AAT News Service
can emulate animals to succeed in life. No kidding. It is
a fact. The research works at Festo, the German technology
giant, on Bionics prove it time and again. Festo showed
its prowess and superiority at the recently-concluded Hannover
Messe, worlds largest industry and technology trade
fair in Germany.
One of the most attractive exhibits by Festo was the SmartBird,
the highlight of the companys Bionic Learning Network
in 2011. With this flight model, Festo has succeeded in
deciphering the flight of birds. Just as with the Bionic
Tripod 3.0, the Bionic Handling Assistant and its further
development, Robotino® XT, Festo is focussing on energy
efficiency and lightweight design.
SmartBird is an ultralight, but powerful flight model with
excellent aerodynamic qualities and extreme agility. With
SmartBird, Festo has succeeded in copying 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
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
Festo already puts its expertise in the field of fluid dynamics
to use in the development of the latest generations of cylinders
and valves. By analysing SmartBirds 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.