This unmanned, one-winged flight machine, by Lockheed Martin's Intelligent Robotics Laboratories, is based on the flight of maple seeds
(PHYSORG)-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 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 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.