Jonathan Livingston Seagull the Robot

Bionic and Traditional Seagull

Bionic and biological Seagull (source: spectrum.ieee.org)

Festo‘s SmartBird robotic seagull is barely four months old, but already it’s flown (or we should probably assume, been flown) from Germany to Edinburgh for the 2011 TEDGlobal conference.

Festo has a fairly fascinating, frankly fantastical, and frequently full-on fabulous history with the robotic systems that they develop in partnership with universities and research groups as part of their Bionic Learning Network. In the past, we’ve seenflying penguins and jellyfish, as well as bio-inspired manipulators like this one.

Festo’s Markus Fischer, the SmartBird project leader, presented a short talk about SmartBird, along with a couple live demonstrations of the robot, complete with a few friendly dive-bombings. (Quotes from Robot Bird Causes SensationIEEE Spectrum).

Be careful — the next dropping on your shoulder might be battery acid or lubricating grease.

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One Response to Jonathan Livingston Seagull the Robot

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