MRO Magazine

Flying bionic robots being demonstrated at Ontario Science Centre March 1-7


March 2, 2015
By Bill Roebuck
Bill Roebuck

Mississauga, ON – As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Mississauga, ON-based Festo Canada, the German company Festo, a producer of automation technology, will be holding demonstrations of four members of its Bionic Learning Network. These amazing bionic robots fly by applying some of the principles that nature has perfected over millions of years.

The flying bionics, as well as other members of Festo’s Bionic Learning Network like the bionic kangaroo, provide inspiration to encourage engineers and scientists to imagine how concepts in nature can be applied in industry. They are learning projects for developing prototypes of breakthrough products of tomorrow that improve industrial automation in particular. Some may even have applications in the home and office of the not too distant future.

Public demonstrations of the four flying bionics will take place at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto daily from March 1-7, 2015. The four models are:

  1. SmartBird is modelled after the herring gull. Festo engineers have succeeded in deciphering the flight of birds. It can start, fly and land autonomously – with no additional drive mechanism. Watch a video of it at
  2. BionicOpter – Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. This ultra-light flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air and glide without beating its wings. See the video at
  3. AirJelly – Modelled after jellyfish, this flying robot moves gracefully through the sea of air thanks to the movement allowed by the Fin Ray effect. Watch it at
  4. AirPenguin is an autonomously flying robotic penguin, which can be seen at

Daily demonstrations at the Ontario Science Centre take place hourly, between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Ontario Science Centre is located at 770 Don Mills Rd. (at the corner of Eglinton Ave. E.)
, Toronto, ON.