With 276 Sensors All Over His Body, i-bodi’s Porton Man is Ready for a Chemical Attack
By Lenny Pierce on April 16, 2014
Despite your likely first impressions, this guy is pretty much the opposite of Terminator. Instead of being a humanoid robot sent to destroy humans, the i-bodi and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s “Porton Man” is specifically designed for humans to scientifically terrorize.
Though Porton Man will also try on light armored apparel and test its range of motion, one of the more important testing applications will deal with protection against chemical weapons. Porton Man can be dressed up in protective clothing and then pummeled with nerve gas. Then, because of the 276 sensors covering his body, researchers can figure out how much of that gas was able to penetrate the suit.
For Porton Man’s rugged yet lightweight carbon composite body parts, developers used the same technology used in Formula One race cars. This new technology helped increase the serious weight loss from the former Porton Man to this one. While the older model was a full 176 lbs, the svelte new model is a mere 30 lbs.
Other improvements on the former model include a higher range of motion. In addition to having a more movable head, Porton Man now comes with software that researchers can use specifically to program certain movements such as running, kneeling, and raising an arm to create the motion of sighting in a firearm.
I-bodi aren’t the only ones making chemical ready robots. Check out this video of Boston Dynamics’ PETMAN getting some exercise in his hazmat suit.