Example: [Collected via e-mail, March 2011]
Origins: According to a press release issued on
Until now people had assumed that it was impossible to fly with bird-like wings using human muscle power. Smeets designed his own system to solve this problem, using two Wii controllers, the accelerometers from a HTC
Human Bird Wings is an independent project initiated from the personal ambition and vision of Dutch engineer Jarno Smeets. "Ever since I was a little boy I have been inspired by pioneers like Otto Lilienthal, Leonardo da Vinci and also my own grandfather". Six months ago Smeets started researching. Smeets has developed and realized his wings with support from an independent team assembled under the Human Bird Wings project, sharing his progress through a well documented blog and YouTube channel. He has offered his followers an open source concept in building bird wings. Aided by helpful suggestions of his audience he was able to successfully finish his bird wings concept.
With this project Smeets has proven that modern technology and robotica can create realistic futures from seemingly impossible engineering dreams to fly like a bird.
Generally, video clips of Smeets' attempts to fly were met with skepticism from viewers who questioned whether the videos accurately reflected what actually took place (due in large part to some questionable camerawork). Wired's Rhett Allain analyzed Smeets' latest video and concluded that although it was questionable, "there is nothing in this video that indicates it must be a fake," while Gizmodo offered CGI experts' opinions on why they believed the video was faked.
However, after Jarno Smeets' background failed to check out when curious investigators started examining it, the man behind the stunt came forward on Dutch television and admitted that the "Jarno Smeets" identity was a
Netherlands artist Floris Kaayk, who went by the name of Jarno Smeets during his "Human Birdwings" project, admitted to the hoax on a Dutch television program called "De Wereld Draait Door" ("The World is Turning").
"My name is Floris Kaayk. I'm actually a filmmaker and animator. I am now
Last updated: 22 March 2012