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Airpenguins, Festo’s autonomous penguin robots, will be flying round the Excel Centre’s North Hall at The Big Bang Fair 2011, the UK’s biggest science and engineering fair for young people.

According to Festo, the penguins provide a thought-provoking insight into the types of energy transfer and behavioural mechanisms that could form the basis of future automation technology.

Airpenguins incorporate a high degree of built-in intelligence and can function completely autonomously or collectively.

They are capable of adaptive behaviour and are aware of their spatial surroundings.

According to Festo, Airpenguins really need to be viewed close at hand to appreciate how engineers have created them, using mechanisms copied from the movement of fish and rays.

For this reason, they will not only be flying each day, every hour on the hour for 10-15 minutes, but will also be on display at Festo’s stand in the Energise zone.

The stand will also display other bionic developments from Festo’s Bionic Learning Network, which is an alliance of educational establishments and specialist companies tasked with exploring bionic solutions for automation applications of the future.

These will include the Bionic Handling Assistant, a system that takes its inspiration from an elephant’s trunk, as well as the Fingripper adaptive gripping device, which embraces the way that fish and rays convert energy into movement.

Some of these developments have recently transferred from research to production and are being used in machines such as industrial robots.

About Festo

Festo manufactures pneumatic and electrical components and systems to support customers with factory and process automation. The company has an annual turnover in excess of 1.7 billion Euro, employs 12,800 people around the world and has facilities in 176 countries around the world. Festo operates an aggressive R&D programme investing 7.5% of sales annually, holds over 2,800 worldwide patents, introduces about 100 innovative new products to the market every year and has a product range of over 30,000. For more information about the company’s products and services, please visit our website.  

About Festo Didactic

Festo Didactic, the training and consultancy division of Festo, supports organisations seeking to develop competencies in sales & service, leadership, employee engagement, change management, team-working, coaching, business planning, production processes and automation technology. The division has particular expertise in working with manufacturing and engineering businesses. It has a full time workforce of over 200 and operates in 70 countries worldwide. Each year, it manages more than 230 consultancy projects and runs more than 2,900 open courses in 26 languages, involving some 42,000 participants. For more information about Festo Didactic, please visit the Festo website and follow the link.

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