Virginia Tech robot jellyfish video a hit online - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Virginia Tech robot jellyfish video a hit online

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BLACKSBURG, VA -

One of the hottest trending videos on the internet Friday came from a group of Virginia Tech engineering students.

The College of Research and Engineering posted to its Vimeo page the next step in a research project for the Navy.  Students are studying how to make a jellyfish-type robot, which could be used to monitor coastlines, oil spills, and other environmental issues.

Tech student Alex Villanueva heads up the project, and says replicating how a jellyfish moves is a big challenge.

"You know we're dealing with a type of propulsion that's not commonly studied," Villaneuva says in the video. "It's not like a boat or a submarine, you know, where we have flexible parts,  Got a lot of parts moving."

The robot has eight arms, and the team used silicone to make the artificial mesh that gives the robot its jellyfish-like shape.

"This robot, we intend to leave it in the ocean for as long as we can.  We're talking weeks, or months, or even more if we can," noted Villanueva.

Read more about his work here: http://www.emdl.mse.vt.edu/projects/alex.html

Watch the full video here: http://vimeo.com/62880818

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