The folk at Boston Dynamics – they of BigDog fame – are at it again, this time with a 2 legged robot prototype called PetMan. It’s still spooky tech, only now it’s a biped in action, strolling around like it’s a Sunday morning in Manhattan [scary video]. For some strange reason the boffins have built the thing to test chemical clothing (hence the sweating stuff) rather than accomplish some worthy task, but we’ll wait and see how the thing eventually turns out when it’s released into the wild. Where’s John Connor when you need him, eh?
PETMAN is an anthropomorphic robot for testing chemical protection clothing used by the US Army. Unlike previous suit testers, which had to be supported mechanically and had a limited repertoire of motion, PETMAN will balance itself and move freely; walking, crawling and doing a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics during exposure to chemical warfare agents. PETMAN will also simulate human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating when necessary, all to provide realistic test conditions.