Look Ma, It’s A Bionic Robot Bird

Renewable energy, Wildlife — By on March 28, 2011 at 9:39 am
smartbird  Look Ma, Its A Bionic Robot Bird

smartbird in flight

Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane… no it’s a bionic bird. Wait, it’s a bird robot.  It’s Smartbird, a  robot bird that mimics the flight of a seagull perfectly.  But this is not a toy. It is the latest in a series of  bionic robots based on nature’s engineering.  Festo’s Bionic Learning Network has been creating technology based on how animals do things for years, in an effort to push the frontiers of engineering and technology towards sustainability and they are doing it very well.

The smartbird  flies and glides like the real thing, using a single drive system and a unique communication system that passes information from the robot to an offboard computer.  Like the  elephant trunk-like grasping arms, flying penguins, and floating jellyfish bots that Festo has developed in the past, Smartbird will have practical applications for humans as well as machines.

Festo’s Bionic Learning Network is an important research tool,  enabling the company to pursue its aim of developing innovations for higher productivity, reduced cost and energy effieciency.  By studying nature and developing bots which mimic nature, Festo is able to implement  energy effiecient, sustainable solutions to the engineering problems, large and small, of the twenty-first century.

To put it more succinctly:  Smartbird rocks. Check out  both of the videos below to see Smartbird in action

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  1. Greg says:

    Beautiful. I’m sure the military will weaponinze this right away.

  2. Caleb Johnsen says:

    I love this sort of design, biomimicry has always been an area of interest to me for quite a while and Festo’s work most especially. The Sound Machines, the Air_rays, Aqua_Penguins, and the like…I just love that sorta stuff.

    And @Greg, all things have been or will be terrible if whether or not we permit them, but cannot this be beautiful even for a fleeting second, despite it.

    The inevitable is inevitable, but can’t the things of beauty also be beautiful?

    I will not hide from the world, but I won’t let either of us destroy each other either.

    I simply won’t accept it.

    See ya.

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