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LEAD Innovation Blog

Read our latest articles on innovation management and innovation in a wide range of industries.

Date: 02-Jul-2019
Posted by: Wolfgang PAUSER
Category: Tecnic innovations

Of clouds and clouds, birds and robots

While cloud computing is provoking wild controversy under the impression of intercontinental spying, more and more hardware is getting ready to take off and technically conquer the airspace. First the data goes up to the sky, then the robots follow.

Clouds are "fascinating phenomena between earth and infinity," Tobias Natter, Director of the Leopold Museum in Vienna, diagnosed on the occasion of the current exhibition "Clouds". With this choice of theme, he has chosen the spirit of the times, not only the omnipresent longing for symbols of nature, but also the trend of technological innovation.

When I was able to develop a concept for brand architecture for the German mechatronics manufacturer Festo in 2009, I was deeply impressed by the first flying kite that could move autonomously through the air. Festo has now further developed this technology and implemented an airworthy seagull and dragonfly. Flying robots are no longer just a welcome addition to expensive science fiction films. They floated down from the sky of ideas and landed on the very real earth.


Equally amazing is the quadrocopter, developed by ETH Zurich. Not only does he take off, fly and land independently, he also shows high skills in sport. When two flying robots play ball with each other or balance poles, observers not only ask themselves how this miracle is possible, but also what motives could motivate a machine to do sport. Probably the play instinct of their inventors...

Paper 10 Sources of ideas


What Festo and the university use to demonstrate advanced technology is now being put to practical use by Google. The target is the flying wind power plant. His development is well advanced at Makani Power, a start-up company bought by Google. The power plant floats in 200 - 600 meters, controls itself and supplies electricity to the earth. It is connected to this by a cable. This also ensures that these birds will not escape even if one day they want to develop free will and play Terminator.

Parallel to the bird, which is a power plant, Google now also lets balloons take to the skies as carriers of Internet connections. As a result, the data cloud is now located in the cloudy sky where it was always suspected by its name. Nothing is known about collisions between robotic birds and (clouds) balloons. Yes, there are "fascinating phenomena between earth and infinity".


10 Sources of Ideas

Wolfgang PAUSER

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