Be it a big Jellyfish like robot or a creepy looking record breaker or anything else, man has always tried to recreate what he sees around him. What the folks over at Festo were inspired by this time was the complex design of the dragonfly and the aerodynamic tricks it has been showing off for 300 million years. With that in mind, they created the BionicOpter.
The BionicOpter has a wingspan of 63 cm and measures 44 cm from tip to tail. It weighs just 175 g, made from aluminum, polyamide (sintered) and terpolymer (deep-drawn ABS), and each of its four wings, which can be turned up to 90 degrees from the horizontal, features a polyester membrane covering a carbon fiber frame.
It is equipped with an ARM microcontroller, inertia, acceleration and position sensors, servo motors, two LiPo batteries and a 2.4 GHz wireless module. The robot’s software and electronics take care of all the complex motion sequences and all that an operator on the ground has to do is control the steering. Everything put together and the BionicOpter moves up and down, forward and backward, and to the side with ease.
Check out the video below to see the robot in action. It’s certainly cool, but not as perfect as the one which nature has designed. The BionicOpter seems to be pretty shaky.