This might just be the answer to eliminating player injuries (and salaries!) in the National Football League. Send in the robots.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is prepping for the upcoming season at home, and while other videos have captured him working out with real life human teammate D.K. Metcalf, we were struck by his opponent in a tweet on Tuesday.
During passing drills, Wilson is seen evading a robotic dummy coming in on the pass rush. The equipment is an MVP Sprint, a mobile, remote controlled, self-righting, padded training dummy that weighs 160 pounds, runs at 16 mph and sells for $3,450.
Don’t give up for good on Seahawks defender Jadeveon Clowney just yet, but the tech is pretty cool.
READYYY!!! Can’t wait for the Season!!! Let’s Go! #TrainingCampAtHome
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) July 1, 2020
Two camera angles capture Wilson stepping out of the way of the tech-fueled defender. He even gives the thing a slap as it retreats back to its position.
According to its website, Mobile Virtual Player, or MVP Robotics, began as a collaboration between Dartmouth head football coach Buddy Teevens and a group of engineers and athletes from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering. They developed the world’s first robotic tackling dummy to help reduce unnecessary contacts and the incidence of injuries suffered during football and other sporting practices.
The company was the winner in the “Training the Athlete” category in the NFL’s 2017 “1st and Future” competition, a collaboration between the NFL and the Texas Medical Center to award startups focused on driving innovations to advance sports technology and athlete safety.
MVP also makes HEKTR (Humanoid Engageable Kinetic Training Robot), another mobile product for tactical training for military, law enforcement, and private shooting clubs.
NFL teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and L.A. Rams are credited with using the football dummy. And it’s been featured on the HBO series “Hard Knocks” and made an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”