Crash-Test Dummies Vs. Chemical Warfare

Some mannequins get all the plum gigs. Instead of standing by the window of a department store, looking svelte, we learn today of dummies that are doomed to the innermost circle of mannequin hell--they're designed to test protection equipment against chemical warfare agents. That job, which now enters "Phase II" with new Army funding, makes being a traditional crash-test dummy seem like a sinecure.

The initiative is lead by the Midwest Research Institute (MRI). Boston Dynamics is undertaking the robotic mannequin design and fabrication; Sensor Research and Development Corp is outfitting the mannequin with chemical sensors; two others are designing and constructing the exposure chamber. There's even a group working on the "mannequin physiology": Measurement Technology Northwest, whose nightmarish site offers "sweating" mannequins, among other things.

[Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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