Who Needs Nature? Festo Bionic Learning Network Builds A Better Penguin

Festo is no stranger to autonomous robot creatures, but their latest initiative, called the Bionic Learning Network, might as well be referred to from here on out as Skynet for the animal kingdom.

Extinction level events aside, the first few moments of this Festo promotional video are pretty amazing. Those little blue-eyed Terminator penguins you see swimming around the tank are autonomous, and can navigate and interact with other robopenguins without fail. They can even swim backwards, which is impossible to do if you're a flesh and blood penguin. I think they also eat the diver, but obviously that's been edited out.

Festo designers also created another blimp robot, in true Festo fashion, this time shaped like a penguin (to further mock real penguins, which cannot fly).

The reactive wall seen in the video, which responds to a person's body movement using a variety of shape shifting techniques and sound, is also pretty bloody awesome. And eerie, actually. On second thought, I think I like my walls dumb and unresponsive. [Festo via Engadget]