Cyclone, Robotic Technology EATR project progresses

By Anna Austin
Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. has completed the first stage of a project with Robotic Technology Inc. to develop a beta biomass engine to power its Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR), a vehicle that will be capable of self-obtaining and ingesting biomass to produce energy to power itself.

The $850,000 project is a Small Business Innovation Research effort funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a U.S. Department of Defense research organization.

The partnership with Cyclone was announced at the end of January 2009, and is to consist of two stages. In the first stage, Cyclone successfully coupled its proprietary steam generator with a compact biomass furnace to be used with the prototype EATR, and produced sufficient steam to power Cyclone's six-cylinder, 16 horsepower Waste Heat Engine, according to the company.

The Cyclone engine is capable of running on any fuel, or combination of fuels, including biodiesel and synthesis gas. It was recognized by Popular Science Magazine as the invention of the year for 2008.

During the second stage, Cyclone will work to attach the Waste Heat Engine to the heat source and commence system performance testing with the goal of delivering a complete beta system to Robotic Technology within 90 days.

The completed EATR will contain an autonomous intelligent control system with sensors allowing the vehicle to find and recognize energy sources, manipulate the material with robotic arms, which are equipped with a gripper and a shredder, and divert the biomass into the combustion chamber.

To read more about the EATR project, go to

-Anna Austin