We are designing, developing and building a 4m (13ft) wingspan mechanical bird, called Black Swan. The aim of the bird is to literally to take to the air and fly like a bird. This project is a collaboration between artist Jon Voss and computer technologist Abel Maciel.
The idea of a mechanical bird is something we have struggled to achieve since Leonardo da Vinci had the first ideas in the 1500s. We have had some success to date but the hope is that Black Swan could help resolve this struggle and finally allow us to fly like the birds.
Black Swan is based on the principles of Biomimicry, meaning it aims to achieve flight by mimicking, in detail, real birds’ movement. It will also, to varying degrees, mimic their anatomical structure, bones, feathers & tendons. The design will run the course of maquette style development through to computer aided high efficiency final design and construction.
Our world is likely to soon be crisscrossed by whizzing sharp edged drones buzzing about like a swarm of flies. Perhaps this is a way to direct our technology to a softer more respectful place where we gain by emulating nature rather than reinventing her each time.