PETMAN is an adult-sized humanoid robot developed by Boston Dynamics, the robotics firm best known for the BigDog quadruped. Boston Dynamics is building PETMAN, short for Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin, for the U.S. Army, which plans to use the robot to test chemical suits and other protective gear used by troops. Marc Raibert, the founder and president of Boston Dynamics, tells me that the biggest challenge was to engineer the robot, which uses a hydraulic actuation system, to have the approximate size of a person. PETMAN was one of the robots that most impressed attendees of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in San Francisco last month.
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