Ultralight flying objects with collective behaviour
Flying is a recurring theme in the Bionic Learning Network. The developers channelled their knowledge gained from the projects on the BionicOpter and the eMotionSpheres into the bionic butterflies. They combine the ultralight construction of artificial insects with coordinated flying behaviour in a collective.
Coordinated flying thanks to indoor GPS with infrared cameras
Ten cameras installed in the room record the butterflies using their infrared markers. The cameras transmit the position data to a central master computer, which coordinates the butterflies from outside. The intelligent networking system creates a guidance and monitoring system, which could be used in the networked factory of the future.
In order to replicate their natural role model as closely as possible, the artificial butterflies feature highly integrated on-board electronics. They are able to activate the wings individually with precision and thereby implement the fast movements. As the wings slightly overlap, an air gap is created between them when they beat, which gives the butterflies their special aerodynamics.
Highly integrated research platforms with minimum use of materials
With the butterflies, Festo is taking another step into the areas of miniaturisation, lightweight construction and functional integration. The eMotionButterflies impress with an intelligently employed mechanical system and the smallest possible power units in the tightest space. The reduced use of materials enables the true-to-nature flying behaviour.