PETMAN stress-tests clothes for hazardous environments (w/ video)

Apr 07, 2013 by Nancy Owano report

(Phys.org) —PETMAN, the anthropomorphic, arm-pumping, walker who can step off the treadmill long enough to do some morning pushups, is a remarkable member of Boston Dynamic's stable of robots. PETMAN is remarkable in its humanlike range of movements, a visually entertaining match for the likes of Big Dog and Cheetah. Visual entertainment, however, is not the top agenda item for Boston Dynamics, with a number of projects that get funding support from the Department of Defense and which deliver functional goals. This time around, PETMAN is impressing viewers with this month's released video of the latest and greatest performance, dressed in a hazmat suit and gas mask.

PETMAN (which stands for Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin), is a Boston Dynamics specifically designed to test out the performance of protective clothing for use in hazardous environments.

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In the video, PETMAN shows its worth as a test-body for a chemical protection suit and gas mask. Sensors embedded in PETMAN's "skin" can detect chemicals leaking through the suit. PETMAN's movements in this dress can help determine if the hazmat suit is adequately efficient in staying airtight in toxic environments. The PETMAN team provided this robot with a "micro-climate" inside the clothing.

As the video indicates, a bending, flexing, turning-side to side, and walking PETMAN represents an advanced robot with human-like, agile movements that impressively simulate how a person would move with protective clothing worn under real-life, dangerous conditions.

Adding to the robotics expertise of are other partners in development efforts. They include MRIGlobal, Measurement Technology Northwest, Smith Carter, CUH2A, and HHI.

The PETMAN robot has funding from the Department of Defense CBD program, which stands for Chemical and Biological Defense. The (CBD) program was established by the Department of Defense (DoD) is to provide capabilities for the military forces to carry out missions in chemical and biological warfare environments.

Explore further: Robots recognize humans in disaster environments

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User comments : 6

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Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2013
It still doesn't walk right.

This one does: http://www.youtub...kgx4Qxd8
Shakescene21
not rated yet Apr 08, 2013
Very impressive. The robo soldier is not far away. This robot is supposedly designed to test chemically-protective clothing for human soldiers, but robot soldiers probably would not need protection from nerve gas.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2013
The reason why you won't see this thing in the field is because a pound of fat has the equivalent energy of six regular car batteries.

The robot cannot lift the amount of batteries it would take for a human soldier to operate for one day, and the robot is less efficient than a man because it still uses the wrong gait to walk.
trekgeek1
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2013
The reason why you won't see this thing in the field is because a pound of fat has the equivalent energy of six regular car batteries.

The robot cannot lift the amount of batteries it would take for a human soldier to operate for one day, and the robot is less efficient than a man because it still uses the wrong gait to walk.


The reason you will see those things in the field is because they can be built to lift 500 pounds over their heads; something a human couldn't do no matter how much energy they had hanging around their midsections. Different weapon platforms for different tasks. Now, I'll continue my study of this robot in my nightmares.
tkjtkj
not rated yet Apr 11, 2013
Anyone suggesting this robot would be used to 'test clothing' ... well .. tell me who that person is: i've got this bridge to sell ...
TheTruth
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2013
Correction. The reason why it will fail in the field...

"The reason why you won't see this thing in the field is because a pound of fat has the equivalent energy of six regular car batteries." - Eikka

Is it possible to underestimate Military Stupidity?