Thursday, 29 December 2016

These Flying Animal Robots Are Real and Magnificent

Just barely making it under the wire of a year full of bizarre and adorable robots, the fancy animal robot-makers at Festo are back with three new flying robots.

An industrial automation company, Festo’s robotic menagerie also includes herring gulls, kangaroos, ants, an elephant's trunk, and a gripper inspired by the tongue of a chameleon. Festo showed off three new animalistic flying drones at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC last summer, and they can seen beautifully gliding through the air in a video captured by IEEE Spectrum.

The eMotionButterfly uses a camera tracking system to fly autonomously, avoiding crashes into the ceiling and walls without human guidance. A kaleidoscope of up to 15 butterflies can work together at once, using the tracking cameras to navigate without crashing into one another.

AirJelly, a giant flying jellyfish, is gently propelled up and down by eight tentacles and directed remotely with a bearing inside the helium body. It only weighs about two pounds, and can fly for two hours on one small battery.

Last but perhaps cutest, the AirPenguin is a chubby silver blimp-bot with flippers that help it glide forward through the air, and moveable tail fins and a beak. Each of these creatures seems plucked from alternate reality, where mechanical zoos and Atomic Age-style penguins reign the skies. We’ll allow it, even though real penguins don’t fly.

Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.

from These Flying Animal Robots Are Real and Magnificent

No comments:

Post a Comment