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Video: Festo's Dragonfly Robot Flies, Hovers & Glides
4/12/2013

Modeled after a dragonfly, Festo's latest sophisticated robot is the BionicOpter, which can independently move each of its wings to fly in any direction, as well as hover and glide.
  (Source: Festo)
Modeled after a dragonfly, Festo's latest sophisticated robot is the BionicOpter, which can independently move each of its wings to fly in any direction, as well as hover and glide.
(Source: Festo)

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Greg M. Jung
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Re: That's a cool robot
Greg M. Jung   4/12/2013 10:55:09 PM
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I also like the use of Nitinol to control the head and body.  Very clever and elegant use of this material.  Light weight, yet offers full functionality.

Greg Stirling
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Festo's Dragonfly Robot Flies, Hovers & Glides
Greg Stirling   4/12/2013 8:40:15 PM
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As a professional machine designer/builder in the world of automation, I have been familiar with Festo for years.  They are well known for their pneumatic components,  German engineering, and quality.  This is an impressive display of minaturization and servo control.  Festo could step into the stepper or servo motor/control market with this.  The obvious application for this is as a radio controlled toy.  Four channel helicopters with radio transmitter, battery, charger and airframe sell for $128 which are durable and have spare parts at reasonable prices.  If Festo could retail these for say under $250 ready to fly, I suspect they could sell like hotcakes...

Charles Murray
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Re: Festo Dragonfly
Charles Murray   4/12/2013 7:07:17 PM
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I agree, Al. The video is awesome.

apresher
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Festo Dragonfly
apresher   4/12/2013 3:50:11 PM
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Ann, Interesting report from Hannover Fair.  Enjoyed the video.

Charles Murray
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Re: That's a cool robot
Charles Murray   4/12/2013 2:01:20 PM
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Yes, Ann, Festo's Bionic Learning Network has done some amazing things, most notably the Festo SmartBird and the Festo AquaJelly. Both of those devices drew crowds at Pack Expo in Chicago last year.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: That's a cool robot
Ann R. Thryft   4/12/2013 11:48:44 AM
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Festo does a lot of future-oriented expensive R&D, so right now the answer is probably they don't use it for anything. The R&D done under Festo's Bionic Learning Network, like practically all its other research, is done to develop new technologies for automation. There wasn't a lot of detail on applications for this robot, but the brochure at this link
http://www.festo.com/net/SupportPortal/Files/248133/Festo_BionicOpter_en.pdf
contains some rather vague language that implies they envision a future networked, decentralized factory where: "Individual workpieces will themselves determine what functions they need plants to provide. This digital refinement will give rise to increasingly intelligent products that can actively support the production process thanks to increased functionality – from energy autonomy through to condition monitoring – in the smallest of installation spaces."
In other words, way more robots/automated systems with much greater independent functioning.

Rob Spiegel
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That's a cool robot
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2013 10:59:59 AM
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Nice video, Ann. Another great example of borrowing from nature. That approach seems to be everywhere these days. But I'll ask the same question my daughter asked when I showed her the video: what do thay use it for?

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