Canadian Packaging

Festo BionicOpter to create buzz at Beakerhead

By Canadian Packaging staff   

Automation Controls/Drives Robotics Beakerhead 2015 biomimicry BionicOpter Festo

Festo’s ultra-light flight model BionicOpter will fly at Beakerhead’s science, technology, engineering and arts spectacle in Calgary on September 16-20, 2015.

MISSISSAUGA, ON—With its BionicOpter (see image above), Festo has applied the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly to an ultra-lightweight flying object at a technical level—and will be demonstrated at Beakerhead 2015 in Calgary, September 16-20, 2015.

Beakerhead is a citywide, interactive movement that brings together the arts and engineering sectors to build and exhibit works of art and science during an annual weeklong happening each autumn.

As a technological leader and a learning company, the Germany-based Festo will demonstrate how nature provides inspiration to kick-start innovation and create the automation technology of the future at this year’s Beakerhead, which is partnering with the University of Calgary and the Schulich School of Engineering.

Presentations of Festo’s Bionic Learning Network and the BionicOpter will take place throughout the week at the University of Calgary, during Beakernight and various school programs as well as at the Calgary Zoo.


As a global manufacturer of pneumatic and electric automation technology, Festo’s core business is to shape the production and working environments of the future by offering its customers innovative solutions for the production systems of tomorrow and beyond.

“Through Festo’s Bionic Learning Network, we turn to nature which provides a vast source of intelligent solutions to technical problems which we can apply in areas of energy efficiency, lightweight construction and functional integration. As technological leader and a learning company, the objectives of the Bionic Learning Network go well beyond developing new technologies; to motivate, inspire and enthuse and to kick-start innovation,” says Thomas Lichtenberger, general manager of Festo, Inc., Mississauga, Ont. “With our bionic projects we demonstrate the solution expertise of Festo in a way that will inspire young people to take an interest in technology and help us to discover new talent.”
The Bionic Learning Network is a network linking Festo to well-known universities, institutes and development companies. Its objective is to transfer biological principles to industrial automation technology and to provide innovative solutions for industrial applications through biomimicry.

BionicOpter – Mastering the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly
The BionicOpter’s natural model, the dragonfly, is able to maneuver in all directions, glide without beating its wings and hover in the air. Its ability to move its two pairs of wings independently enables it to slow down and turn abruptly, to accelerate swiftly and even to fly backwards. With the BionicOpter, Festo has applied these highly complex characteristics to an ultra-lightweight flying object at a technical level. For the first time, there is a model that can master the flight conditions of a helicopter, plane and glider combined. This bionic integrates several functions into small spaces, reliability through condition monitoring and real time communication and thus provides inspiration for Festo’s integrated automation concept.

Festo is a global leader in automation technology and the world market leader in industrial training and education. Festo’s pneumatic and electric drive technology stands for innovation in industrial and process automation – from individual products to ready-to-install solutions. Festo’s hallmarks include a global presence and improving customer productivity through close, long-term partnerships. With over 300,000 customers globally and 16,800 employees worldwide in 61 national companies, Festo’s sales for 2014 were 2.34 billion Euros. This year, the third generation, family owned company celebrates the 90th anniversary of its founding and 40 years in Canada. For more information, visit

For more information on Beakerhead, visit


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