Students and a professor from the University of Waterloo in Canada have developed a robot that does one thing, shoot hockey pucks with a stick. The idea behind this is to study how the stick bends and build a better hockey stick that doesn’t break. The real problem is hockey sticks are made of a composite material that breaks and can cost up to $250 and $300 CDN each.
The increased amount of hockey stick breakage over the past few years have been observed in almost every league and every part of the world that plays hockey. From the University of North Dakota players who mention they break “24-36 sticks a year” to NHL players mentioning that every hockey company’s sticks are breaking, the problem is becoming increasingly important. For competitive leagues, the real problem lies in the fact that composite sticks break unexpectedly and sometimes during scoring opportunities, whereas wooden sticks failed little by little, and players could normally switch sticks in time.
They have even formed a new company called Hockey Robotics. The robot called Slapshot XT has many degrees of freedom and grips the stick in two places to replicate a players hands. It is able to replicate a slapshot at over 110 MPH and quickly be ready for another shot.
And now back to your regularly scheduled Stanley Cup playoffs. Go Bruins!
One last thing, see the movie Slaphot with Paul Newman if you haven’t already.
Click through for a video of Slaphot XT in action.
Link via (Globe and Mail)