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A robot jellyfish more than 5ft wide has been shown off by researchers in America.

The lifelike invention could one day conduct military surveillance, clean oil spills and monitor the environment.

It is part of a multi-university project for the US Navy that is being led by Virginia Tech professor Shashank Priya.

The Robo-Jelly is being designed to operate on its own energy for up to several months and has a silicone skin that protects the electronics inside.

It moves using eight mechanically controlled arms.

Researchers have been testing the device in a swimming pool and have also made smaller versions, roughly the size of an adult's hand.

The project needs a few more years of work before the Robo-Jelly gets released into the wild, according to the university.

Professor Priya said the jellyfish is an ideal candidate to mimic because they use little energy and have "a lower metabolic rate than other marine species" and can also survive in different water conditions.

Other universities are also working on the $5m (£3.3m) project.

The University of Texas, Providence College in Rhode Island, the University of California and Stanford University are helping with areas like optical and pressure sensors.

Source: http://news.sky.com/story/1071441/robot-jellyfish-could-roam-oceans-for-months

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