The six million dollar jellyfish

What if you could rebuild a jellyfish: better, stronger and faster than it was before? Caltech now has the technology to build Electronic jellyfish.

Studying the ocean for its influence on the rest of the climate is an important scientific task, but land pressure variations as you descend into eternal darkness make it a non-trivial engineering problem. Although we have sent people into the deepest parts of the ocean, submarines are too expensive and risky to use to obtain data on a large scale.

The researchers found in previous work that making jellyfish cyborgs was more effective than biomimetic jellyfish robots, and they have now given “Biorobotic jellyfish“3D printed, neutrally buoyant swim cap. Combined with a previously developed 'pacemaker', this cyborg jellyfish can explore the ocean (in a straight line) at 4.5x the speed of a traditional moon jellyfish while carrying a scientific payload.” Future work hopes to make them as steerable as well-known robotic cockroaches.

If you're interested in some other attempt to explore Earth's oceans, how about drifting buoys, Open CTD, or Open ROV? Just don't forget to keep the noise low!

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