Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New drive concept!

The focus of Festo's Bionic Learning network has shifted from the well-known flying AirPenguin and Jellyfish to an innovative flying kinematic structure called SmartInversion. Based on the studies of 20th century Swiss mathematician Paul Schatz, the new flying object is a stunning visualisation of this unique geometric structure that will excite engineers.

While linear and rotary movements are familiar and well understood, inversion is a third and far more complex principle which, when seen in the form of the SmartInversion, is both fascinating and inspiring.

SmartInversion is a lighter-than-air, helium filled structure which utilises a smart phone app to remote control three miniature closed loop servo motors. The result is a large 4.75 metre structure that can propel itself by self inversion through the air in an intriguing and beguiling way.

“The Bionic Learning Network concepts are developed as a collaboration between our research, development, corporate design teams and leading universities and research establishments,” says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo GB. “They always provoke discussion and are a great way for us to gauge reaction to ideas and innovations inspired by nature and applied to automation. We also use the Bionic Concepts to inspire young engineers; changing their perceptions by displaying complex engineering in novel ways.”

“We reinvest more than 8.5% of our turnover into future developments through research and development. It is important that we use a small part of this budget to explore completely new ideas; nature inspires us with so many ideas for improved efficiency, optimised movements and improved communications.”

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