Petman robot rocks gas mask, chemical suit

You wouldn't want to meet this camouflaged humanoid in a dark alley. For the time being, it's tethered to a treadmill.

Superman: Petman flexes its muscles in its new threads. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

If the apparel oft proclaims the man, as Polonius said in "Hamlet," then the camo suit proclaims the robot.

Boston Dynamics is showing off new duds for its Petman humanoid robot platform, and it looks rather badass.

Petman is a walking, squatting, flexing hazmat suit testing machine . It's designed to stand up to chemical warfare agents.

With nothing on, it looks like The Terminator. But when it's wearing this camouflage chemical suit and gas mask, you could mistake it for a real soldier.

Well, except for the tethers to its treadmill, as seen in the rather disconcerting video below. I for one am glad it's still tied up.

Funded by the Department of Defense's Chemical and Biological Defense program, Petman has sensors under its protective suit that detect the presence of any harmful materials that leak through the garment.

It also "simulates human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity, and sweating, all to provide realistic test conditions," according to Boston Dynamics.

No, it can't fire an M16 rifle. But what would you say if you saw a platoon of these coming out of the woods with a Boston Dynamics BigDog robot trotting alongside?

I hope I don't dream that tonight.


 

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