New 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.
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?
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.