Friday, October 4, 2013

The Anti-Jellyfish Hive Mind

So let's say you have a jellyfish. Let us say that your jellyfish is being a bad jellyfish. It's clogging fishing nets, it's eating plankton intended for fish as well as actual fish eggs, it's shutting down a Swedish nuclear reactor, it's defying the icy black hand of death that will one day enslave us all, it's pooping on the lawn and blaming the fish. You want your jellyfish to behave. What do you do?

You shred the living hell out of it with robots, of course.

See, jellyfish have been tormenting the southwest coast of South Korea for some time now, and in response, KAIST- the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology- has been working on a soulless, cold-blooded jellyfish murder-o-tron which they call the Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm, or JEROS. What you have is a bot propped up on a pair of pontoons. Below those pontoons are some propellers with which it steers. JEROS has a GPS on it, telling it where jellyfish blooms are. Without further human intervention, JEROS, along with a couple of other linked-up JEROS bots, then gets itself to the site of the bloom, at which time those propellers become WHIRLING BLADES OF JELLIFIED DEATH.

If you think I'm being over-the-top here, I will have you know that no less than USA Today used the phrase "Flesh-shredding robots that can devour 2,000 pounds an hour". As the lede. May I just say that when your job is to write that phrase, you are having an awesome day.

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