Robot-maker Boston Dynamics showed for the first time on Tuesday a new prototype robot that walks upright like a human. reported:

"Petman will balance itself and move freely; walking, crawling and doing a variety of suit-stressing calisthenics during exposure to chemical warfare agents," the company promises. "Petman will also simulate human physiology within the protective suit by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating when necessary, all to provide realistic test conditions. "

Like Boston Dynamics' BigDog robo-mule, Petman stays upright, even when it's shoved. And the thing walks heel-to-toe at 3.2 miles per hour, just like a flesh-and-blood person. Petman may be just one of a number of attempts by robot-makers to build a simulated set of biped legs. But I haven't seen one that gets closer to the real deal.

"I, for one, like that the torso section of PETMAN looks like a sweet boom box and I hope that someday Boston Dynamics sees fit to let the robot loose in the business district of a small town, just walking around and taking in the scenery while pumping out some old-school rap," quipped Doug Aamoth at CrunchGear.

Boston Dynamics is also the creator of the "Big Dog," a four-legged pack mule of sorts that follows soldiers carrying gear. Video of both robotics breakthroughs are below.

This video is from Boston Dynamics, released Oct. 26, 2009.

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The following video is of Boston Robotics' "Big Dog" robot.