jump to navigation

DaVinci’s Dream Realized…For a Bird, Anyway March 25, 2011

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys.

The SmartBird is an ultralight but powerful flight model from Festo.

Inspired by the herring gull, it can start, fly and land autonomously – with no additional drive mechanism. Its wings flap up and down, and can twist at specific angles using an articulated torsional drive unit.   Completely awesome technology, based on nature original aerodynamics.

Festo makes other robotic devices based on natural models.  I found their pneumatic muscle pretty fascinating, based on pulling against fibers rather than pressing against a piston.

Fluidic muscle

It’s a hollow elastomer cylinder embedded with aramid(?) fibers. When it fills with air, it increases in diameter and contracts in length.
The use of the fluidic muscle enables motion sequences which approach human movement in terms of kinematics, speed, strength and sensitivity.  The fluidic muscle can exert ten times the force of a comparably sized cylinder, is very sturdy, and can even be used under extreme conditions such as in sand or dust.

OK, now watch the video.  That thing is the ultimate spy tool.


No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: