1. nick says

    Petman is simply a robot that sweats and moves in order to test NBC* suits to see if they can hold up to wear. Petman is not designed to work without supporting cables, external power supply etc, he’s basically confined to a treadmill at all times.

    *Nuclear, Biological, Chemical

  2. Bill says

    @adam: regarding “do we, as humanity, really need this?”, the answer is obvious. If you want to do a realistic test of protective clothing, which includes making sure it doesn’t leak as the person wearing it gets into various positions or walks or runs, should the test be done with a machine like “petman” or would you like to volunteer to be a test subject? You know, to make sure the suit really will protect you when exposed to some nerve gas.

    Whether, given substantial technical advances, they’d try to turn these things into walking robots to replace soldiers is anyone’s guess, but
    keep in mind that if designing a robotic soldier from scratch, making it have the same shape as a person might not be even close to optimal.

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