By the crazy German mad scientists at Festo.

SmartBird is an ultralight but powerful flight model with excellent aerodynamic qualities and extreme agility. With SmartBird, Festo has succeeded in deciphering the flight of birds – one of the oldest dreams of humankind.

This bionic technology-bearer, which is inspired by the herring gull, can start, fly and land autonomously – with no additional drive mechanism. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles. This is made possible by an active articulated torsional drive unit, which in combination with a complex control system attains an unprecedented level of efficiency in flight operation. Festo has thus succeeded for the first time in creating an energy-efficient technical adaptation of this model from nature.

[Via Tinkernology]

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

  • Anonymous

    Incredible work. Now all it needs is the ability to drop it’s waste on selected targets :)

    • Jeanne Lee

      Gosh! This made me laugh like crazy :D

  • Matthew Sawyer

    As far as I know about our current state of technology, the only practical use for the Ornithopter Drone appears to be domestic espionage. I predict rednecks will be shooting these things out of the sky, over marijuana crops in the Appalachians.

  • Anonymous

    omg have you heard the word…………..?

  • John Lancia

    As mentioned in Zero History.

  • Jeremy

    That is freaking awesome. Nothing else to be said about it.

  • Jafar

    great job keep up the good work

  • Mihirr Panchaal


  • Anonymous

    Pretty interesting. Here are two uses I can think of:
    1. old fashioned covert messaging. One of these could fly with a flock to go undetected to deliver a small payload safely.
    2. I wonder if these can scare off birds that take up residence in large buildings with high ceilings, such as warehouses, big box stores and large supermarkets. kind of like the plastic owl idea but a whole lot more realistic.

  • Jamie Mccabe

    i can see this thing being stolen by the military

  • Anonymous

    I can see this thing being purchased legally by the military

  • Charles Hutchinson

    Yes, but will it lay eggs?

  • Shea Liddicoat

    wow….flying robot bird

  • Richard Earnshaw

    I’d shoot it out of the sky if i saw its ass in my neighborhood.