Friday, September 17, 2004

Natural selection is so passe

Natural selection is so passe

From MSNBC & Reuters comes this:

British scientists are developing a robot that will generate its own power by eating flies.

The idea is to produce electricity by catching flies and digesting them in special fuel cells that will break down sugar in the insects' skeletons and release electrons that will drive an electric current.

This is robot is intended ot be a

"Called EcoBot II, the robot is part of a drive to make "release and forget" robots that can be sent into dangerous or inhospitable areas to carry our remote industrial or military monitoring of, say, temperature or toxic gas concentrations," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

Now, this sounds cool, but is not this a bit dangerous? Not to get all sci-fi channel on my readers, but are not implications of self-sustaining automata well-documented by now? And what about the ecology... These robots are not going to have natural predators, so what is to stop them from switching to other things that contain sugar... Like fruits. Could they eat all the flies and then switch to fruits and small children? Will their predatory attacks end with a mess of rotting fly meat and fuel cell fluid on my kitchen wall?

I just do not know if we are ready for fly-eating robots.


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