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Navy makes robotic jellyfish with shape-memory muscles

If you haven’t noticed by now, we have a weakness for robotic animals. Especially when they are recruited for decidedly unnatural tasks like, er, spy research. Now a bunch of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas’ Virginia Tech are now hard at work on the Robojelly which is funded by the US navy.

Made from silicone and other high-tech materials, the Robojelly takes its inspiration from real moon jellyfish in how it moves: it lets water into its bell, then closes the bell to push out water and jet it forward. What’s even more awesome: its artificial muscles are formed from a shape-memory alloy that bounces back to its original shape after being deformed. We aren’t sure what the navy plans to do with a jellyfish army, but apparently ‘surveillance and environmental monitoring’ are great career options for these creatures.

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Low Lai Chow travels light and is working on exercising demons from her past. Find out more about her at lowlaichow.com.