November 1 2014: The parts list below is something I generated several years ago as a way to keep the various aspects of a hi-tech birdsuit together in one place. When CSIRO came out with a synthetic form of the protein that insects use to fly and jump, I envisioned elastic cordage helping to return a whomping 98% of the energy imparted to the wings on each downstroke. More and more, I see the birdsuit as an elaborate suite of our best materials made hommage to a particular species. With careful math, each feather will play its part and a human flier will be able to exert precise control over an analogous avian wrist, ten primaries extending and retracting over each other fluidly, shifting the balance point from up to down and back up at the appropriate wind speed. Ideally, bones and feathers would be printed from carbon fiber, but kite fabric such as is employed in Woopy construction could also work well, provided that tapering flexible shafts could be effectively incorporated into each design. I made a set of heron primaries and secondaries out of kite fabric a few years ago, but found that 3D printing of feathers would allow all parts (Calami, rachi, barbs, barbules, hooklets) to be made of the same material at once.
Resilin, the biocompatible rubber protein that facilitates flight in insects.
Electronic integration and testing support from members of Festo’s bionic learning network
Maxwell technologies solar charged ultracapacitors
Realistic modeling of bird flight animations
for dry landings
Neil Gershenfeld: The beckoning promise of personal fabrication Can his fab labs print, mold or ‘culture’ compostable, recyclable heron wing parts out of say, corn?
Creation of a learning, flying robot by means of evolution
The NuVinci hub seems like it could be an integral component.