May 3, 2011

Science Scene - Not Quite Living Seagull :o)

I find this absolutely fascinating, I recommend watching both videos.  Science and engineering at their best.

A new lifelike seagull ‘bot is one of the most realistic bio-inspired flight machines we’ve seen. SmartBird takes off, flies and lands on its own, flapping its wings and turning its head and tail to steer. It is modeled on the herring gull and its appearance and movements are uncannily similar to the real thing.
Designed by the German firm Festo, which also brought us the elephant-trunk-inspired robotic arm and the autonomous robotic jellyfish, SmartBird is Festo’s newest entry in its Bionic Learning Network program, which involves several universities in the U.S. and Europe and aims to use nature as a model for mechatronic systems.
The bird has a 6.5-foot wingspan, so it’s much larger than a real gull, but it looks pretty much like the real thing, as you can see in the video below.



  1. Definitely one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

  2. Both bots could be trained to terrorize rude tourists.

  3. This went straight to my husband, the pilot and RC model-builder, who'll thank me and thank me. So, thanks!

  4. Do beach going androids dream of electric gulls?

    Guess they don't have to dream any longer. Great post Ken.

    This is a very interesting scientific field and one that holds great promise for finding solutions to world problems, not because of what they can produce, but because the field they chose to study does not seek to distance man from nature but to bring him closer to it again using the endless wonders(and applications) of natural design.


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