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"...in fifty years, do you believe that people will be recognizably human?"
- Greg Bear

Eel Operator  
  A surgically modified human being able to operate a robotic eel  

Read about the electronic Eel.

Eel operators were screened volunteers with no family ties due to the procedures they had to undergo - the insertion of two glass cylinders, one into each hemisphere of the brain. These cylinders contained processors for the control of their own personal Eel, and for receiving visual information from it. They were also doped with hormones that induced local nerve growth. Their own brains then grew nerve fibers into the cylinders and made connections with the artificial neurone structure.

During missions, the operator was apparently subjected to a drug-induced theta-wave state, but with the brain structures involved in relaxing the muscles during sleep inhibited.

So, in a kind of waking dream, the operators guided their robotic counterparts via an amplified microwave transmitter.

From Re:Set, by Susan Beetlestone.
Published by Tutka Books in 2012
Additional resources -

What is it like to be an eel operator?

"So when you sleep you dream you are the Eel?"

"All the time. I dream it all the time. I see what I see, and what it sees."

"Do you like it?"

"...It's not to like or dislike. It's who I am."

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Re:Set
  More Ideas and Technology by Susan Beetlestone
  Tech news articles related to Re:Set
  Tech news articles related to works by Susan Beetlestone

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