Lockheed Martin’s engineers, inspired by maple seeds (you know, the ones that twirl as they descend to the ground), created the Samarai Flyer, a micro-aircraft that features a single asymmetrical wing. The Samarai weighs less than half a pound and can take off vertically, hover, and land, all the while streaming video from a rotating camera.
Samarai has only two moving parts and is relatively small at 16-inches long. It is designed to be deployed by an operator in the field and could theoretically be scaled up for different surveillance needs. A larger design might even be able to deliver a payload.
As if all this wasn’t impressive enough, Lockheed Martin successfully tested a 3D-printed version of the Samarai frame! This means that, potentially with interchangeable hardware, an airframe can be printed as-needed to whatever size a mission calls for.
Samarai Flyer Press Release via Lockheed Martin