Students from Harvard University, indulged in the study of bio-inspired engineering, invented a poke-ball type device which will gently procure jellyfish within it. This is, basically, a robotic hand that is specifically designed to study marine creatures. Humans have always been keen on studying marine life and have spent a lot of time and resources for the same. The human tools, however, are very hard for the delicate and soft-fleshed ocean creatures.
This device, named as Rotary Actuated Dodecahedron (RAD), is a successful result of an alliance between engineers, designers, and marine biologists. Looking just like a four-fingered claw, when open, it is derived by a single motor, letting all the joints to get folded and forming a 12-sided hollow container around the creature it wants to snag, as per the researchers. RAD was tested by the team at Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium and later in the open ocean near Monterey, California. This unmanned vehicle was controlled by a joystick and was successful in capturing squid and a jellyfish, with no harm caused to them.
As per the abstract published in (LiveScience) the papers, researchers submitted “Self-folding polyhedra have emerged as a viable design strategy for a wide range of applications, with advances largely made through modeling and experimentation at the micro-millimeter scale.”
Elaborating their work, they wrote, “Our work validates the use of self-folding polyhedral for marine biological applications that require minimal actuation to achieve complex motion. The device was tested to 700 m, but the system was designed to withstand full ocean depth (11km) pressures. We envision broader terrestrial applications of rotary-actuated folding polyhedral, ranging from large-scale deployable habitats and satellite solar arrays to small-scale functional origami microelectromechanical systems.