Nadia the Robot: a humanoid like a gymnast

Nadia the Robot is inspired by the first gymnast to receive a perfect score at the Olympics, Nadia Comaneci. At the Montreal 1976 Games, the Romanian athlete has been awarded six more perfect 10s and wan three gold medals.

Nadia the humanoid gymnast is a new, ongoing project, launched in 2019. The robotic gymnast will have “size, weight, speed, torque, and range of motion comparable to that of a typical human.” A robot with the level of flexibility and the dynamic motions promised, is very ambitious.

The main purpose of Nadia the Robot is to have a robot for indoor environments – these are not easy to tackle, considering the obstacles such as cluttered floors, corners, stairs and doors.

Preliminary model of Nadia the Robot Gymnast / Photo: IHMC

The final NADIA robot will look much different from the models. This mockup is mainly meant to prototype mechanisms and see how they will work, and isn’t really representative of the structure.

The real Nadia robot will have roughly the proportions and weight of a human. The researchers are looking at a couple of different head designs, but are now focusing more on the legs and torso.

Nadia will be powered by hydraulics, instead of the usual electric actuators.

Nadia the robot is being developed by the robotics group at the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) in the US. The IHMC has vast experience with walking humanoid robots. They came in second at the DARPA Robotics Challenge with Running Man Atlas, with a score of 8 out of 8. Control algorithm by IHMC Robotics, hardware designed and built by Boston Dynamics.

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