A new flying machine, inspired by a simple swimmer

Come carbon fiber tubes, a tiny motor and some simple transparent "wings" help to make this jellyfish robot developed at NYU. 

Whenever I'm flying in my dreams, I'm always doing the breaststroke. I guess because I know what it's like to swim, my brain substitutes that in for whenever I have to imagine myself flying. So it makes perfect sense that mathematician Leif Ristroph came up with a new species of flying machine this week that looks like a jellyfish. Wobbly, sure, and perhaps not the most intimidating drone. But you've got to love the simplicity of this tiny flying machine. Ristroph says you could build whole fleets of them and have them float around cities collecting data--maybe measuring things like air quality, for instance. As far as I'm concerned they don't have to collect anything. They can just float around and be awesome.

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.
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