Rhea Mahbubani

Tech on The Turf: San Francisco 49ers Practice With Robots

Before the San Francisco 49ers take to the field and hit actual people, they practice on robots.

A small squad of robotic tackling dummies rolls out to the field to start practice, and the Niners tackle, push, and otherwise harass the ‘bots.

“We like them,” head coach Chip Kelly said of the robots, which are developed at Dartmouth University.

Several teams are giving robots a try during practice.

As Kelly points out, they go through the motions — you can control the ‘bots with your iPhone — but don’t get injured.

Not everyone is on board, though.

Niner linebacker NaVorro Bowman says, “I’m gonna leave the dummies alone.”

Scott tracks tech on Twitter: @scottbudman

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