Falls on hard pavement can be very, very dangerous for some of us. That’s why a research group called SAFERUP is trying to make safer, bouncier pavement. Plus: the Rakuten Monkeys baseball team in Taiwan is planning to have robot mannequins in the stands to cheer them on until fans can return to the ballpark.

Ground-Up Tire Pavement Could Be Safer for Pedestrians and Athletes (Popular Mechanics)

Taiwanese Baseball Team Will Use Dressed-Up Robots Instead of Fans When Season Begins This Weekend (12up)

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Help! I’ve fallen and I – oh, this time actually I can get up.

If you’re spending any time out of the house these days, aside from maybe work or getting groceries, you might be taking walks or jogs around the neighborhood.

Fresh air is good for us, and some people can feel understandably cooped up at the moment.

Obviously there are precautions worth taking so you don’t get sick, but it’s also worth protecting yourself from taking a header into the sidewalk or road, which, after all, is made of hard pavement or concrete.

Those kinds of falls can be very, very dangerous for some of us.

But what if sidewalks and roads were made of something NOT so hard?

That’s the idea behind SAFERUP, a research consortium that’s trying to make safer pavement, a type that has some give to it, so if someone does fall, they’re less likely to be injured by the impact.

They take the usual mix of gravel and tar and add in the shreds of old rubber tires.

It’s similar to that slightly bouncy surface used in some newer parks and playgrounds, and the surfaces used in some running and training facilities, to reduce the wear and tear on athletes’ knees and other joints.

A bouncier pavement could make it safer for more people to get out for walks, jogs, and rides, which would make us all healthier.

Of course, for the time being they’d probably have to make those roads and sidewalks wider, so we’re not all in each other’s space, right?

Baseball teams have to keep their space from fans right now, but a team in Taiwan, the Rakuten Monkeys, has a temporary workaround.

To help the players feel more at home when games start up, they’re planning to have robot mannequins in the stands to cheer them on.

And the robotic crowd goes wild!