Scientists Make Fishy Robots

NEW ORLEANS (October 23, 2012)—Researchers are working on a project that may someday produce an eel that undulates through coastal waters, powered by batteries and checking for mines or a jellyfish that is actually a surveillance robot, powered by the atoms around it or fins pick up intelligence while propelling a robot bluegill sunfish.

The Office of Naval Research is supporting baby steps toward making those visions a reality.

For instance, the jellyfish work in Texas and Virginia is focused on how the creatures move in water, and how to mimic or even surpass their abilities.

Propellers and jets leave trails that can light up radar and sonar screens and researchers say robots modeled after water creatures could be both more efficient and harder to detect.

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