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Belgian tech start-up launches first ever drone with flapping wings: meet the Robo Firefly

16 May 2019

Leuven MindGate member and tech start-up Hummingdrones, located at the Vaartkom in Leuven, creates small bio-inspired flying robots that fly by flapping their wings , instead of using propellers like other drones do. Their mission is to inspire people (young and old) for science and technology by developing small robots that appeal to everyone’s imagination.


Their first product, the Robo Firefly, is available now on Indiegogo. The development took 9 years at the University of Leuven, but now the Robo Firefly is ready to leave the lab.

The Robo Firefly has a wingspan of 150 mm, is inspired by insect flight and it is the FIRST robot on the market that flies by mimicking the high frequency flapping wing motion of insects. It's named the 'Firefly' after the strobe that is built-in to visualize the mesmerizing wing motion in real-time slow motion.


By using flapping wings instead of propellers, the Robo Firefly is able to perform amazing flight maneuvers and does this without making much noise (just a pleasant 'humming' sound), opposed to your typical drone.

Frederik Leys, CEO of Hummingdrones, started developing this insect-like drone 9 years ago as part of his dissertation at the University of Leuven. He then went on to get his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. “ I never thought this would become my job and a successful business, but I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”

If you want to support this Tech start-up founded in Leuven you can contribute to their crowdfunding campaign that is running on Indiegogo right now!

Click here to support them!

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