Posts Tagged ‘green’

maars_robot_large It’s real! It’s also one of the coolest things I heard all week. A steam powered, organic bio-mass eating, military robot. It’s steampunk (which is very IN right now), it’s robot (also in) and it can eat humans! (zombies also in) which all add up to make it the coolest robot around. ( I know technically it’s not a zombie, because how can a machine be un-dead, but still. It can EAT people!)

The EATR (Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot) will be an autonomous robotic platform that forages for fuel by ingesting bio-mass, be it grass, wood, or dead soldiers on the battlefield. Put a laser, a tactical shotgun, and a self-aware military computer network on that bad boy and we got our first generation of Terminators. Whah hoo!

Update: Alright, I can see this is going to be a popular post so maybe I should do some actual homework and make it good. The EATR was design by Robotic Technology Inc. (future site of mainframe computer that enslaves humanity). It uses an award winning Cyclone engine to create power by burning biomass and using the steam to power pistons to convert that energy into electricity to charge its batteries. A complete overview is available here.

In order to assuage public concern, the CEO of Cyclone had this to say:

“We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO. “We are focused on demonstrating that our engines can create usable, green power from plentiful, renewable plant matter. The commercial applications alone for this earth-friendly energy solution are enormous.”

Righhhhht. “Green Power” Well you know what Soilent Green was? Huh? Do ya? It was people!!! Of course the CEO won’t give away their plans for world domination and subjugation of the human species. He may already be a cyborg. Maybe even THE cyborg that will rule us all with a titanium fist.

In all seriousness though, I’m glad that the military is looking at alternatives for fueling their war machine. The artificial intelligence aspect of the EATR looks promising as well. While I can see this working out in the field, I can’t imagine that all of our cars will be powered this way. Then we won’t have any forests left.

RobotEating

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img_16731As you can see by my latest utility bill, my decision to replace our 83 year old gravity-fed, 200,000 BTU, – 50% efficient, Octopus furnace with a new 95% efficient one is already paying off.

Just look at January 08 and January 09. Our daily average was 54% better than last year. Compare 230 therms to 115. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the result. The new exterior insulation we had blown-in also contributed to our energy saving. With that project alone, we reduce our carbon foorprint by 14,000 pounds. And who says being Green doesn’t pay off?

This is a list from “The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices”

Priority Actions for American Consumers

Transportation:

1. Choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive.

2. Think twice before purchasing another car.

3. Choose a fuel-efficient, low polluting car.

4. Set concrete goals for reducing your travel.

5. Whenever practical, walk, bicycle, or take public transportation.

Food:

6. Eat less meat.

7. Buy certified organic produce.

Household Operations:

8. Choose your home carefully. (smaller, not in newly cleared development)

9. Reduce the environmental costs of heating and hot water.

10. Install efficient lighting and appliances.

11. Choose an electricity supplier offering renewable energy.

If we choose to do even a few of these things, we will have a big impact. I was encouraged when I read this list because I do all of them! (more…)

Living Green

Posted: August 14, 2008 in environment
Tags: , , , ,

I have been trying to live a more “green” lifestyle. I ride my bicycle to work (only 2 miles so about 12 minutes) I installed a 95% efficient furnace, and also got a new washer, dryer, and fridge which are all highly rated with energy star. We compost and only clean with natural products. I even go so far as to shave with a straight razor because there are no replacement blades. (although sometimes when I am lazy I use an old safety razor that has double edge razor blades. But those are 10 cents each, not 4 dollars each like mach 3 or fusion blades are. There are many other ways we save as well. Here are a few: (more…)