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Boston clinches spot as Horrible Robot Capital of the World


Boston Dynamics' PETMAN [via Universal Hub]

Looks like we drafted our "Creepiest Robots of All Time" list too soon. As if Waltham-based Boston Dynamics hadn't already visited enough futuristic dread upon the world in the form of its unfuckwithable four-legged pack mule Big Dog (whose cicada-like mechanical whine forever haunts our dreams), here's the company's latest robo-horror.

Meet prototype PETMAN, "an anthropomorphic robot for testing chemical protection clothing used by the US Army" and supposedly "the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person." Thanks to uncanny balance and bipedal motion, PETMAN is designed to stress-test military battle suits by simulating the rigors of combat -- and perhaps even "human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating."

Guys, when we start making robots that can break into a sweat, it's pretty much Singularity time.

PETMAN vital stats: Resists toppling when pushed. Boasts realistic heel-toe stride. Walks 3.2 MPH. Harbors no unslakable desire to stomp all humans into a gooey pink meat slurry -- not yet, anyway. After all, it's still just a prototype.
 

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