France / USA / Chine
50 ANS d'expérience
The story of a life
Bionic Bird was born out of a passion to create, deeply rooted in a family history. Edwin VAN RUYMBEKE, Aeronautical Engineer, dreamed for years of being able to accomplish an electrical bird who could be the successor of the well-known TIM, the mechanical bird, invented by both his father and grand-father back in the sixties.
His high scientific knowledge of the flapping flights, gathered along the years, combined to a perfect proficiency in new technologies, made MetaBird and MetaFly possible, and won the CONCOURS LEPINE gold medal on the way…
“Of birds & mens, a world from the inventor”
“I dreamed of being able to replace the rubber-band bird with an electric motor and a battery to make a radio-controllable model. But the challenge was to maintain the same weight, which was completely impossible with the technology of the time. The new lithium batteries, and coreless motors created for vibrators provided new opportunities! After a few theoretical calculations, I discovered that the dream could become attainable.
From then on, and at the cost of uncompromising design to drastically minimize the weight of each component, the first CAD model (100% virtual) was born. Magic would have it that the first prototype of this model flew beautifully, far beyond my expectations! A page of my history had been turned.”
Edwin VAN RUYMBEKE
Fitting all the working components into this life-sized bird’s body meant starting from a revolutionary design:
• Ultra-compact structure: a centrally aligned “spinal cord.”
• Mechanics: a proprietary patented speed reducer at the end of the motor
• Electronics: in order to optimize the number and layout of components and to produce a postage stamp-sized board!
We could write extensively on the number of steps we had to work through to achieve the incredible weight of 9 g for the finished bird. Each component has been the result of a weight-optimization study. The motors & the battery have been developed with the most specialized manufacturers. The most advanced electronic components in miniaturization have been selected.