June 16, 2013
Man mimics the seagull with a robot SmartBird [Video]

It might not seem all that fantastic but the fact s that bird flight is pretty incredible and as for as long as man has looked to the sky and believed he too could fly we have sought to mimic those winged creatures, but with more failures than anything else where the best we can do is to power our way through the air with brute force.

That is until now anyway.

At a recent TED conference in Scotland Germany's Festo showed the crowd its incredible flying robot seagull that truly mimics bird flight.

The bird is made of carbon fiber and polyurethane foam, weighs about 1 pound, and has a wingspan of some 6.5 feet.

It contains a microcontroller, four servo drives, and a lithium polymer battery. Its wings move in a split-stage helical transmission, and their positions are monitored with sensors that relay data to ground operators via a radio link.

The audience at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre applauded when the gull was hand-launched, tentatively flapping its wings and then beating the air to circle above the auditorium.

When it obediently returned to its handlers, it got a standing ovation, and again after a second demonstration.

via Crave CNET News