If you’re frightened of the ocean, or the creatures that lurk beneath the waves, we recommend that you read no further.
According to the Los Angeles Times, engineers at aVirginia Tech lab are working on a giant, synthetic, robo-jellyfish, which one day could autonomously patrol the high seas. The project, which is funded by a $5-million grant from the US Naval Undersea Warfare centre and the Office of Naval Research, has already yielded one workable prototype: a 170-pound monster nicknamed Cyro.
Geek.com reports that Cyro measures more than five feet in length, and behaves very much like its organic counterpart:
Cryo consists of a central core of components in a waterproof shell connected to eight moving arms. Draped over this is a large and soft piece of white silicone, which comes into contact with each of the arms and remains flexible. Combined, the arms and silicone act as a propulsion system mimicking how real jellyfish move around.
“Imagine,” writes Matt Peckham of Time Magazine, “a fully-realised version of such a robot running underwater surveillance missions for the U.S. Navy – the marine version of a weaponless drone, in other words, perhaps poking around someone’s oceanfront property (or, heaven forbid, employed in a civilian capacity by ignoble paparazzi to stalk celebrities).”
In related news, here’s a compendium of horror movies that include jellyfish. Among them: The 1965 epic “Sting of Death.”
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