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Robot takes on pro football kicker (photos)

A robot named Ziggy challenges San Francisco 49ers kicker Joe Nedney to a field goal kickoff.

CNET Reviews staff

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Ziggy prepares for battle

In a sports match-up pitting man versus machine, San Francisco 49ers kicker Joe Nedney went toe-to-toe Monday against Ziggy, a battle bot built by engineer Michael Worry, in a field goal kick-off challenge.

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Joe Nedney

San Francisco 49ers' kicker Joe Nedney takes his first shots in a challenge against Ziggy at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
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Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips was in charge of operating Ziggy, making adjustments to his kicking style, and controlling the pressurized helium used to activate his powerful kicking arm.
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Ziggy

Normally, Ziggy is a combat robot, using his powerful arm to flip opponents and destroy them. From April 23-25, he will be going up against other destructive machines at RoboGames, the world's biggest open robot competition. Hardened for battle, Ziggy weighs 340 pounds and is covered in titanium armor.
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Windy conditions

After a short practice session, Ziggy's kicks were on target from the 20 yard line, but he missed his first shot from the 30 yard line due to wind.
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Nedney and Phillips

Joe Nedney and Ziggy's operator, Mike Phillips, discuss kicking style and technique during Monday's match-up.
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Compressed Helium

Ziggy normally runs on compressed nitrogen, but in Monday's event, compressed helium was used because it gives a bit more force. Even so, it wasn't enough to beat 49ers kicker Joe Nedney.
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Ziggy in action

Ziggy in action during the first round of the competition from the 20 yard line.
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49ers kicker

San Francisco 49ers kicker Joe Nedney watches his robot counterpart try to match his kicking skills during Monday's field goal challenge at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
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Nedney

Although Nedney missed a few wide and a few short from the 40 yard line in windy conditions, he was able to zone in on the goal posts and kick a few through the uprights to beat Ziggy.
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Nedney takes gold

Joe Nedney, with the gold medal, celebrates as Ziggy watches with the silver medal after Monday's kick-off.
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Nedney

Nedney talks with the media following his victory over Ziggy.
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RoboGames

The gold and silver RoboGames 2010 medals are shown off prior to the medal ceremony Monday morning. Many more medals will be handed out later this week during RoboGames, which will take place April 23-25 in San Mateo, Calif.

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