The ocean is being saved one robotic jellyfish at a time!
According to Science News, a newly invented robotic jellyfish is acting as a climate spy, where its squishy life-life tentacles allow this device to monitor coral reefs without disturbing them!
In the past, in order to study the coral reef, scientists will often time deploy underwater drones that get up close and personal in order to study the reefs closely, however, these drones may not be the best fit. In many cases, their propellers alone are capable of ripping up areas of the coral reefs and harming any living creatures nearby. In addition, underwater drones, particularly those used in the past, can be quite noisy, scaring off any animals that inhabit the reefs.
Although coral reefs within our oceans are extremely important to ocean life, there are definitely better ways to explore and study them, which brings us to our friendly jellyfish! Erik Engeberg, who is a mechanical engineer at Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, along with his team, has developed this new and innovated robot. The gadget, in this case, a robotic jellyfish, was created in order to replace these loud and dangerous drones.
The device itself is far more quiet and gentle on the ocean and can study the reefs in a far safer manner. According to Engeberg, the robotic jellyfish glides silently through the water, so that it will not harm the reefs or disturb any animals living around them. The robotic device includes eight tentacles that are comprised solely of soft silicone rubber, while pumps on the underside of the robot take in seawater directing it into the tentacles, allowing it to move.
In addition to its exterior, the jellyfish also carry sensors in order to collect data that is then relayed to the scientists who then received pertinent information regarding the coral reefs. Wireless communication within the robot allows all data to be transferred and allows the jellyfish to be controlled manually if need be. This is a major step in keeping our oceans clean, all while doing so in a safe and quiet way.