Designing Stable Tiny Fliers

Bin Liu, a postdoctoral research associate in Engineering was highlighted on Science360 for his work to design stable tiny flyers. He and Leif Ristroph of New York University analyzed the behavior of paper “bugs” of a variety of shapes (including cones, pyramids, umbrellas, and saucer-shaped UFOs) in a low-frequency woofer loudspeaker that mimics a cylindrical wind tunnel. Surprisingly they found that top-heavy designs are the most stable.