You might never have heard of Festo before, but take it from us, they’re top dogs when it comes to cutting edge robotics. Their reputation for industry excellence is possible thanks to the Robotics Learning Network, a partnership program that lets them harness the best minds in research and academe for some truly jaw dropping projects. Say hello to the SmartBird.
Truth be told, it could have been given a cooler handle like “Icarus” or something poetic. Alas, SmartBird it is. Never mind the silly name, since there really isn’t much A.I. involved with this build. SmartBird is a marvel of lightweight engineering and Festo‘s description of their latest masterpiece attests to this:
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.
In case you didn’t notice, it’s fashioned after a Seagull. Those lovable fishermen’s friend’s and perpetual lingerers along coastal areas.
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