Now, this one will leave you gaping with wonder. Taking the magic of science to a whole new level is this proud new recruit in the U.S. army, called the PETMAN. This anthropomorphic robot (simply meaning, a robot possessing human-like characteristics) will test chemical protection clothing for the soldiers in the U.S. army. The catch here is that unlike the earlier suit testers, which the soldiers used, the PETMAN can function smoothly without any human interference. What's crucial here is that soldiers are spared the potential dangers of inhaling harmful chemicals, should a failure happen.
A PETMAN model ..
Now, down to the most interesting bit. What can the PETMAN do? If this post on Boston Dynamics' official site is to be believed then PETMAN is a pathbreaker, as far as robots go. It can walk like humans (check the video, and you'll know!), it can lunge forward and crawl among other movements. The idea behind letting PETMAN test chemical clothing, apart from the above mentioned reason, is that after humans, it's only PETMAN that can stress the suit effectively doing several movements. So, the margin of error goes significantly low.
Interestingly, PETMAN also imitates human physiology well, because of which it can control the temperature once the suit is on, humidity and sweat. In the video it gets quite clear that the movements of the PETMAN appear very natural and it even is even shaped like a human. PETMAN has been designed and built by Boston Dynamics, and assisting them in this venture are Midwest Research Institute (MRI), Measurement Technologies Northwest, Smith Carter CUH2A (SCC), and HHI Corporation.
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