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New robot technology helping with concussion issue

Posted at 2:05 PM, Mar 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-11 16:05:13-05

The national football league is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the United States.  It's also the most dangerous.

“Concussions, are without question, the biggest if you will black cloud over what is America’s greatest game.”  Nick Lowery, a hall of fame kicker from the Kansas City Chiefs, is in Tucson to speak on bullying, and also raise awareness about how one Ivy League school is working to reduce the number of concussions in the NFL.

“It’s called mobile virtual player, or m-v-p, robotic tackling dummy.  Which allows that no teammate ever has to tackle another teammate ever again, says Lowery.”  Developed by the Dartmouth football coach and Lowery's former college teammate, Buddy Teevens, the M-V-P, over the last 5 years, has cut concussions by 60%, and injuries by 80%.

Lowery says most players are pre-concussed in the week prior to the game, with the symptoms becoming pronounced during the game.  So, who's using it?

“The Pittsburgh Steelers were supposed to give it back to us after 3 weeks, they refused, and now it's with 8 teams.”  The robot, Lowery says, makes tackling more dynamic, rather than using static dummies during practice.  “Close to 75-80% of teams will have it next year.”

The hope is that parents will feel safer sending their kids to play football.  “The parents don't worry about it so much, but let’s be stewards of the sport.”