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Published on Apr 4, 2011
A German company has developed a gull which can fly like real gulls. Smart Bird, which uses a compact 135 brushless motor, can start, fly and land autonomously. An articulated torsion drive unit allows the bird to beat its wings up and down as well twist at specific angles. Company Fesco built robotic gull from carbon fiber and polyurethane foam, the ultra light Smart Bird weighs 485 grams, operates at 23 watts and can be controlled from the ground using a radio controller. The German company said that the bird's functional integration of coupled drive units could potentially be transferred to the development and optimization of a range of hybrid drive technology - from generators that derive energy from water to new actuators in process automation. The minimal use of materials and the bird's lightweight construction also pave the way for efficiency in resource and energy consumption, says Festo.