PETMAN robot learns our chemical weaknesses through environmental suit

first_imgAs time goes on, the robots we build are becoming more advanced, and if Terminator and The Matrix have anything to say about that, we’re traveling down a path where we’ll be responsible for our own destruction. Along with Boston Dynamics’ super creepy BigDog — which can now throw an entire cinder block with ease — the robotics company created PETMAN, which is a human-like robot with the purpose of testing protective clothing on humans.Rather than just throw a bulletproof vest on a mannequin, though, PETMAN walks like a human in order to best simulate how the protective gear will react. Now, Boston Dynamics fitted PETMAN with a protective environmental suit and gas mask in order to — we’re assuming — teach robots what levels of chemicals damage us the most so they can better hunt us in the coming robopocalypse.Obviously, you can’t (or shouldn’t, technically) test out the viability of a gas mask on a human being, and testing out harmful chemicals on animals that a prototype mask might not be able to block isn’t exactly humane. So, testing out the sturdiness of a gas mask on a robot is a safer way to go about trials.The suit being tested is more than something that’ll be able to withstand a splash of a hazardous chemical. The suit can maintain a mini-climate inside itself, which in turn helps the suit regulate temperature for the wearer. PETMAN employs a bevy of sensors, so while a chemical hazardous to humans probably won’t kill a robot if it gets through the suit or the gas mask, the robot can at least detect a level dangerous for a human and report back.The video also shows PETMAN performing a few complicated-for-a-robot maneuvers, such as a movement resembling flexing your muscles, or balancing in the air as if you’re sitting on an invisible chair. So, if robots don’t rise up and use their soon-to-be-extensive knowledge about what chemicals kill us best, they’ll at least be able to perform complicated mime maneuvers.last_img