Virginia Tech College of Engineering researchers have unveiled a life-like, autonomous robotic jellyfish the size and weight of a grown man, 5 foot 7 inches in length and weighing 170 pounds.
The prototype robot, nicknamed Cyro, is a larger model of a robotic jellyfish the same team – headed by Shashank Priya of Blacksburg, Va., and professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech – unveiled in 2012. The earlier robot, dubbed RoboJelly, is roughly the size of a man’s hand, and typical of jellyfish found along beaches.
“A larger vehicle will allow for more payload, longer duration and longer range of operation,” said Alex Villanueva of St-Jacques, New-Brunswick, Canada, and a doctoral student in mechanical engineering working under Priya. “Biological and engineering results show that larger vehicles have a lower cost of transport, which is a metric used to determine how much energy is spent for traveling.”
Both robots are part of a multi-university, nationwide $5 million project funded by U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research. The goal is to place self-powering, autonomous machines in waters for the purposes of surveillance and monitoring the environment, in addition to other uses such as studying aquatic life, mapping ocean floors, and monitoring ocean currents.
Jellyfish are attractive candidates to mimic because of their ability to consume little energy owing to a lower metabolic rate than other marine species. Additionally, they appear in wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors, allowing for several designs. They also inhabit every major oceanic area of the world and are capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures in both fresh and salt waters. Most species are found in shallow coastal waters, but some have been found in depths 7,000 meters below sea level.
Partner universities in the project are Providence College in Rhode Island, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Stanford University. Priya’s team is building the jellyfish body models, integrating fluid mechanics and developing control systems.
Cyro is modeled and named after the jellyfish cyanea capillata, Latin for Llion’s Manemain jellyfishJellyfish, with “Cyro” derived from “cyanea” and “robot.” As with its predecessor, this robot is in the prototype stage, years away from use in waters. A new prototype model already is under construction at Virginia Tech’s Durham Hall, where Priya’s Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems is based.
“We hope to improve on this robot and reduce power consumption and improve swimming performance as well as better mimic the morphology of the natural jellyfish,” Villanueva said, adding that the project also allows researchers such as himself to better understand aquatic creatures live. “Our hopes for Cyro’s future is that it will help understand how the propulsion mechanism of such animal scales with size.”
A stark difference exists between the larger and smaller robots. Cyro is powered by a rechargeable nickel metal hydride battery, whereas the smaller models were tethered, Priya said. Experiments have also been conducted on powering jellyfish with hydrogen but there is still much research to be done in that area.
In both cases, the jellyfish must operate on their own for months or longer at a time as engineers likely won’t be able to capture and repair the robots, or replace power sources.
“Cyro showed its ability to swim autonomously while maintaining a similar physical appearance and kinematics as the natural species,” Priya said, adding that the robot is simultaneously able to collect, store, analyze, and communicate sensory data. This autonomous operation in shallow water conditions is already a big step towards demonstrating the use of these creatures.”
How does the robot swim? Its body consists of a rigid support structure with direct current electric motors which control the mechanical arms that are used in conjunction with an artificial mesoglea, or jelly-based pulp of the fish’s body, creating hydrodynamic movement.
With no central nervous system, jellyfish instead use a diffused nerve net to control movement and can complete complex functions. A parallel study on a bio-inspired control system is in progress which will eventually replace the current simplified controller.
The Latest Bing News on:
- Scots graffiti artist who vandalised buildings as teen now gets paid for his urban arton November 24, 2021 at 8:30 pm
A graffiti artist who started out vandalising buildings as a bored youngster is now being paid to brighten up Scotland's towns. As a teenager, Tragic O'Hara stalked the streets in the dead of night ...
- ‘Selling Sunset’ Returns: How Outrageous LA Real Estate Agent Christine Quinn Made Herself Star of the Netflix Serieson November 24, 2021 at 8:07 am
“I know you said it’s just like high school,” she notes, before launching into a monologue about how she “fell into this trap” of believing a co-worker’s kind exterior and how another office employee ...
- Something More: Chapter 4on November 23, 2021 at 12:58 pm
The vibrant field of flowers seemed to stretch on for eternity. Flora of all shapes and colours for as far as the eye could see. She walked amongst it, awestruck by it all. She had never seen such ...
- MIT CTC Detector May Offer Early Cancer Diagnosis (VIDEO)on November 14, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Researchers at MIT and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a microfluidic device that features long jellyfish-like tentacles of DNA that attract proteins associated with ...
- Robot ‘Jellyfish’ to Protect Endangered Coral Reefson November 14, 2021 at 4:00 pm
LONDON (AFP) — A robot inspired by the shape and delicate underwater movements of a jellyfish, allowing it to safely explore endangered coral reefs, was unveiled by British scientists on Wednesday.
- Robotic ‘Linguine Fingers’ Developed to Study Jellyfish Gentlyon November 7, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Marine biologists have designed a new tool that allows them to conduct undersea research in a much more environmentally friendly way by using trailblazing “soft robotic linguine fingers.” Studying ...
- 13 Mesmerizing Photos of Jellyfish You Have to Seeon November 4, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The World Atlas says that there are more than 2,000 different species of jellyfish. Many of them look like works of art, like this jelly which resembles a dancer’s frilly tutu. As beautiful as ...
- Soft Robotic Jellyfish Get Pumped In The Atlanticon November 3, 2021 at 5:01 pm
In a recent paper in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, researchers at Florida Atlantic University describe the process of building and testing five free-swimming soft robotic jellyfish. The paper ...
- Life Under Ice: Robot Captures Views of Hidden Arctic Ecosystemon October 24, 2021 at 5:00 pm
SAN FRANCISCO — A nimble underwater robot has traveled below Arctic sea ... including algae, jellyfish, and gelatinous animals called larvaceans, the team reported here Tuesday (Dec. 16) at ...
- Robot Jellyfish Fueled By Hydrogen From The Water Around Iton October 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Instead of a cold metallic skeleton, this softie is modeled after jellyfish which have no bones. But that’s not the only thing that’s unusual about it. This robot also doesn’t carry its own ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
Self-powering autonomous machines
- Darktrace Signs Multi-Million-Dollar Deal With Global Leader In Automotive Technology And Electronicson November 29, 2021 at 12:00 am
Darktrace, a global leader in cyber security AI, today announced that one of Europe's largest automotive technology and electronics companies has selected Darktrace's Cyber AI technology.
- The self-driving trolley problem: How will future AI systems make the most ethical choices for all of us?on November 24, 2021 at 5:00 am
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already making decisions in the fields of business, health care and manufacturing. But AI algorithms generally still get help from people applying checks and making the ...
- Tesla’s Self-Driving Business Is Powering Ahead Despite Setbackson November 24, 2021 at 2:00 am
Tesla stock is up by almost 60% year-to-date, with its market cap crossing the rarefied $1 trillion mark recently. The run-up is partly due to Tesla’s solid execution, with deliveries for this year ...
- Autonomous vehicles will soon become a reality in UAEon November 23, 2021 at 9:46 am
Autonomous vehicles will soon ... and the latest LPWAN(Low power wide area network) networks LTE-M (Long term evolution for machines) and to connect vehicles to traffic regulators, to traffic ...
- Autonomous vehicles will soon become a reality in UAEon November 23, 2021 at 1:17 am
Autonomous vehicles will soon become a reality in UAE, with the country becoming the first in the Middle East and the second globally to test self-driving cars on the streets. This landmark ...
- Technology Is Powering New Modes Of Delivery For An On-Demand Economyon November 22, 2021 at 6:37 am
Logistics players continue to invest in disruptive technology to help businesses navigate the challenges of the on-demand economy.
- World's First All-Electric and Self-Propelled Container Ship Completes Its Maiden Voyageon November 22, 2021 at 12:41 am
Announced four years ago as the first electric and self-propelled ... It was when Sea Machines’ Nellie Bly vessel completed the world’s first 1,000+ nautical miles autonomous and remotely ...
- Autonomy: The future of enterprises and citieson November 21, 2021 at 7:28 pm
An autonomous enterprise might sound futuristic and we might get mesmerized by the thought of how it can change the world around us. Autonomous soluti..
- This smart tractor is electrified, self-driving, and loaded with sensorson November 19, 2021 at 3:00 am
To transform farming, Monarch rethought the tractor from the ground up—all at a surprisingly affordable price.
- Head-on | Strategic self-interest: India’s geopolitical levers of poweron November 16, 2021 at 6:12 pm
As President Putin visits Delhi next month, India is resetting its geopolitical ties with global powers. From a policy of strategic autonomy, India is moving towards a nuanced policy of strategic self ...