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Large Robotic Jellyfish Could One Day Patrol Oceans

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Posted March 29, 2013
Student team members from the Virginia Tech's National Science Foundation Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems test a five-foot wide jellyfish-like robot under water at War Memorial Hall. (Credit: Amanda Loman, Virginia Tech)

Student team members from the Virginia Tech’s National Science Foundation Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems test a five-foot wide jellyfish-like robot under water at War Memorial Hall. (Credit: Amanda Loman, Virginia Tech)

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.”

Read more at: ScienceDaily.com

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