In both Star Wars and Mechanic Warfare, a machine-built super jellyfish is shown. And now a team at the California Institute of Technology has developed a swimming controller that can turn ordinary jellyfish into “speed demons.” The mechanical device enhances the natural pulsation of jellyfish as it moves in the water. “The new prosthesis uses electrical pulses to regulate and accelerate the pulses, similar to the way pacemakers regulate heart rhythms,” Caltech said in a statement released Wednesday. “
After equipping these microelectronic prostheses, jellyfish swim nearly three times faster, although they consume twice as much energy as normal jellyfish. And these electronic prostheses can be removed without affecting jellyfish.
The study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
“If we can find a way to guide these jellyfish and equip them with sensors to track information such as ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen content, and so on, then we can create a truly global marine network,” said John Dabiri, a research officer at Caltech, the project’s research leader and caltech engineer. Each jellyfish robot costs just a few dollars to measure instruments and extract energy from prey already present in the ocean. “