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"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
- Larry Niven

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 rippling 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
  - Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable

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