USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.,
Festo, a German
industrial automation company, brought along some of its incredible robotic animals for a rare public display. We stopped by the Festo booth to check them out. In an abandoned ballroom upstairs, Festo’s chief pilot, Markus Schäffer, showed off three of the company’s spectacular flying robots:
eMotionButterfly, AirJelly, and AirPenguin.
Festo uses robots like these to explore creative ways in which nature can be used as an inspiration for improvements in technology. In addition to these three robots, Festo engineers have also developed flying seagulls, hopping kangaroos, robotic ants that cooperate, a soft manipulator based on an elephant's trunk, and a gripper inspired by the tongue of a chameleon. Festo comes out with something new every year, and while Schäffer wouldn’t give us any clues about what to expect for 2017, we've been promised that there’s some very cool stuff in the works.