12 Aug '11, 2pm

Finally, scientists make a thing that looks and acts like that other thing! #biomimicry

Finally, scientists make a thing that looks and acts like that other thing! #biomimicry

Photo by ctd 2005 via Flickr CC The idea of designing a drone after the maple seed has been around for awhile. But finally, researchers have made it happen. DARPA's maple seed-inspired drone has taken flight, and can be remote controlled to fly around the room, even do vertical take-offs, while spinning just like a maple seed. The trick to the maple seed is that it's one (or two) "wings" help it to whirl in the air as it falls, giving the breeze a chance to pick it up and carry it away from the tree. That kind of whirling action is what DARPA was after for a new drone that could be used for collecting military intelligence. Navy Times reports, "Lockheed Martin's Intelligent Robotics Laboratories, based in Cherry Hill, N.J., has spent the last five years developing an unmanned craft to replicate the motion. The device, dubbed the Samarai, is scheduled to make its public deb...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/08/darpas-maple-seed...

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