Robot Bird Flies Like the Real Thing
Despite the fact that humans have developed ways to get ourselves up in the air and flying, we still have trouble replicating the flight of birds. Recently though, companies such as Festo, have begun creating robot birds that exactly mimic a bird's actual flight.
According to Festo's website, the "SmartBird is an ultralight but powerful flight model with excellent aerodynamic qualities and extreme agility." The SmartBird is one of their various biologically inspired robots.
The SmartBird, which was inspired by a seagull, is completely autonomous, taking off, flying and landing completely on its own. Festo accomplished its realistic flight by creating a design where the wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles; much the way a real bird's wings would, arranging its wings to get the most out of the air.
The robot, which has a roughly two meter wingspan and weighs 46 grams, is made with lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and contains a low weight motor. According to Festo, this gives it a realistic flight pattern and means it only needs 25 watts of energy to achieve lift and flight.
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