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Nadia the Boxing Robot Is Ready to Rumble!

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Robot boxing

Nadia is the brainchild of IHMC Robotics and Boardwalk Robotics. This robot sounds more like a gymnast than a boxer, but names can be deceiving. The carbon fiber humanoid robot can throw a mean right hand, and her jab isn’t too bad either. While we won’t see her in the ring anytime soon, Nadia reveals just how quickly the athletic abilities of robots are progressing.  

IHMC Robotics released a video in which Nadia hits pads held by the robot’s human trainer. Nadia shows an impressive range of strikes. She appears to have the basics down, throwing jabs, crosses, and even looping hooks. However, the punches lack power and speed. Nadia can’t bust a grape as boxing trainers like to say.

The humanoid robot is not autonomous. Nadia needs some human help to throw punches. Engineers throw on a pair of VR goggles and start punching the air. These movements are then sent to Nadia via a tether.

Nadia is Real Steel Come to Life 

In the 2011 box office smash hit starring Hugh Jackman, Real Steel, human boxers have been replaced by robots. However, humans still play a role as they coordinate the robot’s in-ring movements via hand-held control. While the robots are capable of incredible feats of athleticism and can easily crush human boxers, they still rely on humans to control their punches, head movements, and footwork.

In the final fight, Atom is taken over in shadow mode, where, just like Nadia, the robot starts mimicking the movements of the human controller. Due to the rise of VR technology, this new humanoid robot from IHMC Robotics could form the basis for a whole new sport, like in Real Steal.

We’d love to see a humanoid boxing league come to life. It’d be the perfect blend of human athleticism and engineering. The human controller would still have to demonstrate coordination as he evades incoming shots while landing powerful blows on the opposing robot. However, instead of genetics and training determining a boxer’s athletic ability, roboticists could give their fighter the edge through superior design.

This Robot Is Not Just a Boxer

While Nadia may have gone viral for hitting pads and throwing hooks, this humanoid robot is more than a pugilist. This IHMC Robotics-designed robot has 29 joints and incredible dexterity. In fact, Boardwalk Robotics said it has the highest range of motion of any humanoid robot in the world.

This enhanced dexterity allows Nadia to reach places that other humanoid robots can only dream of. This robot can navigate ladders and move around natural obstacles like boulders. This impressive range of motion is thanks to innovative mechanisms and unique composite materials. Boardwalk Robotics says Nadia’s muscles have a superior power to weight ratio to humans.

Nadia is a hybrid-designed robot powered by electric and hydraulic components. The team has incorporated Moog’s Integrated Smart Actuators (ISAs) into the robot’s design, while purpose-built electric motors are the source of Nadia’s impressive mobility and speed. Boardwalk Robotics and IHMC Robotics went a little more low-tech for the arms, which are powered by off-the-shelf commercial motors, lowering the robot’s production cost.

The robot is also equipped with sensors that act as its eyes. In the future, the team hopes to turn Nadia into an autonomous robot that can handle both indoor and outdoor environments without human intervention.

Nadia boasts incredibly low latency with virtually no delay, making it suitable for a range of physical tasks. Via VR, a human operator can perform jobs in real time. IHMC Robotics plans to add arms to Nadia and train her to complete everything from manufacturing jobs to firefighting, explosive ordnance disposal, and search and rescue. Basically, if a job is too difficult for humans, this robot can take over.

This humanoid robot is well on its way to becoming a bonafide superhero. IHMC Robotics released another robot, this time outside of the boxing ring. It showed Nadia moving with ease through complex terrain and even hopping onto and off concrete brick hurdles.

Humanoid robots like Nadia are advancing quickly. They’ll be competing in sports one day and evacuating people from burning buildings the next. And whatever you do, don’t get on their bad side because they throw a mean right cross!

Read more: H1 Robot Is Now Faster Than Boston Dynamics’ Atlas, Reaching 7.38 Mph

From thrilling match breakdowns to exploring the latest trends in esports, I'm here to guide you through the dynamic world where sports and gaming intersect. Let's embark on an exhilarating journey together through the adrenaline-fueled realm of Machina Sports!"

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Drone

Teacher Turned FPV Drone Racing Pilot: FuturePlay Exclusive with Mako Reactra

Explore how Ryan Lessard, also known as Mako Reactra, balances her career as a teacher with her passion for FPV drone racing. Learn about her journey into the world of FPV drones, her training regimen, and how she integrates technology into education.

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FuturePlay Custom - Interview with Mako Reactra

Long gone are the times where teachers were just “teaching” what they were hired to teach. An US teacher – Ryan Lessard aka Mako Reactra has been recently nominated by her school as a research organizer about the AI. But before get into Mako’s journey into FPV Drone Racing. What are FPV Drones? Learn more about it here!

Transition from Teaching to FPV Drone Racing

Mako’s foray into FPV drone racing traces back to the end of 2017 she got a chance to see how FPV Drones (Tiny whoops to be precise) look like and fly – she was hooked. The transition from indoor flying with Tiny Whoops to mastering the complexities of five-inch drones as the snow thawed marked the beginning of what would become a remarkable racing career. She recalls, “I immediately got into racing…and I’ve been racing ever since.” Her journey has seen her compete in numerous MultiGP championship races and represent the United States at the World Games in 2022, not to mention racing with the Drone Champions League (DCL) team, Makoane.

Despite the demands of the racing circuit, Mako’s love for flying spans across different styles. From freestyling to long-range flying and back to Tiny Whoops, the diversity of her flight experiences enriches her racing technique and strategic understanding of FPV drones.

The Passion to Teach: Beyond the Racing Track

What sets Ryan apart from many other pilots is the fact that she is not doing it all for herself – She also does it for her students. As a teacher and educator Mako is leveraging her passion to technology in the classrooms and schools. Her students and fellow educators appreciate her work in both industries, as she tries to juggle all of the responsibilities connected with them.

“So I’m very busy, but it’s a good busy. It’s fun,” Ryan states.

Training Thyself: The Quest for Improvement

But obviously – being an FPV Drone Racing pilot is not just showing up to a race – it does involve training and Ryan is blessed with a big backyard. In the interview with FuturePlay, Host – Lexie Janson – Ryan elaborates on the nature of her training regimen involving real-life practice and simulator practice.

“I try to fly between six to ten [packs] when I have a good amount of time,”

Ryan shares, highlighting the disciplined approach to her practice sessions. Moreover, her role as an educator overlaps with her training philosophy, as she often incorporates educational elements into her preparation, aiming to bridge the gap between technology and intuitive skill.

Do you want to know more?

Check out the full interview with Ryan on the FuturePlay YouTube channel and learn more about FPV Drone racing careers that are available now!

Read More: Issa Kalfon – World’s Jet Pack Racing Champion

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Jetpack Racing

How Issa Kalfon became the World’s First Jet Suit Racing Champion

Learn how Issa Kalfon emerged as the inaugural Jet Suit Racing Champion, his journey with Gravity Industries, and the rigorous training regimen that propelled him to victory. FuturePlay Exclusive.

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Issa Kalfon Dubai Jet Pack Racing Winner

I think we all know who is Iron Man. Generally, a normal person, that uses technology to do things none of us can even dreamt of. While Iron Man Suit still remains a piece of fiction – a Jet Suit or Jet Pack is not fiction anymore – in fact Jet Pack or Jet Suit racing has become a reality now.

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.

Juma Ikangaa

While Gravity Industries continues to shocks us with their technology and Jet powered jetpacks – they recently exceeded their own benchmarks by hosting a first in the world jet suit race that occurred on the February 28th in Dubai.

If you want to see the full race – there’s a vlog on our FuturePlay YouTube channel.

Eight Pilots were in contention for the title of the world’s first jet Suit Racing Champion and after an extremely exciting fight – the title landed with Issa Kalfon.

But how did Issa become one of the 8 pilots chosen for this race and what did he have to do to become the best of them?

The Leap into Jet Suit Racing

Issa’s story with Gravity Industries starts in the gym (out of all places), where he got contacted by the owner of Gravity – Richard Browling. Richard was reaching out to gymnasts and athletes that had a well-developed core strength and control over their bodies, therefore gymnasts seemed like the best choice. Issa was one of the people, who answered the call and never regretted it. But it wasn’t merely his past that prepared him for this new challenge; it was his unwavering belief in a vision, a dream that jet suit racing could one day mesmerize the world as much as it did him.

I think this is a good lesson for us all – if we get some interesting emails about technology we have never seen before – we should reply.

Training for the Uncharted

Training for a sport as innovative and risky as jet suit racing requires more than just physical endurance; it demands courage, innovation, and meticulous planning. Issa’s regimen leading up to the historic race was as much about pushing physical limits as it was about strategizing for safety and performance. Hours were spent in the sauna, cutting weight and enhancing fitness, while flight training sessions focused on minimizing risks – Issa focused on speed and precision of movement.

In the interview with FuturePlay host – Lexie Janson – Issa explains how serious his training has been during the race warm-up. Issa’s training program required him to attend the training in suit, but also to go to the gym after work for 1-2 hour sessions before bed. This has continued for a couple of weeks, but has visibly paid off.

Want to know more?

Check out our in depth write-up about Jetpack Racing.

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Ski Like You’re 20 Again With This Nifty Exoskeleton

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Human with Exoskeleton Skiing - AI Image - Cyberpunk Theme

It’s no secret that skiing is tough on the back and knees. The high-intensity sport only becomes more difficult as we age. However, thanks to an exoskeleton dubbed Againer, that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Againer reduces pressure on your knees and back while increasing your leg power output. This simple-to-use exoskeleton can be attached to any ski boot and is made from lightweight plastics. The frame is stiff enough to give you the support that you need while still having adequate elasticity. 

This exoskeleton will set you back over $900, but if you love skiing like Bodie Miller, it’s well worth the investment. Againer is also incredibly easy to use, it clips onto your boots and then is worn over your ski pants.

How Does Againer Work?

Againer is a passive knee-only exoskeleton. You still need to do all of the work when it comes to making turns and guiding your skis down the mountain. This exoskeleton also comes loaded with an adjustable gas spring, alleviating pressure on the back and knees. You can increase or decrease the pressure depending on how much support you require.

The bottom of Againer clicks into your ski boots using a special connector that can be placed on all types of boots. There are multiple straps to ensure the exoskeleton stays securely attached to your knees. 

Againer has soft padding on the inside, so you won’t feel any discomfort no matter how long you use the exoskeleton or how many turns you make. It also has a simple click-and-go mechanism, which means it takes literally seconds to put on and take the brace. 

Who Is Againer For?

Againer can be used for skiers of all abilities and ages. It’s particularly effective for older skiers who have back and knee pain or have some leg muscle weakness. Many older skiers have reported feeling 20 years younger when strapping on the exoskeleton. They no longer feel that nasty leg burn and feel more confident making turns.

A 75-year-old advanced skier with mild osteoarthritis in his left knee recently put the Againer exoskeleton to the test. He decided to make 60 tight turns as quickly as possible while wearing the exoskeleton. He noted that his legs felt fine while normally he’s exhausted after making so many sharp turns in quick concessions.

Againer is also great for skiers who are coming back from injury. Skiing for the first time after an injury can be a daunting process as you don’t know if you can trust your body, and weakness, particularly in the back, legs, or knees, can negatively affect your technique.

However, with Againer helping you out, you essentially get a super strong pair of legs while alleviating excess pressure on your back and knees. With this exoskeleton guiding you down the mountain, you can ski confidently, even if you feel a bit rusty or out of shape. Also, you’re far less likely to hurt yourself when you take a tumble, as the exoskeleton acts as a brace.

Exoskeletons Make Sports More Accessible

While Againer won’t turn you into a professional skier, it does have the power to make the sport more accessible to people from varying backgrounds. It reduces the risk of injury while giving you the feeling of having iron legs. At the same time, you won’t feel any discomfort in your back or knees, which is a common complaint among skiers. 

If you’ve had to give up skiing due to an injury or feel exhausted after just one or two runs, then Againer may be the perfect tool to get you back out on the slopes. It’d be great if the company released a more active exoskeleton that could perform turns for you so virtually anyone could hit the slopes, no matter their experience level. However, the technology isn’t there yet, and we shudder to think how much that type of exoskeleton would cost.

In the future, we might see hybrid skiing events where professionals are able to achieve significantly faster times by wearing exoskeletons and potentially even new events. It’d also be awesome to see amateurs donning exoskeletons taking on pros skiing, competing old school with zero assistance. The presence of aids like Againer can also significantly extend the careers of professionals while making the sport safer.

Read More: Infinite Reality Buys Drone Racing League

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