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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]