Monday 27 April 2009

Robotic Penguins: confluent Solutions for efficient automation

German engineering firm Festo exquisitely demonstrates their firm understanding of the kinetic motions of penguin flipper action:

"Penguins use lift-based propulsion from pectoral oscillation, or literally flapping their wings, just like the birds that they are. They generate thrust from the forward component of the lift produced by their wings depending on the angle of attack. This is much more efficient, as there is no recovery phase and so thrust can be produced almost constantly. This is how penguins and sea lions swim. Seals, whales, and dolphins use the same type of propulsion, but use their flukes or rear flippers instead of their pectoral flippers."

Festo has confluently engaged this action into the robotic penguins which can paddle through water just like real ones, while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air. Thus mastering the rules of autonomous flight.

Each penguin carries 3D sonar which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions with walls or other penguins. The bionic penguins can twist and turn almost as gracefully as their living counterparts because of the flexible glass fibre rods that control their heads.

This video is from the show at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany, and also shows us further extrapolations of this technology like the bionic tripod, the interactive wall, iFab a possible home based 3D printer and Molecubes a science toy culminating in the Festo Bionic Learning Network.

Related Post

blog comments powered by Disqus

Next Page