Functional bio-inspired hybrid fliers with separated ring and leading edge vortices

Jin Tae Kim, Hong Joon Yoon, Shyuan Cheng, Fei Liu, Soohyeon Kang, Shashwot Paudel, Haiwen Luan, Minkyu Lee, Donghwi Cho, Gooyoon Jeong, Jaehong Park, Yu Ting Huang, Su Eon Lee, Min Cho, Geonhee Lee, Mengdi Han, Bong Hoon Kim, Jinhui Yan, Yoonseok Park, Sunghwan JungLeonardo P. Chamorro, John A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in passive flying systems inspired by wind-dispersed seeds contribute to increasing interest in their use for remote sensing applications across large spatial domains in the Lagrangian frame of reference. These concepts create possibilities for developing and studying structures with performance characteristics and operating mechanisms that lie beyond those found in nature. Here, we demonstrate a hybrid flier system, fabricated through a process of controlled buckling, to yield unusual geometries optimized for flight. Specifically, these constructs simultaneously exploit distinct fluid phenomena, including separated vortex rings from features that resemble those of dandelion seeds and the leading-edge vortices derived from behaviors of maple seeds. Advanced experimental measurements and computational simulations of the aerodynamics and induced flow physics of these hybrid fliers establish a concise, scalable analytical framework for understanding their flight mechanisms. Demonstrations with functional payloads in various forms, including bioresorbable, colorimetric, gas-sensing, and light-emitting platforms, illustrate examples with diverse capabilities in sensing and tracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPNAS Nexus
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • 3D fabrication
  • aerodynamics
  • bio-inspired design
  • fluid mechanics
  • soft electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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