Earlier this week we took a look at the mechanical animals of the German engineering firm Festo. Now Festo has built the SmartBird, an avian robot that takes flight on bionic wings.

Festo explains:

This bionic technology-bearer, which is inspired by the herring gull, can start, fly and land autonomously — with no additional drive mechanism. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles. This is made possible by an active articulated torsional drive unit, which in combination with a complex control system attains an unprecedented level of efficiency in flight operation. Festo has thus succeeded for the first time in creating an energy-efficient technical adaptation of this model from nature.

Yes, Bubo the owl from Clash of the Titans is one step closer to being a reality.

[Spotted on Make]