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Festo

05/04/2013 2 comments

Festo is a German automation company. But beyond industrial automation they also do a lot of research in the field of robotics. While they have some nice parts of humanoid designs, the most interesting designs are their designs based on the locomotion of animals. They base their designs on animals because evolution has “developed” animals in an energy deficient environment. Thus, development based on animals will lead to lightweight and energy efficient designs.

Their first robotic animal experiment was in 2006. They made a robotic fish that could swim.

They continued in the same line in 2007 when they made a manta ray that would swim. They also made a flying version of it.

They continue their aquatic designs with a jelly fish.

Festo Aqua Jelly

Festo Aqua Jelly

And they also build a flying version of it. Which is my personal favourite project of theirs.

In 2009 they build a penguin. Again both in swimming and in flying version.

Festo Aqua Pengiun

Festo Aqua Penguin

In 2010 they stop with their aquatic based designs and make an elephant trunk like arm what they call their Bionic Handling Assistant.

In 2011, they make a robot based on a real flying animal, their smartbird. The wings not only go up and down, but also twist at specific angles.

2012 brings a gripper based on the head of a bird. Because of its design, a very light gripper with a large stroke and force can be achieved.

Festo Powergripper

Festo Powergripper

And this year they released a dragonfly like robot. The Bionicopter. The Bionicopter has 13 degrees of freedom, so this is really a nice example of miniaturisation as all sensors, actuators and control components have to be put in a very small space.

I think they have a very nice research and development atmosphere at Festo and wouldn’t mind working for such a company.

Sources:

Festo : http://www.festo.com/cms/en_corp/13165.htm