Imagine how many BJJers would love to have their own "Johnny BJJ" doll.
Robotic throwdown orgies are the future...I can see it now...
First off, the stance of the machine is straight on and it simply doesn't throw a proper jab at you at all. It looks it just chain punches haymakers at you which I would think is actually counterproductive. As you point out, the speed ball alone is better than this bot. And I think that focus mitts and even working the heavy bag are superior to "sparring" with that bot.
The bottom line is I feel with the way that 'bot is designed it would actually train a boxer in bad and unrealistic slipping/ducking/parrying and counterpunching. You simply need another human being as a training partner to train defense and counterpunching. And don't even get me started on footwork! The bot is just standing still and will ingrain statuesque fighting, for example you need a live partner to figure out how to slip a cross while stepping forward and to the side to counter with a hook to the body as one example of many.
Two things before I shut up.
1 - Prototype means this is a very early proof of concept design. Go Google "early helicopter designs" and you might notice most of them, including Leonardo Da Vinci's version, never flew.
2 - This type of thing would not be for someone who actually has a partner available to them. That was the idea behind the sex robot joke...you don't need sex robots if you have a human partner, likewise, you don't need a sparring robot if you are standing in a boxing gym.
But if you were home and it was 2018..you might decide to duck away from the wife and kids to get a beat down from the Sparbot 3000 in your home gym, which is fully mobile, can target areas of your body, and can be made progressively resistive.
Yes, this is blue sky, forward thinking. Yes, that's how engineers build neat new things.
Like sex robots.
Yeah like in "Star Wars" there's that floating ball droid thingy that shoots laser beams at Luke that he's all parrying with his light saber. I just need me one of those to work on my counterpunching.
I personally like the idea (like I posted in my old thread) of a site like Bullshido.net being used to critique these designs. Only by showing what you are working on to those who practice striking/grappling arts could you ever come up with a working, practical design....but it takes years of reworking combined with solid feedback to do that. Still, it's how most useful things are ever built...by making a lot of failed versions first. Igor Sikorsky had a lot of failed helicopter designs to work from before he invented the modern helicopter.
I would not want it any other way...the number of engineers who also fight as a hobby is very very small, so the kind of feedback a site like BS can give to these guys is critical.
Or in reality a shotgun.
Anyway, this boxing bot will probably make loads of money in chain gyms and cardio-kickboxing classes but it'll do nothing for 'fight science' in the slightest.
Help him make the best bot. That's my point.
And then he'll keep making it better.