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November 26 2013

Meet the flying machine that was inspired by a jellyfish


Leif Ristroph wanted to build the “simplest possible” flying machine. The applied mathematician at New York University glued together several tubes of carbon fiber to build this: a sphere with four wings attached to it that propels it as a jellyfish swims.

The flyer is only about eight centimeters in diameter — small enough to fit in the palm of your hand — and its mass is only about two grams, the equivalent of two paper clips.

Half of the mass is the motor...

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