Robot Mannequin to Test Army Gear

The Ministry of Defence have unveiled a robotic mannequin that can run, sit and even mimic the movement of a soldier.

The £1.1m robot was developed using Formula 1 technology and will test protective suits and equipment.

Named as "The Portan Man", the robot has more than 100 sensors over its body to record data during tests.

It has been made for the Defence Science and Technology laboratory where clothing systems for soldiers are tested against chemical warfare agents.

The robot can kneel, march and raise its arms above its head to imitate signals given by soldiers.

It is hoped the new mannequins will help to produce new lighter protective suits for the army.

Dr Colin Willis, principal for the Chemical Biological Protection Group at the DSTL said: "It's really the materials and the fact he will be exposed to chemical warfare agents, so the material design has been very important obviously.

"It sounds simple, but when you see the mannequin and the computer controls, it really is a complex piece of machinery."

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