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Britain develops robotic mannequin

A British company, with funding from the Ministry of Defense, develops a robotic mannequin for testing military equipment.
By Richard Tomkins   |   April 8, 2014 at 7:23 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, April 8 (UPI) -- A robotic mannequin for testing military protective suits and equipment has been built under sponsorship by Britain’s Ministry of Defense.

The mannequin is called Porton Man. It was named after the home of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, or DSTL, at Porton Down in Wiltshire.

The Ministry of Defense, which invested about $1.8 million in the project, said the robot was built using lightweight materials developed for Formula One racing cars and that it can walk, run, sit, kneel and lift its arms as if to sight a weapon.

More than a hundred sensors on the robot record data during tests, enabling scientists to carry out real-time analysis on equipment.

“Our brief was to produce a lightweight robotic mannequin that had a wide range of movement and was easy to handle,” said Jez Gibson-Harris, chief executive officer of i-bodi Technology, which designed and built the robot. “Using the same concepts as those used in racing cars, we were able to produce very light but highly durable carbon composite body parts for the mannequin.”

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