Cyberpunk tech today: Flying drone built on concept of dragonfly – BionicOpter by German tech company Festo

Dragonfly Drone

Cyberpunk tech today  Flying drone built on concept of dragonfly - BionicOpter by German tech company Festo

Dragonfly Drone – BionicOpter by German tech company Festo – Click Full Size

Over a foot long (think of jumbo subway sandwich with wings) this drone is still in technical development but the glossy corporate promo material from German company Festo looks great. Right now it just flies around; no mean feat, this critter is demonstrating complex flight techniques comparable to nature. Despite its size and numerous hardware it’s remarkably light.  But skip not-too-long into the future, it’s not a vast leap of the imagination to see this thing equipped with sensory equipment to provide remote surveillance option.  Maybe even a stinger or aerosol spray device, with a payload containing vomiting, nerve-jangling or other non-lethal methods of incapacitation.  Find the perp. Bring the perp down. Pick the perp up and throw them in the meat wagon for processing. Next.

On an interesting side-note: in the U.S., the FAA are aiming to allow the use of various aerial drones in U.S. airspace, including public agencies and commercial purposes, by September 2015.  Not long now. Dark future ahead. Might be time to invest in the anti-drone hoodie designed by Adam Harvey.

Video: BionicOpter in action

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Technical data

From Festo PDF (click to grab copy)
Beat frequency:
Between 15 and 20 Hz

Wingspan:
63 cm

Body length:
44 cm

Weight:
175 g

Degrees of freedom:
13

Processor:
AMR microcontroller

Motor:
1 brushless VS external rotor

Wing actuation:
8 servo motors

Head and body actuators:
4 shape memory alloys (SMAs)

Sensors:
Inertia, acceleration and
position sensors

Battery:
2 LiPo cells, 7,6 volts

Wireless modules:
2.4 GHz spectrum

Wireless remote control:
Smartphone or digital
spectrum transmitter
Materials used:

Wing structure:
Carbon-fibre rod

Wing surface:
Polyester membrane

Housing and mechanical
system:
Aluminium, polyamide (sintered)
and terpolymer (deep-drawn ABS)

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