Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Apr 2010

Nedney Vs. Robot

Thanks to for a half-dozen readers for sending this in: Joe Nedney battles...ROBO-KICKER?!?

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 20 Apr 2010

23 comments, Last at 21 Apr 2010, 9:41pm by Raiderjoe


by TomG :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 8:42pm

Nedney play in San Francisco,
Robot work in the factory,
They will have a giant kickoff,
Nedney versus Robot!
Nedney versus Robot!

by Bill Barnwell :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 8:43pm

Thank you, Tom, for reaffirming my faith in the readership.

by Nathan :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:38am

Wow that one took me back a few years.

Here's the song.

by Bill Barnwell :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:37pm

I did not realize until re-watching the clip that the monkey was, in fact, Andy Samberg.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 9:11pm

Saw fotage of thios. Took place in Kezar stadolium which is now park. Old 49es stadium before gi to candlestick. Raiders pkay some in kezar tio. Now used as town park. In waking disrance of haight ashbury so good area ti get some trees in area and then smoke

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 9:16pm

Probavly good chance some stoners stumblr upon robit kicking field goals ans probably waa greatest thing ever saw

by RaxGrissman :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 6:28am

Haha. True

by Parker W. (not verified) :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 9:49pm

Raiderjoe simply can't be real.

by andrew :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:00pm

Just so long as no one tries to make Robotjoe.

by Theo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 5:05am


by Nathan :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:18pm

Watched the vid, I wouldn't want Ziggy lining up for the game winner. Sorry dude.

by Bobman :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 2:41am

Well, at 14 inches tall, it might be an easy block. (Then again, it looks like blocking it would leave a football-shaped hole in my chest)

Yo, engineers out there, wouldn't you expect the bot to have some sort of swinging
"leg" to use that momentum to push the ball, rather than starting from a dead standstill? That is some serious instantaneous acceleration.

One comparison would be a golf ball driving robot that can drive it 300 yards with a "swing" of just 12 inches.

by tuluse :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 3:19am

Nedney beat it at distance, so it would be less force.

by justme_cd :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 2:00pm

Not necessarily. It looked to me like Ziggy had more hang time, so it may have had more force but a worse trajectory than Nedney's kick.

by Theo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 5:08am

They made a soccer kicking machine to train keepers which was pretty much a robot leg that swung at a ball.

The leg would pretty much swing the same every time, but when they wanted it to kick higher/lower/more to the left or right, they just ajusted the position of the ball.
So they could kick the ball anywhere they want, much like a real soccer player would.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:58am

I know Adidas made a kicking leg before one of the world cups to test the balls they were using in the competition. The idea was that the robot leg would kick some sample balls 10000 times to test that the performance was maintained over time. I only ever saw pictures on the internet and I spent ages trying to find it again to put on one of the ROBOPUNTER threads but I couldn't find it. Does stuff ever get removed from the internet? I always imagined stuff stayed there for ever.

by Theo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:24am

Try to find the famous Kwamme Harris lowlight video. Good luck.

by Fargo (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 5:31pm

I think I've said this before, but the Kwame Harris video will never die, nor will it get old, or less amusing with repeated viewings. Click my name.

by Theo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 5:56pm

Thanks a lot!
Yes, you're right.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:41pm

first minute and some seocnds sucked becuaususe of music but then when Simply Red song come on vidoe get relally good

would be cool if all good songs had football highlights j video,. that way you loisten to good music swhile watching footbnall

by Lebo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:05am

Having few moving parts, and having those parts make small movements, will probably increase the robot's accuracy by reducing the opportunity for error. My guess is that a mechanism using a big swinging leg wouldn't be that accurate.

Not sure what you mean when you talk about momentum Bobman. In both scenarios (swinging leg & existing robot) momentum is transferred to the ball.

Also, the low height of the robot won't make the ball more blockable. The ball still starts its trajectory from the same point whether the robot or Nedney kicks it.

My concern is that the ball is placed on a tee by a human. Why wouldn't the robot have a mechanism for this? Surely the robot would place the ball on the tee with more accuracy than a human.

(Disclaimer: I am a trained engineer, not a practicing engineer.)

by jimbohead :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:36am

I think the answer is that this is not specifically a field goal kicking bot. This is a battlebot, and the engineers noticed that it could kick a football pretty far. The bot is designed to approach an opposing bot, then flip it with a solid, upwardly moving, kick. If you were to design a bot for field goal kicking specifically, it would probably include a ball-placing mechanism, and a swinging leg.

The point of the swinging leg, btw, is that you have more distance over which to accelerate your striking mechanism. This allows for greater momentum with a lower powered machine.

by andrew :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:38am

If they can make a robot that can do this at that size, if they made a man-sized one in theory it could kick it a lot farther.

And of course you could go larger than that. Remember, robo-punter had extendo-arms, any robo-db could easily do so as well. Wouldn't even need to be mobile. You could just install robo-safety at your goal line and it would track and shoot down any footballs that come within 30 yards of it.

I think given its size, this robo-kicker was pretty damn impressive.