Festo's fantastic flying feats
If you happen to be in Hanover, Germany at the Hanover Messe industrial fair through April 8, you might want to swing by the booth of PopTech 2008 presenter Festo to see their latest innovation, the SmartBird. You'll have a chance to see the nature-inspired technologies they've been developing and "the secret of birds' flight decoded." Festo describes the project:
SmartBird is an ultralight but powerful flight model with excellent aerodynamic qualities and extreme agility. With SmartBird, Festo has succeeded in deciphering the flight of birds - one of the oldest dreams of humankind. This bionic technology-bearer, which is inspired by the herring gull, can start, fly and land autonomously -- with no additional drive mechanism.
If you're not able to pop over to Hanover for the fair, have a look at their video, which explains the SmartBird project in more detail.
And for more flying wonders, they brought a giant manta ray to PopTech's 2008 closing night party.
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