The future of ocean exploration
Scientists say that this robotic jellyfish could be the future of underwater search and rescue operations.
Robojelly was invented by researchers at Virginia Tech in the US. Although it is still being developed, it is hoped that Robojelly will be able to use water as its only power source, so it should never run out of energy.
The main body of the jellyfish is made out of a material known as a shape memory alloy, or SMA. This means that it ‘remembers’ its original shape and easily flips back to its usual position.
Robojelly moves in the same way that a jellyfish does, by squeezing the ‘muscles’ on the inside of its body. This pushes water out one way and forces the jellyfish in the opposite direction.
A black platinum coating is responsible for powering Robojelly. The platinum helps to produce energy from hydrogen which, in tests, has been pumped directly to Robojelly. At the moment, Robojelly is still not fully efficient, so it still needs some electrical power to get it through its lab tests.
Researchers writing in Smart Materials and Structures say that if they can make their new robot more efficient, swarms of them could be used for tricky tasks deep underwater that are hard for humans to carry out.
Check out the video below of Robojelly in a water tank in the laboratory. Leave some comments and let us know what you think!