Smart Bird is the name of an ultralight airplane model that was developed as part of Festo 's Bionic Learning Network with a focus on effective aerodynamics and maximum agility. In April 2011, the SmartBird the public at the Hannover Fair was presented.


With the Smart Bird flapping its wings the natural bird was solved by bionics technology and thus decrypt the flight of birds. The benefits derived from herring gull biomechatronic technology support can start differently than previous flapping wing apparatus ( ornithopter ) without additional drive by itself, fly and land. Its wings not only beat up and down here, but also twist at specific. This is done by an active articulated torsional drive unit, which ensures both lift and propulsion.


Functional integration

This functional integration of coupled drives are there suggestions and insights that can be transmitted in automation technology in the development and optimization of hybrid drive technology. Possible applications range from Hubflügelgeneratoren for energy to actuators in process automation.

Aerodynamics and efficiency

The Smart Bird is also the documentation of control and regulation processes to increase efficiencies in flight operations: the case of measurements were electro- mechanical efficiencies to 45 % and aerodynamic efficiencies up to 80 % can be determined. The findings in the area of ​​aerodynamics and the flow behavior of SmartBird can help to develop new components for automation technology, which require less installation space, are flow- optimized and be more energy efficient.

Condition monitoring

During the flight of SmartBird the data of wing position and wing torsion are constantly monitored. The control parameters of the twist can be adjusted in real time during flight and thereby optimized. This ensures the stability in flight, and thus the operational reliability of the bird.

Energy and resource efficiency

The low use of materials and design as a lightweight in carbon fiber technology enabling energy-efficient movements of SmartBird.


The technical data of the Smart Birds are: