Talk about a beautiful machine! I love this rubber band powered, balsa wood butterfly I found over at Boing Boing! This from the site:
"This beautiful, artificial butterfly is helping researchers understand the flight of swallowtails. Hiroto Tanaka of Harvard University and Isao Shimoyama of the University of Tokyo built the balsa-wood machine, which boasts thin polymer film wings with "veins" made with a silicon-etching technique. The artificial butterfly enables them to control the flight mechanisms in ways they couldn't do with live butterflies."Even without the scientific benefits, this thing would still be a beautiful and elegant piece of engineering. Stunning work.