Shark Cyborgs On DARPA Remote control
DARPA has taken another page from science fiction writer William Gibson's book by creating a neural implant to enable engineers to remotely manipulate a shark's brain signals. This would allow them to control the animal's movements and possibly decode their perceptions. Given that sharks have senses that humans don't have (like the ability to sense electromagnetic fields), it could open up some interesting uses.
The implant consists of a series of electrodes embedded in the shark's brain; different electrodes can be used to stimulate different areas of the brain. In addition, the DARPA researchers want to use their setup to detect and decipher the neural patterns that correspond to shark activities like sensing an ocean current, a particular scent in the water or an electrical field.
In the abstract for their presentation to the 2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center summarized the implant in the following way:
NUWC is developing a fish tag whose goal is attaining behavior control of host animals via neural implants. This talk discusses a shark tag ... intended for long-term open ocean field efforts investigating viability of animal behavior control and its utility for networked sensing and data acquisition. The tag is centered on a multi-channel neural ensemble reader, a processor to interpret the readings in real-time, and a multi-channel stimulator, intended for both micro and macro stimulation.
Additional capabilities include an undersea navigation/tracking system, acoustic and RF communication capabilities, a sensitive multi-channel Electric field measurement sensor, and a range of environmental sensors, including ph, heading and motion sensors, temperature, pressure and chemical injection micro-pumps...
To date results include neural ensemble recordings and stimulation of Mustelus Canis and Squyalus[sp] Acanthias.
[Mustelus canis and and Squalus Acanthias are the smooth dogfish shark and the spiny dogfish shark, respectively. These animals have a long biomedical research history.]
(From Autonomous Shark Tag with Neural Reading and Stimulation Capability for Open-ocean Experiments)
In Johnny Mnemonic, William Gibson wrote about Jones, a military surplus dolphin cyborg.
(Jones the cyborg dolphin from the movie version)
He rose out of the water, showing us the crusted plates along his sides, a kind of visual pun, his grace nearly lost under armor, clumsy and prehistoric. Twin deformities on either side of his skull had been engineered to house sensor units. Silver lesions gleamed on exposed sections of his gray-white hide.
(Read more about William Gibson's cyborg dolphin)
Of course, there is only so much you can do with a friendly dolphin. Maybe that's why DARPA's military sponsors have chosen sharks. Take a look at these related stories about scientists who have used implants to 'jack' into a cat's brain to see what the cat is seeing, or other researchers who have implanted RFID chips in birds to warn of Avian flu. Read more about Stealth
sharks to patarol the high seas.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/5/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )
Related News Stories -
Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
Science fiction writers again provide a blueprint for the future.
Real Leather Without Cows Modern Meadow Biofabrication
'Plastissue, as any fool can see...' - WF Wallace, 1952,
Epigenetic Memory's On/Off Switch Found
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' - Barbara Hambly, 1982.
Rabbit's Brain Cryogenically Frozen Successfully
'Even in the case of the most perfect freezing there is still some activity...' - Edward Page Mitchell, 1879.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Once A Jolly Swagbot Camped By A Billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree...
Juno Gets Close To Jupiter, Fiction Gets Closer!
Amazing Juno spacecraft cozies up to the biggest planet in our solar system.
NASA Submarine For Titan
'Straight away from the shore it swam, seeing nothing but flecks of paraffin...'
Sketching Robots May Displace Starving Artists
Jeez, robots, leave us with something.
Three Clues To Limb Regeneration
'Forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers...'
Soft Caterpillar Robot Powered By Light
'the spread-out "puddle" shape she used for soaking up sun...'
Converting Low Temp Waste Heat To Electricity
'Our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'
Flex Robot Surgeon - Let's Hope You're Sedated
There are other insertion points, right, Neo?
Liquid Metal Terminator Development Hums Right Along
More research is needed - check!
Kiwi Dominos Drone Pizza Delivery
If you can deliver diapers, you can deliver pizzas.
MIT Robot Helps Out In Delivery Room
Oooee nooomaa oooee. And you thought today's doctors were hard to understand.
Self-Healing Textiles! Say Goodbye To Torn Jeans
'The constant renewal of the fibers, repairing any faults...'
Fleets Of Ford Autonomous Cars In 5 Years
'He urgently addressed the vehicle's AI."Can't we go any faster?'
Electric Head Patch Helps PTSD Patients
'Don't confuse this with the little ten amp neurosis models.'
MEDi Robot Calms The Nervous Patient
'Specially programmed stabilizing surrogate devices.'
NASA's Interplanetary Internet DTN
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories