“On the Ivy League campus of Dartmouth College, even the football tackling dummies are smart,” says Associated Press reporter Holly Ramer in a story published by ABC News.
The “Mobile Virtual Player,” a robotic mobile tackling dummy developed at Thayer School of Engineering, made its official debut on Aug. 26 during the Big Green’s first football practice of the season, reports the AP. “This not only cuts out injury risk during practice because you have less player-to-player contact, but you’re also allowing players to practice realistic form in an in-game scenario, which they don’t get without live play,” co-developer Quinn Connell ’13, Thayer ’14, tells the AP.
“The only time my guys tackle is 10 times a year in games,” Buddy Teevens ’79, the Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach, tells the AP. “So this will allow them to be more proficient and more successful, and I think injury reduction and concussive injury reduction are going to be huge for us.”
Read the full story, published 9/26/15 by ABC News via the Associated Press.
The story also appears in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Coverage by U.S. News & World Report features a video of the robot in action during practice and includes interviews with Teevens, Connell, and team captain Will McNamara ’16.