As far as I know, this is the first fishtank in which plankton are given a computer interface. You might be wondering just what the heck plankton could possibly want with a computer, but besides surfing the web, it turns out that these little daphnia are accomplished artists, dancers, and musicians. With the proper digital tools, anyway.
The actual fishtank is underneath a microscope. An array of LEDs responds to the movement of the daphnia (effectively, the daphnia controls the LEDs), turning off when the animal gets close to one of the sides of the tank. The position of the daphnia is projected live into a full size fishtank, and then surrounded by a cloud of digital plankton. And although it doesn’t seem to be included in the video, there’s also sound which the daphnia controls depending on the direction in which it swims.
Just imagine what it must be like for this lucky little daphnia… One minute, it’s living in pond scum, and the next, it’s controlling a computer. If it had a brain, it would probably be pretty excited. Oh well.