IT Trends: Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot Converts Biomass Sources into Electrical Energy

Printable batteries; thermal scanners search for flu sufferers in airports.

by / October 1, 2009

Green Machine

Rumors of a flesh-eating military robot recently swept the Internet. But the makers of the device - known as the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, or EATR - say it's strictly vegetarian. EATR is designed to perform long-range and long-endurance missions without the need for manual refueling or using conventional energy sources. The robot converts biomass sources, such as vegetation and paper, into electrical energy to power itself, according to Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. and Robotic Technology Inc. The project is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.



Watch Video: Are there flesh eating robots? Running "a little hot under the collar" at the airport? It may get you detained. New batteries you must see to believe.

High-Tech Cities

The Milken Institute, an independent economic think thank, recently updated its study of North America's pre-eminent, high-tech metropolitan areas in America's High-Tech Economy: Growth, Development and Risks for Metropolitan Areas. The top 10 rankings are:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
2. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
3. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.
4. Washington, D.C.-Arlington, Va.-Alexandria, Va.
5. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.
6. Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
7. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.
8. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.
9. New York City-White Plains, N.Y.-Wayne, N.J.
10. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.

Featherweight Powerhouse

A new German-designed printable battery can be used to power disposable receipts and cards. The batteries are printed through a silk-screen process. They are much lighter than the average battery - weighing 1 gram - are less than 1 mm thick, and run at 1.5 volts. The battery is also environmentally friendly because they don't contain mercury. - LiveScience

Flu Finders

Saudi Arabia and some Asian countries have begun using infrared thermal scanners in airports to spot travelers who may have a fever, according to The Independent and National Public Radio. The move is among the latest responses to the swine flu outbreak - a.k.a. the H1N1 virus - which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Air travelers who have flu-like symptoms could be questioned or quarantined by security officials.



Karen Stewartson

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.