Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

When we did our Alex Rider contest, one of the kids proposed a tiny spy cam built into a faux maple leaf one could launch with a slingshot. We thought it was a clever idea. Some researchers at the University of Maryland’s Dept. of Aerospace Engineering were similarly inspired by samara seed pods and created the RoboSeed.

X-Naves Flyer

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • volkemon

    Nice work. I have spent many a childhood hour throwing Billions (OK…a bunch..:) of maple tree helicopters.

    44.594986,-72.866617 Right here, according to Google Maps.

  • MadRat

    You know… I’ll bet if you could have its camera synchronize with its spinning you could have it take one picture per revolution and get a stable image of the same spot each time.

Related Supplies at Maker Shed