without the need for refueling, changing batteries or recharging from the mains. In the Microbial Fuel Cell microbes are used to extract electricity directly from food - in this case flies or apple." Several people noted this previous article on the same project.

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Great Scott! (4, Funny)

andyrut (300890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199149)

This sounds just like Mr. Fusion [imdb.com] ! Definitely more effective if you pour the beer out of the can and then toss in the container.

Re:Great Scott! (5, Funny)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199218)

What a waste of beer. Is free unlimited clean energy really worth the price??

Re:Great Scott! (2, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199305)

On the other hand, if I could run my car off of the sludge of used grains left over after making the wort, I'd probably be making a lot more beer.

Re:Great Scott! (5, Funny)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199360)

What a waste of beer.
No, it's ok. They use American beer.

Re:Great Scott! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199364)

If it has a price, how can you say it's free?

Re:Great Scott! (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199266)

Well the beer had more lighter elements in it then the tin can. So by poring the the beer in it first got the fusion chain reaction warm enough to handle the can.

How long until (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199156)

they gain sentience and start looking at us as food?

Hasn't anyone learned from Hollywood Sci-Fi movies?

Re:How long until (3, Funny)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199204)

it's okay...i'm sure the governor of California has a plan...

Re:How long until (3, Funny)

Dasch (832632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199426)

He's on vacation, but he said he'll be back.

Re:How long until (1)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199217)



I think this development could only be considered a fly in the ointment.

Re:How long until (1)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199289)

did you come up with that on the fly?

Re:How long until (1)

schtum (166052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199381)

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when you came up with that joke!

I think I speak for us all when I say.. (5, Funny)

modifried (605582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199157)

1.21 Gigawatts!?

Re:I think I speak for us all when I say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199431)

I think it is pronounced:

1.21 Jiga-Watts

Excellent use for... (4, Funny)

SunPin (596554) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199160)

Soylent Green!

Soylent Green is people! PEOPLE!

Re:Excellent use for... (2, Funny)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199237)

Soylent Brown-With-A-Slight-Hint-Of-Opalescent is flies! FLIES!

This is friggin excellent (2, Funny)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199161)

Now I can field an army of autonomous spybots to stalk celebrities without having to refuel them.

Re:This is friggin excellent (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199257)

Why does celebrities need refueling?

Re:This is friggin excellent (1)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199396)

Be careful... R. Kelly has become accustomed to the buzzing of the flies circling his nether-regions, and may grow suspicious when they fall silent at the hand of your camera. Though the footage he tends to provide [eonline.com] is probably worth the risk.

I for one welcome... (0, Redundant)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199163)

...our new Flying Bio-Mechanical Masters!

Re:I for one welcome... (2, Informative)

MaynardJanKeymeulen (768541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199372)

if you really, really must say it, do it right!

"I for one ... OVERLORDS"

like Kent Brockman in Deep Space Homer [snpp.com] :
And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality,
I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Excellent news (4, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199165)

Now if we can only program it to find Sarah Conner.

Re:Excellent news (3, Funny)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199440)

The only thing more frightening than a "terminator" robot that hunts you down and kills you is a termineater robot that hunts you down, kills you and then EATS you.

Bow down... (0, Redundant)

MandoSKippy (708601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199166)

I for one, welcome our new fly digesting robot overlords.

Re:Bow down... (2, Funny)

Bloem (528155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199323)

Imagine a beowolf cluster of one of these .. oh wait ... all your flies belong to us .. no uhm, but does it run Linux?

At what point.. (5, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199167)

At what point do they decide that they want human flesh instead of flies/rotten apples?

Or better yet, at what point do they decide that they want to eat our crops instead of flies/rotten apples?

I, for one, welcome our new mechanical locust overlords.

Re:At what point.. (1, Redundant)

kaleco (801384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199248)

If that thing came after your flesh, I doubt you'd have much difficulty resisting it. It's a very strange brand of paranoia you've got there.

Re:At what point.. (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199298)

"I doubt you'd have much difficulty resisting it."

Yeah...just outfit your hovercraft with an EMP cannon like everyone else!

Re:At what point.. (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199403)

Man I go old school with my ancient magical katana blade in one hand - and my .50 cal desert eagle long barral in the next. (laser sight included)

Re:At what point.. (1)

RangerRick98 (817838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199467)

just outfit your hovercraft with an EMP cannon like everyone else

Just make sure you're not too high above the ground when you fire it!

Mission 1: (-1, Redundant)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199168)


Find Sarah Connor.

Re:Mission 1: (0, Redundant)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199355)

Mission1: Find Sarah Connor.

Mission 2: find my keys
Mission 3: goto work.. er i mean profit!!

....so now we have.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199171)

Robot feces?

Re:....so now we have.... (3, Funny)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199460)

> Robot feces?

You obviously don't work in marketing. It's called iPoop®.

A new toy for A-lifers (0, Redundant)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199174)

Now when some AI hacker can gives it enough brains to catch it's own flies, it'll be time to welcome our new robot-sparrow overlords...

I for one welcome our new sentient robot masters. (0, Redundant)

GodBlessTexas (737029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199175)

This is both fascinating and frightening. Imagine the possibilities! Though the prospect of nanoparasites is somewhat frightening.

THE TERMINATOR ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199178)

In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created 'THE TERMINATOR'

Step 2 (3, Interesting)

Karpe (1147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199182)

Make this little robot build copies of itself, from raw materials it collets.

Re:Step 3 (3, Interesting)

JDevers (83155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199207)

Give robot the ability to manipulate it's offspring's hardware.

Re:Step 4 (1)

jusdisgi (617863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199247)

PROFIT!!!!

Step 5 (2, Funny)

JDevers (83155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199306)

Watch as money gets worthless as tiny robots take over all niches on planet and eventually build a slave race of flies and fruit trees.

Brings a whole new meaning to "Lord of the Flies"...

Re:Step 5 (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199417)

And all humans are encased in little containers filled with pink embryonic goo so they can harvest the energy from their bodies. Then Neo can come and save us.

Re:Step 5 (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199327)

???

(Had to be said)

Re:Step 4 (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199291)

Get sued by Michael Crichton for stealing his idea. ;)

Robotic incest? (1)

Serious Simon (701084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199314)

Give robot the ability to manipulate it's offspring's hardware.

...

Re:Robotic incest? (1)

JDevers (83155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199335)

Mexican border town geek sex shows ;)

Step 4 (1)

WolfgangVonEstevez (810007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199246)

Initiate spell check.

huh? (1, Insightful)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199183)

i don't get it...i read the article, and it says:
By "digesting" its own fuel, the aircraft could become autonomous and operate without the need for refuelling, changing batteries or recharging from the mains.
and
Like insects and birds, it is just possible that such micro aircraft might one day even be able to feed themselves. Researchers at the University of the West of England are creating a new breed of autonomous robot that will carry out specific tasks and even "feed" themselves while working.
how is not refuling possible...unless they're inventing some sort of perpetual motion machine (which would seem to violate some laws of thermodynamics), how could it not need refueling?...even if your fuel is only dead insects and apples, you would still need a constant supply of them...am i missing something here?


reminds me of a great simpsons quote though... "In this house we obey the laws of Thermodynamics." -- Homer (Simpson)

Re:huh? (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199230)

It's just bad grammar. They mean you won't have to put gasoline or other common fuels in it. It uses plants and animal digestion as a fuel. Shouldn't that be obvious?

-Jesse

Re:huh? (1)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199250)

no...because if your "fuel" is apples, then the you still need to sop occasionally an "re-feul" by loading up on some more apples...how is that autonomous?

Re:huh? (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199280)

You posted it yourself in the quoted article text. Eventually it will gather its own apples and dead flies to refuel itself; hence autonomous.

-Jesse

Re:huh? (1)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199310)

ah, ok, i was a little confused...i was picturing humar interaction to "feed" the robot with the apples/flies...i get it (a little better) now...

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199282)

The idea is that the robot might eventually be able to find such fuel on it's own.

Re:huh? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199295)

If the unit which needs the fuel does the stopping and loading up, that unit is autonomous.

Re:huh? (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199256)

how is not refuling possible...unless they're inventing some sort of perpetual motion machine (which would seem to violate some laws of thermodynamics), how could it not need refueling?...even if your fuel is only dead insects and apples, you would still need a constant supply of them...am i missing something here?

Nope, as far as I can see, you're not missing a thing. The robot uses dead insects and apples as fuel to propel itself. A constant supply is required. Thus there is no perpetual motion. I beleive the "not refuelling" part just means that there will be no human intervention required in the supply of the fuel, not that the robot will not require any fuel at all.

Re:huh? (1)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199271)

i guess i can buy that...so, we're saying that the autonomous vehicle will be able to suck an ample supply of flies from the air, or it will go raid some farmer's apple orchard...got it...

Re:huh? (3, Interesting)

JDevers (83155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199274)

A better wording would be "become autonomous, in other words not need external assistance in refuelling"

Re:huh? (1)

fatmonkeyboy (257833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199340)

Given the context of the article, when they say "without the need for refuelling" they are referring to manual fueling by a cooperative human.

Your comment about perpetual motion machines misses the point entirely. New energy is added to the system from apples and dead insects.

The plan is for the robot to be autonomous so, among other things, it will be able to find fuel sources on its own and extract energy from them without human intervention.

Re:huh? (2, Funny)

SammysIsland (705274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199379)

I have a better idea... Just create a robot that finds a gas station (much more convenient than flies) and refuels itself there.

The robot could even go out and get a job so it can pay for the gas.

Damn lazy robots!!

but does this mean (5, Funny)

ministerofsickeningr (524980) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199190)

that i can swat it if it comes after:

A. the apples i am attempting to eat at my picnic.
B. the flies at my picnic.
C. violation of airspace?

Re:but does this mean (1)

Nemesis099 (60955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199324)

B. the flies at my picnic.

Why would you swat at it when it is catching flies. I would see this as a great invention to rid a house of the inescts that infest a house.

Re:but does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199416)

... and when they themselves become pests, we bring in the mechanical flies that eat other mechanical flies to take care of the problem.

Is that really easier? (1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199199)

Couldn't a spybot just land on a powerline and get power from induction? Or how about eating something that doesn't move around as much as a fly, like grass or tree sap? Better yet, why stop to power up at all--just use direct solar energy either photovoltaicly or by embedding chloroplasts directly in the vehicle.

Re: Is that really easier? (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199252)


> Couldn't a spybot just land on a powerline and get power from induction?

Alas, Hume demonstrated induction isn't reliable.

Re:Is that really easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199303)

Last I looked all the dead flies don't move. Where do you find dead flies that are animated?

Ah (0)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199362)

I thought they meant pre-deceased dead flies. As in, the bot would kill them.

If the mission depends on the target being a sloppy housekeeper, then that's totally different. Maybe for version 2.0 they could program their spybot to sense when the fridge is being opened and dart in there to feed on mold growing on the bottom.

Waitor! (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199203)

There's a dead tiny-fly-eating-aircraft in my soup!

article text in case of slashdotting (0, Redundant)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199205)

Aircraft the size of bees that get the energy they need by feeding themselves a diet of dead flies could be buzzing around the battlefields and motorways of the future, thanks to research in southwest England.

The aircraft, up to 15cm long and equipped with sensors and cameras, could have a number of uses in civilian life and modern warfare, including reconnaissance missions, traffic monitoring or fire and rescue operations.

By "digesting" its own fuel, the aircraft could become autonomous and operate without the need for refuelling, changing batteries or recharging from the mains.

The research is being carried out by scientists from the University of Bath and the University of the West of England who are working on different aspects of the technologies involved.

The University of Bath researchers are studying the complex aerodynamics needed to fly very small unmanned aircraft. The smaller an aircraft is made, the slower is its speed and the more it is vulnerable to high winds. This means that existing micro air vehicles can only fly for short periods at low speed and are too large to carry out fine manoeuvres.

But the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath is now carrying out five research projects over the next two years to find ways of overcoming these problems.

One approach they are working on is to get the micro air vehicles to flap their wings in a similar way to insects such as bees, flies or birds. By studying animals' motion, the researchers hope to match the efficiency of nature and keep smaller aeroplanes in the sky for long enough to carry out their tasks.

Professor Ismet Gursul from the University of Bath's Department of Mechanical Engineering says, "In general this kind of low speed aerodynamics is not as efficient as high-speed aerodynamics so you could never achieve the same efficiency as you would get for high speed civil transport aircraft.

"Insects and birds are as efficient as they could be, so we look at how they are doing this and try to imitate their flapping mechanisms"

Like insects and birds, it is just possible that such micro aircraft might one day even be able to feed themselves. Researchers at the University of the West of England are creating a new breed of autonomous robot that will carry out specific tasks and even "feed" themselves while working.

The research team have built a robot which can move and transmit sensor data over a radio link (over 30m inside the lab) powered solely by unrefined food including dead flies and apples.

The robot, known as Ecobot II, uses a Microbial Fuel Cell as its only power source. In the Microbial Fuel Cell microbes are used to extract electricity directly from food - in this case flies or apple.

Professor Chris Melhuish, Director of the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Laboratory at the University of the West of England, says, "We are interested in developing robots that are intelligent and autonomous which means they do the right thing at the right time and without human intervention. One of the big problems with autonomy is that of energy; they have to get their energy from somewhere.

"To do this they need to get energy from their environment which could include sunlight or water, but in our case it is organic matter".

The 1kg Ecobot doesn't move at any significant rate, about 30 metres per hour, but its ability to power itself by digesting its fuel is a major advance in the way such units have been designed so far.

Insect-sized aircraft could be possible in the future, says Professor Melhuish, "The biological fuel cell would have to be made into a soft system which might, in the future, be able to do some sort of movement at a small level, a small insect level."

Source: University of the West of England

My Windows box... (0, Offtopic)

kaleco (801384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199220)

Drains my soul. That's in addition to the power supply though, so I guess it doesn't count.

I took the wrong one! (1)

Mr. BS (788514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199233)



DAMN!! I knew I should have taken the blue pill!! [arrod.co.uk]

the 15th Commandment. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199241)

This is the 15th Commandment that Mosas dropped.

Thou shall not make Flesh Eating Robots!

Re:the 15th Commandment. (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199300)

No surprise - those stone tablets probably were too heavy for him to start with...

Is it just me whose nervous? (2, Funny)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199249)

That is nervous about this?

Could you imagine flying on it and getting close to no fuel? Suddenly the pilot tells everyone, "we are looking for large patches of flies in the air to maintain the flight course, but we have no fuel left." Then boom, you crash land in an apple farm only to have the plain eat them before you do, even though it is unable to fly?

Damn tricky plains.

Re:Is it just me whose nervous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199309)

Dear PickyH3D,

Plains. [reference.com]

Planes. [reference.com]

Love,

The Grammar Police

Re:Is it just me whose nervous? (1)

BorgHunter (685876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199442)

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane?

A Logical Extension... (1)

imag0 (605684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199251)

"...microbes are used to extract electricity directly from food - in this case flies or apple."

If that's the case, when will these cool little bots gain the capability to cut out the middleman and huff shit directly into their little hoppers?

Someone let me know. I got a gift idea for Bosses Day. :D

Not again (0, Redundant)

Njoyda Sauce (211180) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199258)

I for one welcome our insect (eating) overlords.

Self powering robots (1)

saidhthe (687851) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199265)

Don't self powered robots that can EAT humans for power give I, Robot [imdb.com] an extra creepy feel?

neat, but... (2, Funny)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199268)

Does it run Linux?

addendum (2, Funny)

fizban (58094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199275)

... The scientists also mentioned that they had named two of the robots that showed especially good survival characteristics "Architect" and "Oracle."

Said one of the scientiests, "We believe these two will really push the limits of what is possible with carnivorous robotic machines today and will do great things in the future."

robot hunts flies all day, too tired to take pics (1)

johnjay (230559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199283)

I can see it now, the robot spends all it's energy every day hunting flies to sustain itself and can't ever find time to surveil the battlefield.

why bother with messy biomatter at all? (1)

Martel (41139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199290)

surely a tiny aircraft could land on a high tension wire and 'fuel' itself off the magnetic field.
it's been a while since physics201 but the inductance from the magnetic fields already occuring everywhere would be a potential power source.

Re:why bother with messy biomatter at all? (1)

not-my-real-name (193518) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199464)

Yes, but what if you're somewhere without handy powerlines? There are some places in the world that aren't served by the power grid. However, most places have plenty of flies.

Mosquitoes? (2, Insightful)

TigrOoOo (263744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199308)

What's it going to take for this thing to feed on mosquitoes? Live, preferably. And if its possible, where can I get about fifty thousand of these things?

Bloody mosquitoes...

Arrrrghh (1)

jamesjw (213986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199332)

Regular bug spray wont work, Some sort of low level nuke is in order.. EMP in a can anyone?
The moment they make some sorta mechanical killer spider to swallow these flies I'm getting off this rock.

*Looks around the room with great paranoia, theyre here - with their wee robot brains and their beedie robot eyes!!!*

-- Jim.

apply to larger airplanes (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199342)

just fly a little lower, swarms of birds dissapear into the engines; hey! fruittrees, go lower!!

Porn Fly... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199345)

Just how long until we started getting SPAM for "Tiny Fly with Camera" great for voyeurs and filming porn!

*grin*

coc4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199367)

Aircraft?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199374)

Ok, I've read the article 2x, and read the other posts, but i'm not seeing any aircraft. Seems the current stage of the technology is a 1kg Ecobot that achieves an astounding 30m/hr - is that fast enough for takeoff?

Total Perspective Vortex? (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199384)

So if the food were say... a piece of fairy cake, would it show you your place in the universe?

Old Glory Insurance (1)

bigbooger (795064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199387)


It won't be long before we all need this [robotcombat.com] .

"And when they grab you with those metal claws, you can't break free.. because they're made of metal, and robots are strong."

Wrong tense! (5, Informative)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199391)

Tiny Aircraft Feeds Itself With Dead Flies

More correctly, possibly a future robot or robotic aircraft might one day feed itself with dead flies, according to the article.

An actual working model that's capable of flight looks to be well in the future. However, another(?) group in England is working on a someone similar design that'll eat garden slugs [wired.com] . That seems far more workable...

And then we darken the sky... (1)

Isao (153092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199392)

"To do this they need to get energy from their environment which could include sunlight or water, but in our case it is organic matter".

... Turning a human being ... into this (holds up a battery).

Prepare to be harvested.

Make sure that you are insured... (1)

nearlygod (641860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199395)

Old Lady #1: When my ex-husband passed away, the insurance company said his policy didn't cover him.

Old Lady #2: They didn't have enough money for the funeral.

Old Lady #3: It's so hard nowadays, with all the gangs and rap music..

Old Lady #1: What about the robots?

Old Lady #4: Oh, they're everywhere!

Old Lady #1: I don't even know why the scientists make them.

Old Lady #2: Darren and I have a policy with Old Glory Insurance, in case we're attacked by robots.

Old Lady #1: An insurance policy with a robot plan? Certainly, I'm too old.

Old Lady #2: Old Glory covers anyone over the age of 50 against robot attack, regardless of current health.

Sam Waterson: I'm Sam Waterston, of the popular TV series "Law & Order". As a senior citizen, you're probably aware of the threat robots pose. Robots are everywhere, and they eat old people's medicine for fuel. Well, now there's a company that offers coverage against the unfortunate event of robot attack, with Old Glory Insurance. Old Glory will cover you with no health check-up or age consideration. You need to feel safe. And that's harder and harder to do nowadays, because robots may strike at any time.

And when they grab you with those metal claws, you can't break free.. because they're made of metal, and robots are strong. Now, for only $4 a month, you can achieve peace of mind in a world full of grime and robots, with Old Glory Insurance. So, don't cower under your afghan any longer. Make a choice. Old Glory Insurance. For when the metal ones decide to come for you - and they will.

I'm still waiting. (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199438)

What I want is a remote controlled tiny dude with a tiny samurai sword who I could command to infiltrate the evil queen ant's lair. That bitch. I think it would be fun. Although really, a remote controlled aircraft that would be able to eat the bugs after you killed them would be fun too.

Imagine how great it would be if instead of buying kids video games you bought them a tiny war machine that they could go kill cockroaches with. That would be fscking awesome!

Engine Trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11199441)

So let me get this straight; you want me to board an airplane fueled by organic materials? Does this mean in the advent of engine trouble I will not be asked to volunteer (along with a Frenchman, Scot, and Mexican) to bail out in order to save the plane, but I will be fed to the plane instead?

I see interesting applications of this technology in future Itchy and Scratchy episodes.

Disgusting End of Digestion (2, Insightful)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199453)

"...its ability to power itself by digesting its fuel is a major advance..."

They don't explain how the 'back-end' of the digestion process works. Guess they'll need to create even smaller robots with pooper-scoopers.

The sheer genius of it all! (1)

Smilin (840286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11199465)

Yes we should definately spend our time researching future power sources that consume "food" and oxygen then convert it into energy, waste and CO2. Yes that's definately the best idea. We don't have enough of that on this planet. Real robots should be like real men. They should eat meat and burp.

Making something that consumes waste, CO2, and sunlight then converts it into oxygen and energy is a stupid idea. Only idiots would take this approach. Solar cells are for tree huggers and commies.
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