Swimming Robot Jellyfish Makes Its Own Hydrogen Fuel from Water

Institute of Physics/Video screen capture

Considering the diversity of the natural world, it's no wonder that biomimicry keeps coming up with amazing designs. The latest is an underwater robot that is based on a jellyfish and makes hydrogen fuel from the water it swims through.

"Robojelly" is the work of researchers at Virginia Tech's Bio-inspired Material and Devices Laboratory and the University of Texas at Dalls' Nanotech Institute.

According to the Institute of Physics, the simple propulsion method of the jellyfish is the ideal model for a robot, as it is easy to mimic. The new part is the hydrogen fuel: From the IOP:

The robot is powered by heat-producing chemical reactions between the oxygen and hydrogen, which were injected from fuel tanks, and the platinum on its surface. The heat given off by these reactions is transferred to the artificial muscles of the robot, causing them to transform into different shapes.

Theoretically, Robojelly would never run out of fuel unless the oceans dried up. The next step is to power individual sections of the robot, to be able to control its movement in different directions.

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Tags: Biomimicry | Energy Efficiency | Fuel Cells

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