First it was dolphins with lasers, then it was super cool warships that may end up getting mothballed, but now the United States Navy is funding research to build a giant robotic jellyfish.
With funding from the United States Navy, researchers at Virginia Tech are creating a huge robotic jellyfish. Now, when we say huge, we aren't kidding as the prototype that they already have in the water measures 5 feet and 7 inches in length and weighs in at 170 pounds.
Nicknamed Cyro, the robot is self powered and autonomous; and if everything works out, the Navy wants to mass produce the suckers and use them for surveillance as well as for environmental monitoring.
The forerunner to Cyro was called RoboJelly and only measured the size of your hand, which made it less terrifying than its grown-up brethren. Below is a video of the massive jellyfish in action.
Both robots are part of a nationwide research project that has been funded to the tune of $5 million through the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research, whose goal is to place self-powering and autonomous machines in the oceans for conducting surveillance, monitoring the environment, as well as mapping the ocean floors and monitoring ocean currents.