frqame grab of Festo flying jellyfish
Please click on the image to see the video

Festo uses robots like these to explore creative ways in which nature can be used as an inspiration for improvements in technology.

At the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., Festo, a German industrial automation company, brought along some of its incredible robotic animals for a rare public display. In an abandoned ballroom upstairs, Festo’s chief pilot, Markus Schäffer, showed off three of the company’s spectacular flying robots: eMotionButterfly, AirJelly, and AirPenguin.

In addition to these three robots, Festo engineers have also developed flying seagulls, hopping kangaroos, robotic ants that cooperate, a soft manipulator based on an elephant’s trunk, and a gripper inspired by the tongue of a chameleon.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words – take a look it is whimsical, delightful and very forward thinking. This jelly weighs just over two pounds and can stay aloft for several hours.

read more at spectrum.ieee.org

 

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