Earth Unplugged takes a break from filming real animals to film robots that mimic the motions of birds and dragonflies.

Engineers at German tech company Festo have developed SmartBird, which can take off and fly by flapping its wings alone, and BionicOpter, a dragonfly drone that can fly in any direction, and even hover, just like the real thing.

It’s not just a case of creating cool bots, though – as Festo’s Henry Frontzek explains the tech used to create the robots is proving useful in finding ways to improve energy efficiency and communication in more regular products.

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