A lot of robots fly now but there was no one that could fly by only flapping their wings. Markus Fischer and his team at Festo studied and looked at the birds and tried to make a model that is powerful, ultralight with an excellent aerodynamic quality that can fly itself just by flipping its wings. The project was succeeded.
They picked the seabird as the roll model as it was easier to study the movements and freedom of circling around the sea.
It was a dream of mankind to fly like a bird
The Festo team is a combination of generalists and specialists in aerodynamic in the field of building gliders that seems like should have the ability to build this model bird of the mankind dream.
The bird they built has open wings of two meters, its length is one meter and six centimeters, and it weights only 450 grams (almost a lb). It’s mostly made of carbon fibers to be as light as possible with a small motor in it and couple of gears that is transferring the circulation of the motor.
There is a built-in sensor that knows the position and location of the wings in any moment. In their study the Festo team was able to see all the details and the movement of different parts of the wings when the sea bird flew.
Beside replicating the movement of the wings and coordinating the movements they had to measure the aerodynamic efficiency as well as calculating electromechanical efficiency. The next thing to do was controlling and putting into act the entire structure. According to Fischer the overall consumption of energy is 25 Watt on take off and 65 Watt in flight.