A robotic tackling dummy created by Dartmouth College engineering students could turn out to be the most valuable player on the field this football season. Short for Mobile Virtual Player, the MVP robot is designed to take a beating during football drills, sparing players from an accumulation of the kinds of impacts known to result in concussions and long-term brain damage.

The robot was inspired by a jaw-dropping decision by Eugene “Buddy” Teevens, the Dartmouth head coach. Teevens shocked the football world in 2011 by announcing a complete ban on tackling during practice. While many predicted that the measure would cripple the team, Dartmouth College engineering students took it as a design challenge.

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