Robotic Jellyfish that Move Autonomously

Festo, a German engineering firm known for finding inspiration in biology, recently unveiled its two newest robots at the Hannover Festival.
Picture courtesy of Gizmodo

The AquaJelly and AirJelly share the same basic form - a sphere surrounded by eight mechanical tentacles run off lithium-ion batteries. In the case of the AquaJelly which functions underwater, the central sphere is a laser sealed vacuum, while the flying (floating) Air Jelly's center is a helium balloon. Most interestingly, the AquaJelly is autonomous in that it "guides itself with the help of a sensor array, communications systems and control software based on robotic swarm-intelligence."

As explained in Design News, "Whether they swim or fly, these two types of jellyfish steer themselves by carefully controlled weight shifts. As Fischer explains, their bodies contain a servo-driven swash plate connected to a four-armed pendulum that changes their center of gravity. 'The pendulum shifts their weight, and they move in a new direction,' he says"... ok, this is where we defer to the experts and suggest you read more on their post. Feel free to stick around and watch the awesome videos though:



The Jellies' artificial intelligence is being called into question after they both selected Yanni as the soundtrack to their videos.

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I have to say, while the engineering is quite beyond me, they are really incredible to watch. Especially the Airjelly.

Oh Wow! I want one for my birthday, please. I want it to follow me round the garden like an angel, playing me celestial music as it goes!

By Mrs Hilary Vic… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2008 #permalink

Wow. The air jelly has got to be the coolest thing I have seen since those wind-powered beach-crawler things made by that Dutch guy.

That *you* knew it was Yanni is a much more frightening proposition than having it in their commercial. I wouldn't know Yanni's music if it bit me on the ass.

Its ok, little fella, you can go ahead and come out of the closet and admit you're a charged-up Yanni fan... we'll still read your blog. You Yanni monster, you! ;-)

By CinemaMan (not verified) on 02 May 2008 #permalink

I have to say, while the engineering is quite beyond me, they are really incredible to watch. Especially the Airjelly.

s clip is the first professional video of the elusive and highly endangered Cross River gorilla. It is the world's rarest great ape, numbering fewer than 300 individuals along the border of Nigeria and Cameroon.