The Next Byte

23. Bird-Inspired Drone Wings, Scaling Digital Twins, Tracking Microplastics From Space

Episode Summary

In this episode, we talk about UMich’s new aircraft wings that mimic birds, MIT research that aims to deploy digital twins at scale, and how NASA is repurposing an old weather satellite to monitor microplastic pollution. As always, you can find these and other interesting & impactful engineering articles on

Episode Notes

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(1:40) - Bird-like drone wings

A UMich PhD student is hoping to revolutionize current UAV wing design by copying some of nature’s most capable flyers: seagulls. Gulls, unlike aircrafts, can remain stable during flight even in turbulent weather and this research might lead to adaptation of gull-inspired wings in the aircraft of tomorrow.

(9:13) - Scalable Digital Twins

An MIT grad recently created a framework for deploying digital twins at scale by connecting physical and digital assets (for all sorts of applications). This technology could be utilized to create digital twins more easily without as much upfront investment.

(15:05) - Detecting microplastics from space

Mircroplastic pollution is extremely harmful to the environment and yet is nearly impossible to track. Luckily, UMich researchers found a way to repurpose old NASA CYGNSS satellites for hurricane forecasting to track microplastic particles' origins and movement throughout the ocean. 


About the podcast:

Every day, some of the most innovative universities, companies, and individual technology developers share their knowledge on Wevolver. To ensure we can also provide this knowledge for the growing group of podcast listeners, we started a collaboration with two young engineers, Daniel Scott Mitchell & Farbod Moghaddam who discuss the most interesting content in this podcast series. 

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