One of the very first posts I ever made on RobotSpaceBrain was about Festo’s robotic flying animals (jelly fish, penguins, birds). Their new toy, called the BioniCopter, is modeled after the complex flight pattern of a Dragonfly. The robot only weighs about 175 g and maneuvers with incredible grace. It’s supposedly very easy to control as well, using a complex flapping motion handled by the software and electronics, allowing the pilot to use a simple smartphone app to steer the Robotic Dragonfly around in space.
How It Works:
The machine is run by an ARM microcontroller, which calculates all of the parameters relating to mechanical adjustments based on input from its sensors (accelerometers and such). The microcontroller then translates all that useful input information into control commands for the Servo motors so it can flap its wings appropriately.
Here are a few specifications from the Festo site:
Truly amazing products keep coming out of the German Festo Laboratories. I am not sure who is buying them, but of course, there are many potential applications for the high-tech flying robots. I am sure the military is keeping close tabs…
It would be interesting to see if you could scale this up and make a Giant Robotic Dragonfly…
You can read more at the Festo website.