Smilla smiles: some believe we can fly

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ladies and gentlemen, today has been a very busy day and it would take me hours to share all the things I discovered. I’ll start with the first one, which I considered in amazement. I had never heard about Festo before. Well, indeed, that was unlikely as it’s a engineering-driven company that develops automatisation systems based on pneumatic and electric technologies – a German company to be precise. Alright, if this does not sound in any way familiar to you – which I would understand to a certain extent – let me just show you what amazed the little girl living in at the bottom of my heart and the innovation craze that swirls in my mind.

This is what I was given to watch:

No, you’re not dreaming, they are real robots. In the video, they’re flying in the hall of the premisses. They can really fly and even get into water (also super impressive). They reproduce the natural movements of penguins. So technically, or rather technologically, penguins can fly. For more technical info on these robots, see the Festo website page (only available in German or French though…) These were developed in 2008, along with another animal that I find really fantastic although once I got stung/bitten really hard by one. Here’s the aquatic version of the Festo Jelly, “AquaJelly”.

How wonderful.

Why this dream of engineers will you ask? Well, simply to show how talented the Festo people are, and oh yes, they definitely are.

And now see the latest innovation, the Smart bird, which was shown in Edinburgh in summer 2011 at a TED conference:

Followed by an actual immersion into the “real” bird’s environment, just after the conference, in Holyrood park (special mention for Scotland again – it must have been amazing). See video here.

Most of the showings of the robots developed by Festo can be found on youtube, or else more simply on Festo’s channel.


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