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A robotic impostor jellyfish will begin to explore the ocean – will it be accepted as one of its own?


A robotic impostor jellyfish will begin to explore the ocean – will it be accepted as one of its own?

Researchers in India invent cyber fishing with polyamide.

In recent decades, robotics has increasingly drawn inspiration from nature. Modern robots imitate the biological processes and behavior of animals as realistically as possible. It’s great that it allows you to cope with real tasks.

Recently, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Indore and the Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur introduced a robot that resembles a jellyfish in its shape and movements. The project was published in the International Journal of Intelligent Robots and Applications and can be further used for remote monitoring of the marine ecosystem.

“We have created a new flexible jellyfish robot based on shape memory alloy (SMA)-activated polyamide,” the researchers write in their paper. “In general, the process of making tentacles with embedded SMA wire requires a lot of time and effort. Our proposed structure is innovative, economical and easy to manufacture, requiring much less time compared to traditional methods.”

The researchers started by cutting sheets of Kapton polyamide tape 75 microns thick. Thus, it was possible to form the body of a jellyfish with a diameter of 25 cm. Then, in certain places, holes were made for SMA wire (metals that, when heated, return to their original shape after deformation). In this case, an SMA was used, called nitinol, which is commonly found in cable connectors and other electronic components.

The nitinol was inserted into holes pre-drilled into the structure, and additional polyamide tape was glued on top to secure the wire in place. Then, with the help of a rubber thread, the ends of each tentacle were connected to the center of the robot’s body.

As a result, the “jellyfish” turned out to be soft, flexible and very light (only 45 grams). The technology is made from available materials and can be easily replicated on a large scale. During initial tests, the prototype showed excellent results. In water, it moves horizontally at a speed of 10 mm/s and vertically at 0.2 mm/s.

“The results show that the proposed method can be successfully applied to simulate the movement of a jellyfish and further used in underwater research,” the scientists concluded. “The first prototype is designed with an integrated camera and sonar sensor for object detection using a waterproof PDMS structure.”

The future of this robot looks promising. After being improved and customized for specific tasks, the technology opens up new horizons in solving problems related to navigation and monitoring of underwater conditions.

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