Have you ever imagine how a Maple seed could become the inspiration for a new UAV? How nature sources ideas for scientists and engineers out there in order for them to get inspired, design and push the boundaries of current tech even furtherer? Well, the people of Lockheed Martin did exactly that by designing a flying robot having in mind a Maple seed. Its name is Samarai, derived from the Latin word “samara,” which means a winged seed.
The Intelligent Robotics Lab of LM is behind this “invention” and despite that this is still a prototype (looking more like a broken model airplane and nothing more) the applications of a fully functional robot like that are endless. As Bill Borgia (head of this lab) said, “Think about dropping a thousand of these out of an aircraft” – “Think about the wide area over which one collect imagery. Instead of sending one or two expensive, highly valuable aircraft like we do today, you could send thousands of these inexpensive aircraft, and they are almost expendable”