Private Institute Briefs

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 th

The Scientist Staff
Sep 17, 1989

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.

Paper Chase

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