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Robotic jellyfish could be underwater spy

NEED TO KNOW
  • Cyro is 5 feet, 7 inches wide and weighs 170 pounds
  • Robot could be used for underwater military surveillance

It’s no James Bond, but it could be the next 007 patrolling the ocean.

Meet Cyro, the hefty, 170-pound, 5' 7"-wide robotic jellyfish.

Designed by a team of researchers at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, the robot is stealthy enough to one day be used as an underwater spy for the military.

Cyro is part of a nationwide, multi-university $5 million project funded by the U.S. Navy.

“The idea is to develop these jellyfish-inspired vehicles for underwater surveillance of ocean waters,” said Alex Villanueva, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering.

Cyro has eight arms and a flexible silicone covering. A control box in the middle of the jellyfish serves as the robot’s “brain.”

It can swim for about four hours using a battery, but researchers are exploring alternative energy sources to make it last longer.

“In the future, we’re trying to leave this robot in the ocean for weeks and months at a time,” said Villanueva.

The robot could one day be used to study schools of fish, handle cleanup duty from oil spills or take part in underwater military surveillance operations.

Morning Express with Robin Meade airs Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. ET on HLN.  Like the show on Facebook, follow on Twitter: @MorningExp.

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