"The robotic jellyfish - approximately the size of a human hand - requires batteries to operate and researchers are hoping the bot will ultimately be capable of mimicking the efficient propulsion capabilities of real-world jellyfish to extend its runtime. Using the efficient jellyfish-like method of propulsion, scientists believe the robot will be capable of running for months on a single charge instead of hours."
"A larger vehicle will allow for more payload, longer duration and longer range of operation," said Alex Villanueva of St-Jacques, New-Brunswick, Canada, and a doctoral student in mechanical engineering.
"Biological and engineering results show that larger vehicles have a lower cost of transport, which is a metric used to determine how much energy is spent for traveling."
Of course, the prototype robots can also be modded for use in monitoring ocean currents, pollution and helping to clean oil spills in the event of an accident.
A few years ago we were at a South by Southwest party hosted by Maureen McHugh, where I introduced my stepson Barton to cyberpunk Bruce Sterling. Their discussion culminated into Bruce showing Barton YouTube videos of robotic jellyfish...which, it seems, are moving from a bit of a novelty into use as drones.
I could also see Cyro being used to spy on the citizens of Rapture, perhaps turning their degeneration into anarchy into the most lurid of reality television: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea meets Atlas Shrugged.
Derek Austin Johnson has lived most of his life in the Lone Star State. A member of the Turkey City Writer's Workshop, his work has appeared in Skull Fragments: A Skelos Sampler, Rick Klaw's Rayguns Over Texas!, Nova Express, Moving Pictures, Her Majesty's Secret Servant, and Revolution SF. His film column "Watching the Future" appeared each month at Hugo Award-winning SF Signal.
He lives in Central Texas.