Everyone can look great waxing their fighting skills on heavy bags, speed bags, and striking pads. But how good will your skills look when your boxing equipment starts punching back? That’s what you can find out with the Stryk RXT-1.
Described as the “world’s first sparring robot,” the device combines a pair of pads that you can use to practice your strikes with a quartet of foam limbs that it uses to strike back. That’s right, this thing won’t just take your punches like every punching bag in the gym, but will return the favor, forcing you to dodge, parry, and cover-up, while giving you the chance to practice some of your favorite counters. Granted, it just hits you with foam limbs, so it’s no more painful than getting hit with Nerf darts, but it’s still a great way to train interactively even when you’re training all by your lonesome.
The Stryk RXT-1 consists of a spring-mounted main target that’s set up at head level, allowing you to practice your headshots just like you do with a target dummy, along with an optional torso pad that’s set up at chest level, so you can practice body shots along with your headhunting. Four long foam limbs, two horizontal and two vertical, are hinge-mounted at the shoulder level (two on each side), allowing it to throw strikes your way like a four-armed creature. We know, it doesn’t make sense to train fighting a four-armed creature if you’re trying to work on your MMA skills, but if you ever get into fisticuffs with aliens, monsters, and post-apocalyptic cyborgs, we imagine the unconventional training will come in handy. On a more serious note, the vertical limbs does seem like they can simulate axe kicks pretty well, so it’s still pretty useful training.
At the center of the equipment is a 4.5-inch touchscreen display that you can use to choose training modes, set speed settings (it can go anywhere from 20 to 100 percent), and pick a specific workout you want to do. That way, you can make all your adjustments right on the machine, without the need to fiddle with another boring app on your phone.
The Stryk RXT-1’s main training module is the “Learn” mode, which trains the user at one specific striking technique at a time. Basically, it sets the machine to strike back at a consistent pattern, so you can repeatedly drill slips, rolls, and your deadliest counters. There’s also a “Spar” mode that will randomly strike at unpredictable patterns, making it ideal for those looking to test their speed and reflexes. According to the outfit, this mode has three intensity levels, so it take things easy, get a little serious, or go all out, depending on how you feel like training. Last is a “Combination” mode that lets you choose from over 100 preset workouts, with the goal of training hand-eye coordination, speed, agility, and cardio.
A Kickstarter is currently running for the Stryk RXT-1. You can reserve a unit, with the torso pad included, for pledges starting at $899.