The idea of fuel derived from water isn't a new one, but actually putting it into practice is not easy, although some success has been achieved.
Contrary to what some may expect, this piece of news is not about some new car or engine that can pull the hydrogen out of the water vapors in the air.
We're pretty sure cars based on something of the sort will eventually become reality, and maybe even a regular part of everyday life.
That is neither here nor there, though. Right now we get to look at the Robojelly.
Contrary to what the name may suggest, this is not a robotized piece of jell-o, and we can't come up with any applications for robo jell-o either, not that we think about it.
Anyway, Robojelly is the name of an underwater robot whose design is inspired from jellyfish.
The bell design is derived from the Aurelia aurita jellyfish, to be more precise. As the bell contracts and relaxes, it expels water to propel the body.
Now, the robot can run on the hydrogen from the water all around it, which reacts with carbon nanotubes inset into its flexible “muscles.” Those nanotubes are coated with platinum, hence the reaction.
Theoretically, the Robojelly should be capable of operating without ever running out of energy, something that would make it a very important tool when it comes to underwater surveillance and rescue.
“The model is based on the changes in entropy of the hydrogen and oxygen fuel on the composite actuator within a channel. The specific heat capacity is the dominant factor controlling the width of the strain for various pulse widths of fuel delivery,” says the abstract of the “Hydrogen-fuel-powered bell segments of biomimetic jellyfish” article.
The Institute of Physics has a (very) short video of the Robojelly available on YouTube, which we have embedded below. So, without further ado, lo and behold.