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    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2010 edited
    Purely for experimental purposes, of course.

    A freely walking biped robot the size and shape of a human being is being developed to realistically simulate a soldier wearing protective clothing.

    The robot, PETMAN (from Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin), is being developed by Boston Dynamics for the US Army for testing chemical protection clothing. The anthropomorphic robot will be able to balance itself while walking, crawling, doing calisthenics, and generally moving freely like a human while being exposed to chemical warfare agents.

    At its current stage the robot resembles a box on legs, but in its final form it will closely resemble a person, having “the shape and size of a standard human,” according to VP of Engineering at Boston Dynamics, Robert Playter. When completed, PETMAN will be the first anthropomorphic robot to move dynamically like a real person, Playter said. The army also wanted the robot to simulate physiological responses inside the suit, such as sweating, temperature and humidity control, and even breathing, to even more realistically simulate a soldier wearing a protective suit.

      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2010
    I really, really want to see these things walking down the sidewalk carrying groceries by the time I'm sixty. I love that they stuck tennis shoes on the 'bot, too, though I wonder how/if that affects its performance at all.
  1.  (8140.3)
    This isn't as creepy as Big Dog. It walks like a Bosco cartoon. Maybe they can program it to whistle a gay tune and bob on its knees every 10 steps.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2010
    Loved the discussion in the comments on that page, worth a read. Regarding these things that are interesting but I don't think there are any viable power sources, anyone got a picture of a robot eating pie in the sky?
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2010
    You could run one of those quite easily off standard lead-acid batteries.
  2.  (8140.6)
    @ Brendan McGinley - That was my first thought too. Possible breakthroughs in robotics? Pfeh - a large number of people are only concerned over the creepiness quotient.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2010 edited
    Impressive. Particularly, as with Big Dog, when you see it resist being pushed over. I wonder how far away stair climbing / stepping over obstacles can be? (It may already have been done).
  3.  (8140.8)
    A "cart" that could walk upstairs would be enormously useful - you wouldn't even need it to be able to navigate by itself.

    Offer the delivery companies something that can climb a flight of stairs with someone leading it and they'll buy a million.
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2010
    Holy shit, they actually out-creepified Big Dog.