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BionicBee Autonomous Robotic Fly

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Festo is behind some of the coolest bio-inspired robots we have seen. The BionicBee is a robotic fly capable of autonomously flying in a swarm. It weighs only 34 grams, measuring 22cm long with a wingspan of 24 centimeters. It comes with a brushless motor, 3 servo motors, battery, gear unit, and various circuit board inside.

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This artificial bee flies with a stroke frequency of 15 to 20 hertz. As Festo explains, to pull off the autonomous behavior of the swarm, an indoor localization system with ultra-wideband technology (UWB) was used:

In order to fly in a swarm, the bees follow the paths specified by a central computer. High spatial and temporal accuracy is required for safe and collision-free flight in close formation. Possible mutual interaction due to air turbulence (“down-wash”) must also be taken into account when planning the flight path.

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