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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Robotic Eel  
  A five-foot long artificial eel, controlled by an operator.  

Be sure to see the description of the eel operator.

It was a small electronics lab, but I took no note of anything but the Eel. It was about five feet long, a silver flexiprene-covered body like a fat snake, a black bullet head and red camera eyes. I was puzzled that they had it tethered inside a wire cage... The Eel flexed its body, rattling the cage, and moved its head to look directly at me.
From Re:Set, by Susan Beetlestone.
Published by Tutka Books in 2012
Additional resources -

Compare to the Mitsubishi turbo from Michael Swanwick's 2002 story Slow Life and the Wabbler From The Wabbler (1942) by Murray Leinster.

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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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