The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been working for years on autonomous robotic jellyfish, hoping that eventually they will be powered entirely by seawater. Version 1.0 was named RoboJelly, and it was approximately the size of a human hand. Now, version 2.0 is out. It’s name is Cyro, and it is 170 pounds of jiggly, aquatic creepiness.
Why jellyfish? The ONR explains: “Jellyfish are attractive candidates to mimic because of their ability to consume little energy owing to a lower metabolic rate than other marine species.” The name Cyro is actually a contraction of robot and Cyanea capillata–the species name for the lion’s mane jellyfish.
As the video notes: “In the future, a robot jellyfish’s job could include conducting military surveillance, cleaning oil spills, or monitoring the environment“ (emphasis added). I think we can guess which use most interests its funders: the ONR and the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center.SA