While there's still a debate over whether the world's real jellyfish population is exploding or not, a team at Virginia Tech is working hard to supplement the prehistoric blobs' numbers with robotic monsters of their own. Huzzah?
The team from Virginia Tech's College of Engineering led by professor of mechanical engineering Shashank Priya unveiled a new robotic jellyfish prototype today, dubbed the Cyro. It's name is derived from the species it is designed to mimic, Cyanea capillata ("Lion's Mane"), and robot. The Cyro is 5-foot, 7-inches in diameter and weighs 170 pounds. That's a massive size increase from the team's previous model—the hand-sized, hydrogen-powered RoboJelly. The Cyro's bowl-shaped electronics compartment is attached to eight mechanical arms and surrounded by a squishy, silicon skin, which allows the robot to gently propel itself through the water.