In nearly every [[StandardSciFiFleet Ship Based]] Science fiction novel of relative hardness your search for the most heavily augmented individual will usually end at one of two people, the [[GrizzledVeteran grizzled war veteran]], or this guy, the ship's navigator. Why? Maybe they need more brainspace for all the calculations necessary to adjust the ship's position in Warp Space, or they need better reaction times, or maybe they really need those ElectronicEyes to find and follow the normally invisible "Safe Zones" in hyperspace.

Appropriately, the word "cyborg" derives from "cybernetic organism". Where does "cybernetic" come from? The Greek word "kybernetes", which means helmsman. Which makes this one a recursive trope.
!! Examples:


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The pilots in ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' all have visible implants in their arms that let them interface with ships and mechs. On Earth they're strictly military, but they're used for more mundane purposes on Mars - so when Martian civilian Akito is zapped to Earth during a Jovian attack, everyone assumes he's a deserter from the war.
* ''Manga/OutlawStar'' has Melfina, an artificial human, as a helmsman.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/FlightOfTheNavigator'' [[PlayingWithTropes plays with this a little]], where the robotic ship needed to store some of its data in a human brain while it rebooted itself. After redownloading that data a little HumanityIsInfectious takes place and the ship develops some very human emotions and personality.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The Navigators of ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' arguably qualify, albeit without the ''usual'' biomechanical augmentation; they use [[AppliedPhlebotinum Spice]].
** Odrade has a cyborg pilot for her shuttle on her trip to Junction in ''Literature/ChapterhouseDune''.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/{{Genome}}'' is a genetically and, to a lesser degree, cybernetically augmented starship pilot. In a subversion, though, almost every human in the story is similarly enhanced (except the "natural" navigator, and even that's a rarity, as the job requires one to plot a course in multiple dimensions).
* The Master Captain in ''Literature/GreatShip'' verse. While she still looks fairly human on the outside, she is [[LargeAndInCharge far larger than a normal person]] to help disperse heat as her skin is jam packed with computers, AI assistants, and communication systems to interface with the [[PlanetSpaceShip Great Ship]].
* Ship captains and pilots in ''Literature/TheNightsDawnTrilogy'' have extensive neural implants for controlling the ship and mapping out trajectories. Physically modified {{Cyborg}}s are primarily used as engineers and for patching up damage - some of them are so heavily modified that they don't even need space suits to survive in the vacuum, instead just needing a bottle of oxygen.
* Katherine Kerr's ''Polar City Blues'' has Lacey, a former (space) Navy pilot who has a neural-link port implanted in the back of her neck for connecting to ships, which has since sealed over.
* In the ''Literature/RevelationSpace'' universe, the crews of interstellar spacecraft have formed their own culture, and most of them are cyborgs. A more extreme example is John Brannigan, a starship captain who became infected with a [[TheVirus nanotechnological virus]], [[BodyHorror causing his mind and body]] to merge with his ship in a very disturbing way. Even before the virus, he is described as being more robot than man, with the only visible trace of his humanity being his dreadlocks and the skin around his highly [[GasMaskMooks modified]] [[ElectronicEyes face]].
* ''Literature/VattasWar'' uses implants that allow access to certain funtionalities not normally allowed, as well as allowing mental activation and use of some controls.
* In the Literature/VorkosiganSaga, starship pilots need special implants to interface with ship's navigation during wormhole travel. A recurring character is Arde Mayhew, who is unable to receive upgraded implants for medical reasons and so can't pilot more recent models of ship, and in ''Literature/TheWarriorsApprentice'' faces disaster with the decommissioning of the last remaining ship he is able to pilot.
* A number of mentions regarding cyborg pilots are made in ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress''. They never appear directly but are apparently superior to normal pilots. This doesn't stop the protagonist from regarding them with disdain, referring to one as a "wired-up ex-human".


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''{{Series/Farscape}}.'' The living ship Talyn (who is himself a cyborg) forms a telepathic link with his captain by way of a cybernetic interface implanted at the base of the captain's neck. It's less for navigation than a instinctual need for a captain due to his native biology with a healthy dose of genetic engineering thrown in.
* Sandstrom the "augumented human" in ''Series/{{Hyperdrive}}'' is a buggy prototype. It's not clear that her UnusualUserInterface is actually any better than a normal helmsman would be.
* In spite of ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s usual stance on [[NoTranshumanismAllowed cybernetics and transhumanism]], Geordi [=LaForge=] wore a VISOR that connected to his brain and allowed him to see. In the [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration first few seasons]], his role on the ship was as the Helmsman, although he eventually graduated to Chief Engineer.
* And in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Seven of Nine uses Borg technology to create Voyager's Astrometrics lab, a 3D map of the space they're traveling through.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The Navigators of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' are ''mutant'' helmsmen, capable of navigating through the Warp and allowing the Imperium to exist. Many officers in the Imperial Navy are so heavily augmented that they're often described as being more part of their ships than autonomous beings.
** Also, some ship captains, especially on Adeptus Mechanicus ships. One such captain appears in the first ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' book.
* Mechs in ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' require a pilot with a neural interface to work correctly. The Nazis surgically add this to their pilots; the Ancient Martians may well have grown pilots with built in interfaces. The Europans also have technology that allows them to do the same; the only difference is that theirs is much less invasive.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

%%* ''Webcomic/CrimsonDark''
* In ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'', this is the ultimate fate of the Psiioniic, with a dose of BodyHorror thrown in for good measure - with his incredible psychic abilities, he's implied to not only steer but also power the Condesce's flagship, to which he is literally fused.