The fueling unit designed to help a military robot eat its way across a battlefield has completed its first round of tests.
The Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robotic (EATR) is designed to be able to operate without the limitations of most battery operated robots. EATR includes a steam generator that can use almost any combustible fuel to generate electricity and recharge its own batteries.
In the first phase, power-systems subcontractor Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. (Pink Sheets:CYPW)
attached a compact steam-powered generator to a biomass furnace and produced enough steam to fuel the 16HP Waste Heat Engine (WHE) that will eventually power the robot.
Completing that step earned a $50,000 development payment from prime contractor Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI
), of Potomac, Md. The project is being funded by a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
In the next phase, Cyclone will attach the WHE to the furnace and steam generator to test the unit’s ability to generate enough electricity to recharge the robot’s batteries.