Festo and Effekt-Technik GmbH have developed the Aqua Jelly to demonstrate swarming behaviour. The Festo Aqua Jelly is a self-directed jellyfish with an electric drive unit and an intelligent mechanism that imitates swarming.
The Festo Aqua Jelly consists of a translucent hemispherical dome, a central water-tight body and 8 tentacles which are used for propulsion. The dome holds a control board which has integrated pressure, light and radio sensors. The control board also contains 8 white and 8 blue LED’s which allows communication between the Aqua Jellies when combined with sensors.
The Aqua Jelly has two silver rings on the outside, which are coated with conductive metal paint and are connected to a charging control unit that supplies energy to the Aqua Jelly. The charging unit is located above the surface of the water. When the Aqua Jelly approached the charging unit, they are attracted to it and then it supplies them with electricity.
The sensor system uses a pressure sensor to determine the depth of the Aqua Jelly in the tank as well as for recharging. The Aqua Jelly uses the energy saving ZigBee short-range radio system to communicate and exchange data with the charging station. This also allows the Aqua Jelly to signal to the other Aqua Jellies that the charging station is occupied.
The Aqua Jellies can communicate to a distance of 80cm using pulsed infrared signals. This means that when one Aqua Jelly receives a positional signal from another Aqua Jelly approaching them, it can move out of the way in time.
View the Festo Pneumatics range.