Festo Robotic Butterfly

Festo is known for their biologically-inspired flying robots, but these butterflies are definitely the most beautiful. They are all autonomous, using independently controllable wings to steer itself and fly pre-programmed routes. Ten high-speed (160fps) infrared cameras mounted in fixed positions around their flight area continuously track the butterflies to keep them from crashing into one another. There’s also a pair of active infrared beacons on each butterfly that replace the round reflectors found on many indoor quadcopters. Each robot may only have a 50cm wingspan and weigh a mere 32g, but they carry two servo motors to independently actuate the wings, an IMU, accelerometer, gyro, compass, as well as two small 90-mAh lithium-polymer batteries. The wings are covered with an ultra thin elastic capacitor film and are paired with thin carbon rods for structure. Click here to view the first image in this week’s funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a breathtaking sun halo.