Video: Adult-sized robot mimics the motions of human soldiers

The last time we saw PETMAN, it was little more than a pair of wobbly legs. Now it's a full body (complete with a bright red light bulb head) that can run, juke, twist and turn, and even bang out some push-ups. It's designed to move just like a human soldier, but not so that it can fight wars. Rather, it's so that it can save lives.

Created by Boston Dynamics, a company you probably already know and love (and fear) for its amazing quadrupedal 'bots, the PETMAN isn't going to be fitted out with miniguns and rocket launchers and stabby bits. Instead, it needs its approximate human form and motions so that it can test out clothing for the military. That's right, engineers are using this expensive piece of hardware to play dress up. Namely, chemical suits that could protect military personnel from attacks your average uniform wouldn't.

The robot, which Boston Dynamics will deliver to the military sometime next year, is designed to be a 50th percentile male (or an average North American man): it's nearly six feet tall, weighs 180 pounds, and is able to simulate sweating, respiring and changes in body temperature.

Apparently, it's also going to get a head, too, according to IEEE Spectrum:

Will it have a head? "We were a bit late getting the articulated neck mechanism working," [Marc Raibert, the founder and president of Boston Dynamics,] says, "but it is coming along, and a head along with it."

Check out PETMAN in the video below. And yes, those Terminator vibes you're feeling are being felt all across the Internet.


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