A team of engineers from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute have developed a robot which is used for conducting underwater surveillance and inspection and have named it Robojelly.
The Robojelly moves in a pattern similar to that of the jellyfish and hence the name. It was originally developed by Virginia Tech for the Office of Naval research in 2009 and was intended for use in underwater surveillance, study of migration of fish, detection of chemical spills and monitoring the presence of ships and submarines.
The researchers have improvised the design of Robojelly and have enhanced its swimming abilities by providing a more efficient outer skin for better movement in water. The details of the improvised design were presented at a meeting of Fluid Dynamics Division of American Physical Society at Baltimore during November 2011. One of the engineers claims that the Robojelly is similar in physical appearance to the jellyfish and is made out of silicone. The robot utilises the actuators made of shape memory alloy for swimming in the water. The robot moves just like a jellyfish by using the bell section which is flexibly deforms to provide the required thrust to move. The team has made changes in the design of the folding margin by devising cutting slots to provide the thrust and to avoid the folding effect.