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Exoskeletal Football

Levels the playing field; Welcome, women players!
  (+9, -2)
(+9, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

If you saw the movie "Aliens" you may remember the climactic scenes involving a very large Alien and Sigourney Weaver in a powered exoskeletal work suit. A very nice Science Fiction gadget, that, and under serious development in various industries. Old people, for example, could get around and about more easily with powered exoskeletal help.

But when they become commonly available, uses not originally envisioned by their developers are bound to appear. This Idea is one such.

As you may already know, women have found a place in the heavy construction industry because they are as capable of pulling levers and pushing buttons as any man. So, let us imagine a football game where everyone is wearing an exoskeletal suit.

The Rules insist that all the suits be the same size and total mass (including driver) and have the same power and speed ratings. Only the place inside the suit, where the operator fits, needs to be custom-sized. Each suit fully encloses the wearer, to provide strong body armor; we need this when playing football, of course.

The brute force aspect of the game is leveled so much that even children can play with adults professionally. SKILL is what will count now....

Vernon, Nov 07 2006

The power loader from "Aliens" http://www.imdb.com...ry&path_key=0090605
As mentioned in the main text. [Vernon, Nov 07 2006]

Sorta like Rockem Sockem Robots? http://www.mrtoys.c...kem-Robots-Game.htm
[wylie_coyote, Nov 07 2006]

Exoskeletal suits under development. http://www.gizmag.com/go/1604/
[Custardguts], think again, about this being a far-off technology. [Vernon, Nov 08 2006]

This one is excessive, for football. http://www.gizmag.com/go/4004/
We want something not much bigger than ordinary human size, perhaps big enough to accommodate a basketball player who also wants to play football. Then, with that size as the standard, the control compartment is customized to fit/support/protect the wearer. [Vernon, Nov 08 2006]

Life after the NFL for players http://www.sfgate.c.../09/01/IN183821.DTL
Many, if not most, players have a lot of physical problems after their career is over [Zimmy, Nov 14 2006]


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Annotation:







       I voted for this for probably different reasons than you have listed. .....Right now I am wondering about the definition of football .......   

       I'm sorry, but in American Football, a player rarely makes it through the season without an injury of some sort. The greatest are often forced to cut short their careers and we are deprived of seeing their amazing skills (Gayle Sayers amoung others.)
I've often thought that if their were at least a decent unbreakable knee protection, the game would be so much better.
Zimmy, Nov 08 2006
  

       I'll give this a bun even though its not really an invention. However limiting technology seems to be counter to the spirit of half-bakers. Size and weight are good to keep a level playing field but it would be half the fun to see the innovations every season.+
pydor, Nov 08 2006
  

       VR would be a far more thorough and efficient implementation of your general idea of a level playing field.   

       I mean really, waldoes? very much a far -from-being-realised technology.
Custardguts, Nov 08 2006
  

       I already bunned this idea so I am not challenging it. But the idea of "leveling the playing field" by equalizing everyone physically is interesting. Are women and children being somehow excluded from men's sports competitions? Hmm... It smells like an embedded assumption that physical attributes create an unfair and exclusive competitive environment which "should" not be. If we extend that, isn't being a good speller an unfair advantage in a spelling bee? Perhaps those of us who are crappy spellers should be allowed to use a dictionary or other technological prosthesis. The point is that physical size, speed, agility and stregnth are baked into the game of football as is strategy, skill, experience, psychology, etc. Isn't it a bit arbitrary to focus on the physical (unless there are throngs of women and children just itching to mix it up with the Pittsburg Steelers)?
wylie_coyote, Nov 08 2006
  

       // Bone for protecting overpaid football players. Those bastards get paid so much, and for playing a damn game. If they never get hurt, they're not earning it. Hell, they're not earning it even when they *do* get hurt //   

       Nobody said you couldn't play football.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 09 2006
  

       Miss the point again did we?
Chefboyrbored, Nov 10 2006
  

       It's Harrison Bergeron in reverse.
angel, Nov 10 2006
  

       Quest, the children would not have to pay for the suit. Whoever owns the team would invest in the suit. Just like when one is drafted onto lets say the Cowboys, they don't pay for the gear that is given them to play the game.   

       This might lead to //The brute force aspect of the game is leveled so much that even children can play with adults professionally. SKILL is what will count now....//
Chefboyrbored, Nov 10 2006
  

       I this would actually evolve into a game only played by children. If it came down to hand/eye coordination & reflexes, then children would wipe the floor with adults (I'm assuming the suit contains controls within, and requires no strength to operate).
jtp, Nov 10 2006
  

       //How do they get onto the team in the first place if they're too weak to play without the suit?//   

       The idea is that you play with the suit. Once again the point you seem to be missing.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 10 2006
  

       I was assuming that they would be bi-pedal. Could this be the cause of confusion between [21] & [chef]?
jtp, Nov 10 2006
  

       But if the suit has legs etc., and the only strength the user needs is to press buttons & wiggle a joystick, then anyone could play. Even physically disabled people.
jtp, Nov 10 2006
  

       [21 Quest], you might consider the anno by [Custardguts], about VR. I would imagine that if you excell with controls for a VR environment, you could do well with equivalent controls for a real-world environment. Remember that movie, "The Last Starfighter"?
Vernon, Nov 10 2006
  

       Yes but wouldn't it be nice for the weaklings and handicap and others who are not as fortunate to be able to play a little bit of football? Could you bone giving the gift of being able to "play" to a child who normaly could not?
Chefboyrbored, Nov 10 2006
  

       Is murderball the same as dodgeball?
Zimmy, Nov 10 2006
  

       Seems like murder ball requires a bit of upper strength. I don't see how this is the solution.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 10 2006
  

       <sees chef and 21 holding hands at a roadside motel>
MoreCowbell, Nov 11 2006
  

       You know we likely don't need any of this. Web based games give this same result and more. It is vary likely the web will suck all this attention into video simulations. I mean you can likely play some multiplayer sports right now.
arilea, Nov 12 2006
  

       Make it a team of exoskeleton players versus the horde of aliens and you got yourself a damn fine spectator sport. Although, teaching the aliens the concept of goals may be challenging, let alone the offside rule.   

       "A player is off side if he is beyond the last defender as the ball is passed unless the ball is pas HHHAASSASF Oh God! No! ARRrggh! My spleen! God! Please! Somebody!!"   

       "...well Motty, it looks like Hasselshtein is down, and here come the medics... oh dear God! No! That poor intern! And the linesman!"   

       "Yes, David, they think it's all over, it is ARGGGHH!!!!"
theleopard, Nov 13 2006
  

       We already have mechanized sports, such as motor racing, in which women and children could join. At present, only a few women are racing automobiles for big money.   

       The guys who race cars are finding out that it really helps to be in prime physical condition to endure the strain, impact, vibration and all. Whatever kind of suit you make, the person inside is going to be moving like a maniac, and getting slammed around pretty hard.   

       Maybe guys, the primary spectators for most sports, want to see other guys who are doing guy-type things, like getting stomped on the spleen. If they wanted to watch robo-wars, they'd watch RoboWars.
baconbrain, Nov 14 2006
  

       So they're going to let every little school child play football in custom-fitting mechanized suits on the off chance that they happen to like football?   

       After having been forced for ten years running to play varous amateur sports for schools there's no way I can support this idea. Even after I attained the level of physical strength necessary for these activities, I never had any desire to understand the strategy necessary to excell at it.   

       Assuming that some organization or other would be willing to shell out the money to provide custom fitting suits to growing children is beyond the pale of science fiction. I was lucky to find baseball gloves that fit the right size, and if I did they were probably three years old. We were required to pay for our own retarded school uniforms, and locker locks for the priveledge of learning these sports.   

       Thanks, but I'd rather see an exoskeletal art program for the jocks who don't have the fine motor skills needed to operate a paint brush.
ye_river_xiv, Nov 14 2006
  

       I think many people are unaware of the serious injuries NFL players have to live with when their career is over (and for half of the players, that is decided by an injury).
If there were at least some sort of brace that prevented the destruction of the knee, there might not be those guys that have had 25 knee surguries and will have difficulty walking for the rest of thier life.
Zimmy, Nov 14 2006
  

       [21 Quest], no, all the suits can be the same size. If the suit's knees are the same distance from the ground for all suits, then the wearers with the short legs simply need a foot-brace inside the suit leg. And while some exoskeletal suits use pressure sensors to detect movement inside the suit, so that it can be copied by the exoskeleton, there are also ways to directly tap the nervous system to get those signals. This is what makes one size suit fit all, more than anything else.   

       With respect to lightweight wearers, I simply figured that their suits would be carrying added/distributed weights. Everyone can have equal protection.   

       Also, while I'm sure some of you were thinking, "Gee, with a suit like that I could kick a field goal from the other end of the field", but sorry, I think these suits only need to be about as powerful as the most powerful existing football players. Maybe just a tad more, so that those players will appreciate the small boost they get by wearing the suits. Most certainly the suits should not be so powerful that they can breach each other's armor!
Vernon, Nov 14 2006
  

       why not use exoskeletal suits where they are more needed, like for emergency response and back-breaking work areas..   

       I agree with anyone that says that children should be outside playing, and not in front of a television and console.
twitch, Nov 14 2006
  

       [twitch], from the second paragraph of the main text: "But when they become commonly available, uses not originally envisioned by their developers are bound to appear. This Idea is one such."   

       The assumption is that the suits will be common, and already being used for things like what you mentioned.
Vernon, Nov 15 2006
  


 

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