Boston Dynamics has been wowing the robotics community for years with designs like the BigDOg, Cheetah and RiSE robots. Recently the company shocked observers by delivering one of its “anthropomorphic” PETMAN robots to the military where tests are underway to validate using the robot in developing HAZMAT suits.
Dressed in full camouflage and a gasmask, it’s hard not to think of the six-foot tall, 180 lb PETMAN as anything short of an early model terminator. For now the military has made it clear that the robot will be used as a test bed for its Defense Department's Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) program and its sole use will be “to test the special clothing used by soldiers for protection against chemical warfare agents.”
Will the PETMAN eventually evolve into a full on robotic warrior? I’ve no idea, but from the looks of it that future is a lot closer that I imagined.
Watch a Video of the PETMAN in Action:
Images Courtesy of Boston Dynamics