Boston Dynamics and the Department of Defense has teamed up to give the DOD’s chemical and biological program just what they ordered, a life like humanoid robot named the PETMAN.
by Shepard Ambellas
April 8, 2013
The PETMAN robot created by Boston Dynamics is a very impressive piece of robotic machinery capable of many feats. The robot is reminisce of the T101 built by Cyberdyne Systems out of the Terminator film series and has an ominous look to it.
In the most recent publicly released test (shown in video below), the PETMAN is still connected with suspension leads aiding the robot as all of the kinks are worked out by the designers. However, the PETMAN has been known to climb stairs unassisted according to reports.
Boston Dynamics says that PETMAN was outfitted with systems that actually “simulates human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating, all to provide realistic test conditions.” Additional sensors in the chemical suit watch for leaks and tears in the material, reported Raw Story.
Although this is the first generation of the PETMAN, surely the technology will increase rapidly with time possibly bringing this terminator like drone to the battlefield. With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), America has now been clearly defined as just that, a battlefield.
A guest columnist writing for OregonLive.com pointed out, “The major problems with the NDAA are more nuanced. Its application within the United States pushes the idea of the global battlefield into a default position, instead of one to be determined by the specific circumstances. There may well be situations in which a serious enough terrorist attack inside the country must be dealt with by the military, rather than law enforcement (such as shooting down a hijacked plane), but these are thankfully quite extreme circumstances that will hopefully never come to pass. Under the NDAA, however, any suspected terrorist who “substantially support[s] al-Qaeda” and who, say, shoots a number of civilians must be (for aliens) or could be (for citizens and residents) placed into military detention. Since Hamdi was unquestionably “on the battlefield,” his case did not need to determine the outer limits of when citizens could be detained as combatants; it remains unclear today whether someone arrested in, say, New York City, could be so treated.”
With drone legislation being passed by the establishments cronies left and right, we also now see US citizens being hunted by drones. Christopher Dorner was reported to be the first US citizen to be hunted by drones. An MSN excerpt from February 10 of this year reads, “Christopher Dorner, the homicidal former cop currently on the run from the LAPD, is a target of airborne drones on U.S. soil, an anonymous source told London’s Express. A senior police source told the Express, “The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.” The fugitive has already killed three people, according to police, and has a $1 million bounty on his head. Dorner, who has military training, is believed to be hiding in the wilderness of California’s San Bernardino Mountains, where locating him without air support may be all but impossible.”
One can only imagine what might come from all of this 10, even 20 years down the line as Boston Dynamics has also designed the notorious “BIGDOG“, a 4 legged robot capable of navigating rough terrain. Will the pair team up in the future to hunt US citizens in times of civil unrest?
Don’t forget about the DARPA Cheetah?
PCMag.com reports that, “DARPA’s goal is to create legged robots that don’t sacrifice speed for mobility on rough terrain.
“Modeling the robot after a cheetah is evocative and inspiring, but our goal is not to copy nature,” DARPA program manager Gill Pratt said in a statement. Instead, the agency is attempting to understand and engineer robots to duplicate certain core capabilities of living organisms, like efficient locomotion, manipulation of objects, and the ability to adapt to environments, Pratt said.
One day, the agency hopes to let Cheetah loose in the natural and man-made environments where defense personnel operate, allowing the robot to contribute to emergency response, humanitarian assistance, and other missions.”
This makes for an interesting future in America I would say.
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