HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Blogs
Blog
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)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/4  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
That's a cool robot
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2013 10:59:59 AM
NO RATINGS
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?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: That's a cool robot
Ann R. Thryft   4/12/2013 11:48:44 AM
NO RATINGS
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.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: That's a cool robot
Charles Murray   4/12/2013 2:01:20 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Festo Dragonfly
apresher   4/12/2013 3:50:11 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, Interesting report from Hannover Fair.  Enjoyed the video.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Festo Dragonfly
Charles Murray   4/12/2013 7:07:17 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Al. The video is awesome.

Greg Stirling
User Rank
Platinum
Festo's Dragonfly Robot Flies, Hovers & Glides
Greg Stirling   4/12/2013 8:40:15 PM
NO RATINGS
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...

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Re: That's a cool robot
Greg M. Jung   4/12/2013 10:55:09 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Re : Video: Festo's Dragonfly Robot Flies, Hovers & Glides
AnandY   4/14/2013 3:07:08 AM
NO RATINGS
@Ann, thanks for post. Kudos to Festo for creating this little robotic dragonfly. This just shows that there are many things we can learn from nature. Its not an easy task to mimic the energy-efficient principles already found in nature and Festo has done a pretty good job of implementing such solutions in its products. 

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: That's a cool robot
Elizabeth M   4/15/2013 4:54:04 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, that is a super-cool robot. And the video is actually quite beautiful. I like when science and art combine to create something technologically innovative but also creative. It seems like robot design, as it gets more sophisticated, is moving away from utilitarian design to something that is more artful.

CLMcDade
User Rank
Gold
amaxing tech
CLMcDade   4/15/2013 10:12:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann,

This dragonfly is an amazing piece of technology, not only because of the very cool flying robot end-product but also because of the innovative melding of technologies and materials.

To address Rob's question, bluntly but not rudely, who cares what they are going to use it for?  Kudos to Festo for pursuing the projects they have undertaken - they are expanding the possibilities and our imaginations.  And if they have no end use in mind before development started, they deserve even more credit. 

Corporate America has become so focused on return on investment and the bottom line that it is holding money back from pure research for curiosity's sake.  Sometimes one should pursue curiosity, pursue the "what if..." just because the challenge is there.  There is rarely a lack of practical applications that can be imagined or developed after the fact.

I've watched the video 5 times and still wonder how does the thing actually fly?  And how did Festo figure out the wing movement to accomplish it? 

And in line with Elizabeth's comment, I have forwarded this link to a lot of my non-engineering, non-mechanical friends because they will appreciate it not for the engineering, but for its beauty, its unexpectedness and its artfulness.

Wonder - it's an amazing thing to inspire.

Page 1/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
Product design is changing with advances in technology and outsourced manufacturing. The Art of Product Design spells out the future of design engineering.
Samsung's 5th-generation Android-based Galaxy smartphone includes a fingerprint scanner, updated camera and display, and water/dust resistance.
Worldwide economic expansion is spurring growth in industrial machinery sales to 5% or 6% per year through 2018.
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. Iíve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service