Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Robojelly gets an upgrade: Underwater robot learns to swim more like the real thing

Date:
November 22, 2011
Source:
American Physical Society
Summary:
Engineers have developed a robot that mimics the graceful motions of jellyfish so precisely that it has been named Robojelly. Developed for the U.S. Office of Naval Research in 2009, this vehicle was designed to conduct ocean underwater surveillance, enabling it potentially to detect chemical spills, monitor the presence of ships and submarines, and observe the migration of schools of fish.

Engineers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VirginiaTech) have developed a robot that mimics the graceful motions of jellyfish so precisely that it has been named Robojelly. Developed for the U.S. Office of Naval Research in 2009, this vehicle was designed to conduct ocean underwater surveillance, enabling it potentially to detect chemical spills, monitor the presence of ships and submarines, and observe the migration of schools of fish.

Recently, a team at VirginiaTech has improved the performance of this silicone swimmer, enabling it to better overcome the limitations of its artificial skin and better mimic the true motion of a jellyfish. Details on this new design and how it might provide new insights into jellyfish propulsion mechanisms are being presented at the 2011 meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics in Baltimore, Md., Nov. 20-22.

According to VirginiaTech mechanical engineer Alex Villanueva, Robojelly looks very similar to an actual jellyfish. "Its geometry is copied almost exactly from a moon jellyfish [Aurelia aurita]," he said. The robot is built out of silicone and uses shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators to swim.

To move through the water, the natural animal uses the bell section of its body, which deforms and contracts to provide thrust. The lower, or lagging, section of the bell is known as the flexible margin, and it deforms slightly later in the swimming process than the rest of the bell. Until recently, however, Robojelly lacked this crucial piece of anatomy in its design.

Villanueva and his colleagues tested a number of different designs for their robot, some with and without an analog to a flexible margin. Initially, the artificial materials used in construction presented a problem. Unlike their natural counterparts, the artificial materials tended to fold as they deformed, reducing Robojelly's performance. After

testing a number of designs and lengths for the folding margin, the engineers discovered that cutting slots into the bell reduced this unwanted folding effect.

This gave Robojelly a truer swimming stroke, as well as a big boost in speed.

"These results clearly demonstrate that the flap plays an important role in the propulsion mechanism of Robojelly and provides an anatomical understanding of natural jellyfish," said Villanuerva.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physical Society. "Robojelly gets an upgrade: Underwater robot learns to swim more like the real thing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111122113209.htm>.
American Physical Society. (2011, November 22). Robojelly gets an upgrade: Underwater robot learns to swim more like the real thing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111122113209.htm
American Physical Society. "Robojelly gets an upgrade: Underwater robot learns to swim more like the real thing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111122113209.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 24, 2014) General Electric keeps quiet on reports it's in talks to buy French turbine and train maker Alstom. Ivor Bennett reports on what could be an embarrassing rumour for the French government, with business-friendly reforms proving a hard sell. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama spoke with student innovators in Japan and urged them to take part in increased opportunities for student exchanges with the US. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins