Tiny battery-free devices float in the wind like dandelion seeds

Hi-tech devices that mimic eons-old design demonstrate just how much we can learn from nature.

Miniature device the size of a dandelion seed
Inspired by how dandelions use the wind to distribute their seeds, a University of Washington team has developed a tiny sensor-carrying device that can be blown by the wind as it tumbles toward the ground. This battery-free device uses solar panels (black rectangles shown here) to power its onboard electronics. Credit: Mark Stone / University of Washington