Watch out jellyfish swarms – there may be a killer robot coming for you soon.
Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm (or JEROS) have been developed by Korean scientists in an effort to combat troublesome jellyfish swarms.
The aquatic terminators use a combination of GPS technology and a camera detection system to catch the jellyfish in their nets.
Once caught the jellyfish are pulverised by the unmanned robot’s specialised propellers, a statement from the Korea Institute for Science and Technology says of the new devices.
JEROS are estimated to be three times more economical to use than the manual removal of jellyfish from the ocean. The machines can travel up to 6 knots or 7mph an hour and are capable of eliminating 400kg of the invertebrates.
Jellyfish blooms are a growing danger to businesses and individuals, says the research team leader Professor Myung Hyun. Writing in the journal, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing the study’s leader described the creatures as: “a great menace to the oceans ecosystem, which leads to drastic damage to the fishery industries.”
Marine biologists believe that overfishing and climate change have created the ideal conditions for large masses of jellyfish, previously unseen.
“We are creating a world more like the late Precambrian than the late 1800s—a world where jellyfish ruled the seas and organisms with shells didn’t exist. We are creating a world where we humans may soon be unable to survive, or want to,” says marine biologist Lisa-Ann Gershwin, author of the book Stung! on Jellyfish Bloom and the Future of the Ocean.