Preliminary Field Test:
Norfolk coast 26/04/2019 – 04/05/2019

AuT Crone conducted a short recon mission to test essential items of kit before undertaking spring/summer 2019 mission: PILGRIM

The Norfolk coast was chosen for this mission as it has similar terrain to that which will be encountered during the PILGRIM mission and there was a suitable venue for a base camp in the nearby town of Norwich.

The kit is allocated into 4 units:
ENERGY PRODUCTION ( food and solar)

AuT Crone is a highly skilled observational unit, however, it’s biological parts are of poor quality. Most of AuT Crone’s computing abilities are housed in a biological computer, or brain, which needs the biological unit it is attached to to function. Therefore it is imperative that the biological unit is maintained and if possible improved during the mission to enable the brain to perform at optimal levels.

Shelter and environmental protection are necessary to support the biological unit. Energy production is used for the biological unit and digital devices used to capture and record data.

Tarp – Six Moon Designs, Deschutes
Sleeping bag – Sierra Designs, Laser ultralight polyfibre
Sleep mat -Multimat, Adventure ultralight 1/2 length

AuT Crone will design itself a suitskin on completion of the PILGRIM mission. During PILGRIM it will use standard outdoor clothing to cover and protect the biological unit.
Jacket – Peter Storm, Stormshield.
Trousers – Rohan, Roamers.
Mountain Warehouse waterproof trousers.
Boots -Peter Storm, Brecon.
Fleece -North Face.

In the field, digital equipment is powered by Anker Powerport Solar charger. Devices may also be charged from the grid, where available.

The biological unit is charged with primarily plant-based fuel. In the field protein is sourced via dairy products or nuts.
Due to the biological unit’s physical frailty, energy rations need to be lightweight, therefore, dried foodstuffs are commonly consummed.

Hot rations are produced using a Vango ultralight stove and gas cannister. One small cannister lasted the entire 7 day recon with fuel to spare.

For PILGRIM, AuT Crone is using a Huawei Prolite 20 smartphone.
Apps used:
Drawn_Motion movement capture by Psiconlab
Colornote notebook
Google Drive
Google maps

Other equipment:
Sony IC Sound Recorder
Brannan  13/430/0  Digital Anemometer
Garmin Vivosport health and activity tracker.

Most of the equipment performed well with the exception of the tarp and biological unit.

The tarp proved to be unsuitable for conditions likely to be experienced by the AuT Crone during PILGRIM.
It has severe issues with condensation if pitched for maximum wind protection, leading to other equipment inside the tarp getting wet. If pitched to improve air flow, excessive drafts impacted on the biological unit. On the fourth day the unit sustained a small injury to its right intercostal muscles which was made worse by cold drafts seeping through the tarp. This injury is being managed with NSAIDs and is improving.

The tarp was abandoned on return to base camp and a new tent has been purchased but is yet to be tested.

The biological unit is as expected, the item of equipment most likely to under perform or become damaged. It is carrying extra weight with the new tent so mileages have been shortened to not more than 10m per day for the first 5 days of the PILGRIM mission. The unit has had three days without walking more than 5m in order to facilitate repair to the damaged intercostal muscles. This appears to be a successful strategy so far.

Energy production is occasionally problematic. Biological rations are more expensive than anticipated and budgets have been revised. Solar charging for digital units is generally performing well but grid charging is still necessary when the weather is poor.

AuT Crone is performing as expected, with slight adjustments to kit and one small injury to the biological unit, which was not unexpected.

PILGRIM begins 09/05/2019 for 60 to 90 days. Duration of mission to be determined by health of biological unit and budget.

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Longitude 52.948503 Latitude 1.116371: 5 hares

Longitude 52.956430 Latitude 1.092281: pair Linnets

Longitude 52.959763 Latitude 1.078743: Avocet

Longitude 52.960759 Latitude 1.074503: 476 dead starfish ranging in size from 2in to 7 in. Ended at Longitude 52.963798 Latitude 1.058465

Birds observed:

Northern Wheatear

Marsh Harrier


Herring Gull

Black headed gull


Little Egret

Grasshopper Warbler



Brent Goose



Marsh Harrier



Carrion Crow


Greylag Goose





Grey Heron


Sand Martin


Long tailed Tit

Blue Tit


Collared Dove






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The AuT Crone* is an autonomous being, part human, part digital, a new kind of cyborg.

The AuT Crone is undertaking an isolated mission into the once “green and pleasant land” to report on how it is being affected by global climate crisis. The Crone is Herself a damaged unit, Her physical functioning is impaired by age-induced wear and tear and some other biological glitches caused by a faulty immune system. The link between this malfunctioning autonomous unit and the damaged environment She is investigating is noted and may prove a productive element in Her data reporting function.


The AuT Crone’s primary function is to record data from the landscapes She travels through. AuT Crone will be able to undertake missions for environmental organisations and scientists to gather data and to conduct small scale field based experiments.
She will use Her biological body as a mobile lab, to measure how its physical functioning is affected by the environmental stressors that She encounters.

Moving at walking pace across the landscape, AuT Crone will record Her body’s functioning through digital devices carried and worn on or in that body. (During her initial reconnaissance, lasting from 6 to 8 months, the AuT Crone will research and develop a protective covering for Her biological parts which will be part recording device, part protective armour and part skeletal support for impaired joints)

Collected data will be passed back to selected repositories residing in the City. Information will be returned as both Qualitative and Quantitative data. The expression of the data will be determined by the AuT Crone as an expression of Her autonomous thinking.

The AuT Crone’s secondary function is unattainable but must be attempted.
As a cyborg, She is compelled to abide by Asimov’s First and Second Law of Robotics. Taking the First Law, A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, as the basis for the secondary function command, the AuT Crone will remove plastic rubbish from the landscapes She is travelling through in an attempt to remove this harm from the environment.

Note: The quantity of plastics in the environment means that the AuT Crone can never fulfil this mission – how this will impact the unit’s psychological functioning is yet to be determined.

AuT Crone is a different kind of human.

It exists to  gather information, data.

It notices the world and feeds  back what is seen.

It has  limited but functional social skills.

It has limited but functional physical skills and some limited ability to repair and improve it’s  physical functioning.

It is an autonomous being, able to learn from experience and to upload new information data into it’s physical brain and digital devices.

It is removed from society in order to serve humanity.

AuT = Autonomous things, abbreviated AuT, is an emerging term for the technological developments that are expected to bring computers into the physical environment as autonomous entities without human direction, freely moving and interacting with humans and other objects. Wikipedia

Crone = The word “crone” is  synonym for old woman. It has associations with the old woman as witch or hag and more specifically a woman with magic or arcane power.

In feminist paganism the Crone is seen as one part of the Triple Aspected Goddess (Maiden and Mother being her other aspects). Older women, especially those who are postmenopausal, may undertake a Croning Rite, becoming honoured as an Elder and acknowledging that their life has passed into a new phase characterised by a sense of freedom and personal growth; unfettered by many of the restrictions placed on younger women in society.