When we last saw our pal Petman, the bipedal 'bot was ambling along on a treadmill, without a head. Now, thanks to the war machine's friendly robot's creators at military supplier Boston Dynamics, the T-800-esque creation has some new, combat-ready threads.
While Petman is still far too goofy and clumsy to do any real damage on a battlefield, its creators think Petman's humanoid design could be useful in potentially dangerous situations that our fragile human nervous systems aren't suited for. The company is testing the soldier droid's ability to walk, flex, and bend while wearing a specially outfitted hazmat suit, topped off with a nightmare-inducing gas mask.
This latest initiative is funded by the Department of Defense's Chemical and Biological Defense program. According to CNET, "Petman has sensors under its protective suit that detect the presence of any harmful materials that leak through the garment." The machine's "skin" can also regulate the outfit's interior micro-climate by adjusting things like "sweat" and internal temperature. In other words, adding Old Spice to your post-apocalyptic stockpile might not be such a bad idea.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- This energy source could solve all of our problems — so why is no one talking about it?
- The odds are 11 million to 1 that you'll die in a plane crash
Subscribe to the Week