The beautiful AirPenguin and AirJelly[fish] are every child's (and adult's) dream remote controlled toy. Gracefully swimming through the air with a body of helium, it's amazing to see the movements these biomechatronic animals make. But what are they for? Science is increasingly using observations from nature in order to progress and these animal ballonets have been designed as a proof of concept in this vein, showing what the technology can do. This can be used to help improve or design new manufacturing machines and technologies, and whilst looking for interest from manufacturing companies the Festo team have had numerous suggestions from members of the public that they are keen to try out.
Steve Sands: “Some have suggested it [the miniature version of the AirPenguin's nose] could be used for an aerofoil on Formula One cars”
Mike Gaffney: “And on the other end of the spectrum it has been suggested that it could be used for old people to help them pick things up, like a litter picker”
Look out for:
Sunday 4 July, 10.15am to 1pm - The 'Aquarium' starring two AirPenguins and an AirJelly on display in the Royal Festival Hall auditorium
Sunday 4 July, 5.30pm to 7pm - Q&A session with the AirPenguin designers.