High-Tech Fashion Model
The Army needed a volunteer to test clothing that would protect its soldiers from chemical weapons, and, at a cost of $3 million, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories has provided one. The six-foot-tall Manny, the most human-like robot ever built wears Army fatigues as comfortably as any other draftee can. Its 15 joints and 42 programmed movements put typical stress on the gear it’s testing, while its rubber skir is equipped with sensors to detect poison gas that could leak through a protective suit. The robot even sweats to test the outfit’s response to perspiration. Robotics engineer David Bennett, whose team of 20 scientists developed the project, says Manny’s future siblings might find work in the clothing industry, where they would test athletic wear for clothing manufacturers.
Trying to become more involved in a science and engineering research-oriented environment, the Institute of Paper Chemistry has moved...