The Washington Post

Watch Festo’s robotic dragonfly take flight


The robotic dragonfly developed by German robotics company Festo. (Festo)

German robotics company Festo appears to have mastered the mechanics of the dragonfly, creating the BionicOpter — a 175-gram robotic dragonfly.

All four wings are independently controlled, giving the robotic insect the ability to accelerate while moving backward, forward, up or down. It can also hover and glide without beating its wings. The BionicOpter can be controlled using a smartphone, according to documentation from the company.

“This unique way of flying is made possible by lightweight construction and the integration of functions: components such as sensors, actuators and mechanical components, together with open- and closed-loop control systems, which are installed in a very tight space and matched accurately to one another,” said Heinrich Frontzek, Festo’s Corporate Communication and Future Concepts chief, via a release.

The company, based in Germany with operations worldwide, plans to debut the technology at the Hannover Messe trade show in April, reports Canadian Manufacturing.

(via Canadian Manufacturing)

Emi Kolawole is the editor-in-residence at Stanford University's d.school, where she works on media experimentation and design.

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