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Festo Launches SmartBird Robotic Seagull

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posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 10:21 PM

Festo has a fairly fascinating, frankly fantastical, and frequently full-on fabulous history with the robotic systems that they develop in partnership with universities and research groups as part of their Bionic Learning Network. In the past, we've seen flying penguins and jellyfish, as well as bio-inspired manipulators like this one.

Today, Festo has unveiled their 2011 Bionic Learning Network projects, the most awesome of which is definitely SmartBird. Watch it fly:

And here's what going on inside:

Unlike many of Festo's flying robots, SmartBird doesn't appear to rely on lifting gas at all. It weighs less than half a kilo, and is capable of autonomous take-off, flight, and landing using just its two meter-long wings. SmartBird is modeled very closely on the herring gull, and controls itself the same way birds do, by twisting its body, wings, and tail. For example, if you look closely in the video, you can see SmartBird turning its head to steer.

I love how Festo isn't just inspired by biological systems, but actually strives to exactly duplicate their functionality, often with remarkable results. We saw this philosophy in action last year, too, with their elephant trunk gripper, that now has a new home on a mobile robotic base:

This really blew me away.

Besides a glider, this is the first time I have seen an invention that can fly without an engine. I love it!

I have to wonder if it is possible for these research groups can make one for a man so he can fly. Just a thought.

So ATS readers, what is your take on this wonderful invention and what could this be used for?

posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 10:30 PM
Two points:

1) It was "released" 4 years ago.
2) It has a motor.

The battery, engine and transmission, the crank mechanism and
the control and regulation electronics are housed in SmartBird’s
torso. By means of a two-stage helical transmission, the exterior
rotor motor causes the wings to beat up and down with a reduction
ratio of 1:45.

But yes it is very cool.

posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 10:32 PM
I love little inventions like these. There very neat, and make me want to throw my money at their faces.

A company called Techject Inc. has been working on this little gadget in hopes of trying to mimic the flight of dragonfly's

Not as anatomically correct as the smartbird, but on it's way

posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 10:41 PM
As for human's a human sized, human powered ornithopter.

Man sized, not man powered. Needs work.

edit on 12/28/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 11:04 PM
a reply to: Ghost147
I want one.
With fricken laser beams attached to it.

posted on Dec, 29 2015 @ 10:00 AM
Can't they create something that doesn't tear up the garbage bags. I suppose this one will be stealing everyone's batteries.

posted on Dec, 29 2015 @ 10:04 AM
Are you sure that fly in your house is not a top secret government spying device? How about that spider up in the corner of your bedroom?

posted on Dec, 29 2015 @ 12:07 PM
Can you buy one of these things? I have several uses for it.

posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 11:48 AM


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