There are a lot of reasons that scientists are working to create robots that look and act more like humans. I’m not talking about the sort of helpful companion robots as seen in I, Robot. Rather, this PETMAN, which has been in development for the last two and a half years, is meant to test out clothing.
Now a clothing-testing robot may sound like a huge waste of money, but there’s a little more to it. The clothes being tested are meant to be worn by soldiers, and thus need to be tested in a variety of situations, some of which could not be accomplished with a living person. This includes being exposed to chemical warfare agents. The really interesting thing is that this bot doesn’t just walk and crawl like a real human. It also adjusts body temperatures and humidity, just like a human’s body would under the same circumstances. When appropriate, it will even begin sweating, so as to test sweat’s effect on the clothing. It makes you wonder how much longer it will be before we start seeing robots that completely mimic the physical characteristics and movements of people.