Biped Robots > Petman
The Petman robot, created by Boston Dynamics, is a possible successor to BigDog. Built using the same engineering principles, it is essentially a two-legged version of the go-anywhere workhorse.
Because Petman is anthropomorphic, it has immediate advantages over Bigdog in certain areas. Not the least of which, is use as a 'volunteer soldier' to test various armour and protective clothing choices out on. Unlike a human, Petman can return a battery of both telemetry and sensor data on its performance. Unlike a human, Petman does not scream for mercy when acid pours in through a breach in the suit.
Unlike a mannequin, it can demonstrate other things, such as how armour contorts against the body, when hit from the side, mid-stride. How does the additional weight of an armour affect performance when climbing up an incline? Does it protect all round? Petman can be fired at from any direction, and still return accurate telemetry.
It also simulates human psychology as much as possible, by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating when necessary, all to provide realistic test conditions. It will balance itself and move freely; walking, crawling and doing a variety of callisthenics during exposure to chemical warfare agents or high impact rounds.
It is of course, obviously an initial stage in the design of a walking/running/leaping robot that can go anywhere a human soldier can, since it utilises every self-righting and gait control technique learnt from the Bigdog program whilst still maintaining the size and shape of a standard human.
The final version of Petman is expected to be ready by the start of 2011.