Mechanical bird flaps its wings to fly, just like the real thing

Real birds make it look easy, but it turns out that making something that can fly by flapping its wings is incredibly difficult. That didn't stop the folks at Festo's Bionic Learning Network from creating this elegant autonomous Herring Gull, that can fly using no propulsion other than its wings.

It seems like the wing area to weight ratio is critical, so the SmartBird tips the scales at a positively bird like 1-pound, despite having a huge 6-foot wingspan. Just flying by itself seems impressive enough, but the SmartBird can also take off and land with no assistance, while you control the route of its flight from the ground using a ZigBee radio.

Now that they've built it, I'm not sure what it could be used for, but you've got to admit that it looks pretty cool.

Via Engadget

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