Are jellyfish becoming a major problem where you live? With JEROS you can slice and dice your way to a jellyfish-less future! Just ten installments of $10.99 wherever jellyfish eradication devices are sold. While that’s clearly not accurate, the South Korean-developed robot named JEROS is being used, now, in preliminary tests, with great success, and its mission is to slice and dice jellyfish who prove to be a nuisance. They accomplish their mission quite effectively.
Besides their painful and sometimes deadly stings, jellyfish can be “nuisances” in other ways. For instance, when they congregate together in swarms, especially in cases where sea water is used for purposes such as cooling, the jellyfish can prove to be serious nuisances.
Also, the researchers stated in a news release that 300 billion won (about $280 million) was the amount of income loss that jellyfish caused to local fisheries.
Just last week, jellyfish clogged up the cooling pipes of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in Sweden, forcing it to shut down. They had to be removed manualy, but that can only be done at a rate of about a ton an hour. That may seem like a lot — and it is — but, it’s expensive and relatively speaking, time consuming. The problem can be taken care of much more quickly through mechanical means.
The JEROS robot was invented at Korea’s Advnaced Institue of Science and Technology by Professor Myung Hyun and a team of researchers.The initials are an acronym for Jellyfish Elimination Robotic System. JEROS suspends a net underneath the water. Mounted behind it are two huge propellers.
After jellyfish enter the net, the propellers are activated. This sucks the jellyfish closer to them, where they are then sliced and diced into jellyfish chum, much like how a lawnmower cuts grass. Viola, no more jellyfish!
JEROS is more than a net and propellers, though. It is equipped with a GPS/camera and a motor, enabling it to detect and hone in on where jellyfish swarms are located. It then moves in to dispatch them.
Each JEROS can reduce 900 kg. of jellyfish (1,984 pounds) to chum per hour. They work in groups of three or more, easily outperforming humans manually getting rid of the jellyfish. You can just push a few buttons, and leave the JEROS to accomplish their task.
JEROS has been successfully tested in South Korea. By April 2014, JEROS should be available commercially. The aim of JEROS is not to eradicate all jellyfish — just the swarms which are either deadly, or might interfere with functions like the cooling of nuclear reactors.
Aren’t the robots a cruel method of dealing with the jellyfish?
JEROS are effective, and their system of nets and deadly spinning blades have been compared to medieval torture devices. But, the South Korean lab researchers note that jellyfish aren’t really fish. They’re more like, they say, blobs of plankton. They have no hearts or brains or bones, and “the jellyfish are a really big problem.”
While they are animals, PETA likely won’t be rushing to their defense anytime soon. Still, there is a fear that similar robots might be used to dispatch other ‘undesirable” forms of marine life at some time in the future.
The robots work in teams. One JEROS will figure out the best way to approach a swarm of jellyfish, and the others follow it in formation until they are close enough to begin killing the jellyfish.
Are jellyfish worth protecting? Should they be dispatched in a more humane manner? What are your feelings/opinions about JEROS? Please leave your comments below.
Written by: Douglas Cobb