Festo has developed a robot called BionicOpter, which as you can see from the image is designed from a dragonfly. The robot has been modelled on a dragonfly, which as we all know is the nimblest of insects in the world.
Using two sets of wings which are independent of each other, it can move in any direction either vertically and backwards and also hover on the spot ala the dragonfly and the helicopter.
As a human controls the BionicOpter through a App, you can't expect it to be as fast or nimble as a dragonfly but it is very impressive. The BionicOpter is 44 cms long and has a wingspan of 63 cms and weighs around 175 grams making it one of the lightest robots ever developed by humans. It uses eight servo motors and has a manoeuvrable span of 13 degrees, nine in the wings, and four in the head and tail. The BionicOpter has a wing beat frequency of 15 to 20 hertz which makes it possible to do the dragonfly like stunts albiet a little slow.
The whole flight mechanism is controlled by a single ARM microprocessor (however CNET website says that it is controlled by AMR microprocessor), which is controlled through a smartphone App which communicates with the robot, sending back constant data on the position and movement of the wings in order to stabilise the BionicOpter. Inertia sensors measure the acceleration and tilt of the robot, while position and acceleration sensors measure the speed and direction of flight.. Though the effects of the BionicOpter can be seen in the future helicopters, the main use of the device will be to the armies of the world especially for spying with drone like effects.
Checkout the video of the BionicOpter and you are sure to be surprised.
This actually may be a new dawn for phone controlled planes and copters. Please post your comments on the BionicOpter.