Feeds

Boffins' PETMAN robot mimics human gym rats

Does pushups, walks, squats, and sweats

Application security programs and practises

Engineers at Boston Dynamics are showing off its PETMAN robot as it does calisthenics and simulates the actions of everyday soldiers.

The PETMAN robot, which stands for Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin, is capable of walking and running, performing pushups and squat thrusts, and mimics the breathing patterns, heat output, and perspiration put out by a soldier performing similar exercises.

The purpose of the machine is to test the effectiveness of chemical and biological warfare suits, but the company can also see other uses.

"There are all sorts of things robots like PETMAN could be used for. Any place that has been designed for human access, mobility, or manipulation skills,” the company’s vice president of engineering Dr. Robert Playter told IEEE Spectrum.

“Places like the Fukushima reactors could be accessed by PETMAN-like robots, without requiring any human exposure to hazardous materials. Perhaps firefighting inside of buildings or facilities designed for human access, like on board ships designed for human crews."

Currently the robot is a tethered unit, capable of walking at 4.4 miles an hour and going through a range of physical moves – although its pushups look even shakier than a Reg journalist after the summer party. The company is planning to add a human-like head, but is still fine-tuning neck articulation.

Boston Dynamics, a spin-off from MIT, has already been selling the military on its robotics, with the BigDog platform. BigDog is a four legged robot pack animal, capable of hauling luggage for a day, albeit with too much noise to make it an effective combat droid. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.