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PETMAN: The DARPA Robot That Looks Human


Petman Tests Camo Clothing for Chemical Protection

Watch for a few seconds.  Imagine this guy knocking at your door to conduct a police manhunt for a suspected terrorist.  Say hello to the future.

Released by Boston Dynamics April 5

The PETMAN robot was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the DoD CBD program. It is used to test the performance of protective clothing designed for hazardous environments.  The video shows initial testing in a chemical protection suit and gas mask. PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit.  The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature.  Partners in developing PETMAN were MRIGlobal, Measurement Technology Northwest, Smith Carter, SRD, CUH2A, and HHI.

Much more from DARPA below.



DARPA's Cheetah Bolts Past the Competition

DARPA's Cheetah robot—already the fastest legged robot in history—just broke its own land speed record of 18 miles per hour (mph). In the process, Cheetah also surpassed another very fast mover: Usain Bolt. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations, Bolt set the world speed record for a human in 2009 when he reached a peak speed of 27.78 mph for a 20-meter split during the 100-meter sprint. Cheetah was recently clocked at 28.3 mph for a 20-meter split. The Cheetah had a slight advantage over Bolt as it ran on a treadmill, the equivalent of a 28.3 mph tail wind, but most of the power Cheetah used was to swing its legs fast enough, not to propel itself forward.

Cheetah is being developed and tested under DARPA's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program by Boston Dynamics. The increase in speed since results were last reported in March 2012 is due to improved control algorithms and a more powerful pump.

DARPA's intent with the Cheetah bot and its other robotics programs is to attempt to understand and engineer into robots certain core capabilities that living organisms have refined over millennia of evolution: efficient locomotion, manipulation of objects and adaptability to environments. By drawing inspiration from nature, DARPA gains technological building blocks that create possibilities for a whole range of robots suited to future Department of Defense missions.

For more on Cheetah and DARPA's other robotics programs, visit: http://go.usa.gov/rVqk




Have Two Arms, Will Work

DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program is developing software, hardware and sensors to enable robots to semi-autonomously grasp and manipulate objects in unstructured environments (meaning, "outside of a laboratory") with human operators providing only task-level instructions. For example, rather than dictating step-by-step every movement a robot makes, a human can give DARPA's ARM robot a high-level command like "Open the door" or "Screw in the bolt." Performers on the ARM program have already demonstrated success using one arm and hand to manipulate objects. Now DARPA is having teams test two arms and hands on tasks that require bimanual manipulation, like the robot changing a tire shown in this video. If DARPA is successful with grasping and manipulation, while also making robots more adaptable to changing environments and driving down the cost of production, robotic manipulation systems can be applied to a wide range of potentially dangerous Department of Defense applications, including defusing improvised explosive devices and searching bags.



LS3 Follow Tight - Start Watching at 40 Seconds

Working with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), researchers from DARPA's LS3 program demonstrated new advances in the robot's control, stability and maneuverability, including "Leader Follow" decision making, enhanced roll recovery, exact foot placement over rough terrain, the ability to maneuver in an urban environment, and verbal command capability.




DARPA's Wound Stasis Technology

A foam-based technology developed under DARPA's Wound Stasis System program has demonstrated encouraging results in testing. In test models, the foam has been shown to control hemorrhaging in a patient's intact abdominal cavity for at least one hour. During testing, application of the product reduced blood loss six-fold and increased the rate of survival at three hours post-injury to 72 percent from the eight percent observed in controls.



Electronics Dissolved by Droplet of Liquid

This DARPA video shows how a new class of electronics can safely dissolve into small amounts of liquid. Transient electronics are electronic systems and components that use ultrathin sheets of silicon and magnesium encapsulated in silk. The thickness and crystallinity of the silk determines how long the electronics take to dissolve. Silicon, and magnesium are naturally occurring at low levels in the human body, and since the amount of material used in these devices is below physiological levels, these electronics are biocompatible and eco-friendly.

DARPA hopes this advance will lead to biodegradable medical treatments for remote patient care that does not require extraction surgery while warfighters are deployed.



Drone High Altitude Refueling Test Flight

Who needs a pilot?



DARPA's Pet-Proto Robot Navigates Obstacles

In this video, the Pet-Proto, a predecessor to DARPA's Atlas robot, is confronted with obstacles similar to those robots might face in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). To maneuver over and around the obstacles, the robot exercises capabilities including autonomous decision-making, dismounted mobility and dexterity. The DARPA Robotics Challenge will test these and other capabilities in a series of tasks that will simulate conditions in a dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environment. Teams participating in Tracks B and C of the DRC will compete for access to a modified version of the Atlas robot for use in the 2013 and 2014 live disaster-response challenge events.




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Reader Comments (18)

Long read.
I going to read this a second time. My download speed,between my ears, is really slow.

Apr 27, 2013 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTR
I don't get what the privately (academically) created quadricopter demo has to do with DARPA or with insect drones. Are you just complaining about technological advances in general?
Apr 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMIke Kirby

Quite the opposite. I'm not complaining about anything. I threw in a line about finding the human-like robot at your door, but that will never happen right? I think this is very nifty technology.
Apr 27, 2013 at 10:28 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
http://vimeo.com/64668482 John, check this one out. Mr. Curran is a family name in these here parts. They have a facebook page and maybe it will link up. Don't know. A lot of saucy comments in regards this subject matter as you can see.
Apr 28, 2013 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Scaaryyyy. I really don't think we need human robots. We know where it all ends up. Internet was supposed to be high minded information highway. It is mostlly used for stupid chats, games, FB and porn. I suspect use of robots will end up on that level. No need to search for a date, just buy yourself a bot.
Apr 28, 2013 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterdee dee
I will never believe my A-hole motivational speaker again when he tells me, "You are special."

Apr 28, 2013 at 2:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterTR
If they can change my tire without it falling off like my mechanic did to me a couple of years ago, I would pay them accordingly. Nothing will make you swear like having your tire spin off going 55 on a 4 lane highway.
Apr 28, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Skin, I agree, maybe they can do U-joints too.
A few years back I had the U-joints replaced on my Chevy van. I left the garage and got on the freeway. At 65 the driveshaft came loose and jammed up under the van and threw it sideways out of control. Luckily I managed to regain control and get off the highway without killing myself or anyone else. Apparently the mechanic working on my rig went to lunch without telling the service desk he wasn't finished and they thought he was done. Those folks at the garage had some frayed tail feathers when I got my thoughts on the matter off my chest.
Apr 28, 2013 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush

Holy shit that's a story. A Chevy van at 65 mph with a loose driveshaft and you didn't flip it. That's some Richard Petty shite right there..
Apr 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
DB, Not a former racer, just damn lucky. Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in awhile and I guess that was my day for an acorn.
Apr 28, 2013 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush
A blast from a Barbasol can to temporarily blind this thing followed by a strategically tossed banana peel and it's down. Then a hose down. The piece of metallic tyranny hasn't got a chance when the masses can still hoard bananas and Barbasol. A shaken can of Barbasol can blind a robot at over 6 feet, unless they changed the nozzle to fool the otherwise prepared patriots.. That could be a problem. A bucket of salt water propped up over his path until it walks under might work.
Apr 28, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T.Lewis III
Sage, I hope you got a cigarette and a new pair of underpants out of the deal.
Apr 28, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Skin, Needed both, I imagine you did too after your tire ran off. That can ruin a guys day and raise hell with the under-carriage.
Apr 28, 2013 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush
My truck doesn't look so pretty any more. A ford 150 extended cab. Used to keep it clean and sharp looking. Did not have my cell phone that day either. Of all days. Of course there were no phone booths because you know, everyone has a cell phone. Walked home and checked my voice mail to find several friends exclaim that they saw me walking and saw my truck broken down and did I need any help. Christamighty. Life in a small town. Would have been nice to have one stop.
Apr 28, 2013 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
The other lesson learned is I work on my own stuff now for the most part. I can at least put new tires on without em falling off. I take the rims, and tires to a shop, have em put on the rims, and put it all back together and use the factory guide to figure out torque specks. If I can pay some guy to work just enough on my truck to have parts fall off while I'm driving it, I can certainly do the same thing without the ASE cert part as these guys claim to be.
Apr 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
I know you are over the entire Boston Marathon conspiracies....But we now know that The Uncle of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Uncle Ruslan who called the boys Losers. That Uncle is married to a top CIA officials Daughter. How many coincidence can we have here?
Apr 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBackgammon

It is somewhat strange, but your facts are wrong. There were married for 2 years and divorced 16 years ago. Read more here.

Apr 28, 2013 at 11:04 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
John, in this vid Mr. Curran is Mr. O' Malley's brother in law. Just fitting that this gentlemans firm ends up with the job to help steer the legislation through to screw the tax payer. O' Malley's wife is also a judge on the district court here in Md. and there has been some discussion in regards her role in hearing some cases where her family would benefit in any given decision. Pfft. http://vimeo.com/64668482 John, check this one out. Mr. Curran is a family name in these here parts.
Apr 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT

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