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SmartBird is an Amazing Ornithopter [Video]

Robotics company Festo has presented numerous ingenious flying machines inspired by nature, but they have reached new heights with the SmartBird. Weighing a mere 450 grams and with a wingspan of 1.96 meters, the SmartBird mimics bird flight with surprisingly natural ease and grace. It can also takeoff, fly, and land autonomously, all while making in-flight adjustments. This robot also shirks plane-like control surfaces like flaps, instead using its flexible body to control its direction in flight.

While Festo points out a that SmartBird combines “lift and propulsion,” it’s not clear if it relies entirely on wing-flapping for lift or if the body is filled with lighter-than-air gas, as many of Festo’s other flying robots are.

Seeing this, I can’t help but think of Leonardo daVinci and how he labored to create a mechanical device that would mimic bird flight. A shame that he never could see the amazing creations we’re now capable of.

(via The Next Web)

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