A team of researchers from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering led by professor of mechanical engineering, Shashank Priya, has created a robotic jellyfish Cyro, a larger model of a similar robofish the team unveiled in 2012. Cyro is modelled after the jellyfish Cyanea capillata.

According to the researchers, the previous robojellyfish was the size of a man's head but the latest autonomous robotic jellyfish Cyro weighs 170 pounds and can autonomously patrol the oceans for supervision and environmental monitoring.  

The 5 foot 7 inches robotic jellyfish is a follow-on of the earlier robojelly and is designed with eight mechanical legs buzzing around its metal framework. It is covered with silicone. It mimics the underwater momentum of a jellyfish, reports Wired. It is designed in a manner to simultaneously collect, store, analyze and transmit sensory information.

With the release of the new robotic jellyfish, the team plans to place self powering, autonomous machines in water that travel the world's ocean for surveillance purpose, monitoring the environment and ocean currents, studying the aquatic life and mapping ocean floors, reports UPI.

"A larger vehicle will allow for more payload, longer duration and longer range of operation," doctoral student in mechanical engineering Alex Villanueva of St. Jacque, New Brunswick, Canada, said in a press statement. "Biological and engineering results show that larger vehicles have a lower cost of transport, which is a metric used to determine how much energy is spent for traveling."

Both the robots are a part of the nationwide $5 million project that is funded by US Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research.

The reason why the researchers chose to mimic jellyfish is because these creatures consume less energy and are known to appear in an array of size, shape and color.

The new autonomous robotic jellyfish is currently in its prototype stage and will take some more years to come into use completely.