SmartBird is an autonomous ornithopter created by Festo's Bionic Learning Network with an emphasis on better aerodynamics and manoeuvrability. It is an ornithopter modeled on the herring gull. It has a mass of 450 grams and a wingspan of 1.96 meters. In April 2011 the SmartBird was unveiled at the Hanover Fair.
The natural wingbeat of a bird was emulated by using bionics technology to decipher bird flight.
Smartbird is constructed of polyurethane foam and carbon fiber and is powered by a 135 brushless motor running at 23 watts.
This bionic technology-bearer, which is inspired by the herring gull, can start, fly and land autonomously – with no additional drive mechanism. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles. This is made possible by an active articulated torsional drive unit, which in combination with a complex control system attains an unprecedented level of efficiency in flight operation. Festo has thus succeeded for the first time in creating an energy-efficient technical adaptation of this model from nature.
Here's the story of SmartBird's development.
Here's another look at the "Air Jelly."
They also have a kangaroo...
And check out MIT's hurdle-clearing, galloping "cheetah" robot.