In the event of a zombie apocalypse, popular lore suggests building a moat to protect yourself—in the case of a robot rebellion, climbing a flight of stairs was once thought to do the trick.
PETMAN, a humanoid robot built in 2011 for the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), has been modified to climb stairs, as shown in the unsettling video above.
This is only the latest feat for PETMAN, which has already mastered walking. The robot's confident swagger has been the butt of jokes, but it wasn't designed to look like a human on the battlefield. PETMAN's primary purpose is testing chemical protection clothing, according to creator Boston Dynamics' website, and it can "simulate human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating when necessary."
PETMAN aside, Boston Dynamics may be best known for BigDog, the four-legged pack robot that can walk on ice and keep its balance after getting kicked. PETMAN shows some of the same ability to right itself in the video above—and if that's not enough, it can also do push-ups.
See more of its abilities in the video above or take a look at the slideshow below for more videos of the most uncanny humanoid robots.
Meet Jules, the newest and most realistic humanoid robot yet from David Hanson and the team at Hanson Robotics.
A robot that looks just like its creator (www.newscientist.com).
Engineers at Kagawa University in Japan are developing a talking robotic version of the human mouth: To enable the robot's speaking abilities, engineers at Japan's Kagawa University used an air pump, artificial vocal chords, a resonance tube, a nasal cavity, and a microphone attached to a sound analyzer as substitutes for human vocal organs.
ACTROID-F in AIST Open Lab 2010.
Robot modeled after Albert Einstein. Einstein mimics the facial expressions he detects in others. Smile at him, and he'll smile back.
Cybernetic human dance demo in DCEXPO, 2010.
Humanoid face created by Hanson Robotics (www.hansonrobotics.com). Robotics scientists at Hanson previously created animatronic puppets for Disney studios.
Animatronic baby mechanism for anonymous TV series. Built by Chris Clarke for CNFX Workshop.
Taiwanese Kissing Robots (NTUST Robot) were exhibited in AutoRob2009 in Gwangju, Korea. They were developed by Prof. Chyi-Yeu Lin's research team in National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
Robot girl with silicone skin.