Is that a Bird, a Plane, or a Festo SmartBird?

August 9, 2011

4:24 pm

We’ve come a long way since the early days of remote control cars. The Festo Corporation is a leading innovator in robotics, and, in a neat twist, all of their robotic designs are inspired by nature. Their newest innovation, SmartBird, was introduced earlier this year at the 2011 TEDGlobal Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland where it took flight and flew around the conference.

Festo’s design for the SmartBird was inspired by the Herring Gull. The mission was to create an ultralight flight model with excellent aerodynamic qualities and extreme agility. Check it out:

SmartBird is truly an amazing piece of technology. By utilizing Festo’s latest energy efficiency technology, SmartBird is able to mimic the exact flying motions of a seagull and stay airborne – it is even rumored that it was flown from Germany to Edinburgh for the conference. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles, thus allowing SmartBird to replicate the exact motions of a bird in flight. It can start, fly and land all autonomously and with no additional drive mechanism.

It will be interesting to see how Festo’s technology used in the SmartBird can be implemented in every day use. Where do you see Festo heading with this in the future?

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Henry Sams is a Tech Cocktail intern, college student, and Washington, D.C. metro native who has a passion for new technology and marketing through social media. He has always been interested in new tech innovations, start-ups, and gadgets and would like to create a start-up of his own some day.

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