Tagged: samara

Biomimicry in Model Rocketry

Model rocketry has a frequently hostile relationship with nature. Hard desert floors shatter swiftly falling rockets, ponds drown them, high grass hides them, and high winds carry them away. So many rockets drift into the forests that inevitably surround launch fields that my local club joking acronyms itself “Carefully Arranged Tree Ornaments”. But model rocketry […]

Spinning and gliding seeds

A previous post by a student in last quarter’s class briefly discusses the autorotation abilities of the maple samara, then talked about a monocopter based on the samara’s design. The maple samara is certainly fascinating – but it is not the only seed with interesting aerodynamic properties. In fact, it is described as “crude” in […]

Small Seeds Inspire Big Ideas

Many of us can remember as a child being fascinated by maple seeds, with their single wing, spinning gracefully to the ground. As it turns out, scientists also have been amazed by this process. So much so that since the 1950s, engineers have been trying to replicate the flight of these seeds. Maple seeds, a […]

Welcome to “Bio-aerial Locomotion”

This is the blog of the engineering freshman seminar course titled “Bio-Aerial Locomotion”, taught by Prof. Lorena Barba at Boston University. This course is one of several options of the Introduction to Engineering series (EK 131/132) at the College of Engineering. The course aims to motivate the subject of bio-inspired engineering, characterized by seeking examples […]