Caltech Makes use of AM to Create Biohybrid Robotic Jellyfish


Caltech researchers have devised biohybrid robotic jellyfish, outfitted with digital enhancements and prosthetic attachments. These additions, together with streamlined 3D printed forebodies and swimming pacemakers, propel the robots to swim as much as 4.5 instances quicker than pure jellyfish, even whereas carrying payloads, at a mere $20 manufacturing value.

Caltech Uses AM to Create Biohybrid Robotic JellyfishArtist impression of the jellyfish (left) and the precise robots (proper). (Picture Credit score: Caltech)

The prosthetic “hat” not solely facilitates payload transportation but additionally optimizes swimming effectivity. This innovation opens avenues for learning oceanic processes in managed laboratory settings, such because the vertical tank developed by Caltech. This tank simulates ocean currents, enabling researchers to watch and analyze jellyfish conduct akin to swimming towards the circulate, akin to a treadmill for aquatic creatures.

“Within the ocean, the spherical journey from the floor right down to a number of thousand meters will take a couple of days for the jellyfish, so we needed to develop a facility to check that course of within the lab,” mentioned John Dabiri, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering at Caltech.

“Our vertical tank lets the animals swim towards a flowing vertical present, like a treadmill for swimmers. We anticipate the distinctive scale of the ability—in all probability the primary vertical water treadmill of its form—to be helpful for quite a lot of different primary and utilized analysis questions.”

The event of those biohybrid robotic jellyfish represents a major development in underwater robotics, mixing organic ideas with engineering prowess to surpass the pure capabilities of jellyfish. The venture holds promise for numerous purposes in marine analysis, environmental monitoring, and underwater exploration, heralding a brand new period of biomimetic robotics in aquatic environments.

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