EATR's engine officially complete, and this robot's one step closer to reality

Laura June Dziuban
L. Dziuban|03.30.10

Sponsored Links

EATR's engine officially complete, and this robot's one step closer to reality
If you're anything like us, you've probably been keeping pretty close tabs on EATR, the biomass-to-power robot that's been making people nervous for some time now. Well, EATR's engine -- which is being built by Cyclone Power Technologies -- is complete, and the drone is now one giant leap closer to living in actual reality with us. The completed steam engine, called WHE, is a six-cylinder external heat engine which can generate up to 18 horsepower of mechanical power. As previously clarified by EATR's makers (a project that's getting help from the University of Maryland and DARPA), the robot will not feed on things like animals... or humans. No, this is no zombified drone -- EATR will harvest only plant matter for energy -- which, if you ask us, makes the whole thing much more mundane. Regardless, we'll be keeping our eyes on this project as it moves forward. The full press release is after the break.
Show full PR text
Cyclone Power Technologies Delivers Biomass-to-Power System to Robotic Technology

POMPANO BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. (Pink Sheets:CYPW) has successfully completed its biomass-to-power engine system for Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) under its Statement of Work, and has delivered the renewable power system to the University of Maryland to be coupled with RTI's autonomous robotic platform.

"We believe these lessons will serve us well as we continue along the path of commercializing our technology."

Cyclone's prototype biomass-to-power generator is a self-contained, compact system that utilizes the company's award-winning waste heat engine (WHE) to produce power from plant-based biomass combustion. RTI is currently developing the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR), under a Phase II SBIR project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. The EATR's ultimate mission includes long range military reconnaissance without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling.

"We are very pleased with the performance of Cyclone's biomass-to-power system, and now look forward to adding it to our intelligent robotic platform in completion of our Phase II contract award from DARPA," stated Dr. Robert Finklestein, President of RTI.

At the heart of Cyclone's current biomass-to-power system for the proof-of-concept EATR is the patent pending WHE, a six-cylinder Rankine cycle external heat engine capable of generating up to 18HP of mechanical power. An attached combustion chamber produces up to 600°F of steam to run the WHE at peak performance. An alternator then converts mechanical energy from the engine into as much as 10kW of usable electricity to power electronics or recharge batteries. A more powerful version of the WHE is expected to be used in future field prototypes of the EATR.

"This was a very meaningful and interesting project for Cyclone, in which we learned a great deal about our waste heat engine and the combustion of renewable vegetative biomass for its fuel source," stated Travis Love, Cyclone's Project Engineer for the WHE system. "We believe these lessons will serve us well as we continue along the path of commercializing our technology."

The robotic system being developed by RTI with Cyclone's portable biomass-to-power plant has numerous potential commercial applications outside military purposes, such as in border patrol, agriculture, forestry, natural disaster clean-up and recovery, and power generation in industrial or large-scale farming and logging settings. To view Cyclone's biomass-to-power engine system, visit:


Cyclone Power Technologies is the developer of the award-winning Cyclone Engine – an eco-friendly external combustion engine with the power and versatility to run everything from portable electric generators and garden equipment to cars, trucks and locomotives. Invented by company founder and CEO Harry Schoell, the patented Cyclone Engine is a modern steam engine, ingeniously designed to achieve high thermal efficiencies through a compact heat-regenerative process, and to run on virtually any fuel - including bio-diesels, syngas or solar - while emitting fewer greenhouse gases and irritating pollutants into the air. Currently in its late stages of development, the Cyclone Engine was recognized by Popular Science Magazine as the Invention of the Year for 2008, and was presented with the Society of Automotive Engineers' AEI Tech Award in 2006 and 2008. Additionally, Cyclone was recently named Environmental Business of the Year by the Broward County Environmental Protection Department. For more information, visit

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this news release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Rule 175 under the Securities Act of 1933 and Rule 3b-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and are subject to the safe harbor created by those rules. All statements, other than statements of fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential future plans and objectives of the company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The company cautions that these forward-looking statements are further qualified by other factors. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget