Check this out from TED...a robotic bird which propels itself by flapping it's wings. Truly amazing. See here.
Festo, if you're not familiar with the company, does some pretty amazing bio-inspired design ranging from manufacturing and material handling to floating robotic penguins to the flapping bird. It's a German company and they do some pretty impeccable engineering. I'd love to see one of their labs and find out how they do such incredible work.
I studied German all through high school and was actually quite good, the intention being that my German skills could help me in my engineering career. Unfortunately, I only had one short opportunity to use German when I was designing the cabin windows for the Airbus A380.