A team of aerospace engineers built a small plane whose wings are covered in hundreds of small, movable flaps. The flaps, which are inspired by bird feathers, can pop up and down to collectively perform the same steering functions as the large rudders and ailerons found on conventional planes. In theory, a plane with mechanical feathers would be more efficient and more maneuverable.
My concern about this is that it would probably cost more to build the planes and to maintain them. If you only have about 30 control surfaces (which is what a Boeing 737 has), preflight checks are easy to do, but if you have 300 control surfaces, the odds of at least one malfunctioning at any given time are much higher. I'd imagine that smaller control surfaces would also be flimsier and would break more often than bigger control surfaces.
I'm not writing off the idea of mechanical feathers, but I doubt it will be commercially viable for many decades (if ever).