Robojelly: Renewable technology of the future

Scientists in America claim they have created a renewable technology breakthrough which could “never run out of energy”. The invention known as ‘Robojelly’ might sound like an underwater crime fighter […]

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By Tom Gibson

Scientists in America claim they have created a renewable technology breakthrough which could “never run out of energy”. The invention known as ‘Robojelly’ might sound like an underwater crime fighter from the future, but the robotic jellyfish is more likely to be used for peaceful purposes such as search and rescue operations.

The robot is powered by heat-producing chemical reactions between the oxygen and hydrogen in water 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 and then propel itself through the water.

The renewable source of water means Robojelly can regenerate fuel from its natural surroundings and therefore doesn’t require an external power source or the replacement of batteries.

Yonas Tadesse, lead author of the study at Virginia Tech said: “To our knowledge, this is the first successful powering of an underwater robot using external hydrogen as a fuel source.”

“We are now researching new ways to deliver the fuel into each segment so that each one can be controlled individually. This should allow the robot to be controlled and moved in different directions.”