Festo BionicSwift Robotic Bird
Unlike other robotic birds, Festo’s BionicSwift has a radio-based indoor GPS with ultra-wideband technology (UWB) to allow it to fly safely and in a coordinated pattern in a defined airspace. Its wings are modeled after the plumage of real birds and weighs just 42 grams despite having a body length of 44.5 centimeters as well as a wingspan of 68 centimeters. Read more for a video and additional information.

In order to replicate natural flight, the wings boast individual feathers made from a flexible ultra-lightweight, but very robust, foam, that overlaps each other. Connected to a carbon quill, they are attached to the actual hand and arm wings just like its real-life counterpart. The individual feathers fan out during the wing upstroke, enabling air to flow through the wing, and then close during the downstroke to provide the flying robot with a more powerful flight.

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The intelligent networking of flight objects and GPS routing makes a 3D navigation system that could be used in the networked factory of the future. For example, by precisely locating the flow of materials and goods, process workflows can be improved and bottlenecks can be predicted. In addition, autonomous flying robots could be used for transporting materials, with their flight corridors a way of optimizing the use of space within a factory,” said Festo.

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