Festo's Smartbird a Robotic Bird

SmartBird mimics flight so accurately it could be mistaken for the real thing | Mail Online

One of mankind's oldest and most elusive dreams has been to recreate the effortless, swooping flight of a large bird.

Now scientists have invented a robot that not only perfectly mimics that flight, but could be mistaken for the real thing.

Is it a bird? Scientists have invented a robot that perfectly mimics a bird's flight and could be mistaken for the real thing

Bionic Learning Network

Inspired by nature: In the Bionic Learning Network, a cooperation between Festo and renowned universities, institutes and development companies, principles from nature provide fresh impulse for technology and industrial applications.

Festo Festo Corporate - SmartBird

SmartBird – bird flight deciphered

This bionic technology-bearer, which is inspired by the herring gull, can start, fly and land autonomously – with no additional drive mechanism. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles. This is made possible by an active articulated torsional drive unit, which in combination with a complex control system attains an unprecedented level of efficiency in flight operation. Festo has thus succeeded for the first time in creating an energy-efficient technical adaptation of this model from nature.

Festo says developing the SmartBird has provided insights that will help it in a variety of areas. The robot's minimal use of materials and lightweight construction will help increase efficiencies in resource and energy consumption, while the functional integration of its coupled drive units have provided ideas the company says it can transfer to the development of hybrid drive technology. Additionally, analysis of its flow characteristics during development has provided insights into ways to optimize future designs. Another plus is that it won't try and steal your chips at the beach.