Mesmerizing floating robo-critter: AirJelly

Mesmerizing floating robo-critter: AirJelly

This “AirJelly” floating mechanical creature is a joy to watch:

AirJelly houses two lithium-ion polymer accumulator batteries rated at 8 V and 400 mA, which can be completely charged in half an hour and are AirJelly’s sole source of power. A connected central electric drive unit transmits the force to a bevel gear wheel and then to eight spur gears in sequence. These gears power eight shafts, each of which activates a crank; these in turn move the jellyfish’s eight tentacles. Each tentacle is designed as a structure with Fin Ray Effect®- a construction derived from the functional anatomy of a fish’s fin. The actual structure consists of two alternating tension and pressure flanks movably connected by ribs. If a flank is subjected to pressure, the geometrical structure automatically bendsin the direction of the applied force. Together, the tentacles produce a peristaltic forward motion similar to that of their biological model.

AirJelly [French] [via]

14 thoughts on “Mesmerizing floating robo-critter: AirJelly

  1. Anonymous says:

    yes – festo is a huge automation products manufacturer with plenty of money to spend on ‘art’ projects generating lots of publicity in HANNOVER MESSE coverage.

  2. Jason says:

    The precursor to Sentinels! You have been warned!

  3. bob says:

    This seems like a pointless project. Cant really use it for anything. Take it outside and it gone with a small gust of wind. Unless this is for indoor use, then again Why?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe that no one has commented on how beautiful this is to watch, and how amazing the symmetry and control is. I’m sure there is scientific merit to this (movement with air waves, water, etc) but really it’s just amazing to watch. I’d like to see several of these things floating around in a darkened room, each with their own color light emanating from the center of each unit. Kind of like artistic jellyfish.

    Practical or not, the beauty of this is undeniable.

  5. sorilea says:

    I can just see groups of kids watching something like this and wanting to learn about how it works. Future astronauts, physicists, biologists, oceanographers, robot specialists, engineers…. the list is endless. So don’t say it doesn’t have worth. It has worth.

  6. Shandon says:

    I bet you look at the beauty of a sunrise and ask why…Don’t you Bob.or do you even notice it…….

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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