The world has too many jellyfish, and not enough robots.
So let's build robots to defeat the jellyfish.
That's essentially the thinking behind a new plan to deploy swams of autonomous robots in the ocean and kill jellyfish, in order to preserve the safe operation of nuclear power plants.
CNN reports that jellyfish are increasingly clogging and incapacitating plants around the world by inhabiting cooling-water intake lines.
A plant in Sweden was shut down for this reason earlier this week, and more similar incidents have been seen around the world. Other attacks by the gelatinous menace have been seen in the United States, Japan, Israel and even Scotland. In South Korea alone the cost of the problem is estimated to be $300 million in damages.
Now IEES Spectrum reports that the fightback is getting serious. Scientists at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have built a robotic solution known as the Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm. The robots operate autonomously, without human control, and use cameras to find jellyfish near the surface before teaming up to float around them in formation.
And then? Unfortunately for the jellyfish, they shred them. The robots use a mulching system which can "process" 900 kilograms of jellyfish per hour - or about 6,000 individual jellyfish.
The team is now planning further tests to see if they can add more units to the swarm, and develop a commercial plan for the horrifying, but probably necessary, devices.
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