Festo the German Industrial giant has a menagerie of bionic animals, the Bionic Zoo. Their latest creation the nature inspired bionic animal the SmartBird has captured a lot of attention recently but hiding in the wings are a collection of most unusual bionic animals. The flying AirPenguin for example is a sight to be seen. Like a scene were something is just not right the sight of the Penguin gliding through the air seems beautifully natural till you realize its air-borne. The AirJellyFish is also a most uncommon sight to behold. Like an incredible combination of Art and Science the Bionic Animals in Festo’s Bionic Zoo bring together the latest theory and technology, wrapping it in an attention grabbing form.
Festo is an old name in Germany, as a company it was established in 1925 by Gottlieb Stoll and Albert Fezer, initially manufacturing wood cutting tools they expanded their business into designing and manufacturing automated production systems, Now they are a large multi-national company with offices in 176 countries around the world, an industrial design powerhouse known for engineering with flair. While Festo may not be a house-hold brand anyone involved in the manufacturing and robotics industries will be well aware of the technology that Festo produce.
Festo’s Bionic Learning Network is responsible for producing these marvels. A collaboration between Festo’s R&D labs, universities, institutes and development companies. Bringing together these great minds and adding nature as its inspiration has produced an incredible collection of animals in its Bionic Zoo. As a technology demonstration the Bionic Zoo is designed to catch people’s attention, which it does extremely well.
Being a creative bunch, the forefathers at Festo instilled a sense of education and innovation throughout the fabric of the company. Much of the designs and innovations are inspired by nature. Many of the animal demonstrations feature a number of ground breaking features surrounded by off the shelf Festo parts. As a part of Festo’s technology showcase program the AirPenguin makes use of Festo’s latest actuators, controllers and logic circuits. The AirJellyFish used a new type of joint and pneumatic actuator to create realistic motion.
The latest animal to join the Bionic Zoo, the SmartBird also continues Festo’s push into artificial intelligence. All of Festo’s flying creatures can be remote controlled as you might expect but they also have the in-built intelligence to fly on their own. In this mode the operator is able to simply give the animal a mission and let it get to business.
Festo even have their own version of the Adams family Thing, the hand in a box that’s always there to help. Festo’s Thing does have a slight resemblance to a Spiderman super villain but the intent is close to Thing, a hand in a box that’s always ready to assist. As far as we know in any case. Now that we think about it there is also a certain Batman super villain who would love the AirPenguin. Is it possible the Bionic Learning Center has all of the comic book super villains working in its labs? We kid.
Here at Highpants we unanimously love when opposites come together in successful ways such as Festo’s Bionic Zoo. Art and Science working together can indeed produce some surprising results. We can’t wait to see what Festo has in store for us all next.
Presented for your viewing pleasure – below – are the highlights of the Festo Bionic Zoo, these most unusual animals will put a smile on your dial…
Source: Festo Bionic Learning Network – Zoo -
AirPenguin – These automated flying Penguins use Festo’s latest actuators along with positive buoyance – Helium – to fly gracefully through the air. The penguins are autonomous and will fly around together for hours, just don’t try to steal their fish.
AquaJelly – Artificial jelly fish look like a cyborg sea creature, but just as with the other Air creatures the Jelly’s movement is very smooth, fluid.
AirJelly – The AirJelly uses the new actuators to drive a new joint that provides smooth flowing movement, the body of the jelly fish is helium filled but the tentacles are it’s form of locomotion