Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series


PostedNovember 15, 2009

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Randy Atkins: The lingering fall of the single propeller maple seed…

Evan Ulrich: One of the most simple systems in nature which is able to fly without any moving parts.

Randy Atkins: …inspired University of Maryland engineering student Evan Ulrich to make an unmanned aircraft.  Problem is, the seed’s descent is erratic.  His challenge…

Evan Ulrich: To be able to control the flight of a maple seed.  To steer it from point A to point B.

Randy Atkins: Ulrich created a maple seed mimic the size of a large bird that takes off and flies!  It’s silent and almost invisible.

Evan Ulrich: At about 100 feet all you see is the center of rotation, a half-dollar sized black disc.

Randy Atkins: Uses might range from spying to weather monitoring.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103-point-5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.




  • Additional information including publications in PDF form
  • The company Ulrich formed to produce and research the roboseed
  • The UMD Clark School of Engineering