Biomimetic Robot Future: Top 5 Creations


FESTO specialize in automation technology, industrial training and education programs. It’s a fantastic example of biomimetic design and our inevitable robot future. They are a Serious Wonder favorite and we wanted to share our top 5 favorite creations. Flying robotic jellyfish, swimming robotic manta rays, machine muscles, robotic birds and a SmartBird! This is our biomimetic robot future!

Will our oceans and skies be full of robots in the near future? If so, how can we use these creations to improve our lives? Could we use robotic birds to deliver products or could we create massive versions of these flying birds to carry humans from place to place? Could this be the future of air travel? What a wild ride that would be.

Could biomimetic automation create a future that would allow us to do away with manual labor or pointless jobs? Personally, I want a micro “AirJelly” for the Serious Wonder mascot! Or a massive Air_Ray robot to take me to Europe…business class with a view!


“Air_ray, modelled on the manta ray, is a remote-controlled hybrid construction consisting of a helium-filled ballonet and a beating wing drive. Its lightweight design enables it to “swim” in the sea of air using the lift from the helium in a similar way to the manta ray in water.

Propulsion is achieved by a beating wing drive. The servo drive-controlled wing, which can move up and down, utilises the Fin Ray Effect® and is based on alternate pulling and pushing flanks connected via frames. When pressure is exerted on one edge, the geometrical structure automatically curves against the direction of the influencing force. A servo drive pulls the two flanks alternately in longitudinal direction, thus moving the wing up and down.”

“AirJelly’s environment is the air. Unlike AquaJelly, the remote-controlled jellyfish AirJelly does not swim through water, but instead glides instead through a sea of air thanks to its central electric drive unit and an intelligent, adaptive mechanism. It is able to do so because it consists of a helium-filled ballonett.

AirJelly’s sole source of power is two lithium-ion polymer batteries connected to the central electric drive unit. It transmits the force to a bevel gear and from there to a succession of eight spur gears, which move the eight tentacles of the jellyfish via cranks. Each tentacle is designed as a structure with Fin Ray Effect® . Propulsion of a ballonett by means of peristaltic motion is hitherto unknown in the history of aviation. AirJelly is the first indoor flight object with peristaltic drive. This new drive concept, with propulsion based on the principle of recoil, moves the jellyfish gently through the air.”

“AquaJelly is an artificial autonomous jellyfish in water, a self-controlling system which emulates swarming behaviour. AquaJelly consists of a translucent hemisphere and eight tentacles for propulsion. At the centre of the AquaJelly is a watertight laser-sintered body. It houses a central electric motor, the two lithium-ion polymer batteries, the recharging control unit and the servo motors for the swash plate.”

“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. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles. This is made possible by an active articulated torsional drive unit, which in combination with a complex control system attains an unprecedented level of efficiency in flight operation. Festo has thus succeeded for the first time in creating an energy-efficient technical adaptation of this model from nature.”

elephant-trunk-robot-armA new ‘biomechatronic’ freely movable handling system based on an elephant’s trunk:
“The Bionic Handling Assistant comprises three basic elements for spatial movement, along with a hand axis and a gripper with adaptive fingers.

Its eleven degrees of freedom allow a wide variety of task-specific travel paths, which unlike conventional handling systems are not purely linear.

The three basic elements each comprise three actuators, which are supplied with compressed air at the interfaces of the elements. Resetting is effected by the loop-like design of the actuators, which act like a spring when the compressed air is discharged.”


Fabio Evagelista is a Brazilian writer.

Crossed Paths is the first book of the Myra-Hati trilogy, an epic adventure in a post-apocalyptic world, for the lovers of sci-fi / fantasy genre. This is the author’s first work published in America.




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