Lockheed Martin develops maple-seed-like drone

Aug 15, 2011 By Geoff Mulvihill, The Associated Press
Lockheed Martin Advance Technology Laboratories' Craig Stoneking, bottom, holds a maple seed as engineer David Sharp holds the company's new drone on Wednesday in Southampton, N.J. The unmanned, one-winged flight machine is based on the flight of maple seeds that twirl down from trees during the spring. (JULIO CORTEZ / AP)

The seeds that drop from maple trees each fall, whirring softly to the ground like silent one-winged helicopters, are the inspiration for a new kind of flying machine that could be useful for military information-gathering.

Lockheed Martin's Laboratories, based in Cherry Hill, N.J., has spent the last five years developing an to replicate the motion.

The device, dubbed the Samarai, is scheduled to make its public debut next week at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington, D.C.

Its engineers gave The Associated Press a preview Wednesday at an indoor soccer field in Southampton, N.J.

The Samarai is about a foot long, and has just two moving parts plus a camera. It can be controlled by a remote control or by an app on a tablet computer.

On Wednesday, engineers Dave Sharp and Craig Stoneking piloted a Samarai, which in flight looked like a translucent around a pair of blue and red lights. They moved it from the soccer field to the ceiling some 30 feet above and across the field.

By , the flight was steady. With the easier-to-use app, it twirled around a bit, not unlike a maple seed. That, Stoneking said, will be fixed in the future.

The idea isn't brand new. Students at the University of Maryland built a smaller maple seed-inspired flyer a few years ago.

Bill Borgia, director of the lab, said it could be useful for the military and police — as well as his lab's work on other devises.

Troops could carry the devices in their backpacks, launch them by throwing them like boomerangs and use real-time images from cameras to find out what might be around the next corner.

They could be dropped from plane to collect ground-level images instead of just the aerial images used now.

Troops or police officers could use them even to get a look inside buildings.

Unlike most drones used by the military, these can hover in place like a helicopter and take off vertically in tight spaces.

Borgia said they could come in a variety of sizes and be produced cheaply by 3D printing, which uses layers of plastic to create objects.

Putting a motor on a piece of plastic that shaped like a maple seed and getting it to fly was relatively easy, Borgia said. Learning to control the natural movements was the challenge.

Borgia said the lessons learned trying to harness and mimic a natural design have already been used in some of his lab's other projects — robots that behave like human hands or move about like insects.

Lockheed officials wouldn't say how much it cost to develop or which government agencies helped fund the research.

Explore further: Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

More information: See also: Spiraling Flight of Maple Tree Seeds Inspires New Surveillance Technology (w/ Video) www.physorg.com/news175247077.html

4.3 /5 (12 votes)
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maccaroo
5 / 5 (2) Aug 15, 2011
Very cool idea. Probably wouldn't survive side-on impact as well as a light, flexible rotor.

I'm no expert in the field, but surely a simple dual opposing rotor design with a suspended payload would be easier to design and operate. Imitating nature is useful sometimes, but in this case I think it's a bit of form over function.
TheChamp
Aug 15, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Ojorf
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 16, 2011
@ Techno1: Brevity is the soul of wit.

Even should you have something interesting to say, I couldn't be bothered to to read your long rambling posts.
finitesolutions
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 16, 2011
Lots of mentioning of word evil for a scientific website.
The amount of crime that people are capable of is astounding.There is no sense of unity or commonality and so the killings continue.
USA and others are in Afghanistan and Iraq for almost a decade for now and these 2 countries stagnated at best. USA failed to improve Iraq or Afghanistan and this is a fact. A different approach is needed. 14 million us unemployed idle people are quite a resource that can be used to export prosperity ( just saying ).
ShotmanMaslo
2 / 5 (4) Aug 16, 2011
USA and others are in Afghanistan and Iraq for almost a decade for now and these 2 countries stagnated at best.


Afghanistan is improving fast since Taliban was overthrown, both economically and in terms of human rights. And they were such a hellhole before that there is only way up available.

http://www.indexm...pp).html

As for muslims, there indeed are moderate ones that are peaceful. But it is common for muslims, particularly those in their home countries to be brainwashed violent psychopaths, often forming majority of their population.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (10) Aug 16, 2011
But it is common for muslims, particularly those in their home countries to be brainwashed violent psychopaths, often forming majority of their population.

I encourage you to go out and meet some muslims.
Warning: your world view will be turned on its head.
Magnette
5 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2011
"Between idiots and evil, any space aliens should avoid this place like the plague, if they exist" - Techno1

They surely will to avoid being condemned as terrorists by the bigots of the world.

dav_i
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 16, 2011
I just reported the first 5 racist comments then got bored because they just kept coming, could someone do the rest please?
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2011
I just reported the first 5 racist comments then got bored because they just kept coming, could someone do the rest please?


I dont see any racism here.
Guy_Underbridge
5 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2011
Did physorg somehow get crosslinked to FoxNation?
gmurphy
5 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2011
@ShotmanMaslo , I suspect this statement by Techno1 borders on racism: "Islam is evil. Muslims are evil.", are Muslims a race?, maybe it's more along the lines of sectarianism, either way, an unusual statement for an article describing experimental drones built by Lockheed Martin, just sayin, is all.
jscroft
1 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2011
Now THAT is what I call a rant.
DontBeBlind
1.9 / 5 (9) Aug 16, 2011
Well hes right the Muslims are nothing but trouble. That's not a racist comment. Its pure fact. Look at every country they are the majority in. Enough said. I also vote to deport them now before they do to usa as they are doing to uk now.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2011
@ Techno1: Brevity is the soul of wit.
As techno/QC is witless your entreaties will have no effect.
The amount of crime that people are capable of is astounding.There is no sense of unity or commonality and so the killings continue.
AS LONG AS religionist cultures which are designed to outreproduce their neighbors continue to exist, then there will ALWAYS be strife and conflict in the world.

There will ALWAYS be families which continue to grow despite their inability to support themselves; and when their children begin to starve their religions will tell them that god is angry because the infidel still exists, and so the infidel will get the food.

Religions teach the faithful to reject the education which would teach them how to live within their means. Religions teach them that god will provide as long as they do exactly as he wishes, which is invariably to supplant the unbeliever.

You want conflict and misery to end, then you must find a way to end ALL religion.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 16, 2011
I encourage you to go out and meet some muslims.
Warning: your world view will be turned on its head
Yesss, any religionist is pleasant and kind when he or she is proselytizing and their family is well fed. But they will ALL tend to reproduce themselves into misery and fury because their books INSIST that they do, and then they will not be so nice. Then you will either be one of them or you will be their mortal enemy.

I suggest you go to jalalabad or Mogadishu and introduce yourself, and see if you feel as comfortable around your new friends as you do here. People are starving and angry there, and they believe that its your fault.
Well he's right the Muslims are nothing but trouble. That's not a racist comment.
Their beliefs are no different than any other religion in their potential for violence, bigotry, and enforced ignorance. Every religion has driven its adherents into such a state. It is islams turn like it was the xians turn for so long. Every religion gets a shot.
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2011
Yesss, any religionist is pleasant and kind when he or she is proselytizing and their family is well fed. But they will ALL tend to reproduce themselves into misery and fury because their books INSIST that they do, and then they will not be so nice.

Most people who are part of (any) religion have enough trouble handling day to day issues and have absolutely no time (and no inclination) to go about prosetilyzing (or even acting in a more radical fashion)

The muslim (and christian) nutjobs are few and far between... unfortunately it is only those that you ever hear about.

(And yes: this assertion comes from an atheist)
ShotmanMaslo
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2011
The muslim (and christian) nutjobs are few and far between... unfortunately it is only those that you ever hear about.


This is not always true, sometimes the nutjobs make up large parts of population, often majorities.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (8) Aug 16, 2011
Most people who are part of (any) religion have enough trouble handling day to day issues and have absolutely no time (and no inclination) to go about prosetilyzing (or even acting in a more radical fashion)

The muslim (and christian) nutjobs are few and far between... unfortunately it is only those that you ever hear about.

(And yes: this assertion comes from an atheist)
You are naive. You are a naive idealistic atheist. I suggest you read the news more.

"The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for ... ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state".

"In the group's belief, the Quran and Sunnah constitute a perfect way of life and social and political organization that God has set out for man. Islamic governments must be based on this system and eventually unified in a Caliphate."

-An islamists day to day issues are all concerned with converting the world to islam, one way or another.
cont
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2011
An islamists day to day issues are all concerned with serving god, and god wants the world to be islamic.

Qur'an:8:39 "So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world)."

"By islamic propagation or by the rifle...in the end there will be no choice..."
http://www.youtub...=related

"Balagh and da'wah among non-Muslims is a collective duty of the Muslim Ummah [nation]. This is because the Prophet Muhammad was sent as a "mercy to all the worlds" and a "messenger of God to all mankind" (21:107 ; 7:158) and consequently his message is meant to reach every living human soul on earth, which is possible only through the agency of the Muslim Ummah."

-ALL religions seek to increase the flock by proselytizing and propagating. 'Be fruitful and multiply. Fill up the earth.' -The First Mitzvah, god to moses
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2011
An islamists day to day issues are concerned with supporting and caring for their families. Women are relegated solely to bearing and raising children.

"In 2006, countries with a Muslim majority had an average population growth rate of 1.8% per year (when weighted by percentage Muslim and population size). This compares with a world population growth rate of 1.12% per year. As of 2011, it is predicted that the world's Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years; within a generation, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population."

Heres a popular xian video which nevertheless seems to present some credible and ominous statistics on aggressive islamist reproduction:
http://www.youtub...ed#at=14
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2011
Muslim Brotherhood:

"The Holy Land Foundation trial has led to the release as evidence of several documents on the Muslim Brotherhood. One of these documents, dated in 1991, explains that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. is "settlement", defined by the author as a form of jihad aimed at destroying Western civilization from within and allowing for the victory of Islam over other religions."
http://en.wikiped...therhood

-This group puts Comintern to shame.
TrinityComplex
5 / 5 (5) Aug 16, 2011
So, anyway, about the SCIENCE. I could imagine these things being a huge help to our search and rescue team. It would save time to have one of these check up or down the side of a cliff, or perform an initial survey of the area, in case there are any obvious signs of the victim. The choppers work okay, but there are only so many of them, they can't usually carry out requested surveys because they are busy perfoming a general search, and they're expensive.
poof
Aug 17, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 17, 2011

This is not always true, sometimes the nutjobs make up large parts of population, often majorities.

Example? This is neither true of Afghaniston nor of Pakistan or Somalia (and it also isn't true of the US for that matter - although it oftentimes feels that way)
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (3) Aug 17, 2011

This is not always true, sometimes the nutjobs make up large parts of population, often majorities.

Example? This is neither true of Afghaniston nor of Pakistan or Somalia (and it also isn't true of the US for that matter - although it oftentimes feels that way)


http://pewglobal....1-13.png

How do you call people who agree with stoning adulterers or death penalty for leaving muslim religion? Extremist nutjobs. And as you can see, in some countries they make 80 % of the population.

Source:
http://pewglobal....2010.pdf
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Aug 17, 2011
So? The US has a lot of people who condone the death sentence? What does that prove? That most people are terrorists?

There are repressive regimes out there (and all the ones in the list fit the bill). What do you expect people to say when asked if they are for or against the current state of government/law in such a country? That they are opposed to it?

(With Pew being a conservative think tank I'm also not entirley sure if I trust those numbers)
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2011
So? The US has a lot of people who condone the death sentence? What does that prove? That most people are terrorists?


Yes, when the death sentence is cruel and/or for trivial things.

There are repressive regimes out there (and all the ones in the list fit the bill). What do you expect people to say when asked if they are for or against the current state of government/law in such a country? That they are opposed to it?

(With Pew being a conservative think tank I'm also not entirley sure if I trust those numbers)


Do you have better numbers? I would be glad to be proven wrong.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (52) Aug 17, 2011
We should deport all the followers of the "god of Abraham/Ibrahim" to the Moon. Let them pray for oxygen.

See Anders Breivik for an example of a christian terrorist. I don't think Al Qaeda has ever specifically targeted a group of children. Makes you think.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2011
I don't think Al Qaeda has ever specifically targeted a group of children. Makes you think.


Of course they have. Girls were not allowed to get education under Taliban regime, and educated people are a threat for every religious extremist ideology. School attacks do happen, too.

http://www.usatod...ls_N.htm

http://www.nytime...har.html

http://quitenorma...unds-17/
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Aug 17, 2011
-The First Mitzvah, god to moses
Shiite! That was god to Noah!

My mistake.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2011
Do you have better numbers? I would be glad to be proven wrong.

I'm not sure there will be good numbers.
At the risk of invoking Goodwins law:
Ask yourself: how many people would have actively said that the NSDAP is terrible if so asked in 1939-1945? And they only got 44% of the votes in the only democratic election they were in (in 1933).

It's very hard to get representative numbers in repressive regimes. But I think if you ask muslims in the US or Europe about these issues - where they have the freedom to say anything they want - you will hardly get those numbers.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2011
Ask yourself: how many people would have actively said that the NSDAP is terrible if so asked in 1939-1945?


The correct analogy is "how many people would have said that brutally murdering civilians in concentration camps is the right thing to do?" They are not just stepping around the issue in those survey.

It's very hard to get representative numbers in repressive regimes. But I think if you ask muslims in the US or Europe about these issues - where they have the freedom to say anything they want - you will hardly get those numbers.


Muslims in developed countries may not represent their home population well. They are usually the westernised elite, and in a culture that looks down upon such ideas, too. I dont think the results of the survey can be attributed mainly to oppressive regimes, not that high numbers, spanning so many countries.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2011
As for the survey being biased, there is another one from Indonesia with consistent result:

http://en.wikiped..._stoning
socean
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 18, 2011
Where are the forum moderators? Since when is this a site about political and religious opinion?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2011
Muslims in developed countries may not represent their home population well.

That's the real point, isn't it? How well do such surveys represent the population when the environment may induce them to give biased answers? all the countries inthe survey have either repressive regimes or some radical group that actually will kill someone if they speak out too fervently.

That's more or less the textbook case for a systemic error in a statistic.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2011
Muslims in developed countries may not represent their home population well.

That's the real point, isn't it? How well do such surveys represent the population when the environment may induce them to give biased answers? all the countries inthe survey have either repressive regimes or some radical group that actually will kill someone if they speak out too fervently.

That's more or less the textbook case for a systemic error in a statistic.


The survey was anonymous, and done by western institute, not local government, so there is no reason to believe the surveyed were lying about their real opinions in order to protect themselves.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Aug 18, 2011
How well do such surveys represent the population when the environment may induce them to give biased answers?
Haha. Induced as in coerced, forced to give tainted answers which are against their nature and which they would not otherwise give? And what about the answers you might or might not give? Are you so sure your opinions are your own?

You discount how easy it is to manipulate people, including yourself (And otto too!)

For instance your definition of 'repressive' and 'radical' are far from universal. The majority living in those regimes are happy and content with their conditions and cannot imagine being as happy living the way you do, in the midst of godless decadence, moral decay, and self-destruction.
aroc91
5 / 5 (1) Aug 19, 2011
Well, this couldn't have gone any more off topic. Palestinians? Wtf?
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2011
The majority living in those regimes are happy


Map of global happiness:

http://www.techno...ness.jpg

And indeed, people are very easily manipulated. Those who really think for themselves make up just a small fraction.
Quasi_Intellectual
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2011
The tactical potential of these drones are immense.
Small, cheap and easily deployed, these things could prove to be an invaluable asset to any tactical operation.
Damn, I want one. Could easily give me an upper hand in a paintball/airsoft match.

And as for the discussions of religion and such...
Religions and political factions are similar to football clubs (soccer, not hand-egg), and they all have their hooligans.

As for me, I'm an agnostic atheist. Which is pretty much an atheist who would gladly go theist should a deity suddenly pop into view.(With sufficient proof for its divinity, of course)

I like to read any discussion, no matter how trivial, so please don't let my post disrupt your ranting. ;)
canuckit
not rated yet Aug 21, 2011
The writer of this article found necessary to specify that this drone is an unmanned flight machine (!)

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