Der Boxroboter: In 1983 East Germany’s robot boxer was going to rule the world
In 1987, Der Boxroboter was introduced to the world via Sports Illustrated:
The German Democratic Republic is very advanced in the use of scientific training methods for its athletes. Now the East Germans have beaten the world to the punch in the sport of boxing. Meet Der Boxroboter, a GDR-designed-and-built computerized robot that can hang in there with the best of fighters for hours on end. ”It’s tough to find good sparring partners, especially for heavyweights,” says Dieter Seala of the GDR trade mission, which plans to market DBs internationally for a little more than $33,000 apiece. ”Human sparring partners get tired after a few rounds. They get punched too many times and lose their consistency.”
DB is not just a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robot. It can be programmed to assume any fighting style — attack the upper body, go for the belly, back an opponent into a corner — and is allegedly quicker across the ring than any human boxer. DB is equally adept at throwing rights and lefts and has great wheels (literally).
The action begins just before 20 minutes: