Underwater jellyfish robot runs on water gases (VIDEO)

Engineers and scientists have increasingly turned to nature for inspiration when creating new technologies. (courtesy UT Dallas)

WASHINGTON – A new underwater robot inspired by jellyfish runs on renewable energy and could be used in ocean dives for rescue and surveillance.

It’s the product of researchers at Virginia Tech and The University of Texas at Dallas.

Scientists created the robotic jellyfish they call “RoboJelly” to feed off hydrogen and oxygen gases found in water, according to the study published in Smart Materials and Structures.

“We’ve created an underwater robot that doesn’t need batteries or electricity,” said Dr. Yonas Tadesse, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UT Dallas and lead author of the study.

“It feeds off hydrogen and oxygen gasses, and the only waste released as it travels is more water.”

Engineers on the project say the simple, powerful movement of the moon jellyfish made it an appealing animal to simulate robotically.

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