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"There's a tendency to think that maybe if we can just throw enough hardware at the AI problem, then evolution can take care of the rest. Certainly that's how God went about making us."
- Rudy Rucker

Chemotactic Artificial Jellyfish  
  Artificial device modeled on jellyfish capable of seeking specific components of liquid.  

Tug is a dedicated student of jellyfish. He creates increasingly accurate models of jellyfish on his computer, and then manufactures small models using piezoplastic microbeads sintered by laser beams. Finally, the discovery of a new material lets him create an artificial jellyfish.

"...about the size of a deflated football. I dropped it in my swimmin' pool. It was floatin' there, kinda riplling and pulsing, for about two days. Didn't you say that sucker would run for weeks? Forty-eight hours and it was gone!..."

"No way," protested Tug, intensely. "It must have slipped out a crack in the side of your pool. I built that model to last three weeks for sure! It was my best prototype. It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither into undersea vents and find its way to underground oil beds..."

[Tug] "My jellyfish didn't send back information because I didn't put a tracer chip in it... I don't think oil prospecting is a very honorable application. I'd really rather see the California Water Authority using my jellies to trace leaks in irrigation and sewage lines."

From Big Jelly, by Rudy Rucker (w/B. Sterling).
Published by Four Walls Eight Windows in 1994
Additional resources -

"Chemotaxis" refers to the ability of an organism to move in the direction corresponding to a gradient of decreasing or increasing concentration of a substance.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Big Jelly
  More Ideas and Technology by Rudy Rucker (w/B. Sterling)
  Tech news articles related to Big Jelly
  Tech news articles related to works by Rudy Rucker (w/B. Sterling)

Chemotactic Artificial Jellyfish-related news articles:
  - Cybernetic Jellyfish Evolve
  - Artificial Jellyfish Swims On Its Own
  - Festo's AquaJellies 2.0

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