Scientists from Stanford and Caltech have created cyborg jellyfish that swim faster and more efficiently than typical jellyfish!
The researchers attribute the innovation to cutting edge low-power microelectronics attached to the undersides of the jellyfish. The “biohybrid robots” swim deeper and faster without undue costs to their metabolism.
The idea is to one day send cyborg jellyfish equipped with sensors to explore the depths of the oceans.
Marine researchers currently rely on unwieldy and inefficient submarines for the task, Scientific American reports.
The gadgets can be removed without harming the jellyfish, the researchers said in a recently published paper.
The researchers behind the project are already looking to take their endeavor deeper into what is presently the realm of science fiction.
Caltech mechanical engineer John Dabiri says that they are now just a few modifications away from actually controlling the jellyfish.
“If we can find a way to direct these jellyfish and also equip them with sensors to track things like ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, and so on, we could create a truly global ocean network where each of the jellyfish robots costs a few dollars to instrument and feeds themselves energy from prey already in the ocean,” Dabiri says.
See the video below for a closer look at the cyborg jellyfish.