On the Ivy League campus of Dartmouth College, even the football tackling dummies are smart.
Football players in Hanover, New Hampshire, got their first shot Wednesday at two remote-controlled dummies designed to allow for full contact while minimizing head and neck injuries.
Coach Buddy Teevens asked engineering students to create a safer way for players to practice tackling, and after two years of work, they created the Mobile Virtual Player — a motor encased in foam that simulates a real football player in size, weight, agility and speed.
Its debut comes amid growing concern about concussions, fueled by headlines about former professional players who suffered long-term impairment after repeated blows to the head. While others have dummies that run along tracks, Dartmouth says the MVP's maneuverability and nimbleness sets it apart.