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Bionic penguins

penguinsNew Scientist is reporting that German engineering firm, Festo, has unveiled a flock of bionic penguins at the Hanover Messe Trade Exhibition. Designed around a system of flexible glass fibre rods, which allow them to twist their heads like real penguins, and equipped with sonar and a limited form of autonomy, they can swim as gracefully as their biological counterparts. And there’s even a helium-filled flying version which “swims” through the air.

Go on – tell me the sight of bionic penguins coursing through the water doesn’t make you grin like an idiot as well.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Adster #

    The Air Penguin? The freaking BRANDED AIR PENGUIN?!!

    I’m gonna assume this is real for now… in which case that voiceover is the scariest thing I have heard in a long time “self-regulating bio-mechatronic systems… free will to explore this space.”

    Do bionic penguins dream of electronic fish?

    April 24, 2009
  2. I wondered whether it was a hoax as well, but it was in New Scientist, the company have a website, the video looks too expensive to be fake (unless it’s some weird viral marketing thing for a movie) and they’ve got a track record making things like bionic jellyfish, so I think it’s on the level.

    April 24, 2009

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