The MMA internet was set ablaze this weekend as local MMA fighter Khai Wu appeared in footage preparing for his recent bout at Urijah Faber’s A1 Combat 5 by sparring with a nearly lifelike robot partner. The sparring aide, which barely looked like an artificial construct trying to simulate human behavior, represents a major step forward for mixed martial arts training. Coaches note that by utilizing these mechanical martial artists, they can allow their fighters to spar hard without injuring teammates. Although details on the robots remain sparse, it’s believed the end goal is the ability to train the robots to mimic real opponents, and that it’s likely designers will improve upon the machine’s current look, which has the tendency to trigger an uncanny valley reflex when looked directly in the “eyes.”
The Future is Here! Robots Now Capable of Near-Human Levels of Martial Arts
Look out, Bob, your days are numbered.