March 28, 2011
Wow. Aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal would have loved this. German automation company Festo has built a “SmartBird” modeled on the herring gull that, according to the company, can take off, fly, and land autonomously—just by flapping its wings.
The design features a number of innovations, including active torsion of the wings and a torso that bends aerodynamically. And it only weighs a pound.
Strange that the video doesn’t show the thing taking off and landing. But it’s pretty cool to watch in flight (via Kurzweilai.net).
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