Known for developing the quadruped robots the BigDog and AlphaDog, Boston Dynamics has unveiled a new addition in the form of a biped humanoid robot called the PETMAN. Although still sporting a flashing red light in place of a life-like head, the movement and capabilities of the PETMAN is eerily human-like, walking, squatting, doing push-ups and even resisting efforts to push it off balance. See for yourself in the video after the cut.
The PETMAN was developed by Boston Dynamics for the US Army, but not to be a soldier replacement—at least not yet. Instead, the robot is being marketed with the special purpose of testing chemical protection clothing designed for soldiers. It can move like a real person and do a variety of calisthenics to test the wear and tear on suits. It can even simulate human physiology such as body temperature and sweating.
Ready to be delivered to the US Army this year, the PETMAN took 13 months to design followed by 17 months to build, install and validate. Similar to the SARCOS robot we saw a few months back, the PETMAN is almost completely untethered, able to balance and move on its own. And although it won’t be heading into the field of combat for now, it’s hard not to imagine the possibilities of Terminator-like battles in the future.