Interview with Bert Otten

Last Friday I had an interesting chat with Bert Otten, professor in Neuromechanics at the Univeristy of Groningen. We talked about my concept, which I showed him the day before. It was interesting to hear that some crucial points in my design were not considered impossible by him. This gives me great confidence to continue where I left off! Keep posted because this week I will release some sketches on this website.

More info on Bert Otten:


5 thoughts on “Interview with Bert Otten

  1. You should read what the professor said after the interview, to Wired:

    And that taking in account that your LinkedIn profile is clearly not true.

    Coincidentally I work for Phillips USA, and apparently nobody named Jarno Smeets has worked here — today, management issued a letter on that matter.

    Good luck from this point on, “Jarno”.

    PS: Feel free to contact Phillips HR department, in case you think this is a misunderstanding.

  2. Really cool concept. Some questions:

    In the video you are panting after the flight. Is using the wings so tiring? or are you just really excited?

    Do you think it would be possible to make the wings quite flexible so that they work as a sort of inertia balance? In this way your muscles (and the servo motors) need to provide only the power to cancel out the friction. Of course, you’ll need also additional energy to adjust the wing profile to change direction and slow down.

    Back muscles are stronger than pectorals. Perhaps it’s possible to build an “inverted” flapping mechanism to make the wings flap when you contract the back/lats muscles rather than your pectorals. It will be like rowing than like a pec machine in the gym.

  3. I would like to have discussed the flapping issue further. The professor seems like most to imagine a machine that is constantly flapping like a crow or even a humming bird. The power requirements for that mode seems excessive. But the mode I believe will work uses flapping sparingly and atmospheric lift as the main energy source. That’s how evolution has worked it out for the large raptors.

  4. Nice interview, this answers my question. So you are going to try to use assistive technologies in this invention? How will You Power It? Will It Be Electric or Motorized? How big will the wings be? these are a few question that u must keep in mind wile the building of this, if you have question on electronics don’t hesitate to ask me.