Nothing like the robotic penguins we've covered in the past, german robotic company Festo's aqua penguins must surely get the prize for most awe-inspiring robot of 2009. Although the head shape is more redolent of a shark than a penguin, these life-size bionic birds are absolutely incredible.
Hydrodynamic, these robots can manoever in a small place and, unlike their real-life counterparts, can swim backwards. They carry 3D sonar which enables them to communicate with other penguins. The aqua penguin's half-brother is the air penguin, which resembles a shiny chrome blimp which, although breathtaking, is not quite so cute as its water-based relative. See them gliding around underwater courtesy of Festo's promotional video below.