Posts by: Luke Loreti

Flying in Circles

Thousands of years ago, early hunters discovered that a single bend in a piece of wood gave it some interesting aerodynamics properties. Tossed vertically, a boomerang will fly in a loop, returning to its thrower. How is such a seemingly simple object able to move through the air so remarkably? When we examine the boomerang […]

Nature’s Original Fliers

Before any bird ever took flight, a different kind of creature ruled the sky. Pterosaurs, evolving 220 million years ago and a contemporary of the dinosaur, were among nature’s first fliers. They ranged in size from modern-day pigeons to “small airplane[s]”, the largest weighing up to a quarter ton. When they were on the ground […]

Robotic Flies at Harvard

Researchers from Harvard and UC Berkeley have collaborated to build a 60-milligram robotic fly, the smallest scale biomimetic device ever created. Although the robot is currently only capable of tethered vertical flight, the technology could one day lead to miniature drones with military or rescue functions. Houseflies, and all insects capable of flight, are extremely […]