Tag Archives: jellyfish

Rat as Jellyfish

Janna Narwoth, advised by Kit Parker at Harvard, created a jellyfish mimic from the cardiac muscle cells of a rat. (Video after the jump.) Copying the structure of Moon Jellies, the cardiac muscle cells were grown so that they were aligned into ring shape on a sheet of polydimethylsiloxane. When electricity is applied, the muscle cells contract, deforming the ring into a bell shape. When the electricity us removed, the cells relax, and the natural elastic properties of the substrate reflatten the disk. Examining the fluid dynamics, the mock jelly not only propels itself, but also creates a counter vortex that drives particles up and into the center of the bell, just like real jellyfish. The researchers hope to apply this technology as a tested for examining the effectiveness of certain cardiac drugs.

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God, I Love Festo

Festo, a German robotics company, has unveiled yet another of their mesmerizing biologically inspired creations, AquaPenguin (Not to be confused with AirPenguin.) (Autoplay (bleh!) video after the jump.) You may remember Festo from their robotic jellyfish AirJelly and AquaJelly. (Videos of these also after the jump.)

Festo creates these as part of their Bionic Learning Network. This project models natural animal systems in an effort to develop lightweight, and energy efficient designs for manipulators and locomotion. As a side effect of this research, Festo creates these robots in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach.

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