Meet the BionicOpter, a robotic dragonfly that masters the highly complex flight characteristics of insects
Festo is a German industrial control and automation tech startup based in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. The company develops and markets pneumatic and electrical automation technology solutions for factories.
Founded 1985 by Albert Fezer and Gottlieb Stoll, FESTO offers pneumatic drives, servo-pneumatic positioning systems, electromechanical drives, motors and controllers, grippers, handling systems, vacuum technology solutions, valves, valve terminals, sensors, image processing systems, pneumatic fittings systems, electrical connector technology solutions, control technology and software solutions, and more.
In recent months, one of Festo’s products that’s generating buzz on social media is BionicOpter. Thanks to its lightweight construction and function integration, with the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its model in nature, this ultralight flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air, and glide without beating its wings.
The BionicOpter looks so real to the point it caused Elon Musk to ask: “First birds weren’t real, now bugs aren’t real either!?”
According to the information on its website, Festo said each of the four wings also features an amplitude controller in addition to control of the shared flapping frequency and twisting of the individual wings.
“The tilt of the wings determines the direction of thrust. Amplitude control allows the intensity of the thrust to be regulated. When combined, the remote-controlled dragonfly can assume almost any position in space,” Festo wrote.
Below is a video of BionicOpter in action.