Inspired by the flight of the dragonfly

Lightweight construction and functional integration make it possible: with the BionicOpter, our Bionic Learning Network has technically implemented the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Like its natural role model, the ultra-light aircraft can maneuver in all directions, hover on the spot and sail without flapping its wings. For the first time, a model can handle more flight conditions than helicopters, motorized and non-motorized gliders combined.

Highly integrated lightweight construction

This unique flight behavior is made possible by a design approach that has already played an important role in the SmartBird: Components such as sensors, actuators and mechanics as well as control and regulation technology are installed and matched up on-board in the tightest of spaces.

With a wingspan of 63 cm and a body length of 44 cm, the artificial dragonfly weighs only 175 grams. The wings are constructed of a carbon fiber frame and covered with a thin foil. The battery, nine servo motors and a powerful ARM microcontroller are integrated in the ribcage, as are the sensors and radio modules. The structure of elastic polyamide and terpolymer makes the entire system flexible, ultra-light and yet extremely robust.

Thirteen degrees of freedom for unique flight maneuvers

In addition to controlling the common flapping frequency and the rotation of the individual wings, amplitude control is used in each of the four wings. Pivoting the wings determines the direction of thrust. Amplitude control is used to regulate the amount of thrust. In combination, the level controlled by smartphone can take up almost any position orientation in space.

Process reliability and real-time communication

Whether with bionic technology test beds or in everyday industrial life: For us, the principle of permanent diagnosis guarantees operational reliability and process stability. During the flight, therefore, software continuously records the sensor data, evaluates it in real time and thereby recognizes complex events and critical states.

BionicOpter: with the nine degrees of freedom of the wings, each of them can be specifically adjusted and moved

Individually controlled: with the nine degrees of freedom of the wings, each of them can be specifically adjusted and moved