Lightweight construction and functional integration make it possible: with the BionicOpter, our Bionic Learning Network has technically implemented the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Like its natural role model, the ultra-light aircraft can maneuver in all directions, hover on the spot and sail without flapping its wings. For the first time, a model can handle more flight conditions than helicopters, motorized and non-motorized gliders combined.
This unique flight behavior is made possible by a design approach that has already played an important role in the SmartBird: Components such as sensors, actuators and mechanics as well as control and regulation technology are installed and matched up on-board in the tightest of spaces.
With a wingspan of 63 cm and a body length of 44 cm, the artificial dragonfly weighs only 175 grams. The wings are constructed of a carbon fiber frame and covered with a thin foil. The battery, nine servo motors and a powerful ARM microcontroller are integrated in the ribcage, as are the sensors and radio modules. The structure of elastic polyamide and terpolymer makes the entire system flexible, ultra-light and yet extremely robust.