Vice President, Rational Continuous Engineering Solutions
IBM Software Group
For many of us, the first thing we ever 'engineered' that actually did something was a paper airplane. We learned early on that changes in the fundamentals of the design (starting with the paper in portrait or landscape) had wildly different performance characteristics. We also learned that small enhancements could have a big impact on range or craziness of the flight. We iterated on our designs endlessly until we came up with designs that consistently worked for us.
Most of us stopped with that final design some time when we were 7 years old and have been recreating it ever since. But, some engineers can not stop trying to improve upon paper airplanes!
This engineer created a machine that can crank out paper airplanes as easily as a copier can copy a page. The effort that went into creating this clearly outweighs the value of the airplanes it creates, but it shows how far an engineer can go.
This innovation brings the paper airplane up to date by linking it to a mobile app and adding flight controls! The idea of a remote, smartphone controlled paper airplane is almost too cool to be true. And, the video they use to raise money and demonstrate it is wonderful. Just imagine how inspiring this will be for all of those young paper airplane engineers out there.