Jellyfish 'pulverizing' robots trained in Korea to hunt down their prey

The aquatic killer 'bots have been developed to combat the increasing menace of jellyfish swarms

Scientists in South Korea have developed a team of aquatic robots dedicated to thinning out the numbers of jellyfish swarms. Known as the Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm (or JEROS) the sea-bound robots use a combined GPS and camera system to detect jellyfish before catching them in nets.

“Once caught, the jellyfish are pulverized using a special propeller,” reads a press release from the Korea Institute for Science and Technology, the home of the project.

The JEROS system is estimated to be three times more economical than manual removal of the jellyfish, with the robots – which travel at a speed of 6 knots or 7mph – eliminating around 400kg of the invertebrates an hour.

The researchers also experimented with arranging their killer ‘ bots into swarms, with a video showing a group of three individuals controlled as one.

The team has been led by Professor Myung Hyun, who has been working in response to the growing danger to businesses and individuals from swarms – or blooms, as they are technically known - of jellyfish.

Writing in the journal of Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing , Hyun describes jellyfish as “a great menace to the oceans ecosystem, which leads to drastic damage to the fishery industries.”

“To overcome this problem,” writes Hyun, “a jellyfish removal system with trawl boats equipped with the jellyfish removal net has been suggested."

"However, the system needs large ships which need to be operated by a lot of human operators. Thus, this paper represents the design and implementation of an autonomous jellyfish removal robot system, called JEROS.”

The problem of marauding jellyfish is not specific to Korean shores either: last week the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in Sweden was shut down after the pipes that transport water to cool the turbines were clogged by tonnes of jellyfish, and in 2006 the same fate even befell a US aircraft carrier, the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan.

In her recent book ' Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean’, marine biologist Lisa-ann Gershwin describes how overfishing and climate change have created the perfect ocean conditions for jellyfish: reports from 2006 estimated a total biomass of fish in the ocean as 3.9 million tons, whilst the total jellyfish biomass was around 13 million tons.

Quoted in a review of her book by Tim Walker, Gershwin writes:

“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.”

With this in mind, the creation of a swarm of ruthless jellyfish hunters seems like quite a sensible idea, though the video below of JEROS in action is not suited for those sympathetic to the clueless jellies.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence