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Low-power microelectronics embedded in live jellyfish enhance propulsion

Xu, Nicole W. and Dabiri, John O. (2020) Low-power microelectronics embedded in live jellyfish enhance propulsion. Science Advances, 6 (5). Art. No. eaaz3194. ISSN 2375-2548. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaz3194.

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Artificial control of animal locomotion has the potential to simultaneously address longstanding challenges to actuation, control, and power requirements in soft robotics. Robotic manipulation of locomotion can also address previously inaccessible questions about organismal biology otherwise limited to observations of naturally occurring behaviors. Here, we present a biohybrid robot that uses onboard microelectronics to induce swimming in live jellyfish. Measurements demonstrate that propulsion can be substantially enhanced by driving body contractions at an optimal frequency range faster than natural behavior. Swimming speed can be enhanced nearly threefold, with only a twofold increase in metabolic expenditure of the animal and 10 mW of external power input to the microelectronics. Thus, this biohybrid robot uses 10 to 1000 times less external power per mass than other aquatic robots reported in literature. This capability can expand the performance envelope of biohybrid robots relative to natural animals for applications such as ocean monitoring.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Information
Xu, Nicole W.0000-0002-1649-8718
Dabiri, John O.0000-0002-6722-9008
Additional Information:© 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). Submitted 29 August 2019. Accepted 22 November 2019. Published 29 January 2020. We gratefully acknowledge Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for providing A. aurita medusae, M. Byron for suggesting the use of visible implant elastomer tags, and E. Li for testing microcontrollers and batteries to lay the groundwork for a second-generation device. Funding: This work was funded by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awarded to N.W.X. Author contributions: N.W.X. and J.O.D. conceived the study and edited the manuscript; N.W.X. carried out experimental work, performed the data analysis, and wrote the initial manuscript. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional data and code related to this paper may be requested from the authors.
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NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200129-114905734
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Official Citation:Low-power microelectronics embedded in live jellyfish enhance propulsion BY NICOLE W. XU, JOHN O. DABIRI Science Advances 29 Jan 2020: Vol. 6, no. 5, eaaz3194 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz3194
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100986
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 Jan 2020 19:55
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:58

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