Festo Bionic Learning Network

Festo Bionic Learning Network 2009

Festo Aqua Ray

Aqua_ray is a remote-controlled fish driven by water hydraulics, the shape and movements of which have been based on the model of a manta ray.

The central drive and control unit of Aqua_ray takes the form of a fluidic muscle from Festo, in combination with the Fin Ray Effect®. The Fin Ray Effect® is a design based on the functional anatomy of a fish’s fin. This makes it possible to imitate the fin propulsion of the natural role model almost perfectly.

As the Aqua_ray can be manoeuvred extremely well, and can be operated both as a hydrostatic glider and with an active wing beat, substantial energy savings can be achieved. Thanks to its shape and its means of locomotion, the Aqua_ray can be used in wide ranging areas of oceanography without disrupting the natural environment.

AirJelly

AirJelly’s environment is the air. Unlike AquaJelly, the remote-controlled jellyfish AirJelly does not swim through water, but instead glides instead through a sea of air thanks to its central electric drive unit and an intelligent, adaptive mechanism. It is able to do so because it consists of a helium-filled ballonett.

AirJelly’s sole source of power is two lithium-ion polymer batteries connected to the central electric drive unit. It transmits the force to a bevel gear and from there to a succession of eight spur gears, which move the eight tentacles of the jellyfish via cranks. Each tentacle is designed as a structure with Fin Ray Effect® . Propulsion of a ballonett by means of peristaltic motion is hitherto unknown in the history of aviation. AirJelly is the first indoor flight object with peristaltic drive. This new drive concept, with propulsion based on the principle of recoil, moves the jellyfish gently through the air.

Further reading.

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