The term “MVP” has taken on a new meaning at Steelers’ offseason practices.
The team has been experimenting with the Mobile Virtual Player, a robotic tackling dummy that mimics a wide variety of football moves. It allows teams to run drills without players hitting each other, minimizing the risk of injuries and concussions.
“It’s an awesome piece of football technology,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told Steelers.com. ““The applications we are quickly finding are endless. It never gets tired. It runs at an appropriate football speed.”
The “MVP,” which is operated by remote control and can cover 40 yards in five seconds, was invented at Dartmouth College when football coach Buddy Teevens wanted to find an alternative to live tackling.
These dummies almost look like giant chess pieces moving around the practice field. While football will always be a more dangerous game than chess, these robots can at least make practices safer.