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In a bid to create a new kind of flying robot, scientists in the US have sought inspiration from an unlikely source. Their vehicle flaps its wings in a way that recalls the pulsating swimming motions of jellyfish – creatures that are more at home in the water than in the air.
Most previous aerial robots have been engineered to mirror the movements of creatures that can actually fly. However, it has proved difficult to mimic the complex engineering that nature has mastered through millions of years of evolution. For example, robots that are inspired by insects such as fruit flies have to continually adjust their flying motion to respond to changes in the wind. Recreating this complex control in such a small mechanism is tricky.
By turning logic on its head and basing their design on a sea creature, Leif Ristroph and colleagues at New York University have come up with a solution. Their design operates without the need for any control system.
A few weeks ago during the middle of the day I was sitting outside in my back yard when I saw this white ring that looked sort of like a jellyfish hovering about 2-3 feet above me. I tried to stick my hand up and touch it and it started ascending moving away from me. It looked and moved like a jelly fish but it was ony about a centimeter in diameter and it was white. Though I could only make out with my eyes the ring shape it seemed to have somewhat of a body like a jellyfish, though it was somewhat transperant looking.
I have seen another one!!! It was not close enough for me to touch but it was close enough to watch. It was about ten feet above me. It was the same thing I described in my opening post again, but this time I had more time to observe it. The only part of it I could make out is the ring which seems to be more like the shape of a worm swirling around in circles. I watched it go for about 100 feet before I lost sight of it, I think it expands the higher it is. I think these things go entirely unnoticed and probably happen more than we think. You have to keep an eye on things that happen to be directly above you. That is how I spotted it both times. I am also pretty sure they are attracted to water and come closer to earth when there is alot of warmth and humidity.