An early concept for Lockheed Martin's Samarai Flyer
A concept illustration of Lockheed Martin's Samarai Flyer
Lockheed Martin's Samarai Flyer monocopter micro air vehicle, alongside a maple seed
If you’ve ever watched a maple seed spiraling down from a branch, you may have marveled at how it looked like a tiny one-rotor-bladed helicopter. If you did, well, you weren’t the only one. In 2009, students from the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering unveiled their remarkable samara (maple seed)-inspired micro air vehicle, which was billed as “the world’s first controllable robotic samara monocopter.” Flash forward to this Tuesday, and Lockheed Martin performed the first public flight of its similar Samarai Flyer, at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington, D.C.
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