Usually when you think of international espionage, James Bond or Austin Powers come to mind, not a floating swarm of predatory robotic cephalopods. (Yes, I know Jellyfish aren’t cephalopods – but it’s a much cooler word than “Cnidaria Medusozoa”)
Back to the point, Squidward! Scientists have designed these robotic invertebrates to be roaming armies of gelatinous undersea spies! See how they can revolutionize military intelligence tactics, while simultaneously putting “living blobs” on the unemployment line!
Side note: I’m personal friends with a jellyfish who’s been out of work for weeks. He tells me, employers think he’s “spineless” and can “see-through” his confident facade. It’s terribly sad.
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, as part of a U.S. Navy-funded project.
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 vehicle have a lower cost of transport, which is a metric used to determine how much energy is spent for traveling.”