World’s largest flying robot insect
Festo’s BionicOpter scores top spot in Guinness World Records 2020.
Guinness World Records has named Festo’s BionicOpter as the world’s largest flying robotic insect, in the iconic publisher’s latest edition. Based on the dragonfly, the BionicOpter is one of the many robotic animals created by the German automation company’s Bionic Learning Network.
“It is fascinating what we can learn from nature. Curiosity and joy in innovation drive us to keep trying new things,” says Karoline von Häfen, Head of Corporate Bionic Projects. “We are very pleased to be included in Guinness World Records. It’s a great validation.”
Just like the insect its modeled on, the BionicOpter can fly in all directions due to its ability to move each wing independently. This enables it to slow down and turn abruptly, accelerate swiftly and even fly backwards. With a wingspan of 63 cm and a body length of 44 cm, the model dragonfly weighs just 175 grams. The wings consist of a carbon-fibre frame and a thin foil covering.
Controllable via a smartphone app, the robot’s kinematics correct any vibrations during flight and ensure flight stability. During flight, the BionicOpter’s flight systems continuously record and evaluated data on the position and the twisting of the wings in real time to stabilise the flying object.