Cyborgs and other types of half-mechanical human beings have long been portrayed as a feature in science fiction. The word alone stands for ‘cybernetic organism,’ meaning that’s not obviously restricted to the mechanization of human beings.
Implement it to part-mechanical creatures, and you’ve got cyborgs. They have been developed in the form of insects that have had chips inserted into their bodies in order to keep them under control. This management, therefore, makes humans able to control the ways that their charges either run or fly.
The First-Ever Cyborg Marine Creature
Nicole Xu and John Dabiri, a team of researchers from Stanford University in California, have revealed in the journal Science Advances that they have created the first cyborg jellyfish. This new invention allegedly paves the path to affordable systems for underwater crafts.
Dr. Xu and Dr. Dabiri chose, like the casement for their cyborg, a typical species known as Aurelia aurita. Similar to all the other members of the phylum Cnidaria, the Aurelia species doesn’t have a brain. Its body is extremely symmetrical, as well as its nervous system. Most of all, the opening and closing of its bell, which allows it to move through the water, can be caused by any one of eight neural chips implemented around the bell’s margin.
After a detailed and long analysis of the species’ electrophysiology, the team of researchers was able to develop a synthetic pacemaker that pirated its system. The pacemaker has a lithium polymer battery and a tiny processor chip to manage the mechanism of the electric current that is produced. The invention is about ten grams, a tenth of the weight of an adult jellyfish of this species.
Utilizing the synthetic pacemaker, Dr. Xu and Dr. Dabiri could turbocharge the creature’s process through the water. They could accelerate it to about three times its usual speed, and, to their surprise, this required only twice as much energy as a typical movement.
Exploring the Depths of the Ocean With Cyborg Jellyfish
High-speed jellyfish are not probably to be of much use, actually. But if a more intricate prosthesis can control the animal as well as managing its velocity, then the technology of cyborg Cnidaria will roll out to the world. Scientists from other institutes are attempting to create swimming robots to explore the ocean.
However, those kinds of prototypes need between 10 and 1,000 times as much energy as the technology created by Dr. Xu and Dr. Dabiri because a robot’s battery has to generate propulsive power besides operating the system. A cyborg gathers its energy for propulsion by feeding.
A controllable jellyfish, equipped with tools as well as a control set, would, therefore, be beneficial for marine researchers. According to experts, jellyfish travel all over the place, and with the right species, they could get to explore the deepest regions of the ocean. Then, as soon as the cyborg’s mission was completed, it could be brought to the surface and its equipment, as well as the data they collected, be recovered.