When a person is placed inside the device, they are severely battered by the machine, slowly beating the subject to death. The moment the subject's skull cracks is particularly savored by the Wraith. (SGA: "Wraithfall 2")
In 2004, in an experimental laboratory on Vohl, the Battering device was used on a Karran Honored One. By the time Lieutenant Aiden Ford and Teyla Emmagan arrived to rescue Major John Sheppard, the man who was in the device was already gone.