It’s been common knowledge that we know more about outer space than our own planet’s oceans—something scientists seek to amend by sending a man-sized jellyfish robot to explore our oceans. “Cyro” weighs about 170 pounds and stands 5 feet, 7 inches tall—about the size of a regular human being. Cyro was developed by researchers at Virginia Tech using a USD$5 million grant from the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research.
“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,” Geek.com reports.
Researchers at Virginia Tech also discussed options for Cyro other than just mapping our oceans—it could also be used to help clean up oil spills or keep tabs on more ecologically sensitive areas. Another reason that they developed this robot to take on the shape of a jellyfish? Jellyfish are proficient swimmers and don’t need a lot of energy to move around, so a robotic version of one will also use up less energy to move around the oceans, also allowing it to be eco-friendly.
However, the project is still in the prototype stages—it is unsure when Cyro will hit the market or how much it will cost. But this could be a good step to exploring the deep blue sea and all the unknowns that come with it.
Source: Christian Science Monitor