New Scientist's technology blog has a cool post on robot jellies! This is real slick engineering done by the German automation company Festo, which describes its AquaJelly as ""an artificial autonomous jellyfish with an electric drive and an intelligent, adaptive mechanical system." Some cool features include:
* tentacles designed after fish fins to maximize propulsion
* motion controlled by shifting its weight
* 4-arm pendulum that enables steering in 4 directions
* communicates with charging station, regulates own energy supply
"Whenever the AquaJelly comes to a charger located above the water basin, it is sucked towards it and provided with electricity."
* uses short-range radio (zigbee) to communicate with other AquaJellies, can also sense if charging station is occupied
* communicates underwater using infrared LEDs
Check out this video of it in action.
Not being satisfied with creating tiny minions that, upon release, will take over the oceans, they also created the AirJelly to control us from the skies. AirJelly is kept aloft by a helium-filled ballonet.
"Using a peristaltic movement to drive a balloon was previously unknown in the history of aviation. The AirJelly is the first indoor flying object to use such a peristaltic propulsion system. The jellyfish glides gently through the air thanks to this new drive concept based on the reaction thrust principle."
You got to see it to believe it. Its so graceful...
Seriously cool stuff! Read more about it at Gizmodo. I wonder if I can rent it for parties...
Hat tip to Maria H.
Wow! I hope they do squids next!
They should put a bunch of these jellybots on display at Monterey Bay Aquarium! People would freak out.
So, uh... not to rain on Festo's parade, but what does it do?
We have plenty of real jellies for the oceans (and they don't even use electricity).
Is air jelly going to revolutionize the way Good Year advertises?
One of the things talked about on their website is that the these bots could be used in ocean monitoring. It would be relatively easy to modify the electronics to take measurements and relay the info to satellite. Current equiptment doesn't move, although some devices can be preprogrammed to descend to certain depths and come up using gas bladders.
The airjelly i have no clue, but maybe weather monitoring? But most importantly, because they can!