April 8 - Massachusetts robotics firm Boston Dynamics has moved another step closer to deploying its humanoid robot PETMAN for work as a testing platform for chemical protection clothing. PETMAN is an acronym for Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin, and is designed to mimic a soldier exposed to toxic substances such as sarin and mustard gas. Rob Muir has more.
PETMAN has been designed by Massachusetts company Boston Dynamics, as a testing platform for military chemical protection suits. It can sweat and regulate its own temperature inside the suit just as a human would. Sensors embedded in its skin are designed to detect chemical traces that leak though the fabric. The company says natural agile movement is essential for PETMAN to simulate the stresses prodiced by a soldier on protective clothing under realistic conditions. Its kept upright by a combination of sensors, gyros and computer software allowing it to maintain its balance under a variety of condiitons. Boston Dynamics says its goal is to build "the most advanced robots on Earth." PETMAN is one many in the company's stable that appears to be fulfilling the mission.