As regular readers are well aware, airships are a familiar favorite of ours. And biomimicry is the modeling of natural methods and processes in technological designs.
So you'd be hard-pressed to find a more EcoGeeky convergence of concepts than this lightweight (1.6 kg; about 3.5 pounds) airship from Festo Robotics that moves around like a manta ray in the air. Lightweight actuators and a semi-rigid frame allow the flapping motion that propels it around. It literally swims through the air. You NEED to see this thing in action to really appreciate it. The video plays automatically after the jump.
It's unlikely that this would ever be directly adapted to passenger uses. While it may not immediately appear to have practical uses (and looking at it, one wonders how it would fare in a stiff breeze), a commercial application coming at some time in the future doesn't seem out of the question.
Keep reading for the video.
Link: Festo Air Ray (PDF)
Video courtesy of Festo...amazing stuff...
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