Thursday, 23 April 2009
"The bionic penguins can twist and turn almost as gracefully as their living counterparts because of the flexible glass fibre rods that control their heads. The fibres are arranged around the side of each penguin's head, while motors inside the body pull on one or more of them to twist the penguin's neck in any direction and guide the swimmer... [The design] has been adapted by Festo to make a flexible, trunk-like arm with a gripper on the end for use in industrial applications. The arm can twist up to 90° in any direction, giving it an unrivalled degree of dexterity."
Festo have also created versions of the penguins that can be filled with helium gas, and "swim" through the air.