PETMAN: a humanoid robot so real it's spooky

Latest video from Boston Dynamics would make Arnold proud

Whether the Halloween timing is coincidental or not, this robot's latest video release from Boston Dynamics is evoking comparisons to The Terminator.

Watch PETMAN in action:

Here's how robotics maker Boston Dynamics describes PETMAN on YouTube:

PETMAN is an anthropomorphic robot developed by Boston Dynamics for testing special clothing used by the US Army. PETMAN balances itself as it walks, squats and does simple calisthenics. PETMAN simulates human physiology by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating inside the clothing to provide realistic test conditions. PETMAN development is led by Boston Dynamics, working in partnership with Measurement Technologies Northwest, Oak Ridge National Lab and MRI Global. The work is being done for the US Army PD-CCAT-TI.

PETMAN stands for Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin.

Among the comments already left on the video:

It's smart to let it test uniforms. Because realistically it wouldn't be combat-ready for decades. You need some ways to justify funding for the short term, as the bean counters hate long-term investments.

It doesn't need to LOOK human, it ACTS so human that it's uncanny. And does anybody else think that "testing uniforms" is just a cover for what it's actually for?

Dear Boston Dynamics, please put a terrifying skull head on the top. Thank you. My Nightmares.

Boston Dynamics had previously released a video showing PETMAN without the shoulders, arms and chest that give it that additional wow factor. From an article in the Boston Globe:

PETMAN has been through preliminary tests in preparation for use next year as part of an anti-chemical-warfare program developed by the Pentagon. Because it can walk, turn, and twist like a person, PETMAN will serve as a stand-in for humans when it is doused with noxious chemicals in tests.

"The PETMAN robot will enable a kind of lifelike testing of protective clothing that the [Pentagon] has long sought and never had,'' said Dr. Robert Playter, vice president of engineering at Boston Dynamics.

PETMAN follows in the robotic footsteps of AlphaDog ...

... and BigDog:

That last video having been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube.

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