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Jellyfish Robot Designed for Underwater Missions

The team used shape memory alloys and polyamide to create a flexible, swimming robot

Scarlett Evans

July 31, 2023

1 Min Read
The flexible, soft robot was designed for underwater missions
Getty

A jellyfish-inspired robot has been created to complete underwater missions, capable of monitoring marine life and underwater infrastructure.

The soft robot was created by a team from the Indian Institute of Technology Indore and the Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, using polyamide and shape memory alloys (SMAs). 

SMAs are chosen for their deformable properties, capable of changing shape and returning to their original form in response to heat. In this instance, the material allows the robot to mimic the flowing movement of a jellyfish to allow its gentle movement through water.

The flexible, light robot weighs only 1.5 ounces and uses affordable materials, making it easily scalable and accessible to produce.

“The proposed structure is novel, cost-effective, and easy to fabricate with very less time consumption compared to conventional mold-based methods,” the team wrote in the paper. “The results show that the proposed method can be successfully applied to mimic jellyfish locomotion and extended to underwater applications.”

The robot prototype is also fitted with an onboard camera module and sonar sensor for object detection.

In initial tests, the robot prototype showed promising results, swimming horizontally at 0.3 inches per second.

"The behavior of the proposed jellyfish structure has been investigated with varying SMA wire diameters and frequencies," the team said. "The jellyfish tentacle displacement and velocity during mimicking were measured… In addition, a preliminary simulation of the jellyfish mimicking has been carried out in Ansys Fluent and the thrust force has been evaluated."

According to the team, the new robot could be further developed for more specific applications for underwater use cases and accelerate it into commercialization.

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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