|Robojelly - a robot jellyfish called that feeds on water - could aid in
underwater search and rescue operations, say its creators.
Researchers at Virginia Tech built Robojelly from materials known as
shape-memory alloys, which return to their original shape when bent.
Eight moving segments wrapped in carbon nanotubes and coated with a
platinum powder replicate the jellyfish's natural opening-and-closing
method of propulsion.
The robot is powered by heat produced from chemical reactions between
the oxygen and hydrogen in the water and the platinum powder, which
causes the alloys to change shape.
More work is needed to make the hydrogen-powered robot fully functional,
however. The researchers' next step is to figure out a way to deliver
hydrogen to each segment separately, allowing them to be controlled
individually, so that the robot can move in different directions.