Festo's BionicOpter flies at the Press Preview of ACHEMA. With the ultralight flying object, Festo shows how principles from nature can be applied in automation technology.
This unique way of flying is made possible by lightweight construction and the integration of functions: components such as sensors, actuators and mechanical components as well as open and closed-loop control systems are installed in a very tight space and adapted to one another.
The flapping frequency, amplitude and angle of incidence are controlled by software and electronics; the pilot just has to steer the dragonfly - there is no need to coordinate the complex motion sequences.
The principles of ultra-lightweight construction are applied throughout the flying object. With a wingspan of 63 cm and a body length of 44 cm, the model dragonfly weighs just 175 grams.
The wings consist of a carbon-fibre frame and a thin foil covering. The intelligent kinematics correct any vibrations during flight and ensure flight stability. In order to stabilise the flying object, data on the position and the twisting of the wings is continuously recorded and evaluated in real time during the flight of the dragonfly.