Fun & Games Robotics
Ornithopter Drone Actually Looks Like a Bird

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]

28 thoughts on “Ornithopter Drone Actually Looks Like a Bird

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Comments are closed.


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

View more articles by John Baichtal