British researchers have developed a jellyfish robot to save corals
British scientists have developed a jellyfish-shaped robot that mimics the animal’s delicate swimming and slightly soft texture, so it can explore coral reefs without damaging them, AFP reports.
The little robot, unveiled Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics, mimics the movement of “nature’s most efficient swimmers, like the blue jellyfish,” according to scientists at the universities of Southampton (southern England) and Edinburgh. Scotland).
The researchers decided to exploit the “uniqueness” of these “fascinating” organisms to build a new tool for underwater exploration, said Professor Francesco Giorgio-Serchi of the University of Edinburgh, noting that “the absence of skeletal structure does not prevent them from doing gestures. exceptional in swimming. “
The robot, built with a rubber head and eight “tentacles” made with a 3D printer, uses a resonance-based system to propel itself, thus becoming “the first submersible to demonstrate its benefits.”
It works thanks to a piston that hits at the junction of the head and tentacles. If it hits the ideal frequency, that of the natural resonance of the components, this allows the robot to generate large jets of water with very little energy to propel itself and therefore to be “ten to fifty times more efficient than propellers. small vehicle submarines “.
“This increased efficiency, along with the advantages of the robot’s soft and flexible exterior, makes it ideal for operating near sensitive environments, such as a coral reef, archaeological sites or even in crowded waters with bathers,” the statement was quoted as saying.
The little robot could thus replace divers in many tasks in which underwater vehicles are not normally used, for fear of breaking fragile or expensive objects, such as applying substances to corals to heal them.
Already tested in a pool, the robot has not yet been tested in real conditions in the ocean. The University of Southampton intends to use this concept to assemble an “autonomous and fully maneuverable underwater vehicle,” writes Agerpres.