PETMAN is an anthropomorphic robot for testing chemical protection clothing. Unlike previous suit testers, which had to be supported mechanically and had a limited repertoire of motion, PETMAN will balance itself and move freely; walking, crawling and doing a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics during exposure to chemical warfare agents. PETMAN will also simulate human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating when necessary, all to provide realistic test conditions.
Natural, agile movement is essential for PETMAN to simulate how a soldier stresses protective clothing under realistic conditions. The robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person.
The development program has a 13 month design phase followed by a 17 month build, installation and validation phase, with delivery of the robot taking place in 2011. Boston Dynamics' partners for the program are MRIGlobal, Measurement Technologies Northwest, Smith Carter CUH2A (SCC), and HHI Corporation.