At the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany, Festo, the firm that brought you a mechanical jellyfish, has revealed its latest design inspired by nature: robotic penguins.

The bionic penguins p-p-pwaddle through water mimicking their real life counterparts, but these penguins can also fly. The bigger penguins have helium inside them, and can move through the air using the same motors they use to swim.

Evologic’s 3D sonar is mounted to each bird so that they can traverse in any direction. While robot penguins may seem just a little bit silly to anyone not trying to kill Batman, the process behind the neck joint is actually of great industrial use. Penguins steer with their head underwater, so a robot penguin needs a very flexible and strong neck “muscle.”

This particular “muscle” is built from flexible glass rods that are controlled by their own motors. This gives it the ability to move 90 degrees in any direction while still having great strength – far better than any normal robotic “muscle” can achieve.

Source: New Scientist

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