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Video: Man-Sized Jellyfish Robot to Patrol the Seas

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Rob Spiegel
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Jellyfish robot video is great
Rob Spiegel   4/16/2013 3:33:55 PM
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Nice story, Ann. I particularly liked the video. What a thing of beauty. Yet another example of taking existing movements in nature and applying them to robotics.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Jellyfish robot video is great
Ann R. Thryft   4/16/2013 5:45:36 PM
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Thanks, Rob. The Virginia Tech jellyfish may not be as elegant as the Festo AirJelly, but it seems more realistic to me.

Charles Murray
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Re: Jellyfish robot video is great
Charles Murray   4/16/2013 6:55:40 PM
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I agree, Ann. It's more realitic than the Festo jellyfish, and a whole lot bigger. Watching the video, you'd think this giant jellyfish was real if you couldn't see the control mechanisms on the bottom side.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Jellyfish robot video is great
Elizabeth M   4/17/2013 8:01:10 AM
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This again is another example of a more "beautiful" robot...though a bit scary, too! Not sure I'd want to encounter a human-sized mechanical jellyfish in the sea (where I spend a lot of my time). But in all seriousness, this is really cool...and its aim is a good one as well.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Jellyfish robot video is great
Ann R. Thryft   4/18/2013 11:34:00 AM
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Elizabeth, if I spent a lot of time in the ocean I would definitely not want to meet this guy out there.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Jellyfish robot video is great
Elizabeth M   4/22/2013 4:08:21 AM
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Haha, well hopefully no "accidental" encounters could occur, Ann!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Jellyfish robot video is great
Ann R. Thryft   4/17/2013 12:14:33 PM
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I had the same reaction, Chuck--aaack!

CLMcDade
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making a meal?
CLMcDade   4/17/2013 10:52:21 AM
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Hi Ann - another inspired project and another inspiring article.

Biomimicry really has taken amazing strides recently.  At some point, the developers will have to remember that almost all creatures have natural nemeses.  So making a really large natural looking jellyfish robot may shorten its useful life because it may look a like a nice meal to a passing sea turtle.

Or in the case of the dragonfly robot, a passing bird.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: making a meal?
Ann R. Thryft   4/18/2013 11:34:46 AM
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Clinton, thanks for your comments (and for using the correct plural of a Greek word: nemesis, pl. nemeses). You bring up an interesting point that some other commenters have mentioned: what about predators thinking that a realistic robot is potential food? This jellyfish is bigger than most, if not all, sea turtles, but a killer shark could be a problem.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: making a meal?
Cabe Atwell   4/18/2013 8:07:13 PM
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Is this the most efficient sea locomotion? It seems that way in some aspects.

I see a lot of research money going into robotics.. The best thing I have in my home in 2013 is a wheeled vacuum cleaner bot.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: making a meal?
Ann R. Thryft   4/19/2013 11:35:42 AM
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Cabe, "most efficient" defined how? I've written about several different swimming robots, modeled after tuna, sea turtles and jellyfish. Each of these was described as highly efficient and/or with an optimum size or function(s) for the tasks it was designed for--and they weren't all the same set of tasks. Most robotics R&D is past the stage of fundamental research and is now applied to a specific end-use. OTOH, there are also some competing designs for similar uses.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: making a meal?
Cabe Atwell   4/22/2013 6:03:17 PM
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Ann,

Efficiency of energy to distance traveled, mostly.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: making a meal?
Ann R. Thryft   4/23/2013 12:29:25 PM
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Cabe, so you mean the basic physics definition. I still think that the usefulness of the robot's motion in the particular application is just as important as the physics in the abstract. This has become especially clear as I've been working on a nautical robots slideshow, where designs can be wildly different depending on end-usage--or wildly different to achieve the same basic purposes.



mrdon
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Re: making a meal?
mrdon   4/20/2013 6:36:54 PM
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CLMcDade, I agree about the project being inspiring as well as the article. The field of Biomimicry has no boundaries and limits to creating magnificent machines. I'm really impressed with the waterproof material protecting the electronics and the graceful movement of Cyro's legs. Nice work as usual Ann!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: making a meal?
Ann R. Thryft   4/22/2013 1:02:09 PM
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Thanks, mrdon. I like to write about robots that are different in some way--how they look, what they're supposed to do, or how they've been designed. Glad you enjoy the results!

William K.
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Jellyfish robot directional control
William K.   4/17/2013 4:08:46 PM
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What a great piece of engineering, it certainly mimicks a real jellyfish in motion. My question is about directional control and how does it steer, which are not so very obvious. But I can see that it could run for quite a while, since it does not need to run to stay afloat.

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