Dartmouth football is using a remote-controlled tackling dummy to reduce injuries

A Dartmouth football player tackles a motorized dummy.
A Dartmouth football player tackles a motorized dummy. –Screengrab

Some dummies at Dartmouth College are improving football practice.

The Mobile Virtual Player, or “MVP,’’ is a remote-controlled tackling dummy, which is designed to limit impact to players during the football practice. A group of Dartmouth engineers students designed the “MVP’’ to save players’ repetitions of drills that require contact and might cause concussions.

For a team that only tackles 10 times a year in games, this dummy is having an impact, coach Buddy Teevens told the Associated Press. Engineers are working with the coaches to make the robot functional at practice.

“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,’’ former Dartmouth engineering student Quinn Connell told the AP. “We were able to come up with a solution that’s a mobile, free-standing, self-righting tackling dummy that’s also able to be re-set and be completely autonomous.’’


Players and Teevens said the $3,500 dummies provide realistic experience. The makers of the “MVP’’ have a patent pending, and intend to continue development, and have organized business plan to market their product to college, pro, high school and youth teams.

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