Marvelous Animal Robots II

Animals have certain unique abilities that humans cannot do. These abilities have been proven to be of valuable use to everyday human activities. Hence, human duplicates them by creating robots. Over the years, several robots have been designed and fabricated by engineers, scientists, and researchers. I have previously featured three amazing animal robots (see Marvelous Animal Robots). Here is the second list of three marvelous and awe-inspiring animal robots.


The AirJelly is the first indoor flight object with peristaltic drive. It is created by the German firm Festo. The robot is similar to the AquaJelly, another creation of the company. Unlike the AquaJelly, the AirJelly swims through the air, instead in the water. Its head and entire body is a huge ballonet filled with helium, making it float on air. The diameter of the ballonet is 1.35 meters, yielding a volume of 1.3 cubic meters of helium. For it to be lifted, the robot is at least 1.3 kilograms. (image source)

The AirJelly is equipped with a central electric drive unit and an intelligent, adaptive mechanism. It is moved by two lithium-ion polymer batteries connected to the central electric drive unit. From here, power is transmitted to a bevel gear which is connected to eight spur gears that move the eight tentacles of the jellyfish via cranks. The movement created in the tentacles, called as peristaltic motion, propels the ballonet forward. The movement or propulsion based on the principle of recoil is a new concept. This is what moves the AirJelly through the air.


One of the latest creations from Festo is the SmartBird. This is a great breakthrough in man’s efforts to decipher the flight of birds. The SmartBird is an ultralight but powerful flight model with excellent aerodynamic qualities and agility. It weighs only 450 g (15.87 oz) and has a wingspan of 1.96 m (6.4 ft). (image source)

Inspired by the herring gull, the SmartBird can start, fly and land autonomously. Its wings beat up and down, as well as twist at specific angles. The mechanism employed is an active articulated torsional drive unit combined with a complex control system. Its direction is controlled by the interaction of the electric motors found in its head and torso sections. Like that in true birds, the SmartBird’s tail produces lift and functions as both pitch elevator and yaw rudder. The battery, engine and transmission, crank transmission, and control and regulation electronics are also found inside the robot’s torso.


Genibo is a robotic dog created by the Korean company of Dasarobot of Dasatech. It is similar in concept to Sony’s Aibo. It stands a foot tall and weighs 3.3 pounds. It is equipped with sensors, camera, and voice commands which enable it to identify itself and share “feeling” with its users.  It is capable of understanding over 100 voice commands such as “sit”, “roll over”, and “come here.” It can also change its mood according to user interaction, such as happiness, sadness, anger, and sleepiness. (image source)

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