Bionic Flower: a bionically inspired robot flower

Another step for the integral didactic concept of Bionics4Education

Festo Didactic presents a new product for the bionics didactic concept of Bionics4Education. What is new: the orientation towards the maker movement approach and the 4Cs. The aim is inspiring learners, finding new ways and solutions, dealing creatively with provided materials, and sharing these experiences with others to prepare them for the digital world of tomorrow.

Inspired by the plant world

The Bionic Flower is a construction kit inspired by the plant world. Festo Didactic developed the Bionic Flower following the models of mimosa plants and water lilies in cooperation with SkySpirit. The Bionic Flower opens and closes its petals as a reaction to external influences such as touch, proximity or light. These mechanisms can be discovered in a playful way by pupils in the classroom using sensors and control technology integrated in the Bionic Flower. The design, as well as the transfer of principles from the plant world, rounds off the teaching of curriculum topics in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths). The topic of biodiversity can also be discussed in class.

Bionic work didactically prepared

One Bionic Flower can be used by up to three students at a recommended age of 10 and over. The petals contain the first bionic topic: the folding technique. The petals gain the necessary mechanical stiffness by folding. The mechanism for opening and closing the petals is electrically actuated with a stepper motor which opens and closes the petals one after the other. The movement and the light effects are controlled via Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, tablets or PCs. If required, the microcontroller can be programmed with the graphic coding interface „Open Roberta“. Experienced students can also program their Bionic Flower in C++. The code is open source. This enables teachers to teach technical content via a new, interdisciplinary educational path. Accompanying teaching material, as well as the assembly manual, can be downloaded free of charge from our website www.bionics4education.com.

An expanded approach to promoting valuable skills

Students learn different aspects of STEM with the Bionic Flower – in a digital, creative and interdisciplinary way. The Bionic Flower combines bionics and technical education and is thus based on the competencies of the 4Cs: collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity to empower learners for the digital world of tomorrow.
In addition, soft skills such as working in a team are reinforced.

New in the concept: the maker movement approach

The maker movement is based on the DIY (do it yourself) culture and the idea of finding new ways and solutions, dealing creatively with materials, and sharing these experiences with others. The Bionic Flower takes this approach and combines Maker Education and STEM Education. In addition to assembling the Bionic Flower, learners can customize and expand on the Bionic Flower by using 3D printers, other materials, hardware and software.

Festo and MassRobotics to Create Innovations in Robotics and Automation Through New Partnership

STUTTGART, GERMANY (PRWEB) APRIL 23, 2020

Festo has entered into a strategic partnership with MassRobotics, based in Boston, to further global market growth and innovation initiatives dedicated to the development of the next generation of robotics.

MassRobotics, the independent, nonprofit group serving as an innovation hub for robotics and smart connected devices, works to foster a collaborative space in which to inspire the next generation of robotics and automation innovators and builders. The organization’s unique “escalator” model allows startups to establish, grow, offer meaningful employment, and provide ongoing value for MassRobotics’ partner organizations.

MassRobotics also creates a supportive learning environment to engage youth and next generation engineers and entrepreneurs by offering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workshops, competitions, and technical internships. MassRobotics supports the Ventilator Project, founded by entrepreneurs located at MassRobotics. The Ventilator Project aims to solve the ventilator shortage crisis with an innovative low-cost ventilator designed by members; the team is currently seeking FDA approval for the device.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with MassRobotics,” said Alfons Riek, Vice President Technology and Innovation, Festo. “Combining Festo’s in-depth know-how in manufacturing applications and automation technology with the MassRobotics community will enable Festo to engage with robotics and automation startups. We will collaborate with entrepreneurs and academia alike in bringing innovative new automation and robotic concepts and solutions to market.”

“The Boston area with its high density of robotic expertise is very interesting for us, and we expect many interesting opportunities for our robot development throughout the partnership with MassRobotics,” said Christian Tarragona, Vice President Festo Robotics.

Carlos Miranda, CEO, Festo North America, added, “Festo and other MassRobotics members will explore the evolution of automated manufacturing solutions to autonomous ones. Through technology challenge engagements, members will co-develop and commercialize advanced products and systems.”

Festo is one of the world’s leading automation companies, and, in addition to technology, the company offers automation learning systems through its Didactic Division. It promotes public and private alliances that implement apprenticeship programs. Festo invests heavily in research and development. The Bionic Learning Network, for example, creates novel solutions based on designs found in nature. The network emphasizes Festo partnerships with academia and technology businesses.

“MassRobotics and Festo share a vision of developing the future of robotic solutions dedicated to the emerging needs of the manufacturing sector,” said Fady Saad, Cofounder and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, MassRobotics. “Having an automation company with the expertise, resources, and leading-edge development capabilities of Festo will further the mission of MassRobotics and create excitement about our collaborative efforts.”

###

About Festo    
Festo is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components, and controls for process and industrial automation. For more than 40 years, Festo Corporation has continuously elevated the state of manufacturing with innovations and optimized motion control solutions that deliver higher performing, more profitable automated manufacturing and processing equipment. Connect with Festo: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

About MassRobotics
MassRobotics is the collective work of a group of Boston-area engineers, rocket scientists and entrepreneurs. With a shared vision to create an innovation hub and startup cluster focused on the needs of the robotics community, MassRobotics was born. MassRobotics’ mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics and connected device companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative robotics/automation startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test and commercialize their products and solutions. http://www.massrobotics.org

NI WorldClass 2012 – Video

Back from NI Worldclass 2012, here is the official video. Thanks to NI and all the nice people I have met there! It was great fun and an „once in a lifetime“ experience!

The robot shown in the video is a Robotino from Festo Didactic.

Don’t forget to apply for WorldClass 2013! You should not miss that!