Navy Project Aiming to Build Robotic Jellyfish

JellyfishThe U.S. Navy and Virginia Tech are partnering to to engineer an autonomous robotic jellyfish under a $5 million project funded by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research.

“Cyro,” spanning 5 feet and 7 inches and weighing 170 pounds, is being built to monitor the environment and also handle other missions such as studying aquatic life, mapping ocean floors and monitoring ocean currents, Defense Systems reported Monday.

Shashank Priya, a VT professor of mechanical engineering, leads the project and other schools such as Providence College, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Texas at Dallas and Stanford University are participating.

Priya’s team is integrating fluid mechanics and developing controls to build the robotic prototypes, according to the report.

The larger model aims to build on a similar robot called RoboJelly, which the team launched in 2012.

Researchers chose a jellyfish model because of its varying sizes, shapes and colors, Defense News reported.

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