Festo is known for its appreciation of bio-mimicry in their robotic designs and the new BionicOpter is no exception. The BionicOpter leverages a unique multidisciplinary design approach combining lightweight sensors, actuators and mechanical elements with the latest in 21st century materials science. Much like Festo’s Bionic Handling Assistant the BionicOpter both looks and flies much like its organic dragonfly cousin.
“SmartBird is an ultralight but powerful flight model with excellent aerodynamic qualities and extreme agility. With SmartBird, Festo has succeeded in deciphering the flight of birds – one of the oldest dreams of humankind. 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. The functional integration of coupled drive units yields significant ideas and insights that Festo can transfer to the development and optimisation of hybrid drive technology. The minimal use of materials and the extremely lightweight construction pave the way for efficiency in resource and energy consumption. Festo already today puts its expertise in the field of fluid dynamics to use in the development of the latest generations of cylinders and valves. By analysing SmartBird’s flow characteristics during the course of its development, Festo has acquired additional knowledge for the optimisation of its product solutions and has learned to design even more efficiently.” Source: http://www.festo.com
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