Before being a commercial product, Bionic Bird is above all the fruit of a creative passion, finding its roots in a family history. Edwin Van Ruymbeke, an aeronautical engineer, dreamed for years of this achievement that would succeed TIM, the mechanical bird invented by his father and grandfather in the 1960s. It is all his knowledge of flapping flight accumulated over the years, combined with a perfect mastery of new technologies, that allowed this project, which was awarded the gold medal at the Lépine competition, to come to fruition.


"For many years I worked for the family business of my father and grandfather, who had invented TIM, the popular bungee bird. I then used my studies as an aeronautical engineer to study flapping flight. Some of my creations were integrated into the toy to improve its flight. Many prototypes, very efficient but a little too expensive to produce, were left in the wardrobe to prepare the future.

During this period, I dreamed of replacing the bird's rubber band with an electric motor and a battery to make it a radio-controlled object. But the challenge was to keep the same weight, which was completely impossible with the technology of the time. Until the appearance of miniature mobile phones... The new lithium batteries and coreless motors created for vibrators offered new perspectives! After a few theoretical calculations, I discovered that the dream had become feasible. There was still one major hurdle: making a gearbox that was compact and light enough to couple the motor to the wing flapping system.

I finally managed to do it on a night of great inspiration, the kind you can never be sure of renewing, the kind you can't really trace back. From there, and at the price of a design without concession aiming to minimize the weight of each component drastically, the first CAD model (virtual 100%) was born. As if by magic, the first prototype from this model flew magnificently, far beyond my expectations! A page in my history had been turned.

Edwin Van Ruymbeke

The Biomim'review sheet:



Marc Zeller

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