Bionic Swift
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 05 July 2020

Festo builds some amazing things and it has just released information on its new Bionic Swift, which has to be seen to be believed.

Festo is an automation company based in Esslingen, Germany, and it really only builds bionic robots to demonstrate how good it is at automation - but it really should think about forming a robot company. Over the years they have produced some amazing devices and the latest, the Bionic Swift is perhaps the most graceful of the lot. Each bird weighs just 42 grams and, as you can see from the video, they amost fly without effort and there's a flock of them.


The use of artifical feathers allows the device to fly like a real bird. The feathers pivot open on the up stroke to allow the air to pass through and then close on the down stroke providing the thrust to lift the bird.


You can see from the video that complicated flight manouvers are possible - just like a real bird. All of this from just one motor and two servos. Navigation is by way of high accuracy indoor GPS. The birds are controlled by a central computer that knows their position and can make flight course corrections in real time.

The reason Festo gives for building the bird is:

"The intelligent networking of flight objects and GPS routing makes for a 3D navigation system that could be used in the networked factory of the future. The precise localisation of the flow of materials and goods could, for example, improve process sequences and foresee bottlenecks. Moreover, autonomous flying robots could be used to transport materials, for instance, and thus optimise the use of space within a factory with their flight corridors."

Perhaps, but my guess is that they just wanted to build it...


More Information


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 April 2021 )