Students at the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering have created the world’s smallest monocopter. Its design was inspired by the maple seed that spins when it falls, but this design has an ingenious improvement: a tail rotor. A tail rotor is usually used to keep a helicopter from spinning, but in this case, it keeps the maple seed device spinning. This lets it keep flying, hovering, and lets us control where and how it flies.
The tiny device fits in the palm of your hand, and is a very important advancement in aerospace engineering. This new design is especially useful since it can be used by the military in situations like surveillance maneuvers for defense, fire monitoring, and search-and-rescue purposes.