The engineers at Festo, the same folks who designed the amazing SmartBird, have now created a four-winged dragonfly they call “BionicOpter.” Here’s the scoop from their website and don’t miss the video of the dragonfly in flight below!
With the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its model in nature, this ultralight flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air and glide without beating its wings.
In addition to control of the shared flapping frequency and twisting of the individual wings, each of the four wings also features an amplitude controller. The tilt of the wings determines the direction of thrust. Amplitude control allows the intensity of the thrust to be regulated. When combined, the remote-controlled dragonfly can assume almost any position in space.
This unique way of flying is made possible by the lightweight construction and the integration of functions: components such as sensors, actuators and mechanical components as well as open- and closed-loop control systems are installed in a very tight space and adapted to one another.
With the remote-controlled dragonfly, Festo demonstrates wireless real-time communication, a continuous exchange of information, as well as the ability to combine different sensor evaluations and identify complex events and critical states.