The Tyer Wind Converter redesigns the wind turbine to get rid of the standard giant rotors used to produce electricity, and instead relies on flapping wings to harness the wind's kinetic energy.

It is able to generate less noise, is less visually obtrusive, and minimises the threat to birds - which will hopefully help to put to bed some of the more dubious issues and claims made against wind power technology by its detractors in recent times.

Using a design based on the graceful motions of the hummingbird, it replaces the wind turbine's traditional rotational motions with a linear one, which allows it to take up a much smaller footprint - allowing for large-scale deployment in areas with less space.

The Tyer Wind Converter essentially employs biomimicry to emulate the flapping of a hummingbird's wings, and its design is said to effectively convert linear motion into a rotational or reciprocating motion "in a very efficient and natural way."

It's not specifically a small wind machine, as the company appears to be envisioning large-scale deployment of the technology, but the working model is clearly in the micro-to-small-scale wind category. 

Instead of three spinning blades that take up a lot of space, and need to be installed high off the ground, the Tyer Wind Converter uses a pair of wings, each over 5-feet long, flaps back and forth in a figure-eight motion in the breeze.

Because it requires converting linear motion into a rotational one, the turbine doesn't generate energy as efficiently as traditional rotor-based designs (rated power output is only 1Kw), although the less visually obtrusive design should make them a lot more palatable for use around residential neighbourhoods and other densely populated areas. 

The machine is currently in the testing stages, with working prototypes being put through various conditions - specifically, looking to determine its real-world performance in terms of power efficiency, aerodynamics, material resistance, and durability.

Tyer Wind is an innovative start-up operating in the field of wind energy R&D and is based in Tunisia.

The project is a private initiative that is not supported by any public research institutes or government-related entities, and is financially supported by two prominent private investors from Pakistan and Algeria.