‘Nature demonstrates how maximum performance can be achieved with minimum energy consumption,’ a Festo spokesman said.
“The life-size bionic birds are hydrodynamic and can turn like real penguins because of the flexible glass fibre rods that control their heads.
The creatures are propelled by elegant wings that also enable them to manoeuvre in small spaces. Each wing is formed from a spring steel skeleton covered with elastic silicon. This allows the flippers to twist at an ‘optimal angle’ for each stroke.
And unlike their real-life counterparts they can even swim backwards.
Each robot also carries 3D sonar, a concept borrowed from dolphins, that helps them to orientate themselves and communicate with each other to prevent collisions.”