Festo's SmartBird robot takes off with elegance, doesn't poop on you (video)

The geniuses at Festo's Bionic Learning Network are well known for their fascination with robotic animals, and their latest creation is no exception. Dubbed the SmartBird, this autonomous bionic bird -- modelled on herring gulls -- graces the sky with its sophisticated two meter-long wings, which utilize a bending torso for lifelike directional control. What's more, this robot is also capable of taking off and landing on its own, but it can also be controlled and monitored from afar using ZigBee radio. Amazingly, all of this round up to just one pound, meaning the SmartBird can happily float about with moderate flapping. Jump past the break for some agile in-flight action, accompanied by an animation detailing the inner workings.