Festo bionic menagerie celebrates Royal Society landmark

25 May 2010

The Royal Society will celebrate its 350th birthday with a flock of flying penguins, jellyfish and rays. The creatures are all creations of Festo’s Bionic Learning Network and were developed to help manufacturers learn from nature.

The anniversary celebrations are centered on a push from the Southbank Centre and the Royal Society which have come together to explore science and our human impulse to understand the world we live in.

A key element of the celebration is the ten-day, See Further Festival of Science + Arts at Southbank Centre, which runs from June 25 to July 4. Festo’s air penguins will be flying above the exhibition, and will also be joined by jellyfish and rays for performances in the auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall.

Using helium-filled balloons, fibre control rods and rigid geometrical structures, the creatures demonstrate some of the latest concepts – they are not saleable products, but are proof of research ideas and demonstrations of design concepts, intended to stimulate dialogue with customers, suppliers and partners.

There will be a free-of-charge display on July 4, when there will also be a Q&A session and the chance to get up close to the bionic creatures in the Royal Festival Hall.

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