You can always count on those Ivy Leaguers to come up with an innovative way to approach the game of football. Using their brains, the Dartmouth Big Green was able to come up with a creative way to take the tackling dummy to the next level.
Students at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering were able to design robotic tackling dummies that can be controlled with a remote. The dummies pop back up after getting taken to the ground.
By using the robotic dummies, the players can practice hitting without the risk of injuries their teammates.
Dartmouth has not practiced live tackling for the previous five seasons, so introducing the dummies has allowed a new dynamic to the team’s practices.
Dartmouth football head coach Buddy Teevens is hoping that this ground-breaking approach can help his team moving forward.
“To my knowledge, no one else does it at the Division I level,” Teevens said, via NPR. “It was not received well to be honest with you because [tackling] is sort of fundamental, but I was committed to it.”
Not only can the dummy be used for tackling practice, but it is has a wide range of uses for the Big Green during practice.
“It can be used a running back, it can be a target for a QB — attach a net to it or a pouch and it can be a wide receiver. It can be a blocking obstacle or device for downfield blocking for a lineman,” Teevens said. “There’s nothing that it can’t do — that was one of the thoughts.”
Whether or not the robotic dummy will help remains to be seen, but it is certainly a very interesting and unique approach that could eventually become more prominent in the football world.
Watch the dummy in action below.