Mechanical Bird Actually Flies by Flapping its Wings

Turns out you don’t have to be a multi-million dollar corporation like Festo to create a remote controlled, flapping bird robot. [Kazuhiko Kakuta] is a medical Doctor of Allergy, and in his free time he likes to build flying mechanical birds with his son.

It has just over a meter wingspan, weighs 193 grams, and it flies by flapping its wings. The majority of its components are 3D printed. If that’s not impressive enough for you as is, consider this. It it has no sensors, no gyroscopes or anything — it’s all manually controlled by [Kazuhiko].

And this isn’t even the only ornithopter he’s done. He’s also created something out of an anime film, Castle in the Sky. He even sells the designs for one of them, to be printed via Shapeways.

Previously we’ve only seen an ornithopter this large like this one done by Festo, which makes [Kazuhiko’s] work even more impressive.

[Thanks Nickson!]

38 thoughts on “Mechanical Bird Actually Flies by Flapping its Wings

    1. Some parts are hollow, to fit carbon fiber rods in it, but an ornithopter (I own one) has to be very light and therefor parts breaks more often, also 3D parts = less screws and bolts which are heavy.

  1. This is really well made. Now slap a decent microcontroler in it, a GPS, altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope and make it autonomous. For the kicks, add in a thermal camera as well and make it take advantage of the hot air currents like birds do to minimize flight energy.

  2. Pentagon plans [better] cyber-insect army (March 2006)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4808342.stm

    In February 2007, scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology in China announced they had created remote-controlled pigeons.

    If you need a theme song to go with this, try Disney’s “Shutterbug Time” about cyber-insect spies “sending your picture right up to the satellite.”

  3. Would hate to join the crowd of Hackaday haters, but ornithopters are part of the earliest forms of flight known to man. Lawrence Hargrave made rubber band powered ornithopters in the 1890’s, and some were amazingly lifelike. Not only this, but commercial ornithopters have been available for many decades, including small ones in toy stores.

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